This is, literally, the definition of patriarchy.

Before the nineteenth century, gender roles were based in theology. The church claimed that male superiority was the “natural order” of things. As God was “head” of the church, so was “man” the head of his house. That’s the root of patriarchy.

Once Darwin’s book popularized the concept of human evolution, the “natural order” of things became the “biological order” of things.

What makes patriarchy so insidious is that many women believe it’s the nature of things, too. The ugliest oppression is when the oppressed don’t even recognize that they are oppressed.

I remember being a child and having my mother tell me “you can’t be a doctor, that’s a man’s job. You can be a nurse.” Patriarchy at it’s finest.

And while we’ve come a long way when it comes to women entering male dominated fields, we have not come nearly far enough with regard to sociological beliefs.

There’s an interesting story on the “news” sites right now. It’s an interview with Emma Stone, in which she says male actors took pay cuts so she could have wage parity. If you think on that a bit, it sheds some light on why we have not, still today, achieved even wage parity — much less equality in the eyes of the law.

Written by

Top writer. Featured in NYT, Forbes.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store