Patriarchy is a social system in which men primarily hold positions of dominance and privilege. It is used both as a technical anthropological term for families or clans controlled by the father or the eldest male or group of males and in feminist theory to describe broad social structures in which men dominate over women and children.

Patriarchy and patriarchal attitudes emanate from the privilege of white (mainly) cis-straight men and lead to oppressive and abusive behaviours such as:

  • gender-based violence toward female persons
  • domestic violence
  • femicides
  • sexism
  • oppression and discrimination
  • rapes
  • victim blaming
  • sexual assault
  • misogyny and internalized misogyny