106: Patriarchy is perpetuated through parenting (Part 1)

“Wait, whaaaat?” (I can hear you thinking this now, as you’re reading the title for this episode.)

When I think of patriarchy, I usually think of a powerful guy in a suit. He’s always White. He probably works in government or maybe high up in a corporation. He’s part of The System, which is just The Way Things Are Done – and he’s never going to listen to me. There’s really not much I can do to impact this system.

And patriarchy isn’t good for any of us. It’s not difficult to see how it represses women and any non-straight, White, hetero-presenting male. But the research base is also pretty clear that it harms men as well, by denying them the opportunity to express any emotion other than anger, which is linked to all kinds of both mental and physical health problems.

But it turns out that a big part of perpetuating the patriarchal system is how women interact with men, as well as how we raise our children. And, suddenly, changing the patriarchal system becomes something that I can directly impact – and so can you.

Listener Brian Stout and I interview the preeminent scholar in this field, Dr. Carol Gilligan, who is co-author (with Naomi Snider) of the book Why does patriarchy persist?

In this episode we focus on the background information we need to understand what patriarchy is and how it impacts us, and in a future episode Brian and I return to discuss the implications of these ideas for the way we are raising our children.

If you’d like to subscribe to Brian’s newsletter, where he discusses issues related to Building a World of Belonging, you can do that here.


Dr. Carol Gilligan’s Books: 

Why Does Patriarchy Persist?

In a Different Voice: Psychological Theory and Women’s Development

Darkness Now Visible: Patriarchy’s Resurgence and Feminist Resistance 

The Birth of Pleasure: A New Map of Love


About the author, Jen

Jen Lumanlan (M.S., M.Ed.) hosts the Your Parenting Mojo podcast (www.YourParentingMojo.com), which examines scientific research related to child development through the lens of respectful parenting.

1 Comment

  1. Eleni Potnia on February 24, 2020 at 9:38 AM

    Thank you for bringing this topic to light so comprehensively!

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