Ask The Plant
Isabella Blu Ptito-Echeverria
Why do feminists bitch and moan so much about “the patriarchy”? I’ve seen girls get free drinks for being girls, get into bars for free. I can hit another guy but WOOPS can’t hit a girl! Women have privileges that men don’t. Isn’t that sexism?
When you think of a feminist, I gather you’re imagining some pestilential B.O-ridden fat lady with shittily dyed hair and a burning desire to call out bigotry whenever possible. “It’s the PATRIARCHY’S FAULT,” the caricature yells. “WE LIVE IN A WORLD SATURATED IN MISOGYNY AND BIGOTRY!” These words have been driven so deep into the ground that they’ve lost all meaning. Just empty buzzwords, right?
I admit that this was my view of feminism for a long time; why should women complain about things? In the 21st century, women can vote, go to school, and, as of March 2021, according to a Forbes.com article written by employment lawyer Tom Spiggle, "when accounting for other factors besides gender, such as in education, experience, location, and industry, the gender wage gap shrinks dramatically to just a 2% difference. So the controlled gender pay gap [as of March 2021] means that women are making 98 cents for every dollar men make”. With legislative equality, a practically non-existent wage gap, and the female-exclusive ‘privileges’ you mentioned, what the hell is the problem?
Let me define “patriarchy”, because that word gets thrown around with such reckless abandon that it’s a rotting rag-doll corpse of a word in this day and age. A patriarchy is a society that is hierarchical, a patriarch being at the top. To me, a patriarch is not simply ‘a man’. A patriarch is a role that a man is expected to fill. A patriarch is a man with the duty of leading a family or tribe, and as any leader often is, patriarchs are expected to be stoic, strong, and dominant. Being forced into such a role is obviously not easy. This is why patriarchal society isn’t just a matter of men being at fault for everything; The expectations imposed upon people by patriarchy hurt both men and women.
Most societies on Earth are patriarchal. Even though patriarchy in the West is much less of an outright legislative issue, the patriarchal culture rooted in our history bleeds into every facet of our lives. Funnily enough, the ‘privileges’ women get (like free drinks, free bar entry, and immunity from being backhanded by a man even if she hits him first), are a product of patriarchy. If men are cast as the leaders, women are cast as the followers. If men are the conquerors, women are the conquered. If men are the heroes, women are the damsels in distress. As a result, women are defaulted into their roles to complement the roles expected of men.
In a patriarchal world, bars often expect male clients to be seeking female conquests. As a result, it makes sense for bars or parties to let women in for free. More women means more men will want to come to the event. Simple business strategy.
Why do women get free drinks? Because buying a girl a drink is an easy way to start a conversation, try to flirt, and try to fuck. If a woman is getting that free drink because she’s a woman, we can assume that free drink is an attempt at 'conquest'. And yeah, a drink is a drink. That is a perk. The expectation of a woman being frail and defenseless is also a perk in the “can’t hit a girl back” situation you mentioned. That expectation is also shitty at times when a girl just wants to play sports or be taken seriously.
Every role has its pros and cons. Being a leader, conqueror, and hero has its perks. So does being a follower and a damsel. The issue comes when roles are assigned to us and STUCK to us on the basis of something as arbitrary as gender. True equality is abolishing any ‘special treatment’ or idea about a person on the basis of their gender. Any person who says that ‘all men act like this’ or that ‘all women should be treated like this’, is not a true feminist.
Thankfully, the rigidity of patriarchy gets more diluted with every generation. Less and less men are binding themselves to patriarchal roles, which, in turn, frees women from them.
So, PoonSlayer, you are right to be upset about women getting special privileges. However, it would be skin-deep to blame women alone for the problem. Know who the real culprit is? The cultural aftermath of patriarchy.
If you’ve got a problem with the treatment women get simply because they are women, I’ve got bad news for you, bud. You’re a feminist.
Wishing you free drinks, inter-gender brawls, and poon,