A patriarchal society is a social system in which men hold the primary power. The term ‘patriarchy’ originated from the Greek word πατριάρχης, meaning patriarkhēs or “the rule of the father”. Power is related to privilege. Therefore, the social consequences in living in a patriarchal society is that men hold all the power. The challenge of a patriarchal society is that women are oppressed by the underlying basis of a society in which men hold all the power.
Forbes magazine had an excellent article on the effects of a patriarchal society on both men and women, Renowned Therapist Explains The Crushing Effects of Patriarchy On Men and Women Today. Caprino (2018) interviewed Terry Real, a couple’s therapist, bestselling author and senior faculty at the Family Institute of Cambridge and Director of the Gender Relations program at the Meadows Institute in Arizona. Real explained that we all live under a patriarchal society and it isn’t an issue that only affects women. The psychological issues relating to a patriarchal society are that men and women lack the intimacy that could be achieved through two equal parties. He relates the concept that psychologically, women normalizing a patriarchal society is similar to a child who has been abused protecting their abuser. He calls this the “core collusion” (1). This psychological effect can be damaging as the perpetrator is being protected.
One of the most damning consequences of living in a patriarchal society is the perpetuation of rape culture.
Currently, rape culture is normalized in our society, we see it in movies, television and other forms of mass media. Society reinforces the norm that men are supposed to ‘seduce’ women to the point where they ‘encourage’ or ‘force’ women to have sex. There seems to be little regard for consent, as we continue to see victim shaming. The behavior displayed by men who reinforce rape culture is dismissed as “boys will be boys” while victims are blamed and called sluts or said they were “asking for it”. Rape culture is toxic for both men and women. It should be a goal to create a safe space in which toxic masculinity is abhorred and disdained by both men and women. All of society will benefit from the elimination of a patriarchal society and rape culture.
Patriarchy. Wikipedia. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patriarchy on March 17, 2019.
Caprino, K. (January 25, 2018). Renowned therapist explains the crushing effects of patriarchy on men and women today. Forbes. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/kathycaprino/2018/01/25/renowned-therapist-explains-the-crushing-effects-of-patriarchy-on-men-and-women-today/#5f8092932161