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What is the Patriarchy? (The F Word: Let's Talk Feminism and Gender)

(This piece first appeared as part of a weekly column for The Sunday Morning)

Last week, I was browsing through a copy of The Journal of Gender and Sustainable Development published by the Centre for Gender Studies, University of Kelaniya. To my dismay, I came across an article titled “An Overview of Feminism in Philosophy”. The piece in my opinion is poorly written and is also rife with misconceptions when describing the tenants and theories that drive the feminist movement.

I will write further about this to the university, whose work in the past I have greatly admired, and in further columns. But this week, I wanted to focus on a particular phrase the author seems to have significantly misunderstood. This takes place through the use of a deeply problematic graphic which depicts the three waves of the feminist movement. It shows the third wave feminist as an angry, pierced, Mohawk-wearing graphic and, among other things, describes them as blaming the patriarchy for all society’s ill…

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