Patriarchal Ideology

Patriarchal Ideology must be defeated!

Women United will never be defeated.

This is the message spread all over the world  against patriarchal  ideology  by the march in London

The march is to eliminate violence against women, to overcome patriarchal Ideology

Because in the world we live in, women are on the front lines facing all the atrocities of  patriarchal order…Thus they face  domestic and sexual violence, human trafficking, forced prostitution, sex slavery, rape, honor killings, dowry murders, widow murders…  And the list can continue:   femicide, female infanticide, forced marriage, pedophilia and child marriages, street harassment, whipping, stoning, beheading …

Patriarchal Ideology is based on Patriarchal System.

Patriarchal System- Meaning 

Patriarchy   (rule by fathers) is a social system in which the male is the primary authority figure central to social organization and the central roles of political leadership; he is also  moral authority  and control of property. In Patriarchy the fathers hold authority over women and children. It implies the institutions of male rule and privilege, and entails female subordination.

Patriarchal System – The Origin

Especially Neolithic, when agriculture was the primary occupation, women had an important place in society. Marija Gimbutas developed a theory of an Old European culture in Neolithic Europe which had matriarchal traits; she  recognized that  Neolithic societies are egalitarian. Gimbutas herself has not described these societies as “matriarchal”, preferring the term “woman-centered”.

The great Goddess of Dead and Life and the myths of ancient Greek or Egypt reveled a society centered on women. You should remember  Isis, or  Hera who have birth   through parthenogenesis; this means they born without masculine principle.

These societies lasted until all the time to about 2500 BC.  After that,  the conquering hordes called Indo-Europeans  moved West, East and South East from Inner Asia.

They had to leave their fertile land that became dry prairies. The climate changed during centuries.  When the Indo-Europeans wandered and came to good soil they had to reestablish their daily life and social structures. At last, those already patriarchal organized men-groups (maybe some with women) bumped into to wealthy “woman-centered” cultures. You can named them also,  matriarchal cultures.

Some matriarchal cities or tribes could probably integrate the aliens, others became simply subdued. But nobody could withstand the domination of warriors   people who came wave after wave.


Ancient cultures illustrate the transition from matriarchy to patriarchate.   Many cultures of this world were all part of the gynocratic age:

Greek vase painting of Bellerophon astride Pegasus fighting the    Amazons 

The image symbolically depicts the triumph of patriarchy over the ancient matriarchy.

Greek mythology

Also,  in Greek mythology, Zeus is said to have swallowed his pregnant lover, the titan goddess Metis,

Patriarchal Ideology - Pegasus fighting the Amazons -

Pegasus fighting the Amazons –

who was carrying their daughter, Athena. The mother and child created havoc inside Zeus. Either Hermes or Hephaestus split Zeus’s head, allowing Athena, in full battle armor, to burst forth from his forehead. Athena was thus described as being “born” from Zeus.  Robert Graves suggested that this myth displaced earlier myths. These myths   had to change when a major cultural change brought patriarchy to replace a matriarchy.

Occurring around the third to the second millennium BCE, a system of male  dominance began to evolve.  Along with it an ideology of “patriarchal privilege” that  justified superiority of the victorious men over women appeared.



We can notice this way of thinking in the famous texts of the greatest  Philosophers of the world; thus,  Plato in Menon  Dialogue says:

“Let us take first the virtue of a man—he should know how to administer the state, and in the administration of it to benefit his friends and harm his enemies; and he must also be careful not to suffer harm himself. A woman’s virtue, if you wish to know about that, may also be easily described: her duty is to order her house, and keep what is indoors, and obey her husband.”

The works of Aristotle portrayed women as morally, intellectually, and physically inferior to men; saw women as the property of men; claimed that women’s role in society was to reproduce and serve men in the household; and saw male domination of women as natural and virtuous.

Following this tradition all western Philosophy develops patriarchal thinking including classical German philosophy up to the seventies   when the Feminist movement started and took action against patriarchal ideology.


Patriarchal  Ideology in  the Judeo-Christian  religion

Take into consideration the religious  believes!  We can see that the most important monotheistic religions are originated in patriarchal systems of  the Hebrews.

For the Hebrews created a theology, passed on in  western tradition, which proclaimed God to be alone, “eternal, omnipotent, omnipresent,  omniscient, just, good, compassionate, merciful and benevolent”. And, of course , he is … masculine – Yahweh and Elohim .

Further, according to the Bible, God gave his male creation, Adam, the power to name all that he, Yahweh,  created. That power, in addition, included the naming of his female helpmate, whom Adam called Eve. According to the oldest religious  version, God, created    Eve  from Adam’s rib; the rib version has predominated for thousands of years, reinforcing the  subordinate position of women, a tradition continued at least into early modern time.

The symbol of the serpent and sin in the Judeo-Christian  religion

There is another powerful metaphor of womanhood in the Judeo-Christian  religion. That is the depiction of Eve as temptress, who seduced Adam into sharing the  forbidden fruit, the serpent became an emissary of Satan, sent to seduce Eve. Since then  the serpent and  sin  are symbols for  Eve and consequently  for all women.

Patriarchal Ideology and Islam

The complex relationship between women and Islam is defined by both Islamic texts and the history and culture of the Muslim world. The Quran states that men and women are equal,[2][3][4][5] but states in 4:34 that “Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has made one of them to respect the other, and because they spend from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient and guard in the husband’s absence what Allah orders them to guard.” Although the Quran does say this, the superiority of men is interpreted in terms of strength by the context – men maintain women.[6] This verse however refers to a relationship between a husband and wife, not as a society in whole.[7] There are examples of female warriors in the armies of Prophet Muhammad.

The Quran – About the equality of women and men before God

The Quran expresses two main views on the role of women. It both stresses the equality of women and men before God in terms of their religious duties (i.e. belief in God and his messenger, praying, fasting, paying zakat, making hajj and places them “under” the care of men (i.e. men are financially responsible for their wives). In one place it states: “Men are the maintainers and protectors of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women).”

The Quran explains that men and women are equal in creation and in the afterlife, but not identical. Surah an-Nisa’ 4:1 states that men and women belong to   a single soul. One person does not come before the other, one is not superior to the other, and one is not the derivative of the other.  God didn’t create the  woman for the purpose of a man. Rather,  God  created both of them  for the mutual benefit of each other.[Quran 30:21]

Even if the Quran is  softer the Bible regarding women’s status and relationship with it – it doesn’t mean that patriarchal thinking hasn’t  a strong ally in religion.

Patriarchal ideology – nowadays

“I shall define patriarchy as a system of social structure and practices  in which men dominate, oppress  and exploit the women.” ( Nina Katrin Johannsdottir- Patriarchy and the subordination of women).  According to  this feminist point of view, there are  6 structures of patriarchy  : the patriarchal mode of production, patriarchal relations in paid work, patriarchal relations in the state, male violence, patriarchal relations in sexuality and patriarchal relations in cultural institutions.

1. The patriarchal mode of production

The patriarchal mode of production refers to the undervalued work of the housewife;

2. The patriarchal relations in paid work

Patriarchal relations in paid work refers to the fact that traditionally women have been granted worse jobs. In general the women working in low-paid jobs such as health, education, culture;  also the great difficulties faced by women in reconciling private and professional life is one of the most important priority.

3. The patriarchal relations in the state

Patriarchal relations in the state refers to the fact that the state is patriarchal  and it clearly has bias towards patriarchal interests; women in politics are under representing – in most countries worldwide, in contrast to men.

4. Male violence

The man violence against women is systematically endured and tolerated by the state refusal to intervene against it.

5. Patriarchal relations in sexuality

The patriarchal relations in sexuality:  thus,  the patriarchy has decided for all of us ,  that the heterosexuality is and should be the norm.

6. Patriarchal relations in cultural institutions

The patriarchal relations in cultural institutions describe the male gaze within various cultural institutions such as the media; also, they  describe  how women traditionally has been exhibited via the mass media etc.

1 Comment

  1. JEdson says:

    Could you please site your source for the Greek vase above, “Pegasus fighting the Amazons”?

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