Kyriarchy. Not just one oppression, but many, along many axes of oppression. There are many, many privileges, and many, many ways of being oppressed, of being marginalised. Areas interlink. People, humans, walk the intersections. History wove it, and the shuttle of today clacks across the continued warp yarn of the kyriarchy into the future.

It’s very easy to end things in a metaphor. Here, we just have to cut the warp and set new warp threads, weaving a society around justice, equality, diversity and universal human rights. But in reality, it’s not so easy.

People are very fond of kyriarchy. Often they can’t see it, or they can’t see what’s wrong with it. We’ve all been brought up to believe it – to believe that genitalia assigned male makes you a man, and genitalia assigned female makes you a woman, and nothing else exists. To believe that Whiteness and Western Culture is superior to all others. To believe that the conventionally able body is the standard of worth. To believe that a penis predetermines you towards toughness and strength, and that a vagina predetermines you towards caring and shallowless. To believe that capitalism is not only working, but right and good. To believe that who you love or don’t love dictates your character. To believe that there is a certain standard of ‘normal.’ To believe a whole host of messed-up stuff, and to defend that, even to the death.

We’ve all believed these things. That doesn’t excuse them. Living in the kyriarchy doesn’t excuse them. But we can all work to stop believing these things, work to help others stop, work to mitigate the harm that these beliefs do. Even on a tiny scale, on the personal scale – once you start examining it, kyriarchy loses its hold on your mind. It may not lose its hold on your life, but it has one less brain on its side.

Even so, we must examine as many warp threads of the kyriarchy as we can. It’s not helpful to take a stand against say, capitalism and the classism it creates, while furthering racism. In fact, it’s downright harmful due to intersectionality. Most oppressions overlap, and some among the people who suffer any one of them will suffer any of the rest. And then there are the areas so normalised that no-one even notices. Of course some cultures are civilised and some are primitive. Of course words aren’t harmful. Of course being fat is a bad thing. Of course non conventionally-able folks should be thankful for the peanuts we throw their way. Of course people with uteri are women. Of course this. Of course that. And it’s none of it true.

Kyriarchy. Keep a look out for it.


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