Patriarchy, the System
•Many men take the concept of patriarchy personally
Sometimes they feel defensive because they identify with it and it's values and
don’t want to face the consequences of facing it and changing
•We live in a society where everything begins and ends with individuals (ie evil, racism)
o Concept of men wanting to dominate women= gender oppression
o People in the upperclasses are greedy cruel= poverty
o OPPOSITE TO THAT:
• Not guilt and blame-
• Race gender and class oppression aren't oppression at all- just the sum
of people failing
•Idea that "the system" is running us all
•If we see patriarchy as nothing more than men's and women's individual personalities,
motivations and behaviours- it probably wouldn't occur to us to ask about the larger
contexts- (ie institutions- family, religion, economy)
o We would ask why a man would rape a woman
o But we wouldn’t ask what kind of society would promote persistent patterns of
•We all participate in something larger than ourselves- patriarchy
o More than just a collection of individuals (men)
•It’s a system- it can't be reduced to the people who participate in it - similar to stepping
into a corporation
o Must be understood as more than just it's participants
• Same with patriarchy- more than a collection of women and men
•Patriarchy can exist without men having oppressive personalities
o Men don't have to be villains and women don't have to be victims
o If society is oppressive, people who grow up and live in it will tend to accept,
identify with, and participate in it as "normal"
• Path of lease resistance
•Any collection of interrelated parts of elements that we can think of as a whole
o Ie- car engine - collection of parts that fit together to produce a whole
o Language is also a collection of parts
• Alphabets, words, punctuation etc
o Societies too have variety of parts that make up a whole
o Related to concept of game: Monopoly
• Different players+ functions, positions
• We can think of it as a social system
• We can talk about it as a system without ever talking about personal
characteristics or motivations of the individual people who play
• game encourages people to take from one another and feel good about it
- doesn’t make you greedy or merciless- but the game is about winning
o Those patterns are shaped by the game- more than the individuals
•Ie concept of capitalism exists because people want profit
o BUT the reason why people want profit is because of the world we live in
o We aren't born with it- it doesn't exist in many cultures o Ie managers firing employees- not heartless
o Result of poor socialization thru which men learn to act dominant and masculine
o Women learn to act subordinate and feminine
•While there's some truth to this- it doesn’t work to explain gender oppression-
o We must look beyond individuals and into society
•Idea that change is most often applied to the MOST oppressed- who have the least to
lose and in the weakest position to challenge the system as a whole. And the MOST
privileged, who can afford to attend workshops+ therapy.
•Idea that men believe they can find a nicer way to be less oppressive without
challenging the system
o Not true - like the myth of kinder capitalism (interpersonal sensitivity when firing)
• Same result- feel better about it
•Individualistic model offers little hope of changing patriarchy- it's a system encompassing
feelings, behaviours, thoughts- but it is
o A way of organizing social life through which wounding, failure and mistreatment
o Male-dominated, male-identified, male-centered
•It is a set of symbols and ideas that make up a culture embodied by everything from the
content of everyday conversation to literature
•It includes ideas about the nature of things
o Ie men, women, humanity
•Generally the way society views gender roles
•Idea of words meaning's changing over time (virgin, witch)
o Doesn’t mean a conscious hate
o Objectifying women as sexual property
The System in Us in the System
•We're involved in it
•People need to participate for it to exist
o IE capitalism
•We are all involved in patriarchy
o Cannot control whether we participate only how One Hundred Years of Homosexuality
•1992- one hundred year since the invention of homosexuality by Charles Gilbert
o Credited with having introduced "homo-sexuality" into the English language in the
• before 1892 there was only "sexual inversion"
o Broad range of deviant gender behaviour
o Homo sexual desire was a logical but indistinct aspect-
• Homosexuality focused on narrower issue of sexual object choice
Deviant object choice (same sex) was views as one of a number of pathological
symptoms exhibited by those who reversed or inverted their proper sex roles
• Ie being masculine/ feminine not what was natural to their anatomical sex
• Political aspirations (women)
Fondness of cats (men)
Manifestations of a pathological condition
o Ulrichs - outspoken advocate for the rights of sexual minorities+ founder of cult
• Defined his condition as a woman's soul confined in a man's body
• Brought up that sexual object choice might be independent of secondary
characteristics (ie masculinity/femininity)
o Scientific idea of who has sex with who- trans-historical validity
o Symonds- no terms for this feature of human psychology without implication of
o Homosexuality appears for the first time in 1976 OED
o Boswell "if the categories of homo/hetero and gay/straight are the inventions of
particular societies rather than real aspects- there is no gay history"
•Boswell argues the contrary though
o People who lived before newton experienced gravity- without the term or concept
o He claims that the "manifest and stated purpose" of Aristophane's famous myth
in Plato's Symposium is to
• Explain why humans are divided into groups of homo or hetero sexual
• This and other texts from classical antiquity
Existence of homosexuality as an ancient- universal- category of
human experience regardless of how new the term is
• 8 limbs, 2 faces, 2 genitals- 3 sexes- male, female and androgyne
• Powerful + ambitious
Zeus had to put them in their place- cut them in two
Those who outlived their mates sought out persons belonging to
the same sex o Boswell interprets this myth to say that homo and hetero sexual interests are
both exclusive and innate
o This myth really portrays that everyone's sexuality is essentially the same
o Idea of boys desiring men in a non-sexual way
• De Morbis Chronicis- mid-fifth cent AD Latin translation and adaptation by Caelius
o Topic is molles- soft or unmasculine men who depart from the norm of manliness
• Desire to be receptive role in sex
He states that it is not natural, but their own excessive desire that drives out their
sense of shame and forcibility
o They suffer from a mental/moral defect rather than a bodily disease
• Tribades- greek; women more eager to have sex with women
Pursue women with an almost masculine jealousy
• This "disease" being spoken about is seemingly the same that
homosexuality is today
o BUT there are several considerations that combine to prohibit that interpretation
• Idea of males abandoning their masculinity = problematic
Molles + tribades - not homosexual, but rather bisexual
"more eager" "practise both kinds of sex"
• Being "gender-deviant" - not same thing as being a homosexual
• No category of homosexuality, defined in such a way as to contain men and women
alike, is indigenous to the ancient world
• Plato and Aurelianu's combine to make a basic conceptual + historical point
o Homosexuality presupposes sexuality, and sexuality itself is a modern invention
• Sexuality defines itself as a separate, sexual domain within the lager field of man's
• Sexuality effects the conceptual boundaries and isolation of that domain from other
areas of personal and social life tht have traditionally cut across it (ie passion, intimacy,
• Sexuality generates sexual identity- endows with an individual sexual nature- with a
personal essence defined atleast in part in specifically sexual terms
o Sexual identity- not to be confused w/ gender identity or gender role
• Aurelianus makes plain, ancient sexual typologies generally derived their
criteria for categorizing people not from sex but from gender: they tended to
construe sexual desire as normative or deviant according to whether it impelled
social actors to conform to or violate their conventionally defined gender roles
o Therefore- sexuality is not a universal feature of human life in every society Krouse – Patriarchal Liberalism and Beyond –
Liberal equality –
· Individual human beings are in this vision neither naturally free nor nauarally equal. The
political association is neither the product of their consent, nor the instrument of their subjectivity
determined wants, needs and purposes. Rather individuals fulfill or complete their nature only
as their subordinate instruments, each contributing according to his or her supposedly unequal
· Genetically the is the order of history prior to the polis.
· Family exists for the sake of the polis. For the sake of economic production and sexual
· Liberal polity can exist by natural right only subordinate of the immanant wants, needs and
purposes of its separate component parts.
Marxian critics of Liberalism –
- Civil society of bourgeois liberalism from a Marxian perspective is not merely an atomistic
“heap” of abstract individuals it is also a political economy of power, with those same individuals
arrayed into concrete structures of class and sex domination and dependence.
Survival of the patriarchy in the heart of liberal theory –
· Think about the logic of consent theory.
· Both Hobbes and Locke, manage in the end to reconcile the egalitarian logic of individual
consent with the persistence of hierarchical authority in both civil and conjugal government,
implicitly substituting the patriarchal family for the abstract individual as the central unit of
political and social analysis.
· Jeremy Bentham – The world is divided into Freeman and slaves, why are some men slaves
“Because they ought to be”
· Egalitarian implications/natural presumptions –
Mill- “Merit, and not birth, is the only rightful claim to power and authority”
· legal subordination of one sex to the other is wrong in itself. Replaced by perfect equality.
How can this be done?
· A full egalitarian extension of the formal rights of political and civil citizenship i.e female voter
enfranchisement on an identical basis with men. And exact equality and civil rights. Equality to
enter public world of action and work.
· As long as vestiges of patriarchal despotism survive in marriage and the family, so also will
the subjection of women continue.
Internal incoherence of liberal theory -
- The liberal vision was articulated by men who were themselves implicated in the structures of
class and sex domination that the logic of their own theory, when unpacked, oppocses. They
were thus torn between the upward pull of abstract logical consistency, and the downward pull
of concrete sociohistorical circumstance. Incoherence was virtually inevitable. F. Engels – The Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the state.
· That woman was the slave of man at the commencement of society is one of the mtht absurd
motions that have come down to us from the period of Enlightenment of the 18 century
· Woman occupied not only a free but also a highly respected among all savages and all
barbarians of the lower middle ages.
· Iroquois - “As to their family system when occupying the old long houses communistic
households embracing several families, it is probable that some one clan (gens) predominated,
the women taking husbands from other clans (gentes)
· As wealth increased on one hand gave men more important status. Created stimulus to utilize
this strengthened position in order to overthrow the traditional order of inheritance in favor of his
· The overthrow of the mother right was the world-historic defeat of the female sex. Lineage of
· Familia signifies the totality of slaves belonging to one individual. Used by romans to describe
social organism. The head of which under were wife, children and a number of slaves.
· “The first division of labor is that between man and woman for child breeding” – Engels.
· Marriage of convenience – often enough turns into prostitution. The woman selling herself to
her man, once and for all.
· With eh patriarchal family – the wife became the first domestic servant
· In the family the man is the breadwinner and therefore the bourgeois of the family.
Three chief forms of marriage
· Savagery = group marriage
· Barbarianism = pairing marriage
· It is the mothers who arrange their children’s marriages.
· Civilization – monogamy
· With the passage of the means of production into common property, the individual family
ceases to be the economic unit of society. The care and education of the children becomes a
public matter. · If love affairs really occurred between free male and female citizens it was only in the form of
· Love Marriage
· Proclaimed as a human right.
· Not only a mans right (droit de la femme) but also, by the way of exception, as women’s right
(droit de la femme)
· The ruling class continues to be dominated by the familiar economic influences and therefore
only in exceptional cases can it show really voluntary marriages whereas as we have seen
these are the rule among the dominated class.
· The full freedom in marriage can become generally operative only when the abolition of
capitalist production, and property relations created by it. \
The Origin of the State
· The state is by no means a power forced on society from without, just as little is it “the reality
of the ethical ideal.” “the image and reality of reason,” as hegel maintains. Rather, it is a product
of society at a certain state of development, it is the admission that this society has become
entangled in an insoluble contradiction with itself, that it is cleft into irreconcilable
antagtagonisms, which it is powerless to dispel. But in order that these antagonisms, classes
with conflicting economic interests might not consume themselves and society in sterile
struggle, a power seemingly standing above society became necessary for the purpose of
moderating the conflict, of keeping it within the bounds of order and this power, arisen out of
society, but placing itself above it and increasingly alienating itself from it, is the state.
· Population of Athens was 90,000 citizens. With 365,000 slaves.
· The state has not existed from all eternity. There have been societies without it.
Policing the slaves/citizens
· The shabbiest police servant in the civilized state has more “authority” than all the organs of
gentile society put together.
· In order to maintain this public power contributions from the citizens become necessary,
· In possession of the public power and of the right to levy taxes, the officials, as organs of
society, now stand above society. \ - the democratic republic officially knows nothing any more of property distinctions, in it wealth
exercises its power indirectly, but all more surely.
Man to can be a commodity – human power may be exchanged and utilized by converting man
· reached its full potential in civilization. Exploiting a whole class.
· Followed by serfdom (a agricultural laborer bound under the feudal system to work on his
lords estate) then wage labor in modern times. Disguised slavery.
· Exploitation of one class by another is the basis of civilization
The stage of commodity production
1) Metal money and this of money capital interest and usury.
2) The merchants acting as middlemen between producers
3) Private ownership of land and mortgage
4) Slave labour as the prevailing form of production. MOTHERS IN THE MOTHERLAND: Stalinist Pronatalism In Its Pan European Context
1971—October revolution brought to power a radical socialist government that denounced the
family as a bourgeois institution, undermined the institution of marriage and promised the
liberation of women
1923—Aleksandra Kollontai: a Bolshevik feminist declared that the soviets state would “lift the
burdens of motherhood from women’s shoulders and transfer them to the state.” Kollontai
added that, “the family, in its bourgeois sense, will eventually die out.”
1930s—Official Soviet culture glorified motherhood, and strove to raise the birthrate. The
government outlawed abortion and made divorce difficult. The country reverted to the traditional
Scholars Point of View:
Gail Lepidus—demonstrated that the Stalinist leadership abandoned women’s liberation from
the family in order to utilize female industrial and reproductive labor
Richard Stites—noted that many of the original Bolshevik leaders, including Lenin, held
conservative views regarding morality and the family.
Wendy Goldman—Wendy’s work revealed that many peasants and workers opposed policies
that facilitated divorce or in other ways weakened the family. Described the social and material
realities (millions of homeless children, rising juvenile crime, and widespread male
irresponsibility) that prompted Soviet leaders to promote a more traditional model of the family
Article Summary Notes: th
· Beginning in the 19 century and with increasing urgency following WWI, European
governments sought to increase their populations by stressing the importance of motherhood
and the family. Governments always intervened to raise the birthrate and ensure the healthy
upbringing of citizens
· Thesis of article: Stalinist Proatalism and efforts to reinforce the family reflected a new type of
population politics practices in the modern era.
Birthrates and National Power
· When social scientists and government officials began to think of society as an object to be
studied, reproduction emerged as an important realm for intervention. Throughout the
18 century, demography emerged as disciplines, and birthrates began to be studied.
· In France, the first country to experience a decline in fertility and worries about depopulation
proliferated following defeat in the Franco-Prussian War when France leaders feared their
population was too small to compete militarily with Germany
· In other European countries, falling fertility prompted warnings of national decline,
demographic extinction and race suicide.
· WWI had an impact on thinking about population in Europe. Causalities of the war prompted
fears in many countries about their population’s capacities to sustain military action in the future
· Political leaders saw that the size of a population was a critical resource, necessary for
national defense, and thus focused on reproduction to maintain the population.
· In Russia, fertility remained high throughout the 19 century.
· WWII causalities, and the loss of young men reduced the number of potential father that
Britain’s birthrate fell between 1914 -1930
· Fears of depopulation were less acute in the Soviet Union because its birthdate recovered to
near pre-war levels by the mid 1920’s
· S.G. Strumilin was one of the countries leading statistians, demonstrated that the drop in
fertility correlated with urbanization and the entrance of women into the industrial workforce
trends that had to continue if industrialization were to move ahead
· Other of Strumilin’s findings:
o Social groups with higher wages had lower fertility than peasants.
o Urbanized workers had lower fertility than peasants in-migrate to the city
o White-collar employees had the lowest fertility of all, which contradicted previous research
that had identified economic hardship as the primary cause of low fertility · WWI reinforced social Darwinist ideas about the competition of nations, and the struggle of
peoples to survive and propagate.
· Mussolini argued in his essay Numbers as Force that the fall of past civilizations had been
preceded by a decline in the birthrate. He concluded that Italy needed to increase its population
to assert superiority over inferior races and to establish an empire
Contraception and Abortion
· In Germany, abortion providers and women receiving an abortion could be sentenced to 5
years in prison. During WWI, the advertisement of contraceptives was banned. During WWII,
the Nazi government decreed the death penalty for those who continuously carried out
· Unlike the German, Italian and French governments the Soviet government legalized abortion
in Nov 1920. The decree noted that in the interest of women’s health, free abortions were
allowed for free in hospitals.
o However, this didn’t recognize it as a woman’s right.
· Birth control was later legalized in the Soviet Union in 1923
· The ban of abortion in 1936 was preceded by a huge publicity campaign and public
discussion of a draft of the decree, and it was followed by further propaganda
o To justify the ban of abortion, commissar of Health Semashko stated the ban is as crucial to,
“the state task of increasing the population of the Soviet Union.”
o Another Soviet official wrote that more people were needed for economic growth, and
socialist construction, and that “abortion—the destruction of emerging life is impermissible to our
· Government not only intervened to regulate reproduction, they also began to provide material
support for mothers—the overall trend was toward extensive state aid and propaganda
designed to promote motherhood.
· In addition to family assistance programs, governments awarded birth bonuses to encourage
people to have children.
o In France, the 1932 Family Allowance Act provided material aid for mothers, and the 1939
Family Code introduced a birth premium of several thousand francs for the first child born within
two years of marriage.
o In 1935, in Italy bonuses given to the families of soldiers and civil servants for the birth of
each new child. o the Nazi government in 1935 instituted annual (and later monthly) grants to "hereditarily
healthy" German families with four or more children.
Pronatalism—the policy of practice of encouraging the learning of children, especially the
government support of a higher birthrate
· The strongest pronatalism programs were in the Catholic countries—France, Italy, Spain,
Portugal—and practices eugenics. They utilized a varieties of means- assistance, tax
incentives, and birth bonuses to achieve pronatalist objectives
Eugenics—the study or belief in the possibility of improving the qualities of the human species
or a human population, especially by such means as discouraging reproduction by persons
having genetic defects or presumed to have inheritable undesirable traits. (negative eugenics)
· By contrast, Germany alongside its pronatalist policies applied antinatalism (including
Stalinism) to the physical and racially ‘unfit’
Antinatalism—a course of action selected, usually by government, to guide and determine
present and future decision on population control by limiting the number of children, notably
through family planning and contraception within the nuclear family.
· The soviet government offered financial inducements similar to those in the Catholic
countries. They encouraged reproduction among al members of the population, without
distinction by ethnicity or class
o In contrast to the Nazi government, the soviet government promoted reproduction even
among those it considered class or ideological enemies.
· With the pronatalist push of the mid-1930s, funding for maternity wards and nurseries
increased—Soviet government committed itself to complete care of mothers and children
· Officials, and the social commentators blamed modern ideologists and trends (such as
feminism and women’s employment outside the home) for the weakening of traditional female
roles and the decline in the birthrate
· In an attempt to promote motherhood and raise the birthrate, governments established
awards to honor mothers with many children
o French government gave bronze medal to women with 5 or more living children, Silver for
8+, and Gold for 10+
o Mothers of many in Nazi Germany received Cross of Honor
§ Bronze for 4 children, silver for 6 and gold for 8
· The Soviet government portrayed having children as a natural and fulfilling part of a woman’s
fThe Family and Paternal Responsibility · Policy makers focused on the family as an institution that needed to be buttressed in efforts to
raise the birthrate
Buttress—something that serves to support, or reinforce.
· Industrialization and urbanization in the 19 century undermined the traditional peasant family
—feminist ideas and how employment opportunities for women challenged existing gender roles
· French Sociologist, Frederick LePlay warned that industrialization had subverted the family
and fostered corrupting influences of individualism, socialism and feminism
o Noted that peasant families offered not only social stability, but very high fertility and
proposed legal measures to strengthen the family
· Salzar dictatorship launched a patriotic crusade for Portugal’s national regeneration with the
family as the pillar of society
· Franco regime called for a new moral order based on restoration of the family as the primary
· Demographers, doctors, and politicians blamed moral decay and declining birthrates on the
masculinization of women, women working outside the home, and women’s economic
· The Nazi Party’s propaganda focused on mothers and monetary incentives went to fathers.
They focused heavily on strengthening the family and promoted a vision of women as mothers,
and promised traditional families
· The Soviet Government held rather Victorian notions about the family and regarded sexual
liberation as a distraction from socialism. Marriage was an important institution also. Another
factor in the soviet government’s promotion of the family as a model for reproduction was the
problem of homeless children
· In tandem with its drive to strengthen the family and promote motherhood, the Soviet
government sought to enforce paternal obligations
o In 1933 a man who didn’t acknowledge paternity of a child would still be registered as the
o In 1936, the same law that outlawed abortion and made divorce more difficult also tightened
regulations on child support. It also increased the penalty for nonpayment of child support to 2
years in prison
· The Soviet government’s family policy was distinguished by a very different societal role for
women; at no time during the campaign to bolster the family did soviet officials suggest that a woman’s place was in the home. Soviet propaganda constructed gender in a way that stressed
both women’s economic contribution and their role in rising the next generation
· The instrustrailzition drive had created an insatiable demand for factory workers, and women
did have more opportunities than women in Western Europe, where political leaders
discouraged women’s work outside the home in order to reduce unemployment among men.
o But job opportunities did not translate into economic equality. Employment patterns relegated
women to lower status and lower paid positions within the Soviet industry, and Stalinist policies
intensified the sexual division of labour and women’s subordination in the workplace and at
Effectiveness of Pronatalist Policies
· In Nazi Germany, where the largest pronatalist campaign and the harshest repressive
measures against abortion were implemented, fertility rose somewhat from 1933 to 1936, but
then remained stagnant, never even reaching levels of the late 1920’s. Even this slight increase
in fertility was probably due more to the improved economy than to the pronatalist policies.
· The soviet pronatalist campaign provoked different responses: some women wrote angry
letters to protest the ban on abortion, and argued that it would limit women’s participation in
public life. Other women, those who received birth bonuses, wrote letters to thank Stalin and
promised to continue to have children
o The abortion ban led to a huge number of illegal abortions
· The glorification of motherhood and birth bonuses also failed to have much effect. The
women who received the bonuses were primarily peasant women who already have many
children prior to the introduction of monetary incentives
· Government priorities continued to focus on heavy industry, while childcare systems and
communal dining facilities remained underfunded
· One crucial factor was women’s place in the workforce. Women recruited in large numbers
into industry during the 1930’s and the official emphasis on motherhood was not intended to
free women from their obligation to work outside the home
· A new way of thinking about population resources and their importance to national power
developed in the 19 century and coming to end after WW