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The Patriarchal Promise, Part 2

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Written by Kelly Diels

There is a reason many men — and especially white men — feel like they have been wronged, dispossessed or disenfranchised. They believed that the promise of patriarchy included them, but it didn’t.

They believed if they worked hard and performed all the manly roles, they would accrue the apparently manly rewards — career, a livelihood, a hot wife, leisure, deference — and then were shocked when these things failed to manifest.

And instead of realizing this is part of the patriarchal design — that most men cannot be patriarchs because it’s a system wherein the few dominate the many and they are the many — they blame the people who are failing to adequately defer to them in the apparently natural order of things.

They blame white women, women of colour, people of colour, queer people, transgender people — people with the audacity to demand rights and resources without qualifying to become patriarchs in a heteronormative, ableist white supremacy.

But what these men are failing to realize, as bell hooks writes, is that the first victims of patriarchy are other men.

Still, instead of rejecting the system that requires their subjection, Frustrated Wannabe Patriarchs embrace and endorse patriarchy.

They simply don’t realize that the rule of the patriarchs will necessarily extend over them. They repeat the language and worldview of patriarchy and in so doing, reinforce their own inevitable oppression.

They thought patriarchy was a promise made to all men.

It’s not.

Patriarchy is the province of a few men who rule over everyone ***including most other men***.

Patriarchy isn’t the rule of all men over all non-men. It’s the rule of a few, select men over EVERYONE.

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