Where Did Patriarchy Come From – And Does It Have Anywhere to Go?

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Late last year, Deputy Minister of Women, Family and Community Development Hannah Yeoh received a public comment on her Facebook profile asking her to wear lipstick to look the part of a minister.1 Yeoh responded to the comment saying, among other things, “No male politician would ever be told what cream they should put on their face and I expect nothing less than the same treatment accorded to the deputy ministers who are men.”2

Of all the social movements in the world, the fight against patriarchy has likely been among the most long-standing and globally widespread. Male dominance has been expressed in most of the world’s known civilisations for as far back as written records go,3 even in societies deemed to be egalitarian.4


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