Patriarchy is a word that gets over-used and is often misunderstood. I don’t use it very often.
Patriarchy is men’s control of women in order to control their reproductive capacity. It can be hard to demonstrate clearly. Yet here is the perfect example of Patriarchy in action.
A mother, just after giving birth looks on as a male has taken her child and taken her place in the bonding ritual. Instead of learning to nourish the child and form the mother-child dyad, she is a forlorn onlooker. Her missing breasts have cast her into the role of the female eunuch.
The newborn child has not consented to starve while they suck at a dry male breast. The mother may have consented to give up her reproductive power, but that baby has not. It has been born as an accessory to a male fetish.
He is clearly in control. He has taken the mother’s child and rewards her by being “proud of [her] work”. She looks on as he calls the shots, as he takes what is hers.
“We’re going to supplement the feeding” he says “so that my baby can get the nutrients it needs”.
It. Not a person. An ‘it’. A ‘mine’.
“I’m still feeling hopeful.” He adds, as though hope can feed a baby. His baby.