Our culture has created a social system that allows the driving forces of patriarchy to flourish. Although many people may not be purposefully attempting to continue this system of patriarchy, we each play a role in its survival. For many the problem is not that they are promoting patriarchy but that they are not challenging the system. In Johnson’s article “Patriarchy”, he is not examining whether a patriarchal system exists in our culture but what factors are driving this system to continue. The articles analyzed demonstrate Johnson’s theory of patriarchy by exemplifying his three facets of the patriarchal system and by recognizing the notion of the path of least resistance.
Johnson argues that patriarchy is made up of more than just individuals. Systems are more complex than people (Johnson 92). Within a system there are different parts the come together to form a whole. In terms of patriarchy, these parts are the different standards and ideals that patriarchy upholds. The three facets of patriarchy are male centered, male identified, and male dominated. Also patriarchy is not just driven by men, women can also play a role in its continuation. Believing in the equality of men and women is not enough to challenge the system (Johnson 94). Our culture must break down and question the parts of the patriarchal system in order to lessen its grip on our culture.
In Hugo Schwyzer’s article “Janae’s Legs” he discusses the concept of homosociality and reveals the male-centeredness of patriarchy. Although he does not make this exact claim, homosociality is one of the reasons behind the continuation of patriarchy. Schwyzer defines homosociality as “the idea that men are raised in our culture to be more eager to please other men than women” (Schwyzer 70). Homosociality allows men to form bonds with one another often through the objectification of women. This connection with other men is important, and there is a risk of losing masculinity if a man should choose not to participate in homosocial behavior. Even Schwyzer, a pro-feminist thinker, has found himself going along with the banter of his peers out of fear of exclusion.
When relationships begin to be formed around ideas that drive patriarchy it becomes very hard to overturn these notions. Although not all male friendships are formed out of objectifying women, homosociality allows connections to be made very quickly among men. This article also shows the fears of taking the “path of resistance”. Men as well as women are apprehensive to go against the group. Deciding not to join in on the homosocial behavior could result in exclusion or ridicule, and often standing your ground is not worth that risk. The connections that are formed around this behavior are one of the many reasons patriarchy continues in our culture. Many men are afraid to go against other men in fear of seeming feminine. This pressure for men to appear masculine is one of the many parts that form the system of patriarchy.