Presentation on theme: "Money, Sex and Power Week 20 2013-14. Lecture Outline Patriarchy: the classical meanings Second wave feminism: the work of Millett Sex-gender distinctions."— Presentation transcript:
Lecture Outline Patriarchy: the classical meanings Second wave feminism: the work of Millett Sex-gender distinctions and consequences Patriarchy and the capitalist mode of production Private and public patriarchy: the work of Walby
Defining Patriarchy The rule of the father over the members of his household Patriarchalism: Institutionally enforced authority of males over females and their children in the family unit. It permeates the entire society but its basis is the patriarchal family. (Castells)
Classical Definition Patriarchy the government of the Church by a patriarch or patriarchs a patriarchal system of society or government; a family, tribe or society so organized. Patriarch: the father and ruler of a family or tribe. (Shorter Oxford English Dictionary)
Male Hierarchies How power is exercised between men and between women Major social institutions comprise hierarchies that exclude women Weber and authority: traditional, legal- rational, charismatic Patriarchalism – extension to wider household of patrimonialism of family- household
Millett: Patriarchy’s Two Component Parts Millet, Sexual Politics, Virago, 1977. the power of men over women the power of older men over younger men – what she referred to as the generational aspect of patriarchy. There is, of course, a class aspect to this as well as a generational one (e.g. see Heidi Hartmann – ‘The unhappy marriage of Marxism and feminism’)
Key Question What relationship does Millett see patriarchy as having to biological sexual difference? Are all men predisposed by nature to exercise patriarchal power or is patriarchy part of the apparatus of ideology?
Sex-Gender Distinctions sex (pertaining to the realm of the biological) gender (associated with the cultural/social) Robert Stoller: Sex and Gender, 1968 John Money: Sex Research: New Developments, 1965 Nurture stronger than nature (although problematic)
Gender Socially constructed Could be transformed Feminists suggesting biological sex mattered accused of essentialism Distinction between sex and gender means of fighting biological reductionism/determinism
Patriarchy and capitalist mode of production Veronica Beechy explores materialist (Marxist) feminist analysis of women’s subordination (Beechey, ‘On Patriarchy’, Feminist Review, 3: 66-82, 1979) Needed to complement analysis of political economy Engels: The origins of the family, private property and the state (1884) Linked emergence of women’s subordination to emergence of private property Historically specific forms of patriarchy
Private-Public Distinctions First wave and second wave feminism Central to first wave seeking women’s access to the public realm Second wave the ‘personal is political’ – the private realm is a key site for the exploration of women’s subordination Classic definition of patriarchy – the rule of the father Walby - public and private patriarchy
Walby’s Six Forms of Patriarchy 1. a patriarchal mode of production in the family/household system in which certain kinds of production took place outside the capitalist workplace and in which women’s labour was expropriated and controlled by their husbands 2. patriarchal relations within wage labour, with expropriation and exploitation by the employer 3. the patriarchal state 4. male violence 5. patriarchal relations within sexuality 6. patriarchal culture
Patriarchy ‘The whole point of employing the concept “patriarchy” is to show how hierarchical relations between men and women, conceived of as coherent and distinct groups, are constructed. The underlying premise of patriarchy is that women as a group are subordinated in relation to men as a group’ (Alsop et al, Theorising Gender: an Introduction, Polity, 2002: 74) )
Summary The concept of patriarchy has been important in feminist theorising since the Second Wave. It still remains the case that how does one find adequate ways of explaining the systematic dominance of men in society? But problems of conceptualisation persist with both radical feminist conceptions (Millett) and Marxist/socialist ones. And despite Walby’s more recent intervention, her categories still rely on an acceptance that women and men are clearly defined and distinct categories but at the same time is accused of ‘diluting’ the fundamental relation of subordination of women by men.
But…. What then of differences of ‘race’, class, sexuality, age and ability? What of the exercise of power within groups, between women and between men? And how can we explain power not simply as repressive but as productive? Does the idea of gender order have advantages over the notion of patriarchy?