Culture and the Patriarchy
The first cultural content is faith. For the last 5–6 thousand years during which humans have organized as patriarchies, millions of us have repeatedly and at great cost rebelled against successions of repressive regimes set up to ensure the perpetuation of the social structure; yet every social restructure proceeded to reorganize under different ideologies and figureheads in the same hierarchy (patriarchy) that once again fostered oppressions, injustices and the conditions for yet another political revolution.
Today at last the patriarchy is gasping its last breath. It has passed from extreme old age. The dissolution of the patriarchy pushes our society to evolve into new systems of governance; these systems can be more equitable and humane rather than violent and brutal, but only if our social changes are transformational rather than reformist. We need a new unifying way of thinking. A more natural, less cultural way of thinking.
The patriarchal system is what we commonly call culture. It is called patriarchy because it was created by male sexed people keen to counter the procreative advantage that nature gave to female sexed people. It was created to defend the limited natural rights of inseminators over the expansive undeniable natural rights of conceivers.
The urge to impose social order on natural order is the urge we call civilization. Culture defied nature (with the help of its gods). Culture grew stronger and imagined itself stronger than nature in many ways. In its hubris, culture overlooked nature (that is what we now call climate crisis). Culture discounted the worth and contribution of nature and ignored it as often as possible. This rise of the patriarchy crescendoed and began to unravel under the weight of its own bad accounting. Having not accounted for humanity’s dependence on nature, having undertaken its project in antithesis to nature, it inevitably began to dissolve, unraveled by its own constructs. It’s our nature to connect in the unknown with each other; that’s why it’s our culture to do everything we can to homogenize us.
Culture confers ‘value.’ Culture tries to make up for the extreme value of nature. In our push to value culture over nature at every turn & at every cost, humans have achieved everything from the climate crisis to the migration crisis to the income inequality crisis that in particular hampers American society now. I believe that distinguishing between nature & culture with our words & with our money is a simple way that can be understood by all people — regardless of religion, race, ethnic allyship, upbringing, education — to identify Nature from Culture.
For the past 5,000 years, our Patriarchal Civilization has alienated our Nature from our Culture, cultivated the latter at the expense of the former, and valued the latter to the detriment and the destruction of the former.
Living with the awareness that we can change everything culture teaches us is a start. What may have made sense for our ancestors hundreds or thousands of years ago can no longer make sense for us. Evolution becomes conscious when we slow down our reactions, ignore our first (learned) responses, consider our options regardless of norms, and follow our most delayed reaction. Norms are statistical terms; they gauge the going perception of the majority opinion.
End the patriarchy means end the financial domination of the mind (culture) over the body (nature). Culture is the product of the mind trying to make sense of nature. (We can change our minds as often as we want).
Procreation is nature. Gender is culture. The patriarchy separated God (culture) from Nature. Culture cannot change nature but tries to. My definition of woman is any human whose womb can conceive and can give birth. I leave culture to its advocates. I advocate for nature.
Humans naturally create a mental partition to protect their core. That’s how we find ourselves in the 21st century. (At a place where the proponents of god and church, long the enemy of nature, have come full circle to being the defenders of nature and the feminine.) The patriarchy has died a natural death of its own doing. Yet its culture continues to perpetuate its existence, programmed as it has been by the system that spawned it to support it. That has been its original purpose. The civilizational change we are called to undertake is the reprogramming of our cultural functions.