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The Advocate

The Student News Site of Albuquerque Academy

The Advocate

The Student News Site of Albuquerque Academy

The Advocate

Heard on the Quad: Feminism and Patriarchy

Sowmya asked members of the AA community what they know about these two important — and relevant — concepts.
Haley Pedersen ’25

Lately, as we continue to recognize Women’s History Month in March, there’s been a lot of talk about women’s rights and the role of women in society. So I took to the Quad to explore the opinions of our community on feminism and patriarchy. Here is what students and faculty around the school had to say when asked, “What do the words feminism and patriarchy mean to you?”

“I like feminism. It helps women with empowerment. It’s really good for the community. Patriarchy is really toxic, and it’s not good.” – Greyson Staley ‘27

“I think it depends on the context you use them in, but feminism is about the intersectional fight for equality between all people, especially between the two sexes. Patriarchy is systemic misogyny, essentially, in the societal belief that we hold that men have power over women or provide some value that women don’t.” – Grace Mazer ‘24, President of Feminism Club

“Patriarchy is a system that controls our world and places an emphasis on a specific version of masculinity, and control and power in men.” – Ash Bendt ‘26

“In patriarchy, men have all the power and make all the decisions because they think they’re really strong and buff, but they make dumb decisions. And then people don’t listen to us. I can make a child with bone marrow, so I literally don’t even need a man. Feminism is equal rights for women. Please pay me more money and listen to me. Also, don’t bark at me. There is no reason a grown man, or anybody, should be barking at anyone else.” – Anonymous Female ‘27

“Feminism is girls supporting girls if they’re in danger. Even if you don’t like them, you should help them. Patriarchy is a bunch of stuck-up men who think they’re all that, and like objectifying women.” – Krysta Delgado ‘27

“Feminism means treating women equally, with respect. Patriarchy is the one where the dudes are in charge. I hate when the dudes are in charge. We love women!” – Benjamin Cruz ‘27

“They’re really important matters. Patriarchy is essentially the world in which we live in now. A world run, operated, controlled, and envisioned by men. And feminism is the essential antidote to that. Any human being who believes in the health, welfare, and safety of women should call themselves a feminist. Men and women alike often mistake patriarchy simply for the way it is, the way things are, for reality itself.” – Peter Nash, English Faculty

“Feminism is basically the best thing in the world. It’s when women are in charge, and we love that. Patriarchy is a horrible thing that all people should not support.” – Elise Aragon ‘27

“I know very little about this, trust me.” – Anonymous Male ‘27

“Even though it’s kind of a bumper sticker idea, I’ve always liked the idea of saying that feminism is the radical idea that women are people. Patriarchy is kind of a mindset, and I think that’s one of the reasons it can seem so pernicious because I think even women are asked to see the world operating according to terms that men establish. I also have very little tolerance for most criticisms. Not that feminism cannot withstand scrutiny, but I feel like a lot of people see it as pejorative, and in a way, I think they see it that way because they’re looking at it through a patriarchal lens.” – David Gutierrez, English Faculty

“Feminism is that women should have our own rights, and patriarchy means that men have all the power, even though they shouldn’t.” – Celeste Gutierrez ‘28

“Those are loaded terms. There are different sects of feminism; in that way, it’s kind of like a religion because it’s not a monolith. There are several different versions of it, some of which are better, probably, than others. During the 1800s and early 20th century, there were feminist movements that were also pro-eugenics, so it hasn’t always been a great thing, but it sometimes is. Patriarchy describes the structure of men, not just necessarily male people being in power, but also the idea of masculinity being the ruling factor in the world.” – Darin Eberhardt ‘25

“I don’t know what patriarchy means, but feminism just means women’s rights, like giving women freedom.” – OJ Ukpedinjagba ‘27

“For me, the thing that stands out most is the difference in salaries.” – Sara Chehy ‘25

“Patriarchy is more a system of upholding male dominance, in a sense, and feminism is promoting the female voice in the patriarchal system.” – Maya Macias ‘25

“Feminism is equal rights between men and women, and patriarchy is the inherent advantages that men have over women due to societal infrastructure.” – Vincent Walters ‘25

“When I think of feminism, I think of the idea of equality across genders, just a complete understanding of what everyone goes through and how there are things that impact everyone that are bad. There are systemic bad things, but also there are a lot of stereotypes, and just understanding that those aren’t all true all the time. For patriarchy, I think of the idea that men have power over women and that they are superior. Just the idea of men being more prominent in political circles than women.” – Ivy Burdge ‘27

“Feminism is advocating for women. I actually don’t know what patriarchy is, I have to look that up.” – Anonymous Male ‘27

“Feminism is kind of finding the equality in the standard that in society, people who tend to not be cis males kind of get paid less and are less respected, and feminism is kind of acknowledging that and trying to fix it, and understanding that being a cis man doesn’t give people the opportunity to be disrespectful or hateful of others. They’re kind of opposites – feminism is trying to fix the patriarchy and patriarchy is the standard that if you’re a cis male, most people would say you have “biological power” over other people, even though that’s not necessarily the case. I would say that patriarchy is kind of the opposite of feminism and what feminism is trying to resolve.” –Atlas Wrobel ‘24

“Feminism means representing and including all the peoples of the world, and being nice to everyone. It’s thinking that everyone deserves to be treated the way everybody else does.” –Bella Sanchez ‘24

“Feminism means the antidote to patriarchy, and patriarchy is the systemic way in which power has been distributed and reinforced to keep systems of power in a place where anyone who does not fit the overarching identity that has been established as the dominant one is unable to achieve power.” – Alexis Scott, Performing Arts Faculty

“Patriarchy is like a system, and feminism is a way to try to work against that system.” – Norah Doss, English Faculty

“Feminism, being a feminist, just means that we want equal rights and opportunities. For everyone – men, women, non-binary, anyone, no matter what. Patriarchy, to me, means a systematical school of thought where men are better than everyone else and that systematically they’ve been in charge for so long that now they’re kind of looming, always, so we need to fight to make sure that everyone has equal rights, and so that men aren’t the only ones that have an advantage.” – Victoria Costa, Language Arts Faculty

“Patriarchy is men ruling over women, and feminism is women standing up for themselves, and fighting for their rights.” – Sophie Longley ‘27

“Feminism means uplifting women and promoting equality for all genders, and patriarchy means suppressing the voices of women and creating a culture that is based solely around the needs of men.” – Anonymous Female ‘27

“Feminism is about being a woman, and patriarchy is men with power, even though women should be on top!” – Jac Lujan ‘27

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated and the Advocate does not condone violence. 

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About the Contributor
Haley Pedersen ’25
Haley Pedersen ’25, Graphics Editor
Haley ‘25 is the Advocate’s Graphic Art Editor. Their overall artist career sprouted at a young age from their various dragon sketches and drawings, while their digital art career with The Advocate was initiated around two and a half years ago. As well as an Advocate staff member, Haley is involved with numerous other Albuquerque Academy clubs such as Science Olympiad, Engineering Club, Go Club, and Stargazing Club. Outside of their school activities, Haley is found munching on a Rice Crispy treat, specifically with rainbow sprinkles, while chatting on Discord with friends and watching their Cookie Clicker game on the computer. 

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