How Did Patriarchy Get Started?

The most recent "woke" opinion holds that all differences between men and women are merely "social constructs," and, in particular, the fact that we find more men than women in leadership roles is a result of the social construct called "patriarchy."

So, once upon a time, men and women were completely equal in all respects. And then... well, that's my puzzle: just how is it that, from this position of complete equality, men managed to place themselves in charge?

A "woke" person might answer, "Well, they tricked women!" But that would imply that men were better at trickery (and its detection) than were women. Which violates the fundamental woke premise that men and women are completely equal in all respects.

The answer "Because men were physically stronger," again, completely invalidates that fundamental woke premise.

So, "woke people," exactly how did patriarchy come to be?


  1. It also violates the fairly obvious observation that women are better than men at trickery.

  2. Or how matriarchies developed. Spontaneous symmetry breaking by choice?

    1. Well, none did, so no need to ask that question.

    2. One could assume that "once upon a time, men and women were completely equal in all respects" applied to all physical and mental attributes but still leave some wiggle room for other random factors.

      A "woke person" (whatever that may be!) could hold that ""once upon a time, men and women were completely equal in all physical and mental attributes but the first men just through luck had greater endowments of physical goods and were able to use this to favor male offspring and this allowed the patriarchy to develop".

      I'm not sure there would be much evidence to support such a theory but it is not logically impossible.

    3. Rob, not to harp on you here, but there is *everything* that is logically impossible with the statement 'completely equal in all respects' AND the conjunct 'but there is some wiggle room' or 'one gender 'just happened' to have luck and be stronger.' There is nothing whatsoever that is logically compatible with those two statements; they are in fact contradictions next to each other. Even a 101 logic student can see that (you are fine, though - feminist philodoxers, who are observably dumber than beginning logic students, cannot see the contradiction).

      You have demonstrated one of the biggest examples of how ideology causes us to live in secondary reality; it warps the use of language. Equal means 'equal', it does not mean 'equal in most respects' or 'equal in all the important ways' unless it is denoted as such.

      And if it is denoted as such, then it loses its original meaning (obviously). Why would the feminists want to use the word, then?

      Because they enjoy the freedom of using the word in both cases so that they can bash people over the head who live in observable (primary) reality. It has never been about finding the truth of the matter. Feminism is just female narcissism.

    4. Alex, if you look at what I wrote you will see I attempted to distinguish between "physical and mental attributes" attributes that I assumed to be "completely equal in all respects'" and "other random (non physical or mental) factors" (such as luck) that I assumed NOT to be "completely equal in all respects'" .

      Of course if you take "completely equal in all respects'" to apply not only "physical and mental attributes" but everything else as well (and I suppose taken literally and with no additional qualifications that is what it would mean) then there could indeed be no good answer to Gene's question . Taken completely literally "equal in all respects' would mean they have the same physical body and occupy the same place in space and time ! That would be ascribing such an extreme straw-man position to the "woke people" that it is hard to believe anyone could hold it. If Gene's post is aimed at a viewpoint that no-one would ever actually hold then it would be a pointless thing to blog on.

    5. Ohh my goodness, Rob. I sort of wonder if commenting is a waste of time; here goes nothing...

      I already mentioned the fact that ideologues like feminists use words in an equivocal way, or a way that is taken to be completely *different* from the words' actual meaning.

      When you comment that nobody holds 'equal' to mean 'completely and absolutely equal', then you have missed the point. Of course everyone knows that equal, as used by feminists, does not mean 'completely and absolutely equal'. Gene is pointing this out because nobody wants to admit it.

      The point that Gene is making is that feminists and egalitarians DO use the word as having both meanings. They are equivocating - talking out of both sides of their mouth. If you treat women differently than men, well, that is just sexist - they are interchangeable! But when you demonstrate that we do not, and literally cannot, treat the sexes as equal, they become flustered and deliver the line that you have been duped with: 'well, we OBVIOUSLY don't mean that men and women are *completely* equal - if they were, then they would be the same thing!' That reply is given to make normal people feel stupid.

      The truth is that feminists don't mean care about the meanings of words; 'equal' does not mean equal, it means 'equal*', which in turn means 'whatever the hell I want it to mean'. This is how we get women in the military treated somehow 'equally', and yet we have had different standards for both the genders for the past 50 years. It is also how communists and market anarchists debate; 'well, by communism (or 'pure' capitalism), I OBVIOUSLY don't mean X state or system - I mean THIS state or system'.

      The fact that you think that using a word as it is actually taken in normal discourse to be using a 'straw man' definition of a word is absurd. What it actually means is that the ideologue is attempting to *redefine* a word so that it agrees with their theory. Libertarians do this with their definition of taxation. Have you been reading this blog at all over the years my friend...?


    6. And again, I shouldn't be so blunt about it... I need to work on being more gentle, Rob. Thanks for hearing me out.

  3. Well, progressives may say "It was a contingent fact of history", similar to how white people got the upper hand, or how people wear neckties rather than bow ties, rather than something inevitable from differences between men and women. Like if the explanation was trickery, it could be that some particular men were trickier, not that men are universally trickier. Or it could be that ancient people accepted some fallacious (according to progressives) argument based on biology, like "Women have to rest at home nine months at a time during pregnancy, so it's better if men are in charge of the world outside of the house."

    1. "Contingency" is a non-explanation.

    2. Of course saying it was contingent is not an explanation, but I'm just saying that whatever explanation they give will likely imply that it was a contingent fact of history rather than something that was inevitable.

    3. Neither "contingency" nor "inevitability" are categories of historical thought. See Collingwood, The Idea of History, or Oakeshott, On History.

  4. I should say that I apologize if I sounded a little brash. No hard feelings, brother. =)

  5. Demanding a reason is patriarchal some feminists tell us. Perhaps the quantum wave collapsed the first time someone said “why?”


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