Patriarchy Is About Controlling Men, Not Women
It would be fair to say that modern-day progressives do not especially like patriarchy. Whole courses are taught at university about how modern society and its institutions are all rife with patriarchal norms and how this is a very bad thing. Everything from fashion to judicial due process is apparently a tool used by men to control and oppress women. Which of course goes to show how progressives, for all they consider themselves to be smart people, know absolutely nothing about the world; if they did they would realize that patriarchy is not about controlling women at all, but instead controlling men.Now, this is not to say that patriarchal societies don’t exercise control over women. All societies exercise control to some degree over everyone for that is the very nature of civilization. Rather it means that the primary purpose of patriarchy is not to control women, and to the degree that it does it is incidental and in the service of its primary goal which is the control of men – young men in particular.
To be blunt, young men are a problem for civilization. They are troublemakers. It’s young men who lead revolutions or join gangs of hooligans. They lack ties and roots that constrain other people, and often surpass in energy and idealism what they lack in experience and wisdom. So the great question facing every society is how does it control its young men and transform them into productive members of the social order?
Enter patriarchy. The logic is simple enough. With few exceptions, young men want sex. Therefore, if you control the terms under which they can access sex, by controlling women’s sexuality, then you effectively control men. By linking access to sex to things such as marriage, and children, and financial stability these things were therefore dutifully pursued by men for centuries and society prospered for it.
Then came the Enlightenment, and then the Sexual Revolution, and then eventually the modern world we now live in. If you look at any number of issues plaguing us today, from the decline marriage and childbearing rates, to the growing number of young men not even actively looking for work, to the rising number of single parent households, the root cause of them can be attributed to the decline of patriarchal values in modern society. It turns out that when men can get easy access to casual, and commitment free sex even if they are unemployed mooches living in their parents’ basement a lot of them will be perfectly contented with that state of affairs.
It’s not only men that are negatively effected by this state of affairs, women lose out too. Most interestingly surveys have shown a correlation between marriage rates being at their lowest level in history and record-setting numbers of women admitting to being unhappy. This isn’t to claim that women “need a man to complete them” to pre-empt the inevitable flock of feminist harpies that doubtlessly will get cheesed by my aforementioned observation. It is simply a statement on human nature. There is a reason our ancestors first adopted wolves from the wild, for we are both pack animals. Human beings have a need to form connections with other human beings, and the primary ones we seek are familial ones. It’s no coincidence that surveys have consistently shown the happiest demographic segment in the population are female home makers with children (single, childless career women incidentally are among the most miserable).
This is of course not to argue that everyone needs to become a house wife or a breadwinner. Every rule has its exceptions. Instead it is to suggest that patriarchy should be reevaluated free from the negative PR campaign that it has been subjected to over the past few decades. Have the last several decades of “progress” really made us happier? Or instead have they created a generation of atomized and isolated individuals living in boxes in the sky? The philosophes of the Enlightenment arrogantly chafed at the idea they were the creations of God, and so sought to make themselves into the new gods of a religion of their own creation. To our misfortune, it has turned out that human nature was far less malleable than they imagined, and that systems created over millennium were discarded at their peril.