Describe patriarchy in feminist literature.

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lhc | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

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The term "patriarchy" refers to the social system in which adult men have the most power, whether it be over their wives, daughters, even employees.  Jane Austen explored this idea in her English novels of the late eighteenth century, along with the closely connected European practice of primogeniture, which referred to the right of the oldest son to inherit his parents' property, regardless of how many sisters might have superseded him.  In novels like Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen satirized the obsession women had with making "a good match" which basically meant, marrying someone with the most money possible.  Mothers obsessed over this for their daughters, perhaps no one more so than the ridiculous mother of Elizabeth Bennett, the protagonist of Pride and Prejudice.  Women received a nominal education in that time because they weren't expected to do much or acquire much--except, hopefully, a husband with some money and/or property.

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