I have an ever-increasing sense that we are witnessing the violent death throws of the Patriarchy.
I think it first hit me when I saw the footage of Pussy Riot doing their head banging stuff in a Moscow Church. The people most offended, upset and able to do something about it where a bunch of bearded men in long robes with comically large crosses hanging around their necks.
Bearded old men in the Sudan condemned a woman to death for marrying the wrong man, okay, they’ve gone back on that decision because of the international outcry, but they still did it.
Bearded old men in long robes encourage bearded young men to go and fight holy wars every day of the week.
Bearded old men in long robes try to justify the vile event of a bunch of tragic men who raped two teenage girls to death in India.
All of these old beardy blokes have one thing in common, they represent the patriarchy.
It’s got little to do with the individual religions they profess to teach, lead, have divinely bestowed upon them by a mythical bearded old man in long robes they call God.
Now, I do understand that criticizing any culture I have little knowledge of is dangerous.
Grouping together a whole race or religious group because of the actions of one or two nut bags is the job of UKIP supporters.
However, as a white, western liberal living in a privileged bubble (apparently) I have to face an ugly fact.
I’m also a man.
The bedrock of all religious belief is by its very nature, patriarchal.
(Patriarchy: relating to or denoting a system of society or government controlled by men)
It’s all about the father being in control, it’s all about a great big, bearded angry dad otherwise known as god.
You don’t have to be a scripture scholar to understand that all religion was dreamt up and written down by men.
Ooops, sorry, I mean God, a bloke, with a beard and long robes. My bad.
Check who wrote the New Testament in the Christian bible
It’s not Matthew, Mark, Luke and Joan is it?
Who wrote the Quran?
Who wrote the Old Testament?
A bunch of blokes.
Religion was made by men to extoll their own virtues, control their offspring and chattels, (that’s the Mrs and the cattle BTW) and lay down the law.
Many years ago I read some of theories about the dawn of patriarchy, the pre-historic connection desert people in the Fertile Crescent made between shagging and childbirth.
These theories indicate that before we started farming, keeping cattle and living in more organised, settled communities, patriarchy simply didn’t exist.
We lived in a matriarchy; as the saying goes, “the mother came first, the son merely followed.”
(Matriarchy: a form of social organization in which descent and relationship are through the female line)
No one knew and more importantly cared who their dad was but you knew who your mum was because she raised you.
The theory is, and it’s backed up by ancient cave paintings and fertility statues, women were revered and in control of their own destiny.
I’m not saying this state of affairs was better or in any way perfect, I’m merely suggesting that patriarchy isn’t ‘the only way we can function.’
The human race is always evolving, new relationships and roles emerge and there is no ‘right’ or ‘only’ way to live together and raise children.
Anyone who tells you otherwise is going to be more interested in power than love.
Anyone who tells you otherwise is going to be a bloke and more likely a religious bloke in a position of power in your community.
The tedious argument that men are ‘naturally dominant’ only exists because we’re all endlessly told that from day one.
We are, I believe, currently seeing the tattered and despoiled cloak of patriarchy slowly disintegrate and that frightens the b’jayzus out of a lot of blokes who’ve invested their entire existence in such dated nonsense.
Any religious nutter with a brutal countenance, long robes and a beard is a patriarch, terrified of the power of women, determined to cling on to power because, poor sausage, that’s all he’s got to fill the void in his heart.
These bearded gentlemen come in all flavors, Russian Orthodox, Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Muslim, Jew and any number of offshoots of all of them.
Big beard, long cloak and complete confidence that their particular strand of virtually the same religion is the right one.
Bit tragic isn’t it?
They are all from the same Abrahamic tradition that stems from the same bit of land on the Eastern side of the Mediterranean that blokes have been fighting over for millennia.
And these squabbles always involve men, boring, tedious blokes who want to impose their self claimed ‘divine law’ on the rest of us.
Tedious but sadly, in some cases we are seeing at the moment, still ridiculously powerful and dangerous.
It’s got naff all to do with genuine religious belief, which, despite my cascade of offense I do actually have respect for.
How weak do you have to be to express such fear from one woman who won’t do as you demand?
How pathetic are you that when your daughter/sister doesn’t obey your every bullying command you kill her to protect, and read this carefully, ‘the honour of your family.’
‘Oh yeah, they’ve got a lot of honour that family, they killed their daughter in the street and we all respect that.’
Hello, it’s 2014, not AD 414 for pities sake.
So as a wet liberal tosser living in a privileged western bubble, I do judge cultures I don’t fully understand when it’s brutal, stupid and based on blatantly enforced ignorance.
As privileged western liberal men we should do all we can to deride and undermine patriarchal power no matter what flavor.
We need to show by example that it is possible to be a man, to be a real, proper bloke, without mutilating little girls, raping and murdering women when they don’t obey our ridiculous demands and claiming some kind of divine superiority.
I’m not saying women are always right or in some way superior, I’m not even saying all men who believe in some sort of old-dad-god figure are brutes, rapists and murderers, but the ones who are need to be faced up to.
If you want to fight patriarchy - but won't fight religion - you're not fighting patriarchy. @ aliamjadrizvi