In the constellation of things that are hard to explain, patriarchy falls somewhere in between “quantum mechanics” and “proper semicolon use.” Although I haven’t found a magic patriarchy-explaining bullet just yet, I have found a magic bullet explaining the experience of “waking up” to it in the form of one of my Very Favorite Comics, Sinfest:
If you saw the move “The Matrix” when you were young and impressionable, like I did, and you’re also one of the “lucky” people who’s been awakened to the wonderful world of profound injustice in one way or another, this comic probably resonates with you.
The plain definition of patriarchy is a system run by and for men, but in practice it’s so much more than that – it encompasses sexism, racism, ableism, and too many other -isms to count. There are Feminism 101 blogs that do an adequate job of explaining some of the basics, but if you really want to jump in feet first you should probably go check out I Blame the Patriarchy.
If you want a well-organized and pocket-sized approach to learning about patriarchy, you should probably read “The Dialectic of Sex” by Shulamith Firestone. This book pretty much changed my life.
If you have found a good way to explain patriarchy to the Uninitiated, please do let me know in the comments.
Topeka, Kansas is now officially the best place in the U.S. to beat your wife. The city council decided to repeal the local law that makes domestic violence a crime there by a vote of 7 to 3. Thanks guys! Their reasoning is not that they hate women, but that it’s just too darn expensive to prosecute the hordes of wife-beaters (and girlfriend-beaters, and various other beaters) out there, and therefore easier to decriminalize domestic violence.
One of the damn funniest legal writers out there, Elie Mystal, has a commendable piece on the Above the Law blog:
The Topeka City Council] wouldn’t have repealed misdemeanor ordinances about robbery. The(y) wouldn’t have decriminalized drugs. They wouldn’t have messed around with funding the prosecution of something that they really cared about.
But women, and the beating thereof? Oh, let’s make a political point about fiscal responsibility with that. They would have seen the problems with headlines claiming Topeka was a drug haven or the storefront robbery capital of the world. But when they contemplated becoming Disneyland for wife-beaters, they were cool with it.(via)
I know a lot of people who think of themselves as “socially liberal, but fiscally conservative,” and here’s an example of of that philosophy failing to the utmost. It’s hard to fathom anyone thinking, “Ehhh, what’s a few bruised ladies in comparison to all that moolah?!” but that’s exactly what the Topeka City Council (elected officials, respected pillars of society) thought when they decriminalized domestic violence.
On a scale of 1 to 10, how disgusted are you? Tell me what you think in the comments.
Super-late Friday post due to me being pooped earlier. That’s what happens when you get up at 4 a.m., but can’t tear yourself away from the X-Files at night early enough to get a decent night’s sleep.
Yes, that’s right. The X-Files. I never watched the full series before so I’m watching them now in the name of pop culture edumucation. And hoooooboy is there some serious stuff wrong with that show. For one, why does Mulder always drive? But I use my magic patriarchy-filtering, laser-beam shooting eye shields to screen all that out, because Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny are both smokin’.
Ahem. Anyway, to distract you from that disturbing little overshare, here’s some Friday adorableness!
You know the drill, folks! Talk amongst yourselves in the comments, and feel free to scold me on any number of items, including but not limited to how I haven’t gotten to your reader request yet. (Refer to above “pooped” excuse.)
Today’s questions-to-get-you-started are X-Files related:
- What’s your guilty pop-culture pleasure? I have too many to list. It’s truly horrifying. I’ll make a list soon so you can feel superior, I promise.
- What’s your guilty “harm-reduction/patriarchy-indulgence” thing? You know what I mean – like wearing makeup/shaving your legs/walking around in stilettos or getting strapping young men to help you move heavy things. Or if you’re a straight man, do you do anything that goes against your nature to conform to society’s expectation of dudeliness?
Expound in the comments, dearies. Dooo eeet! The unicorn award goes to the bestest comment of the weekend. What’s the unicorn award, you ask? There’s only one way to find out.
Continuing on yesterday’s theme of terrifying advertisements, today I bring you more douchebaggery (no, literally!) via the new Summer’s Eve ad campaign:
I had no idea vaginas had babies ALL BY THEMSELVES! Amazing, I say, simply incredible! Also? Douching is pretty much the opposite of taking care of your “cradle of civilization.” No self-respecting medical professional would ever recommend anyone do such a weird-ass thing to their privates.
Buuuut in a strictly academic sense, at least they’re taking a new approach to helping women get uterine and yeast infections. Just try cradling a civilization after a bout with pelvic inflammatory disease! I dare ya.
Video via Feministe and Adrants.