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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Word of the Day

Kyriarchy ("rule by a lord"; from the Greek κύριος/kyrios "lord or master" and αρχή/arche "authority, leadership") is a social system or set of connecting social systems built around domination, oppression, and submission. The word itself is a neologism coined by Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza to describe interconnected, interacting, and self-extending systems of domination and submission, in which a single individual might be oppressed in some relationships and privileged in others. It is an intersectional extension of the idea of patriarchy beyond gender. Kyriarchy encompasses sexism, racism, economic injustice, and other forms of dominating hierarchy in which the subordination of one person or group to another is internalized and institutionalized. - from Wikipedia.
    Never heard of this word before, which is not surprising since it was coined by a feminist theologian from Harvard Divinity School. Not one of my habitual haunts.
    Funny thing about this word. The definition (or explanation) given above use all kinds of words that are supposed to have negative connotations. And then describing Ms. Fiorenza as "a feminist theologian from Harvard Divinity School" gives her, in my mind, a status about equivalent to a "whack job".
    But look at the core of the description:
... interconnected, interacting, and self-extending systems of domination and submission, in which a single individual might be oppressed in some relationships and privileged in others.
 Well, that just sounds like the way of the world. Given that almost nobody understands how the world works, I suppose Ms. Fiorenza's coining of a new term might help some people. Maybe. Might not. Might just stir up more s**t. This is all Tam (View From The Porch) 's fault.

1 comment:

Marcel said...

A system in which everyone has rights and responsibilities? The horror!

She's either describing feudalism, or any organizational system that's not totally dysfunctional, or maybe just a bunch of stuff she doesn't like. In her world nobody, boss or worker, can simply have a job and do it. We must all be either Oppressor or Victim, even if we have to take turns.