It refers to the hierarchical relations between men and women whereby men dominates and control over women’s sexuality.
Structures of patriarchy
According to Sylvia walby patriarchy as a system of social structure where men are in the dominant position to exploit and opress women.
She talks about six structures of patriarchy;
1. Patriarchal mode of production,
2. Patriarchal relations in paid work,
3. Patriarchal relations in the state,
4. Male Violence,
5. Patriarchal relations in sexuality,
6. Patriarchy relations in cultural institutions.
Now, let us study some of the institutions, practices and norms that maintain patriarchal set up of the society.
Kate millets says “patriarchy’s chief institution is the family”. Family is the main agent of socialization where young boys and girls first encounter patriarchal power.generally, whatever is taught by the patriarchal ideology running in the family is accepted as natural and unchallengeable.
Women need to go to the school to receive education, in order to achieve freedom in true sense. The patriarchal belief system rests on the assumption that there’s no need to enrich women with higher level of education as they just have to remain inside the four walls.patriarchy is able to make women ignorant of her capabilities and makes them highly dependent on the menfolk.
Marriage is practiced and institutionalised in our society keeping in mind tha patriarchal ideology and it’s structure. Our society has put certain Norms and values that a man and woman have to follow to make their marriage acceptable by people at large for instance , in the marriage between a man and woman a man should be elder to woman.
Many forms of violence and Crimes against women take place in our society for the sake and defence of patriarchal. Structure and ideology. Other structures like that of caste , class and religion collaborate with patriarchy that leads to violence and oppression like honour killing, female foeticide, forced marriages, control over modes of contraception etc. As a result women and other weaker sections of the society get caught in a vicious circle that leads to never ending modes of domination and suppression. If women and other suffering group identify and acknowledge the source of domination, it would be a great achievement in its own way, this is because the invisibility and acceptability of patriarchy at large is the main reason behind its very existence. So, we may conclude by saying that patriarchy forms the governing ideology that device our experiences when we are born as a girl or as a boy. It directs our socialization and provides us position of submission and domination.