Jessica Mason McFadden writes, studies and mothers in Western Illinois, where she lives with her wife and daughters. She has a B.A. in English from Western Illinois University and plans to be a graduate student in the Clinical Psychology program starting next Fall. Jess identifies as a queer feminist, and you can find out more about her at: www.masonismymiddlename.
I, like many of you, have read Ashley Judd’s feminist piece about the patriarchal objectification of the physical bodies of women and girls in The Daily Beast (as well as on her official blog). I am grateful that she used what was a frustrating and off-putting situation as an educational moment. She used her platform as a public figure to respond to a public conversation that is already taking place in the media, perpetuating stereotypes, mis-educating the public and contributing to what television journalist Jane Velez-Mitchell refers to as the “attack on women.”
In her directive and pointed article, Ms. Judd alluded to what I consider a Mentality of Patriarchy. She described patriarchy as an insipid system in which men and women operate to perpetuate its limiting heteronormative ideologies. I agree with her assertion, but I am puzzled as to how to actually change the system. Can the system be uprooted? And how? If it is a mentality, then how can that global mentality be changed? And is it a global mentality or are there communities within the global system of humanity that function without the presence of a patriarchal mentality? Read more