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There's plenty of evidence to support the concept of a patriarchy as an unmentioned elephant in the room, the video to which this

thread is attached being among it. (http://www.politicususa.com/shameamerican-women.html, http://books.google.com/books?id=cjdbRF8PXhUC&pg=PA5#v=onepage&q&f=false , http://books.google.com/books?id=Dz4wU64f_JYC&pg=PA441#v=onepage&q&f=false , http://books.google.com/books/about/Toward_a_feminist_theory_of_the_state.html?id=f2JHAAAAMA AJ ) When women are themselves acting to support the patriarchy, it is referred to as internalized oppression, and it is a societal problem. (Oppression and Victimization; Choice and Responsibility Susan Wendell Hypatia , Vol. 5, No. 3 (Autumn, 1990), pp. 15-46: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3809974 , http://www.library.wisc.edu/edvrc/docs/public/pdfs/SEEDReadings/ConceptualFondations.pdf Although it is admittedly anecdotal, my experience growing up among the ultra-right wing Christian faction (see Jerry Fallwell) gives me further justification for my belief. And if you're going to extend grace to people who advocate the oppression of others based on religious stances, and site personal comfort as justification for decision making, I'm perplexed as to why it wouldn't co-extend to me. Take, for instance, the most apparent result of patriarchy in our society: domestic violence. Again, anecdotally, I grew up seeing my mother severely abused by my "religious" step-father, and when she appealed to our pastor for help, he suggested she make sure that she was wearing lipstick when he got home and that she was truly "submitted" to her husband. I have other female family members are in absolutely dangerous and debasing marriages and who will not leave their husbands because they have been trained not to do so. I myself stayed in an abusive marriage for ten years, thanks to the same training. I was raised to give my power over to men, because I was taught that doing so was the same as giving my will over to God Himself. And, sadly, women espoused that idea as much as men did, and did more to drill it into our psyches! No one stopped to question these beliefs, because inherent within the beliefs was that it was wrong to question them. Although this is anecdotal, a quick perusal of the internet will reveal that their experience and mine is common. http://www.focusonthefamily.com/marriage/marriage_challenges/special-needs-and-marriage/a-wifeand-mothers-role.aspx Read this: http://www.wordoftruthradio.com/questions/23.html Then the reality here: http://www.jstor.org.proxy.lib.wayne.edu/stable/583833?&Search=yes&searchText=violence&searchTe xt=remain&searchText=wife&searchText=domestic&list=hide&searchUri=%2Faction%2FdoBasicResults %3Fhp%3D25%26la%3D%26wc%3Don%26acc%3Don%26gw%3Djtx%26jcpsi%3D1%26artsi%3D1%26Que ry%3Dwife%2Bremain%2Bdomestic%2Bviolence%26sbq%3Dwife%2Bremain%2Bdomestic%2Bviolence% 26prq%3Ddomestic%2Bviolence%2Boutcomes%2Bstay%26si%3D26%26jtxsi%3D26&prevSearch=&item= 39&ttl=13469&returnArticleService=showFullText I have been clear in my comments that this is a systemic problem, and the culpability for it doesn't lie on the side of either gender. Its continued existence is the fault of WILLED IGNORANCE. When I started to

study philosophy and reason, I made the terrifying decision to question what I had been taught; to measure it against rational thought and scientific knowledge. It felt like I was abandoning God.

But, in fact, I woke from a trance, just as I believe would any person capable of examining external world facts and objectively challenging their own beliefs. There is nothing in rational thought that says men are more capable of making sound, wise, and moral decisions than are women, even if evolutionary tendencies have some affect on method (which, if it is even the case that it has any affect at all, it is a negligible one that doesn't cause error in ultimate output.) There is no scientific evidence for claims that men have some kind of spiritual, emotional, or intellectual dominion over men. There is no moral justification for believing that the worth of women can be measured exclusively in their willingness to submit to men, or their level of sexual attractiveness to men (spouses or otherwise.) The summation of the opposite of these facts IS the belief, and subsequent actions and practice as a result of that false belief ARE what constitute the patriarchy.) I absolutely defy you to demonstrate how it provides any comfort for anyone, men included. It increases suffering. It is a backward, pernicious worldview that should be rigorously confronted and obliterated. I never felt so much comfort as when I realized that I had drunken the Kool-Aid, and my personal belief is that reason and science were God's anecdote for that poison.

The problem DOES exist. You yourself are affected by it, and I'm truly sad that you aren't seeing it. Do you realize that even in our department, 85% of the time I hear one of us women being referred to there is included an assessment of our looks? And, if I'm going to be honest, I've done it myself. It's easy to slip back into the trance. We have to be vigilant. (To their credit, there are those in the department who confront and rebuke this type of behavior when they hear it.)

I understand that you are arguing from a position of moral relativity. A year ago, I would have dismissed your view out of hand. However, I read Blackburn's response to Parfit (let me know if you'd like it, it's unpublished so far,) and I have a new respect for the idea that normative claims are largely subjective. I still hold, though, that their being such does not negate the existence of objective moral truths: that the cessation of most suffering is desirable for its own sake, that most justice is good for its own sake, that most mercy and compassion are good for their own sake, and that love in the form of conscience, action toward those objective goods and reason is the mediator and facilitator of those goods.

Saying that the determination of whether a belief or action is right or wrong is based solely on personal belief and opinion leads to practical and logical inconsistencies. The most obvious logical inconsistency is that the view is self-defeating (which is often answered by explaining that moral beliefs are opinions, however there are still worries, there.) But I find the real issue for the view comes with the practical

inconsistencies, and you are giving a perfect example. Here is the cake that can't be had and eaten. If you want to say that I am "factually wrong" in my assessment of there being a patriarchy, or that there is no moral error in an attempt to legislate unnecessary medical procedures for women because it brings people "a lot of comfort" (which forces you to say the same for the banning of gay marriage, incidentally,) you are effectively saying that the majority has the right to force their morality on the minority. In the society you propose, we are all entitled to our own morality, only some of us have to be forced to live lives that don't reflect our moral codes. You aren't entitled to talk about justice if justice is merely defined by personal or popular opinion. According to your view, there is no fact of the matter. Essentially, no such thing as justice even exists. In which case, what are you defending, and why should I listen to your assertion that I'm arrogant, when that label of arrogance is assigned by someone who has already demonstrated and explicitly stated that they have no real (factual) grounds to make that claim? Why bother saying anything at all? I'm more interested in your opinion of R&B music, and that opinion carries as much weight, on your account.