First a word of warning: you will not find here the conventional approach to women's studies. We are not going to talk about the problems of being a woman in 2016 or what political or social action is needed -  that can be discussed elsewhere, we have a different point to make. Here we don't intend to look at particular issues affecting women, but at the root cause of the problem.


Sociologist S. Walby has composed six overlapping structures that define patriarchy and that take different forms in different cultures and different times:


  1. The state: women are unlikely to have formal power and representation
  2. The household: women are more likely to do the housework and raise the children.
  3. Violence: women are more prone to being abused
  4. Paid work: women are likely to be paid less
  5. Sexuality: women's sexuality is more likely to be treated negatively
  6. Culture: women are more misrepresented in media and popular culture


It is a state of mind which is the problem - in the minds of men, but also in the minds of women themselves. As long as this state of mind persists there is no hope of a solution. Will changing this state of mi­nd immediately solve all the problems of women as women? Very probably not - but it will be a beginning and a hope.­


There are received ideas that are - consciously or unconsciously - accepted by the vast majority of humans, and which affect their whole way of thinking and therefore affect the actions people take. It causes the prejudices which harm women.


These received ideas could be resumed under the word "patriarchy", which does not fully express what we mean, but will have to do.


So we know clearly what we are talking about, see Wikipedia:


"Patriarchy is a social system in which males hold primary power, predominate in roles of political leadership, moral authority, social privilege and control of property. In the domain of the family, fathers or father-figures hold authority over women and children. Some patriarchal societies are also patrilineal, meaning that property and title are inherited by the male lineage and descent is reckoned exclusively through the male line, sometimes to the point where significantly more distant male relatives take precedence over female relatives. The female alternative is matriarchy."





This is not an expert opinion; but it seems to me common sense to look for the most basic cause on which no one can disagree. It may seem silly to point this out, but men and women are physically different.


Women bear and bring up children, to begin with. This means that women have greater endurance than males - they can keep on going despite hardship, fatigue and pain better than men can. This seems to be recognized by science - I may be wrong - please write and tell me.



On the other hand, when it comes to short bursts of energy, most men, are on the average physically stronger than women. So in a fight most men can beat up most women.


Let's face facts: in the end, until the invention of firearms this means that the stronger can impose their will on the weaker.


Physical violence, or potential physical violence as a last resort, is always in the background of any power struggle. I know this, even as a man. I am not a fighter, I am a physical coward and rather overweight and if I have a disagreement with a six-foot muscular guy, I know that if I push things too far and he gets violent, I have had it. I don't think many women disagree with me. To put it crudely, tall female wrestlers are not often raped by small puny men.


Is this not a fundamental fact in men-women relations? Tell me if I am wrong.


Now for the first time in history, this threat of violence is slowly beginning to lose its power - at least in developed societies.