Thursday, March 28, 2024

White, heteropatriarchal supremacy in America

New academic paper:
Theorizing White heteropatriarchal supremacy, marriage fundamentalism, and the mechanisms that maintain family inequality
Bethany L. Letiecq

In this article, I draw upon critical feminist and intersectional frameworks to delineate an overarching orientation to structural oppression and unequal power relations that advantages White heteropatriarchal nuclear families (WHNFs) and marginalizes others as a function of family structure and relationship status. Specifically, I theorize that marriage fundamentalism, like structural racism, is a key structuring element of White heteropatriarchal supremacy. Marriage fundamentalism can be understood as an ideological and cultural phenomenon, where adherents espouse the superiority of the two-parent married family. But it is also a hidden or unacknowledged structural mechanism of White heteropatriarchal family supremacy that is essential to the reproduction and maintenance of family inequality in the United States. Through several examples, I demonstrate how — since colonization — marriage fundamentalism has been instantiated through laws, policies, and practices to unduly advantage WHNFs while simultaneously marginalizing Black, Indigenous, immigrant, mother-headed, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning (LGBTQ+) families, among others.

I agree with this. The WHNFs are superior to the alternatives, and the paper cites many studies finding that conclusion. Most people respond to this by enouraging nuclear families for others. Not this paper. She says that White people have figured out a good system, so it must be dismantled.
I conclude with a call for family scientists to further interrogate how marriage fundamentalism reproduces family inequality in American family life and to work toward its dismantling. A deeper understanding of how these complex and often covert mechanisms of structural oppression operate in family life is needed to disrupt these mechanisms and advance family equality and justice. ...

I define marriage fundamentalism in narrower terms: it is the belief that a family composed of a cisgender heterosexual married couple (i.e., a man and a woman as husband and wife) is the ideal family form for rearing children, is the foundation of civilization, and is necessary for ensuring White, heteropatriarchal supremacy in America.

This brand of marriage fundamentalism is fomented by White Christian fundamentalism and patriarchal politics

Yes, WHNFs are the foundation of Western Civilization. If she doesn't like it, she can move to any of the 100+ countries where they do not have WHNFs.
Although marriage fundamentalism is an ideology, it is also a structural feature of American family life. As many family scholars have documented, there are a vast array of laws, policies, and practices that have systematically protected, enriched, and unduly privileged WHNFs to the disadvantaging, marginalization, and exclusion of others
That used to be true. Now a lot of the benefits go to single moms and others causing a breakdown in civilization.

1 comment:

CFT said...

I am not going to honor the ridiculous gender study 'psychobabble', so to cut it short:
How do family structures other than the basic nuclear model stack up?
I am not asking about rare exceptions, I'm talking about measurable generalities.

Do single mother households do well? Examine the rate of single mother incarcerated individuals.
the rate of school dropouts in single mother households.
the rate of children with anxiety disorders from the same.

How do households with multiple unwed fathers do?

How do children from households with parents with drug/alcohol problems do?

Single mother households are at an extreme disadvantage in terms of time and resources to educate and provide for children. The prisons and psych wards are more than choc full of living testimonials to this highly misguided social engineering experiment.
failed social experiment.

Angry childless academics are the last people to discuss raising children with. Get in the way back machine and visit academics of the 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s, and what utter dysfunction and bad advice they unleashed on young parents, it's a dismal track record. They have very little to no experience with what does or does not work with the upbringing of children, on any level. Dressing up stupidity in fancy terminology does not make bad ideas work.