Sylvia Walby views on Patriarchy

The core emphasis of every feminist is on patriarchy to understand the structure of a society. With a motto called ‘personal is political’, every feminist thinker wants to show certain evil practices into the public domain which were justified earlier. Sylvia Walby has a very great influence on smashing certain norms of patriarchy. The idea to normalize certain abnormal and unaccepted practices of patriarchy must be challenged by all. For her, 6 patriarchal structures are used to dominate women. However, the impacts of these structures are different on women according to their caste, class, race, etc. These structures can affect even men also.

Sylvia Walby’s Six Structures of Patriarchy

Paid Work: This aspect is widely used to discriminate women. Men always dominate high paid jobs because they overestimate their capabilities and talents. Women are regarded as less work-oriented and deserve low wage rates. This leads to a decrease in the morale of women and they do not want to engage themselves in work. Moreover, certain firms are so biased and they do not allow female employees to assist them. Low wages and fewer job opportunities help in the establishment of patriarchy.

Household Production: Family is very vital for every man and women but it is less necessary than it is thought. Family and household are used interchangeably but it is problematic. Women are symbolized as nurturers and child bearers. Their household chores are not regarded as work and men benefit from their unpaid work. The trap of marriage is always used to neglect the wishes of women. Several black women refer to the family as exploitative. House is much more discriminated against women as compared to the workplace for many.

Culture: History is evident that cultural practices and customs are always used to validate many ill practices. Ideas about masculinity and femininity can be spotted in every domain of social structure. This training is started from the birth of a child. For example, children are taught that which toys are made for which gender. Culture has made specific assigned behaviors for men and women. If anyone is not following these then it is regarded as a sin. Various key signs of femininity like shyness, white beauty, less talkative, wife material, etc. are used to formulate several dogmas. Practices like pornography have made men more violent about their freedom.

Sexuality: Women are always condemned for sexual desires while men are positively accepted. Sexuality is inherited in every human being but due to various social perspectives, the biological aspect starts missing. There still prevails a ‘sexual double standard’ in society. In male dominating society men with many sexual claims are more manly and respected. Today, women have more dominance of such patriarchal norms where they have to fulfill the sexual desires. In heterosexuals, it is more overseeing and monopolized.

Violence: Violence is not a new issue to use male dominance. Several feminist thinkers speculate about this aspect. Atrocities like sexual assaults, rapes, domestic violence, and workplace sexual harassment and so on are very high. Sometimes, various forms of violence like marital rapes are not taken into consideration due to the lack of legal frameworks. Male violence is self-motivated and it causes emotional and physical traumas to women. However, she never agrees with statistical data regarding violence against women as it is always problematic.

The state: The practices of state are patriarchal and male dominating. The structures are capitalist and violate the principles of equality. The state is always defined as a set of social institutions and their functions. Policies and schemes for the welfare of women are very less in number.

Conclusion: Patriarchy comes in many forms and it affects differentiates accordingly. All political, social and economic systems prefer men. After various traditional evils now a lot of modern means are used to smash gender security. The fight against feminism is not about protecting only women or uplifting them. It is about equality among every gender.


Theorizing Patriarchy a book by Sylvia Walby

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A drop of ink may make millions think. With this spirit, I chose to write for my passion. I am a student studying BA Programme at Miranda House, DU. My core areas are Economics and Political Science. My interests are reading and writing in various fields especially geopolitical issues, International Relations, Social Issues, etc. I will go for UPSC to administer people using my skills and aptitudes. Writing always elevates our creativity and imagination power.