Capital Ethiopia Newspaper

PROBING PATRIARCHY’S PROBLEMS

‘Patriarchy’ is a social formation where the male sex plays the dominant role in collective social existence. Here is a more detailed and formal definition. ‘Patriarchy is a social system in which males hold primary power and predominate in roles of political leadership, moral authority, social privilege, and control of property. In the domain of the family, fathers (or father figures) hold authority over the women and children’. In the early part of social history ‘matriarchy’ (the female counterpart) played a significant role in maintaining the family structure by leveraging patent lineage (matrilineal). As human beings became more adept at manipulating their surroundings, mostly by claiming dominion over nature, compliment of the male sex, overall societal existence became stratified, thereby liberally establishing hierarchical relations between the sexes, generations, clans, race, etc.!

Power projection on each and every matter, physical or otherwise, is a shallow primordial approach to problem solving. This fearful method has been around since patriarchy became the dominant social order across the variegated human collectives. After all, the civilization we praise ad-infinitum is nothing more than the outcome of continuous efforts to solve problems, natural or artificial, by projecting violent dominance. The critical question here is to clearly distinguish between existential problems that realistically impinge on our struggle for survival and those that can be construed as non-essentials (at least not detrimental to the species’ existence). In this regard, the success of patriarchy is at best mixed, if not out rightly biased. Leveraging non-renewable natural resources to make life more comfortable (in all its various aspects) is an achievement that can be characterized as a two-edged sword. Since we have been consistently hammering the unsustainability of our modernity project, further elaboration might not be necessary at this point in time, and suffice is to say; patriarchy has grossly missed the stark limit to growth, i.e., the finiteness of resources in our little planet. This is the direct outcome of over estimating the capacity of the two-legged creature, the major signature of patriarchy. We are afraid we have to emphasis the obvious again and again; humans are created organisms (via evolution, divine decree, etc.) and are not creators of themselves or the planet or the larger universe. At best, we are manipulators of what is already created. Obvious as this fact is, patriarchy has been decisively oblivious to its defining import, consequently, humanity is now in a dire fix!

Patriarchy’s legendary proclivity to violence, coupled with complexity, including very destructive modern toys/gadgets, is a new conundrum threatening life on earth, not only that of humans. Excessive preoccupation or infatuation with competition rather than co-operation, in trying to solve problems that arise from patriarchal societies (mostly due the male sex’s insistence on the temporal rather than the long run) has created a socially polarized and fragile world that is continuously prone to instability and frequent warfare. Stupidities such as ‘you are either with us or against us’, exemplifies patriarchy’s lingering Neanderthal logic! By and large, this dominant sex in power assumes every problem has a complete/final solution, if only human logic is applied relentlessly (the stupid creator fixation). Even the most analytical/rational/precise/logical intellectual endeavor of humanity, mathematics, has its own clear limitations (Kurt Godel)! Nonetheless, this infantile disposition of patriarchy is what propagates the active use of force all over. In this regard, the input of the fair sex remains paramount, as it is lovemaking and not war making that drives core matriarchy! To be sure, no society has ever been exclusively patriarchal of matriarchal. It has always been a combination of the two (to varying degrees) that formed and sustained organized societies. At this critical juncture in human history, it is wise to revert back to matriarchal tendencies that innately uphold “Mother Nature’ over frivolous artifacts. Amidst the spiraling chaos of patriarchy, the connectedness of all lives–matriarchal spirituality, must be fully embraced! Gadget making has had its days and the time has now come when grown-ups who know the limit of growth, the fallibility of human judgments, the precariousness of our planet, the pathetic nature of patriarchy’s egotism, violence, etc. must take the helm, for the sake of life!

Unless some form of ‘matriarchy’, as embodied by its core values, are reinstituted in the realm of collective social existence, this hubris driven chest thumping hairless baboon is destined to destroy most higher forms of lives, sooner than later.

The matriarchy we are talking about here is not the equivalent of female patriarchy, where some psychos in skirts are running the show, but a genuine revolution towards the internalization of a thorough going deep feminine values! To this end, for example, we can propose or even insist that all major decisions, like waging wars, must necessarily be approved by a two third majority of a particular nation, whereby the female inhabitants as well as their off springs (under the age of 18) get to vote directly on the matter! The non-adult population in custody (with their mothers/parents) must also have a say, via their proxies, preferably the mothers, when it comes to major decisions like making wars. After all, they are the ones who are going to inherit the messy aftermath, if there is going to be an aftermath! In such a scenario the physically grown-up children, the male adults, might not always have decisive and direct say on important issues!

Organic human values are now bastardized and subjected to the logic of commodification, compliment of patriarchy’s capitalism. The fair sex must boycott all that is waged against life by the dull sex (aka the drone), however difficult. As the collapse of the modern world system accelerates, it would be wise to let matriarchy play a prominent role in our collective lives. Incidentally, this past Friday (August 26) was the traditional ‘Women’s Equality Day’ (US-voting right), but the new feminists have upgraded it to ‘Go Topless Day’ and it is catching like fire! We certainly have come a long way from the days of ‘…the world’s indisputable number one woman writer (Times, 1947):“I myself have never been able to figure out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat.” – Rebecca West. Good Day!