As mentioned in the last installment, the Patriarchy was a balanced and stable system. However, it really was not particularly stable. Mathematicians would call it a local minimum. That is, it was system that was stable, but it was not necessarily the most stable system that could conceivably exist. An example of a local minimum would be a glass of water on a table. It is stable. But it is not at the true maximum in stability. This maximum would happen if one poured the water out onto the floor. Patriarchy would be like the glass of water on the table; the future would be like the water splashed on the floor.
The current topic is about how the Patriarchy remained stable. Firstly, we will consider the classes of players involved. There would be three: men, women, and society. Each desired what was best (with enforced compromises) for themselves, and was encouraged to achieve it. All will be considered in turn.
Society comes first, as it was the most important (Patriarchy is really a misnomer). If a society was not strong, then it was conquered; and in that case little else mattered. What did society want for itself? It wanted a stable system (with improvements if possible) with productive citizens. In Westernized Patriarchies, this was achieved by aligning the goals that citizens might naturally aspire to such that they benefited society also. Society needed economic productivity, so it allowed citizens to benefit from their individual economic productivity also. A society needed new well adjusted citizens, so it fostered their creation through traditional family formation and enforced norms to make effective families happen.
Consider the men. What do they want? They might like hot sex with a new woman every night. But men realize quickly that this is not on the table, and are mostly satisfied with an acceptable woman (and the same one) every night. They also want respect. This can be satisfied by being the head of a family. They want to create their OWN lineage. This can be assured by having one woman under tight control during marriage.
Consider the women. What do they want? It really comes down to sperm from the hottest men (tingles uber alles), and then guaranteed provisioning for themselves and their offspring. This is the essence of hypergamy. What did they get? Their sexuality was tightly controlled, before and after marriage. They did get sperm, but not always (usually never) from the hottest guy. They did get to have children and provisioning.
Now for the carrots and the sticks. Men were expected to work. Doing this effectively allowed him attract a better wife, better provide for his wife and children, and also provide for society’s needs (e.g. taxes). They were also expected to be able to take care of a family, to make good decisions. In return, they got regular sex, respect, and children that carried his name.
Women wanted the best man that they could get. The way to do this was to be something that he wanted to commit to. Of course, physical appearance was important and to be maximized. Also of importance was femininity. This means things like being demure, pleasant, etc. Men really truly like these attributes. Also, they were to be competent on the domestic front. By maximizing these a woman could attract the best man that they could. Women also want to “marry up”. This is a consequence of their in-built hypergamy. They are most content when they do so. Naturally society had a solution for this issue. It was to as part of the system to elevate a man’s status over that of a women via the rules. As a side note, this is probably where much of the complaints of oppression came from with respect to the Patriarchy.
So we have men and women trying to make themselves into the most optimal person that they can from the perspective of what the opposite sex wants. Ideally this should lead to better marriages, better families, and more well-adjusted children.
Everybody gets much (but not all of what they want). And if everybody plays by the rules it is stable. But what if the rules are changed? What if this balanced system is perturbed?