The words “patriarchy” and “patriarchal,” on the tips of our awakening “feminist” tongues back in the ’60s, have returned, with a vengance.
Way back then, we women were all at once becoming acutely aware of the submissive, inferior, devalued “roles” we were playing inside a society that was and is geared toward male dominance. Simultaneously, we were attempting to trace the roots of our oppression as one half of the human race, and dreaming nostalgically of the old cooperative matriarchal age, when human settlements did not need walls, and people did not kill each other for plunder or pleasure. Riane Eisler’s 1987 novel, The Chalice and the Blade, stands as a reminder of how we humans once lived — in community, worshiping life, interwoven with each other and Mother Earth.
This re-emerging feminist awareness of the overall evil of patriarchy takes on intense symbolic importance for the public via the Hillary presidential campaign which feels like a twisted, tortured version of female power attempting to rise again, but corrupted internally, that is, inside Hillary’s psyche, by her successful career inside patriarchy, and corrupted externally, by patriarchal hatred of her female gender. I feel for the karmic path of this originally idealistic woman, who has been responsible for the deaths of so many, both officially in her role as the Secretary of State, and, many of us assume, covertly, by continuously clearing the field of “enemies” on the way to her chosen throne of glory.
Unfortunately, Hillary’s attitude toward the U.S. presidency is patriarchal, competitive, cut throat. It shall be MINE!
But of course. That’s the way the system works. Seeing it in action over the over seven decades of my long life, I do not find the following essay in any way extreme.
August 16, 2016
by Prof. Claudia von Werlhof
The time for lighthearted jokes and uncertainties is over. The “storm” predicted by the Zapatistas is approaching faster than expected. Our confusion needs to end.
The world system that is threatening all of us is based on a strange phenomenon I was only recently able to fully grasp, namely a “hatred of life”. (2) This hatred has indeed become a system, society, global civilization. It is embodied in all of modern civilization’s institutions: in economics as much as in politics, in science as much as in gender relations, and, especially, in modern technology. There no longer exists a place where the hatred of life has not, literally, been poured into concrete as the basic idea and sensation of our existence. The hatred of life is no fleeting emotion or a mere individual or personal experience of a certain situation or moment. It is nothing less than hostility to life itself, which – and this is my thesis – has become the main foundation, driving force, and defining criterion for a patriarchal civilization dating back almost 5000 years.
After a virtual ban of 30 years, the term “patriarchy” is now re-emerging. It was commonly used by radical feminists whose movement was destined to be destroyed with the arrival of neoliberalism.
The appearance of so-called “gender studies” was a consequence of this. The term “patriarchy” was shunned and the advocates of gender studies soon rallied behind demands for “equality” within the present system. The goal was integration and a share of power – something the Left had been propagating for a long time.
But the challenge lies in moving beyond a system driven by the hatred of life instead of (voluntarily!) turning into an ever more loyal accomplice in the massacres it is responsible for.
It has been repeatedly suggested here that the patriarchal system is a system of death. That is not entirely correct. The patriarchal system is a system of killing, that is, of artificial death: ecocide, matricide, homicide in general, and finally “omnicide”, the killing of “everything”.