Tag Archives | Kyriarchy

Matriarchy? Patriarchy? (Answer: Kyriarchy)

Mary_SpearFrom psychologist Alice Miller’s website:

From: Duncan Mcdermott


When I was a little boy I was beaten by men and women. Teachers, parents, friends of my parents, parents of other little boys – just about any adult – would beat me or slap me around casually, sometimes raging with fury, other times just kind of happy slapping for jesus.

Generally I found the men easier to predict, they didn’t seem so outwardly angry as the women. Women hit less often than men, but, and this is a very big but, men usually beat as a result of women’s insistence. Without this virulent insistence I might have been beaten much less.

The school I attended from the age of three up to eleven when I went to the all-male high school, were matriarchies. At times they had a headmaster, but a headmistress was much more usual. They had only two or three male teachers, all the rest were women.Where I went to school in South Africa, Natal School Regulations forbade the striking of ‘any girl’ in any circumstances.

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Are Male Rape Victims Oppressed?

Picture: Florida Depart of Corrections (PD)

For the record, I don’t believe the ubiquity of prison rape humor disproves the existence of rape culture, but rather proves it.  Zek J. Evets writes at the Good Men Project:

I knew a teenage girl who refused to believe men were capable of being raped by a woman. When I told her the stories about Mary Kay Letourneau, Debra Lafave, and certain Zimbabwean women who even went as far as to steal semen in addition to gang-raping men. She said to me, “that doesn’t count.”

I’ve known grown men who are more likely to believe in UFOs or Bigfoot than some woman who says she was raped. (For the record: UFOs and Bigfoot are real.) They laugh at these women’s stories and slap each others’ backs while calling themselves “good Christian folk”.

Unlike almost any other crime, rape is one in which our private notions of gender, sexuality, and personal responsibility become politicized to the point of oppression.

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Patriarchy Is Dead

kyriosFrom 2010, Nichi Hodgson writing for the Guardian:

From reclaiming the F word to objecting to objectification – there’s a new feminist army determined to finally flatten the patriarchy. But here’s the really radical news: patriarchy is dead. It’s dead simplistic, dead inaccurate, and no longer a useful way of framing gender inequality in the UK. Forget about castrating patriarchy – it’s time to corral kyriarchy, the system identified by Harvard theologian Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza, which explains how ethnicity, class, economics and education, as well as gender, intersect to oppress us all, men as well as women.

So, kyriarchy: the substitution of one elitist, etymological hair-splitting term for another, I hear my newly estranged sisters cry – just what feminism needs. But this is a neologism with a difference. Where patriarchy – literally, rule of the father – explains only how traditional male authority dictates to, and subjugates women, kyriarchy (from the Greek: kyrios – lord/master; archion – dominion/rule) relates how each of us, whatever our gender, is a bundle of privileges we can all too readily abuse by invoking the “master power”, whether that’s as a black female barrister, a mixed-race trans male teacher, or a white immigrant male labourer.

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