This story happened a while ago but ever since I learned about it I couldn't stop thinking about how detrimental patriarchy is for men and women alike. And how, at the same time, it benefits both men and women in strange ways.
In 2006, Mary Winkler shot Matthew Winkler, her husband and the father of her children, in the back with a shotgun as he lay sleeping. He could have still been saved but Mary Winkler simply turned around, took her children and left as her husband lay dying. She lied to her daughter and told her that help for Daddy was on its way and just left. It was later revealed that Mary Winkler had invested all her family savings into a Nigerian money scam. To cover for her money losses she started writing bad checks, which got her further into debt. The bank had threatened to contact her husband for clarifications. So the night before the bank was due to contact her husband, Mary Winkler shot him with a shotgun. There was never any question that she was the killer.
So how much time in jail do you think she got for this murder? A murder aimed at concealing her financial machinations, no less? A murder of a sleeping, helpless individual? A week. That's it. Just one week for the murder of her husband, a preacher, a man deeply respected in their community. At trial, Mary Winkler alleged abuse at the hands of her husband and suggested that he had wanted her to engage in "unnatural" sex. There was absolutely no proof of any abuse. Except, that is, for a pair of stripper shoes that Winkler's lawyer brought into the courtroom from God knows where. The stripper shoes that her husband allegedly asked her to wear gave the jury an excuse to let the murderer go free. Well, not completely free. There was that week in jail.
There is hardly any need to point out that if a man shot his wife and the mother of his children in the back while she lay sleeping in bed and then left her to die, he could have brought every pair of freaky shoes under the sun into the courtroom only to get laughed right into a prison cell where he'd spend the rest of his life.
Patriarchy damages women in a multitude of ways. It strives to push them into marriage and motherhood, which many women neither need nor want. It traps women in lifestyles that do not fulfill them and that leave them angry, miserable, and depressed. It makes it so much more difficult for women to succeed professionally and financially. However, patriarchy doesn't treat men all that much better. Men's lives are always valued a lot less than women's lives. In every developed country in the world, men have shorter lifespans than women. Men are expected to wear themselves out prematurely while keeping not only their children but often also a wife. Who can shoot them in the back and get off with a week-long sentence.
Ain't patriarchy just grand, people?