Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Transformations of Patriarchal Families

Just like societies at large, families also have to go through the painful process of liberating themselves from the shackles of the patriarchy. In a patriarchal family, each family member belongs, first an foremost, to the group, the clan, the community. In the countries and epochs where resources are so scarce that an individual cannot survive on his or her own, there is no choice but to abandon any claim to individual preferences, desires, or goals. The family will offer you the security of knowing that you will never be abandoned to fend for yourself, that your clan will always be there to rescue you and offer assistance whenever you need it. In return, however, you will renounce your individuality, your personal space, your difference.

However, when resources become less scarce, the protection that the patriarchal family offers loses its value. People start wondering why they need to castrate their individuality for the sake of the family if that family isn't offering anything all that useful in return. The greatest family tragedies occur when some family members are trying to loosen the ties and assert their individuality, while those who remain shackled to their patriarchal model are hurt and bewildered by this development. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hurt and bewildered. I wonder if this is why my mother feels so abused. It's an interesting thought - .