Our patriarchal society





Our patriarchal society   

Patriarchy - the root cause of society's ills  

Is feminism a nwo plot?  

Patriarchy: the development of a "war system" 

Capitalism: the latest stage of patriarchy  

Patriarchy and bureaucracy  

Islam's shariah law and treatment of women 

Islam and patriarchy 

Other islam issues  




Free energy  

Scientific dictatorship  

Scalar energy  

What is scalar electromagnetics? 

12 things about about scalar weapons  

Brave new world of scalar electromagnetics 

Universal Seduction extracts 
Pine Gap 

Hurricane Andrew  

Forbidden Archaeology   

Geo science 

Origins of oil 
The fake oil crisis 
Oil con job 
Nuclear energy myths 

True geology 




Nobody does it better than America   

MH17 coverup  



The Fake Arab Spring

Time for a Truth War  

Massacre of Taliban POWs  

Myths for Iraq war 

Are sanctions justified?


Saddam Hussein 

Gassing of Kurds 

Who set light to the oil wells?  

Kosovo deception 

Elite sets stage for WW3  

Pre-emptive action

Why Hiroshima was bombed  



Fake terror 

Thank a vet?

Al-Qaeda - fictional terror group 

Defaming Islam 

Fake terror - the road to dictatorship 

Fabricating an enemy  

Inside Indonesia's war on terror 

War on terror a hoax   

911 - White collar terrorism 

911 Training drills 

Bird flu hoax 

Osama bin Laden  

War Propaganda 

WMD found in Iraq 

Bali bombing - JI   

School of Americas 


Covert operations 

Pearl Harbor

Operation Paperclip

Psyops & psywars 

Secret Team: CIA & Allies in Control of US & World   

CIA & agencies

Operation Mongoose

Operation Cyclone

Bay of Pigs

Gulf of Tonkin

Operation Northwoods




Goals of the Illuminati 

Pike's plan for 3 world wars 


Rewriting history 

The grand deception - Manipulating US into war - CFR  

World peace, 1814-1914   

Global Strategic Project 

Letter to 'Sheople' from NWO 

The Secret Covenant 

The secret behind secret societies 

Collectivism vs individualism 

Communism & the Illuminati 

Communism & capitalism  


Why not world government? 

Purpose behind UN 

UN destroys rights 

UN 50 years on  

IMF - created by UN 

EU exposed 

Skull & Bones 

Chronology of ruling class conspiracy 




US History  

Guggenheim Foundation  

US is a corporation  

American Union  



Australian government  - legally invalid 

Constitution defunct 

What next? The issues  

United People Power  

  The Lima Declaration  

PM's powers 

Government tyranny 

"National security" 

Trial by jury 

One Nation 

Harold Holt's murder [external link] 

Port Arthur massacre  

  Port Arthur (v2) 

  Why not gun control? 


  Manchurian candidate

  Dr Peters / Dr Mullins 

Save Australia Alliance - Tony Pitt 


Foreign debt 

Bracket creep 

Stamp duty on houses  

Fascism in Australia (CEC)  

Illegal taxation  

The Hilton bombing - a case of political terrorism? 

Jean-Paul Turcaud / Telfer 

Andrew Wilkie  

Principality of Camside 

Principality of Rangeview  

Fortress Australia 



Fake mental health 


Silent weapons for quiet wars  

Tavistock/social engineering 

Mind control 

Hegelian dialectic  

Two steps forward, one back 

Thesis, anti-thesis & synthesis 


Order out of chaos  



Compounds & boxcars 

The Alaska Mental Health Bill 


Hidden technology 
Hollow earth theory 

The truth about hemp 
Ether - scalar technology 
Time travel 
Crop circles  
Mars & moon  
Coverups uncovered 




Water agenda  

Sandy Hook massacre hoax 

Boston Bombing 

Operation Mockingbird  

50 false news stories     



How to collapse an economy 


Fed-up with the Fed 

Beast from Jeckyll Island 

The Bankers Manifesto of 1892 


Fractional reserve banking 

Fiat money 

16th amendment not ratified - income tax illegal  

Money myth   

Gold Standard 

Usury / interest 

Fall of civilisations    

Hidden taxation  

Social credit 


New world order 

NWO - fact or fantasy? 

Deskilling trades 

Role of secret societies 

Unveiling the mystery religion 

Environmental scam - Greenpeace, ozone hole 

Shadow government

Secret budget 


Economic sanctions - Operation Population Control  

Concentration centres in US 

Widening gap between rich and poor   

Weather control  

Hurricane Andrew 1992   


Underground bases  

AIDS - Made in the USA  

Population control 





The Bible exposed  

Biblical contradictions  

The Jesus myth 

US Govt's agenda  

The most evil people in the world 

Fake apocalypse 

Billy Graham   

Clarifying what is proof  

Council of Nicea 325 AD      

Reincarnation & karma  




Universal laws  






























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Patriarchy is a social system in which the father or eldest male is head of the household, having authority over women and children. Patriarchy also refers to a system of government by males, and to the dominance of men in social or cultural systems. It may also include title being traced through the male line.[1]


Our patriarchal society

We live in a patriarchal society which is defined as a society organised and run by men. Men make the rules and dominate in business and government. It is said to be a "man's world", men make the rules and dominate in all forums outside the home. A woman's main value is to support a man (behind every good man is a good woman), bear children and housekeeping duties. This is how it is and has been for millennia in most cultures.


What is wrong with a patriarchal society?

Men are responsible for -

Wars - all planned and fought by men
Secret societies that plot and undermine society
Corporations that rob and loot the world's resources, buy governments, suppress helpful technologies
Pedophiles - almost without exception men
Criminals - mostly men 
Violence, rape and murderers
The priesthood which dominates society with manmade rules and dogma

Men are by nature more competitive than women. Some say this is good in business, but often the kind of business where these traits do well, are businesses that the world could better do without. Also I've heard the comment that men are smarter than women and have bigger brains. These types of comments are silly, as it depends on the areas to which men or women best apply themselves. And if a man wants to push the bigger brain issue, I would just reply by saying that if men want to use 75% of their brain to think about sex, obviously women come out on top with net brain capacity. I think its a matter of record that women are better at English than men for example, men are better at other things such as operating big machinery, knocking things down, butchery and a whole heap of things that women have no taste for.

Typical attitudes of men which they consider to be superior qualities include - strength of will, dominance, forcing others to back down, bullying, psychological game playing to unnerve the enemy, secrecy, clubs, the old boys' network, letting actions speak stronger than words, not needing to explain themselves, assuming superiority over others (race, sex, outlook), brute force.

It becomes obvious that something is lacking in today's world - and that something is the female aspect of care and respect for life. 

Surely, a more advanced civilisation would be one where women and men work equally with the qualities they each possess in building a balanced, humane society. 



Matriarchal vs Patriarchal Society

Respect for women varies from culture to culture. The main difference seems to be between Patriarchal societies (where power resides with men) and Matriarchal (where power resides with women). Almost all Judeo/Christian societies are patriarchal, where as many "primitive" cultures are Matriarchal.

Believe it or not, in some societies women own the property and pass it down to their daughters. Women are the leaders and make the important decisions. And yes, it works just fine. So there is no inherent reason why women shouldn't be treated equally.

My understanding (although I don't have any figures on hand) is that Matriarchal societies are far less violent. In pagan belief, women or should I say femininity is worshipped (as is mother nature) since women are the ones that bring new life into the world. Paganism has always been repressed by organized religion as they fear and suppress the animal we all have within.

In the '60s, women became aware of the discrimination and double standard imposed upon them by this male dominated society. This is because suddenly women became part of the workforce, but weren't treated equally. It's quite understandable since men hadn't had to compete with women before.

Feminism became a very powerful movement in America and did help liberate women from some of the stereotypes. Men were extremely defensive for awhile as it's difficult to change these ingrained patterns of thinking. (A lotta cognitive dissonance going on there)

Nowadays women do have more power and opportunities, but they still have far to go to counter centuries (or millenia) of cultural bias.

In my opinion, society would greatly benefit from a return to Matriarchy as the violence (almost entirely male in origin) has gotten out of hand. Some people say that it's men's nature to compete for women and if it takes a fist fight or a whole war, it's something we should just accept as an expression of our "animal nature". Bullshit. While there are many animals that do fight for mates, they rarely fight to the death. Only humans, the "highest species" does this, and for far less reason than mating.

On the positive side, changing roles is something not only challenging, but very enlightening. However it will take many generations before men and women can just be themselves without society dictating the roles. It's our aging social and religious institutions that are slow to accept change. Even big business and government are unwilling to share power with women as long as the "good ol' boys" are still around. Give it a couple of generations more and maybe we won't have to be discussing this anymore.




from Brian Martin, Uprooting War (London: Freedom Press, 1984); this is the revised 1990 version.

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In virtually every known society past and present, women have not been treated as the full equals of men. In a few societies, such as the Eskimo, women have had a great deal of liberty and influence, though still less than men. In many other societies women have been and are severely oppressed.

In some non-industrialised societies there is no organised violence, and also relatively little 'structural violence' such as oppression, exploitation and inequality. But many nonindustrialised societies do engage in organised violence, which can be called 'war' (though the similarity to modern war is limited). In most of these warlike societies, fighting is directly organised around the gender division of labour. For example, in some hunter-gatherer societies, men have sole responsibility for hunting and fighting, while women are involved in child-rearing, cooking and gathering. In these situations, men control the means of violence against outside enemies and can use this control to dominate the women.

The link between the gender division of labour and organised violence in non-industrialised societies strongly suggests that there may be a close connection between modern forms of male domination over women and modern war.

Modern military forces are overwhelmingly composed of men. Furthermore, sexism is a common part of military training and military life. Soldiers are trained to be violent, competitive, tough, and 'masculine.' They are trained to reject feminine characteristics of supportiveness, cooperativeness, tenderness and physical softness. Often military training is accompanied by explicit verbal abuse of women and the portrayal of women only as sex objects.

The masculine ethos of military life has much in common with the oppressive treatment of women in both military and civilian life, including rape, batterings, prostitution and poor working conditions. In direct person-to-person violence, it is primarily men who are the perpetrators.

Another connection between modern patriarchy and war is the service provided by women to men in both military and civilian life. Cynthia Enloe in her book Does Khaki Become You? has analysed a range of areas in which women serve the military: as prostitutes, as military wives, as nurses, as soldiers, and as workers in arms industries. In each of these cases women are placed in a subordinate position where they are easily exploited. The service of women to men is carried out in civilian life in a similar fashion, and in very similar categories: as prostitutes, as wives, as workers in the 'helping professions,' and as workers in occupations which are poorly paid, low-skilled and lacking security and career prospects.

Also quite revealing is the gender division of labour in the military. This is clearest in the category of 'combat soldiers,' from which women are often excluded in theory. In fact, the actual role of women in combat has varied considerably in different countries and at different times, as Enloe has ably documented. When the need is urgent, women are used at the front lines in positions that at other times would be called combat positions. But when this happens, the definition is 'combat' is changed so that women are not seen to be involved. So while what women do in the military varies considerably, one thing remains constant: the gender-based distinction between 'combat' and 'non-combat.' This suggests that military interests have a strong ideological concern to maintain 'combat,' the place where direct violence is seen to take place, as an exclusively male preserve.

In some guerrilla warfare struggles, women have played a role as combat soldiers. But as soon as the urgency of the fighting is reduced, women are pushed back to other, less vital positions. This applies equally to the Israeli army and the Vietnamese army. A similar process applies to women who work in armaments factories during wars. After the war they are pushed out by men and forced into the private sphere. It would seem that maintaining a central role for men in the preparation for and implementation of organised violence is a key feature of the war system.

While these connections between war and male domination are suggestive, they do not amount to a clearly defined link between the two. It is too simplistic to say that male violence against women leads directly to organised mass warfare. Many soldiers kill in combat but are tender with their families; many male doctors are dedicated professionally to relieving suffering but batter their wives. The problem of war cannot be reduced to the problem of individual violence. Rather, social relations are structured to promote particular kinds of violence in particular circumstances. While there are some important connections between individual male violence and collective violence in war (rape in war is a notable one), these connections are more symptoms than causes of the relationship between patriarchy and other war-linked structures.

Even the link between overt sexism and the military is being attenuated as war becomes more bureaucratised and face-to-face combat is reduced in importance. Typical military tasks in a highly technological military force include flying a plane, servicing a computer, operating communications equipment, administering supplies and supervising launching of missiles. Such tasks are similar to duties in the civilian workforce, and the need for highly developed sexism of traditional military training is not present. Military training and activity, though still containing much emphasis on brutality and obedience, is becoming more oriented to technical competence and bureaucratic performance. To the extent that women can perform as competent technicians or bureaucrats, they too can serve the war system effectively.

Furthermore, the functional value of women to the military does not demonstrate an automatic connection between war and domination over women: while women's services may be useful to the military, they are not necessarily essential to its survival. To get at the connection between patriarchy and war, it is necessary to look at the links between patriarchy and both the state and bureaucracy, as well as between patriarchy and the military.

First, what is patriarchy?

For the purposes here it can be seen as a set of social relationships which provide for the collective domination of men over women. Patriarchy is manifest in unequal salaries for similar work, in discrimination, in legal inequality, in unequal expectations, in patterns of interpersonal dominance and submission, and in patterns of rape and other direct violence. Especially vital to patriarchy is the control by men of most key positions in dominant social structures: government, state bureaucracies, corporations, the military and professional bodies.

Associated with patriarchal power relations is a gender-linked allocation of social roles. ('Gender' here refers to socially shaped differences, while 'sex' refers to biological differences.) Dominance, confidence, strength, competition and rationality are seen as masculine, while submission, nurturing, caring, sensitivity and emotionality are seen as feminine. Men are expected to exhibit masculine behaviour and women to exhibit feminine behaviour, though in practice few people fit their gender stereotypes in all ways and circumstances. The masculine values are the ones valued most highly for positions of power, and people (men or women) in such positions are expected to behave appropriately. At the same time, actual masculine or feminine behaviour patterns are used to justify men holding most powerful positions and most women remaining in subordinate positions.

There are several ways in which the oppression of women can be analysed. One approach is in terms of gender roles which are inculcated from birth. Another approach uses value differences between men and women, which serve to constitute a men's culture and a women's culture. These perspectives are useful in analysing certain types of problems. But to analyse the connection between patriarchy and war, I find it more convenient to use a type of power analysis which looks at social structures through which men collectively dominate over women. To illustrate this approach I will look at patriarchy and bureaucracy.


Bureaucracy and patriarchy

The connection between patriarchy and bureaucracy can be seen as one of mutual mobilisation. In short, men use bureaucracy to sustain their power over women, while elite bureaucrats use patriarchy to sustain the bureaucratic hierarchy.

The first part of this dynamic is men using bureaucracy to sustain their power over women. In a typical bureaucracy, whether a state agency, a corporation, or a trade union, most of the top positions are occupied by men. Women are concentrated in lower positions such as typists, process workers or cleaners. In addition, top male bureaucrats usually have wives who do most of the work of child-rearing and housework and who provide emotional and career support. The power, prestige and privileges of the top bureaucrats thus depend on the subordinate position of women both on the job and at home. To maintain this power, the top bureaucrats can use their power in the bureaucracy to keep women in their subordinate place. This can take place in several ways:

formal exclusion of women from top positions;
discrimination against women in hiring and promotion;
promoting conformity to the bureaucratic values of emotional aloofness and technical rationality as a means of deterring or restraining women who operate best in an environment providing emotional support and opportunities for cooperative work;
creation and maintenance of gender-linked job categories, which tie women into lower-level positions;
maintenance of male career patterns which require mobility, full-time work and no interruptions (for child-bearing);
maintenance of on-the-job work organisation which excludes integration of child-rearing and work, and opposition to alternatives such as independent work at home, or neighbourhood-based decentralised office arrangements;
supporting other elite groups with similar practices, such as when trade union elites do not protest against corporate sexism;
lobbying and applying political pressure to maintain policies that keep women in subordinate positions.

In these and other ways, the power that men have as top bureaucrats is used to keep men collectively in a dominant position over women. In this way, bureaucracy is mobilised by men to support patriarchy. The domination of men over women does not occur in the abstract. In this case it operates via the unequal power distribution within bureaucracies.

Equally important is the way patriarchy is mobilised to serve bureaucracy. Top bureaucrats can maintain and strengthen their power by using, within the bureaucracy, the wider cultural dominance of men over women. The existence of a promotion path which favours men ensures the loyalty of many men in lower positions. The discrimination against women in lower levels (for example, the low salary, lack of autonomy and low prestige of typing positions) provides an opportunity for low-level men to feel superior to someone. In this way the psychology of masculine domination is mobilised to support bureaucratic hierarchy. A patriarchally organised bureaucracy is structured to maximise the linkages between male-female inequality and bureaucratic inequality. This ensures that any fundamental challenge to bureaucratic hierarchy would also require a fundamental challenge to prevailing male-female power relations.

The mobilisation of patriarchy to serve bureaucracy takes place by many of the same methods as listed above by which bureaucracy is mobilised to serve patriarchy. Particularly important is the gender-typing of particular tasks, work styles and occupations, and the association of top positions with masculine values of competition, individualism, emotional aloofness and instrumental rationality.

The same processes of mutual mobilisation apply between patriarchy and other structures, including the state, the military and capitalism. For example, the gender-based definition of 'combat' in the military is used to mobilise men and masculine behaviour for the military, and also to mobilise military hierarchy and command-obedience relations to maintain male dominance over women.

The same processes of mutual mobilisation also provide a dynamic between dominant structures and the oppression of ethnic minorities and gays. For example, capitalists often have exploited and fostered ethnic divisions between workers to hinder and disrupt organisation of workers against employers.

While patriarchy and other war-related structures support each other in many ways, there are also points of friction and direct conflict. For example, it is important in bureaucracies that subordinates respond to female bosses in the same way as to male bosses. But this is incompatible with patriarchy to the extent that subordinate men see power differences as inherently linked to biological sex rather than just to masculine and feminine behaviour. In other words, treating individuals according to their performance, which can be useful for bureaucratic efficiency and legitimation, can conflict with treating individuals differently because they are women.

Another point of friction arises in the military's mobilisation of masculine values. One key masculine value is dominance, which is useful to the military in developing a hostile attitude to the enemy. But for internal control the military insists on obedience within the chain of command, and obedience or submission is a feminine rather than a masculine value.

It would appear that the war system is mainly strengthened by the close interconnections between patriarchy and other war-related structures. But these interconnections also provide a basis for grassroots mobilisation by feminists and others to effectively intervene. An attack on patriarchy, depending on how it is carried out, can also help to undermine structures such as bureaucracy and to promote self-managing alternatives. To see how this can be done, strategies against patriarchy need to be examined.


Strategies against patriarchy

The feminist movement contains a wide range of perspectives. Some of the dominant directions go under the names of liberal feminism, radical feminism, socialist feminism, anarchist feminism and lesbian feminism. Each of these rubrics contains several types of analysis and strategy. The different perspectives within the movement have grown out of different social circumstances, including the historical era, the social class of the women, and the ethnic and cultural environment.

This diversity of perspectives has led to a variety of actions and directions. Here only some strategies against patriarchy will be examined. The focus will be on their strengths and weaknesses as part of efforts to also remove the structures underlying war.

Equality within present structures

One basic strand to the women's movement has been to push for equality for women in society as it is presently organised. The immediate goal is removal of formal inequalities such as unequal pay, lack of support facilities such as childcare, and gender-linked job categories. Discrimination against women is strongly opposed, and legal or quasi-legal avenues for redress are favoured. The goal is fair representation of women within bureaucracies, professions, corporations, political parties, trade unions and churches.

By helping to undercut dominance of men over women within organisations, liberal feminist action of this sort can to some degree weaken the existing power distribution. In a social environment in which explicit discrimination against women is illegitimate, the use of patriarchal inequality to bolster bureaucratic and other power structures is made more difficult.

Furthermore, collective actions to empower women to push for their rights and due rewards within existing hierarchies can serve a radicalising function. In confronting discrimination, women may come to question and organise against the hierarchies themselves. For example, struggles for maternity leave and time off to care for children may become linked with struggles for more flexible work hours and career patterns and for more worker autonomy on the job.

But there are serious limits to the programme of promoting equality within otherwise unchanged structures. Many women who obtain top jobs will be conditioned by perspectives, powers and interactions at the top, and become essentially like other elites. Only the gender composition of the personnel may be changed, and not the relations of power, wealth, status and knowledge. In some ways this would actually strengthen structures such as bureaucracy and capitalism, which in their pure form are supposed to operate on the basis of prescribed rules and performance abilities rather than characteristics such as gender and ethnic origin.

This problem has been realised by many feminists. One common idea is that there are two stages to a feminist programme: first, getting women into positions of power, and second, implementing changes in organisations to undercut hierarchy and inequality. The problem with this is that postponing structural change to a later time is likely to mean indefinite postponement.

The most serious threat from feminists arises from the potential for mobilising women to act against their oppression and, as part of this, against their exclusion from and exploitation by dominant structures. If women are successful in gaining some representation in these structures, this will partly remove the rationale for challenge, namely exclusion and discrimination. In addition, many women who do rise to positions of power thereby gain a vested interest in the hierarchy.

The programme of promoting women into elite positions is sometimes held to be a fruitful avenue for transforming society because women, through their biology or very early and deep socialisation, will be less aggressive, competitive or dominating than men. But even if the deep-seated psychological characteristics of women are different from those of men, this by itself does not necessarily pose a severe threat to dominant structures. Women vary in their characteristics. Furthermore, they do have a potential for violence, for domination and for ruthlessness. Corporations and military forces will select those women, and indeed women will select themselves, who are most suited to operate in them, and the women will be further socialised once they join. Furthermore, even if some caring and cooperative women obtain high positions in corporations and armies and proceed to act according to these values, this might only lead to the failure of some businesses and the defeat of some military forces rather than a collapse of the wider capitalist and military systems.

Another problem with the promotion of equality within present structures is that some structures may be undesirable even if they were balanced by gender or entirely female. The military is a case in point.

The experiences of earlier social movements should not be forgotten. The early feminist movement was often closely connected with socialist ideals. But the socialist goals were set aside to concentrate on obtaining the vote for women. After enormous efforts this was achieved, but with surprisingly little effect on the electoral system. This success was followed by the virtual collapse of the feminist movement and hence also the almost complete loss of a feminist push for socialism. Similarly, the organisation of workers for better working conditions was achieved after enormous effort, but at the expense of jettisoning most of the radical efforts for workers' control.

Struggles for equality within present structures cannot be a substitute for structural change, but they can be an important part of struggles for such change, as I will describe later.

Individual change

Another strategy against patriarchy is based on changing the attitudes and experiences of individuals, especially women. The aim is to increase their assertiveness, overcome submissiveness, learn new skills such as job skills, and generally to build confidence and ability. A special focus is on girls' education and experiences in early life which need to be changed to promote their skills and self-esteem.

This approach has several advantages. It addresses the problem that women will not attain equality simply by removal of barriers and that they must be able and willing to work for their own interests. Assertiveness training and learning of skills can act to mobilise individual women against their oppression.

But as a means for challenging structures responsible for social problems, change restricted to the individual is severely limited. Because patriarchy and other structures such as bureaucracy are closely intertwined, individual confidence and skills will have limited effect. Instead, organised patterns of discrimination and oppression will continue to create and foster feelings of inferiority and inhibit development or use of skills.

To confront this, attention is needed on collective rather than just individual assertiveness and skills.

Direct challenges to patriarchy

Another set of feminist concerns is to address patriarchal domination and its effects at the immediate level of individuals and the local community. This has led to the development of rape crisis centres, marches to 'take back the night,' women's refuges, campaigns to end legal and professional restrictions on abortion, opposition to sexist language and behaviour, resistance to sexual harassment, and attacks on anti-women pornography. These initiatives are vital in overcoming gender-based inequality and patterns of dominance and submission. They help individual women who are physical and mental victims of violence and sexist attitudes, and empower women to take control over their own lives.

Direct challenges to patriarchy also can have an indirect impact on the support provided by patriarchy to the war system. This occurs through the weakening of patriarchal domination at key points, such as the role of rape, violence and restrictions on abortion in keeping women dependent on men as protectors or providers. This reduces the value of patriarchy as a prop for other structures such as bureaucracy and the military. For example, challenging the treatment of women as sex objects reduces the potential for mobilisation of masculinity in military training.

Another important challenge is to overcome the division of labour between home and workplace. The separation between 'productive' labour for corporations or state bureaucracies and 'reproductive' labour in the home and family is central to patriarchy. Challenging this separation is also a challenge to dominant structures within the sphere of 'production,' which is based on subordination and exploitation of women's labour within the family.

But many direct challenges to patriarchy only peripherally challenge the key large-scale structures of the war system. For example, many campaigns against pornography strengthen state power by promoting the use of law and administrative intervention to stop pornography. Similarly, some campaigns against rape and sexual harassment rely heavily on legal and administrative sanctions. While such campaigns can have a beneficial short-term impact in restraining sexist practices, they do little to address structures such as the state with which patriarchy is intertwined. As long as such structures remain, they will provide a strong support for patriarchy and thus help perpetuate problems such as rape.

The question is, what should be done? While many feminists do not want to strengthen the state, they are also concerned about women being raped now. Laws and state intervention seem to provide a quick and powerful avenue to oppose such problems.

In many cases this dilemma is more apparent than real, because effective administrative intervention to serve the interests of women against patriarchy only occurs as a consequence of grassroots action. Consider for example two possible directions for a campaign against sexual harassment in a state bureaucracy. One path is to apply pressure to top administrators to introduce guidelines and penalties to oppose sexual harassment. This might involve higher-level bureaucrats being responsible for intervening against sexual harassment and the introduction of new disciplinary procedures to deal with harassers. There are several difficulties with this approach. Most top administrators are likely to be males, and relatively unresponsive on the issue of sexual harassment. The implementation of the guidelines will be in the hands of higher-level bureaucrats, mostly males, who will be reluctant to take action against harassers in the top ranks. And the new disciplinary procedures will strengthen the power of the top bureaucrats.

An alternative approach is to act mainly at the grassroots: to raise the issue of sexual harassment with low-level workers, to organise non-violent action training sessions to develop skills in opposing sexual harassment, and to take up individual cases of harassment. The basic aim would be to mobilise women and sympathetic men against sexual harassment and, more generally, to challenge male domination in other areas. This might be linked with other initiatives, for example to reorganise work in a less hierarchical and more cooperative manner, which would reduce the bureaucratic power of men over women which is often linked with sexual harassment. One likely consequence of such a grassroots approach is that the introduction of guidelines and formal penalties would become easier, if this were thought desirable. Indeed, bureaucratic elites might well take the initiative themselves to forestall a more serious challenge to the bureaucratic power structure.

In short, focussing on obtaining changes at the top to challenge patriarchy may only aggravate problems in the long term. Instead, consideration should be given to challenges to patriarchy at the grassroots. Such grassroots initiatives would also challenge other structures such as bureaucracy which provide support for patriarchy.

Women and social action groups

Feminism has made a great impact on the organisation and style of many social action groups. For many decades, most social action groups, such as those of the peace movement, have been organised hierarchically. A few men, who were usually white and middle-class as well, have held the important positions in the main movement organisations, and indeed they still do in many cases. These men have acted as executives, public spokesmen, theorisers, campaign decision makers and sometimes as gurus. Other people have not been given the same opportunities. Women in particular have been relegated to being tea-makers, typists, cleaners and providers of sex. The situation has not been better in the black movement, which also has been organised patriarchally.

The 1960s revival of the feminist movement had its origins in the experience of women in being oppressed within 'progressive' movements of the left. In sharing and comparing their experiences they developed a critique of domination within political movements and helped develop alternative modes of interaction. These included sharing of feelings as well as ideas, encouragement of participation by all, consensus decision making, and sharing or rotation of tasks. These practices had been in use earlier by some groups. The feminist input greatly expanded the range and depth of their use. These approaches are now used in the non-violence movement, some anarchist groups and portions of the environmental movement, as well as the feminist movement itself. Only portions of the peace movement have taken up these approaches, and they are as yet hardly ever used in Marxist groups, trade unions or political parties. The extension of egalitarian methods will depend on development of democratic decision-making procedures for groups which contain strong conflicts of interests, as discussed in chapter 5.

There are now a number of women-only groups in some areas of social action. These are important in providing a place for women to organise and develop their thoughts and feelings away from constant confrontation with sexist men.

While acknowledging the vital role of women-only groups, it is also important to recognise difficulties. One is that there is only limited energy left for working in groups with men, for example in mainstream peace groups. It will remain necessary to challenge hierarchy, power-knowledge connections and other problems in mixed groups. Many women have the choice of working only in women-only groups, or of doing 'double duty' by working both in mixed and women-only groups. This problem is not unique to women's issues. Many people in radical caucuses, for example in professional areas, work both within the caucus and also in the normal professional organisation.

Another and perhaps more serious problem for women-only groups is the possibility of developing new dominance relations between women. These can be based on class, ethnic origin, experience, knowledge or personality. This problem can be hidden by the feeling that 'we are all women' and a consequent reluctance to tackle other sorts of inequalities. The same problem occurs in mixed groups when, as occasionally happens, particular women play a dominating role which no one is willing to question for fear of being branded sexist. At a different level, the same problem occurs when a person in an elite position is not criticised because she is a woman or a feminist. This problem points to the need to link critiques of and challenges to patriarchy with similar efforts against other oppressive structures.

Women's protest

One of the major forces within the antiwar actions of the 1980s has been women-only protests. The most well known is the women's peace camp at Greenham Common in England, and there are numerous others. There are many strengths to the women's actions.

They mobilise women as a constituency, and attract many who would otherwise not be involved in antiwar action.
They provide an opportunity to develop skills and confidence in organising and in challenging the war system.
They challenge patriarchal power relations within the antiwar movement, much of which has been hierarchically organised and dominated by male stalwarts and charismatic figures.
They provide a powerful and direct symbolic challenge to the patriarchal structures of the state and the military by being an organised protest of women only.
They tend to foster a political practice based on nonviolence, cooperative decision-making, integration of personal and political action, and collective work.
They provide the basis for moving from symbolic action to direct physical challenge, as happened at Greenham Common.
They demonstrate how an ongoing activity, namely the peace camp itself, can be organised in a democratic and nonhierarchical way.

The women-only or women-led antiwar protests are the most dynamic part of the contemporary antiwar movement. My guess is that the positive consequences for the movement itself are only beginning to be realised. But there are also some limitations to these protests.

First, a primary orientation of many of the women's protests, like most antiwar protests, is to appeal to governments to take action. I have discussed the shortcomings of this approach in chapter 1.

Second, women-only protests tend to orient women to struggling only outside the patriarchal structures in the war system, such as the state and the military. Relatively little attention is given to helping mobilise opposition from inside structures to link with outside challenges. Transforming or abolishing war-linked and patriarchal structures will require working from the inside as well as the outside, and this means taking the struggle to men as well as women.

In many women's antiwar actions, participation is fostered by equating women's role in childbirth and child-rearing with an innate antipathy to war. This connection does serve to mobilise many women who do not see themselves as feminists but who do identify as mothers. But it also serves to accentuate the two limitation of women's protests mentioned above. The appeal-to-women's-conscience aspect is easily linked with the approach of appealing to the consciences of elites, and emphasis on women's alleged innate antipathy to war turns attention away from forging links with men inside the structures of the war system.

Feminist reconstruction

The most serious challenge posed by feminists to the war system grows out of the feminist critique of all structures based on domination, inequality and exploitation. Rather than try to get women into positions of power within present hierarchical structures, the aim is to reconstitute the structures to remove the basis for domination. This approach does not reject other strategies such as those described above, but rather builds on aspects of them to link challenges to patriarchy with challenges to other structures.

Challenges to exclusion of women from bureaucracies, or their relegation to particular occupations, can be linked with challenges to the organisational structures. For example, as women gain access to positions in bureaucracies, they can use them to reorganise work relations to be more cooperative and responsive to community concerns. At the same time, the organised demand is not so much for access by women to elite positions, but rather restructuring of work relations to allow greater grassroots control within organisations. For example, rather than pushing for opportunities for a few typists to become executives (who still rely on low-level typists), the goal would be reorganisation of work so that office workers share typing as well as executive tasks. This might mean that people would type their own work, or that work groups would rotate typing and other routine jobs among individuals in a mutually agreed-upon way.
Development of the confidence and skills of individual women, rather than being done in relative isolation from the social context, would be linked with organised campaigns for political and economic change. Assertiveness training could be oriented to community organising and canvassing, for example within the medical profession to develop challenges and alternatives to domination by medical administrators, as well as to develop confidence in questioning one's own doctor.

The Boston Women's Health Collective, among other groups, has produced information about women's health problems and how to address them politically. Such information, when used individually and collectively, helps to increase women's control over their bodies and to challenge the medical establishment's professional control and domination over women.
Protests, rather than relying on appeals to elites, can directly confront patriarchy. Many women's protests have done this to a considerable extent.

In Australia, Anzac Day is a public holiday on which Australian soldiers who died in wars are mourned, and on which the military obtains considerable adulation. In Canberra in 1980, a number of women were arrested for following the march in order to mourn all women raped in all wars. Outraged by the arrests, the next year a large number of women tried to join the Anzac Day march. Many of them did non-violent action training for the event. Many were arrested under specially drafted legislation. In the following years different legislation was introduced, and women were able to march with certain restrictions on time and place.

These women's marches provided a powerful challenge to the military mobilisation of patriarchy. They exposed the extreme hostility of returned servicemen to independent women's protest and also a deep-seated refusal to acknowledge the problem of rape, rape in war in particular. In addition, the actions of the government in bringing in special legislation against the women helped to mobilise many more women from all walks of life. The women's marches also generated a valuable link between parts of the Canberra feminist and peace movements.

The Anzac Day women's actions illustrate the potential of joint challenges to patriarchy and other dominant structures. The demand by the women was not to be able to join the men within the organisations participating on Anzac Day, but to introduce an entirely new and previously excluded group and issue, namely women mourning women raped in war. The development of confidence in public protest and skills in political organising were not simply for individual use within prevailing structures, but rather for collective action. The protest was entirely organised and run by women. It was not designed as an appeal to elites for changes in laws or representation in the march. Instead, the women acted directly, by going ahead and marching, to obtain their goal. Finally, the challenge to patriarchy, especially in raising the issue of rape, was strongly linked to a challenge to a structure closely tied to patriarchy, namely the military.





Brian Martin's website  
This site deals with attacks on dissenting views and individuals. The general field of "suppression of dissent" includes whistleblowing, free speech, systems of social control and related topics. The purpose of the site is to foster examination of these issues and action against suppression. It is founded on the assumption that openness and dialogue should be fostered to challenge unaccountable power.





The booklet 'Did you know?' is available on the website of the MUslim
Women's National Network www.mwnna.org.au/didyouknow.pdf  A US site you
might look at is http://www.mwlusa.org