Women’s Places Before and Now

This idea sounded better in my head. Oh well.

Here’s a depiction of how women were distributed in the hierachical structure that is patriarchal society* BEFORE…


And NOW…


I tried to show how things have changed. Well yes, they have, but mostly for those on top. You know, the ones who were already A-OK-ish.
There’s a big reason why the people at the bottom of the structure are sistematically ignored by feminism. Yes, it is, partly, because feminists who have time to engage in feminism are usually from the top themselves. But also, because the only way to move the people at the bottom UP is to move the people at the top DOWN. And yes, the very feminists who are at the top are not very likely to work towards moving themselves down. But also, because in order for that to happen, we would have to bring “teh left” into the table. And “teh left” is, like, not cool. It’s a dirty word. It’s not gonna make you very popular. And it’s definitely not gonna help you sell “cool” books.

Constructive criticism welcomed!

* not to scale, not scientific, not researched, not… that good.

6 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Lara said,

    Heyy, don’t be so hard on yourself. These diagrams are excellent. It shows that not that much has changed, which is very true! And good of you to point out the unexamined class and race privilege among white middle/upper class feminists (the feminists that got their voices out a little stronger in the past century or so). We as feminists need to constantly analyze and deconstruct our society and ourselves in order to rid of patriarchy.

  2. 2

    […] the young woman was not a virgin. Not only that she had the audacity to accuse a young man on a high rung of the patriarchy: “the son of state Rep. Burke Day, whose family founded the Days Inn hotel […]

  3. 3

    Level Best said,

    Mary, despite your modesty, I believe your diagram and speculations can be filed under “Sadly True.”

  4. 4

    marytracy9 said,

    Thank you, Lara and Level Best. I really appreciate it.

  5. 5

    Polly Styrene said,

    Excellent – you just illustrated the problem with classic liberal feminism in 2 diagrams.

  6. 6

    Laura said,

    I am not sure that anyone has to move down. In fact I am not sure what you mean by moving down the pyramid exactly. Wouldn’t it be positive if academics with good jobs constituted a larger portion of the population? Otherwise statistically what is the point of some women leaving a difficult and ostracized life for a rewarding prestigious one if they are just trading places with someone else?

    Also, maybe I am uneducated but it seems that at the intersection of classism, racism and sexism, the people at the bottom of the pyramid get more attention from academics and politicians than anyone else.

    Finally, I thought the left was the movers and shakers of feminism. Again, maybe I am uneducated, but I generally thought of the right as the ‘godly women should stay in the home’ perspective. Please point me at some links if I am misinformed.

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