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Beyond Wall Street–Occupying Patriarchy And Why We Started This Website

October 24, 2011

The Occupy Patriarchy website was conceived of to  provide a supportive, global space for  feminist analysis, response and organizing and networking within the world-wide Occupy movement.

It is our observation that  institutions such as Wall Street are manifestations of the far deeper and greater problem of patriarchy which depends in large measure on the exploitation, disempowerment, and subjugation of women, yet (as is all too often the case in progressive movements) the analysis of issues presented so far has shown little effort in looking at the various issues discussed from a feminist vantage point, including but not limited to the following:

  • Women make up the overwhelming majority of people living in poverty and do the overwhelming majority of unpaid work on which everyone’s lives depend.
  • Our reproductive rights and agency are continually under siege.
  • The overwhelming number of victims of sexual exploitation and violence are women and this exploitation intensifies under conditions of economic devastation.
  • While these issues impact all women, women of color are far more likely to suffer the consequences of patriarchal domination.

For any real, substantive change for the better to occur, it is critical that issues such as these be  addressed.  It is also crucial that sexist and misogynist behavior occurring at Occupy events, whether by participants,  law enforcement or by the media be called out and addressed.  There must be zero tolerance for that behavior in the movement for economic justice.  We cannot successfully occupy Wall Street without also confronting and addressing the patriarchal system it perpetuates.

This website is a project of the Feminist Peace Network, begun and authored by FPN Director Lucinda Marshall and feminist scholar and activist Kathy Miriam.  Please also join us on Facebook.

15 Comments leave one →
  1. October 24, 2011 7:40 pm

    Brava! So glad to see this movement…following closely, looking for ways to jump in and join the occupation.

  2. Lily Mohammed permalink
    October 24, 2011 9:51 pm

    Will you be commenting on patriarchy in all its manifestations or only on European patriarchy which is now the least harmful, globally?

    • Jen permalink
      October 25, 2011 2:47 am

      I look forward to a discussion on all forms of oppression, but let’s not diminish the harm that European patriarchy does do. I hope that this site does talk about patriarchy world-wide, oppression is oppression, all of it needs to be addressed. But let’s not silence any voices or pain in bringing others to the fore.

    • Nedjia permalink
      October 25, 2011 6:33 pm

      @ Lily Mohammed
      I’m afraid European patriarchies are far from being the least harmful globally – many are actively imperialist and are engaging in a reign of terror around the globe, as well as being major backers and supporters of oppressive regimes (think of Iraq, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Congo, Libya to name but a few). Women and girls suffer horrifically in a myriad of ways as a direct result of European and American imperialist campaigns of bombing, land invasion and occupation, any of the gains women’s movements struggled hard to achieve within the patriarchies they exist are obliterated. Western Imperialist patriachies often tend to manifest an intense machismo at home as well (hightened sex role fetishism, nationalism, jingoism etc.), and in the patriachies they’ve invaded and occupy, the men tend to highten their machismo in response to being made to feel powerless and ”feminised” as a result of imperialist ”conquest.” Both communicate with each other in the deadly language of intense male supremacy with women and girls bearing the brunt between the two.

  3. October 24, 2011 11:50 pm

    yes, bravo ladies indeed. i have been waiting for occupy the patriarchy since 1995. 😉 i too am following closely…

  4. SheilaG permalink
    October 25, 2011 12:47 am

    Great job! it’s been pretty shallow male supremacy until the fadfems came along!!!

  5. kmiriam permalink
    October 25, 2011 12:09 pm

    We will definitely be looking at patriarchy as a global system/world-system. In my view patriarchy is the deep structure of capitalism, and capitalism in turn feeds off patriarchy. Unfortunately patriarchy is everywhere, although some conditions are more extreme and vicious than others in some places in the world. But all the global situations of patriarchy work together to reinforce one another.

  6. Kim Rivers permalink
    October 26, 2011 9:57 pm

    This is just what we need! Thanks for al yorr thoughtful and hard work!

  7. October 27, 2011 3:33 am

    I think this is really important. I’ve been to three Occupies and one really worried me. The men were all out front manning the booths and the kitchen held all the women. Good god. There’s nothing that hard about serving up grub so some of the dudebros and can help with that. There have been other instances of more blatant misogyny in this movement and it’s a legitimate concern to address.

  8. Lola-at-Large permalink
    October 27, 2011 4:02 pm

    Also following this with interest. I’ve been alerted to incidents of sexism in the movement since before it started. There is no way to get to 99% without women, and that needs to be repeated over and over and over.

    On thing: The share button is only for print and e-mail. It should also have at least Facebook and Twitter options so we can help promote the good work going on here. It’s easy to set up.

  9. October 28, 2011 3:11 pm

    I am happy to see this and I fully support you!!!

  10. Kathy permalink
    October 30, 2011 4:56 am

    Thanks for creating this much-needed website.

    We need a 24-7 watchdog for misogyny in the worldwide Occupy movement and it looks like you’re called to do it.

    I have been keeping up with OCS through The Nation and Democracy Now. While Amy Goodman and Katrina VandenHeuvel will often interview OCS spokeswomen like Naomi Klein, they have been silent on misogyny in the movement.

    The Nation did have a good article on feminists in OCS this past Thursday. Many older feminists said that the movement is much less sexist than the the Civil Rights movement and the New Left in the 60’s, but still it has a long, long way to go before it is egalitarian.

    So it is up to Occupy Patriarchy and feminists around the world to keep calling out the sexism and misogyny in OCS.

  11. Ruth Luschnat permalink
    November 3, 2011 5:04 pm

    Hi, im writing from Berlin/ Germany,

    thanks for the Impulse for – occupy patriarchy-, it was hightly needed!

    i have allready started to link on to the mouvements here. I try to contact other activists to mabe have a feminist text for mobilising : might it be a slogan to say : we are 75 % ?, meaning the women on the globe which are the majority in those suffering from social cuts and low or no income. ( Or the majority of poor and decent women + poor men, not actively involved in exploiting others, which would be more real to me an woul include)

    Here we hear the analysis: ” occupy is a middle class mouvement”, but this is only one way to look at it, analysing an aspect that has become more challenging in many countries:

    nobody wants to be “working class” or “underclass” as our medial and political propaganda puts it, and goes directly on to dicriminate against them…..
    But middle class vanished: ever more people are more an more expoited,and everybody is includet in a system that produces inhumane ways to produce and put people against each other and destroys the planet meanwhile we keep this way up.

    there was a documentary about new findings about brain functions i saw in the 90ies.
    They showed that serial killers showed a typical pattern of brain activity with a caracteristic
    nonactivity in the parts where the social intelligence is located. The same pattern in this last regard was found in successfull stock-brokers. The carcteristics that are working here are the extrems of male rolle expectations to be agressive and antisocial and it is only the difference of rich parents that make the difference between becoming a topp dog -success
    or a serial killer looser…?

    This is how patriarchy makes males the victims ( that the are taboo-ised not to be) that harass women in different ways:
    as Dominique Strauss Kahn, when they are successfull or as
    something more nasty when they dont have the possibility to have such success..

    The commentator in the docemntary asked: “how can it be that our so calles demokratic societies make such psychopaths responsible for our comon fate. becauswe this is in fakt what happens.

    Now around the very logical demand for a peoples vote, that Greeks Premier Papndreou
    was forced to turn down, i must say :

    It is suffokating to live in a country, wherein a woman chancelor goes on to push the old ways of the finanzocratical and imperialist system.

    I have been to the occupy march on 15.10.2011 here: it was such a complete happy surprise to see 10 ooo people in the street,
    but since that the occupy week ends have been quite smaler and i hope we can come to a biger action with queer -feminist- anticolonial inclusionist impulse for Nov. 12. Momentarily
    the protests in Nizza are comparatively small, since a part of the mouvements is in the many occupy actions in towns elewhere and also because part of the activists didnt want to got to a City that is not the place where the G 20 meet realy. On top of this: Canne, where the G 20 meeting is and Nizza are more conservative and snobistic places where lots of rich russian mafiosy reside, after money makers have burned down the forests for making money with the speculation on house buildings for those new capitalists: so it is not a region, where lots of strong social mouvement is groundet.

    Lets hope that Angela Davies can reach people also when she will come to Berlin to receive the blue planet award.

    keep strong !

    greetings from Berlin and the Occupys here ( which have got asyl on the ground of a church for their camp)


  12. eyeore permalink
    November 7, 2011 7:21 pm


    Be more powerful if we’d start UNoccupying patriarchy or DEoccupying patriarchy. I don’t want to inhabit patriarchy nor do I want it occupying me (in any sense of the word). As the descendant of peoples unwillingly occupied by patriarchy for millennia, I think it’s time to STOP doing patriarchy.

    Wonderful blog, though, & much needed!

    Thanks and keep up the good work!


  1. Beyond Wall Street–Occupying Patriarchy… | The Feminist Wire

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