Patriarchy is the system on which our world is based – its defining characteristic being the belief that men are inherently more valuable than women. Its effects are far-reaching, and the patriarchal system maintains class, gender, racial, heterosexual and the status quo of power.
“[It relies] on both crude forms of oppression, like violence; and subtle ones, like laws; to perpetuate inequality. Patriarchal beliefs of male, heterosexual dominance and the devaluation of girls and women lie at the root of gender based violence.” – Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence
This creates a culture where gender-based violence, misogyny (hating women) means that women and girls are devalued, as are LGBTQ+ individuals, as well as people of colour. This leads to the minimizing of abuse and sexual assault, ignores sexism, promotes toxic masculinity and uses men’s achievements to excuse their behaviour (Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence). It also means that many survivors and those with lived experience can be reluctant to come forward with their stories, because they are often not believed.
The #metoo movement was something of a watershed moment for women who have been silenced. The story of Harvey Weinstein, a powerful Hollywood producer accused of assaulting or harassing over 100 women inspired the #metoo phenomenon, and millions from around the world to tell their stories.
As Jackson Katz points out in this TED Talk, violent behaviour is inherently tied to our society’s definition of manhood. Check it out.back