chapter  5
31 Pages

Patriarchy and the making of sisterhood

Patriarchy and the making of sisterhood has been a strength of patriarchy in all its historic forms to assimilate itself so perfectly to socioeconomic, political, and cultural structures as to be virtually invisible. Patriarchal government is an institution whereby that half of the populace which is female is controlled by that which is male. In the work of Millett and Rich, patriarchy was conceptualised as a powerful underlying system perpetuated above all through transhistorical habits of mind, and built into a whole range of institutions which helped enforce and reproduce it. While many feminists believed that patriarchy stretched back as far as culture itself, others strenuously argued that many ancient societies were matriarchal or at least woman centred and goddess worshipping from the Palaeolithic era. Regardless of class, and regardless of ownership, women have generally functioned as the property of men in the procreative and socializing aspect of the productive work of their society.