Transcending Systemic Patriarchy

Historically, Patriarchy has been described to define a social system in which males hold primary power and predominate in roles of political leadership, moral authority, social privilege and control of property. Some patriarchal societies are also patrilineal, meaning that property and title are inherited by the male lineage. Whereas, Matriarchy is considered a social system in which females hold the primary power positions in roles of political leadership, moral authority, social privilege and control of property at the specific exclusion of males – at least to a large degree. Those of us in sacred feminine circles may also count into consideration Matrilineality or matrilineal descent.

What is missing from these over-simplified gender-specific definitions is the identification of the hegemonic systemic structures and the sets of ideals associated with and made manifest in each of these societal structures.

Patriarchy is a hierarchical system of leadership.

Matriarchy is a shared-leadership system of leadership.

Patriarchy is “power-over” – epitomized hegemony.

Dismantling patriarchy does not mean replacing it with a matriarchy and placing women in power, but rather, transcending the systemic power-over structures and ushering in a collaborative egalitarian leadership system.

It does not matter what gender is in power.

If people in power, regardless of gender, use that power to sustain their power and to oppress those not in power, their mode-of-operation is Patriarchal.

When conflict or abuse occurs within the confines of patriarchal systems, the persons in power are protected, and the persons harmed suffer more for having attempted to bring the light of truth.

Most often in a Patriarchal system there are no measures in place to address the concerns of, let alone protect, those harmed. Concerns get passed on from one “department” or “board” or “committee” to another, with each claiming it is not their authority or responsibility to address the concern.

A revolutionary act of any of the heads of such a department or board or committee would be for them to claim such responsibility as their own, and commence to creating room within the system to address the concern, heal the harm, and ensure others are not harmed in similar ways by similar people in power.

It is time for such revolutionary acts of Love and Faith.

It is time to relinquish the idolatry of Power and commence to building The Beloved Community we are all longing for.

May it be so.


September 20th, 2018 –  Rev. “Twinkle” Marie Manning