Submerged in the mire of obligation for the past three days–during which interim I have suffered, suffered horribly, a Barton Fink-caliber writerâ€™s block, and crammed some truly awful noises into .aiff files for the amusement of these people–this morning I decided to briefly eschew the drum machine for a peek at the good old blog. Lo, and I did perceive this comment:
Hi, like the blog. Some quick questions: 1) Is this the patriarchy’s fault, too? 2) Am I, as a man, by default a member of the patriarchy? 3) Is it therefore my fault? 4) And I’ve always wondered, if the answer to the two above questions is ‘yes’, is there a female group known as the ‘matriarchy’ by which you are, by default, a member? 5) That last quote there – "Oh, the humanity!" – shouldn’t that be more like, "Oh, the womanity!". Or "Oh, the huwomanity!" I’m being driven wild, wild I tell you, because I do not know the answers!
TimTâ€™s hilarious comedy jokes do not obscure from my trained eye the expression of some common misconceptions about patriarchy-blaming. He assumes that it is a battle between the sexes. He speculates that The Patriarchy is a kind of club to which anyone with a dick belongs. And I detect in TimTâ€™s tone the whiff of surmise, however faint, that I blame men.
I blame the patriarchy.
Well, I suppose it is possible that I have been remiss in my duties, and that perhaps half an iota or so of the blame for the confusion rests upon my weary shoulders. Let’s face it; I have omitted to prominently display a definition of patriarchy anywhere on the blog. I had assumed–rashly, it turns out– that I preach primarily to the choir.
I’d forgotten for a moment that feminists are required to waste at least half of their waking hours reassuring skittish fans of the status quo that we aren’t man-hating nutjob conspiracy-theorists.
Until such time as I have the leisure to more adequately address this pressing issue, kindly accept that when I deploy the term â€œpatriarchyâ€ I am alluding to â€œThe Establishmentâ€ or â€œthe global megacorp,â€ or, as the excellent Mimbreno of The Other Dark Meat more accurately suggests, â€œthe dominant culture.â€ This broad characterization of patriarchy makes it easier to blame it for everything.
Patriarchy does not mean men. Seriously. Look it up.