Tag Archives: patriarchy

ooT eM

Last week, the Internet exploded. It exploded with women’s (mostly) testimony and witness to sexual assault and harassment, a response to Harvey Weinstein and every sexual predator that ever took what was not his by force or coercion and without consent–verbal or emotional. Continue reading


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Tables Matter

Women have served all these centuries as looking-glasses possessing the magic and delicious power of reflecting the figure of man at twice its natural size… That serves to explain in part the necessity that women so often are to men. And it serves to explain how restless they are under her criticism; how impossible it is for her to say to them this book is bad, this picture is feeble, or whatever it may be, without giving far more pain and rousing far more anger than a man would do who gave the same criticism. For if she begins to tell the truth, the figure in the looking-glass shrinks; his fitness for life is diminished. How is he to go on giving judgement, civilising natives, making laws, writing books, dressing up and speechifying at banquets, unless he can see himself at breakfast and at dinner at least twice the size he really is?

A Room of One’s Own      Virginia Woolf, 1929 Continue reading

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A World Without Fear

Rough morning. A blizzard’s raging outside my window and I’m reading about the ultimate demise of our planet on Brave New World (writers’ best estimates are within decades, not centuries), reading gay hate on other sites, listing the evidence for flagrant patriarchy and gender discrimination ruling the institution of education, and wondering how it is that on blog posts where the writer responds to EVERY comment, the gay woman’s comments are conspicuously ignored—no anger or angst in the commenting just simple life connections. Continue reading


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Taming, Part 2 (more accurately, Part 1)

My thinking on taming actually began on a much more personal level, and I’d thought last week that I could lay, side by side, the public and private views, the macro and the micro. But as I chased my thoughts down the gutters of religion, my own behaviors seemed somehow meaningless or irrelevant by comparison—something that I could chalk up to simple human nature. But then, there it was—the side street of my thoughts, or maybe the highway—human nature. Continue reading

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I teach middle school language arts, and last semester, as we took on some short stories by Margo Lanagan, we took on the theme of patriarchy as it’s played out in story and in the world. After reading an article on the origins and meanings of patriarchy and its accompanying value set, students mapped four actions mentioned in the article—conquer, control, protect, dominate—and the behaviors and qualities associated with each. They found overlap, especially with ideas like oppression, war, fear and exploitation, and then there were some interesting ideas that came up like laws and taming. Continue reading


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