What is a patriarchal mindset?
A mindset is a set of beliefs that helps you make sense of the world. A patriarchal mindset is founded on a hierarchical duality.
The duality states that humans are either men or women (patriarchal duality doesn’t allow for gender fluidity) and the hierarchy places men in a superior position to women.
This, in turn, justifies the notion that men ought to hold all of the power in a society and be treated as more important than women.
Systems and structures have been created off the back of that which benefit men whilst oppressing and exploiting women.
It matters if you are a woman and you want:
To maintain the system, certain voices have been prioritised (men’s) and others have been silenced (women’s).
To maintain that silence, stories have been perpetuated about the nature of women. Stories about:
As a result, visibility statistics are damning.
When you live in a society where:
you can’t help but internalise at least some of these messages.
Worse, each time you see another woman being oppressed, silenced or diminished in some way, it triggers an awareness in you. An awareness that you’ll be punished if you stand out too much, speak up too loudly, push back too forcefully.
And so we consciously and unconsciously shrink. We play smaller than we otherwise would. We focus on pleasing others, placating men, avoiding conflict, all in order to avoid being judged or harmed.
In short, we protect ourselves by being less visible than we could be.
And so the system maintains itself.
To break that cycle, we have to interrupt the patriarchal patterns threaded through our psyches and lives. We have to break down the patriarchal mindset and open into a new and different way of thinking. One that’s not built on that original hierarchical binary.
Breaking down the patriarchal mindset opens you up to think differently about yourself, about other people, and about the world at large. It opens doors that were previously closed and gives you more confidence in yourself.
It addresses imposter syndrome at its core and clears out some of the most significant causes of anxiety associated with speaking up and being heard. It supports you to set clear boundaries with other people (reminding you that you are not a doormat for people to walk over each and every day).
It helps you to feel better about marketing your work because you know deep down that you deserve to take up space. You feel more at ease sharing your opinions and expressing yourself in meetings, hosting webinars and live events.
Patriarchy is thousands of years old. It created a principle on which every other form of oppression evolved. That is; hierarchical duality.
Once you understand the pattern, you see how this principle informs all oppressive systems and you see how they uphold and reinforce one another. Knowing how to address one system isn’t the end of the story, it’s the beginning. It gives you the building blocks to start thinking intersectionally and addressing all systems.
Our short course ‘Smash the Patriarchal Mindset’ can help you with that process. We are aware that it is but one contribution to a whole body of work that a great many people are contributing to in an attempt to break down all forms of inequality.
At the School of Visibility, we encourage all students to develop a core understanding of:
We also encourage students to think intersectionally and to use the work to step toward breaking down the entire kyriarchy (kyriarchy being a term coined by Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza in 1992 to describe a social system or set of connecting social systems built around domination, oppression, and submission).
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At the School of Visibility to prepare you for visibility, or for your next level of visibility.
We'll support you in releasing resistance, clarifying why you want to be visible, and making a plan for how to be joyously and effortlessly visible.
The School of Visibility headquarters are based in Canberra, Australia. We acknowledge the Ngunnawal and Ngambri people as the traditional owners of this land.
We recognise that the land was never ceded. We support the Uluru Statement from the Heart and we pay our respect to Elders past and present.