The Top Ten Patsies for the Patriarchy

artwork by Nick Rotts

by contributing editor and admitted Feminist Karene Horst*

Patsies for the Patriarchy are women who suck up to men and play the game following the rules created to benefit mostly males. Patsies serve as cheerleaders, while the more powerful ones work in cahoots with men. Some Patsies are even allowed to formulate laws and rules or preach religious dogma that effectively hogtie women for the Patsies’ masters, preferably into a position pleasing to the eye and easy to fuck.  

Patsies take advantage of the inroads Feminists have struggled for. Patsies readily step up to the plate to victimize males also in their pursuit of personal gain and acceptance by the patriarchy.

This top ten list falls short, and may even leave out some of your favorites, as it cannot possibly name each and every Patsy. The hordes of women who vote for candidates hostile to human rights or parrot the conservative talking points about: abortion (“why don’t they just keep their legs together?”) or sexual assault  (“she could have fought back”) or parenting (“good mothers stay home”); they’re automatically included. These common Patsies are the most effective enforcers of the patriarchy’s warped laws and sick cultural guidelines.  

Drum roll, please.

#10. Amy Coney Barrett (rhymes with “ferret”**) didn’t have to apologize for leaving her seven children in daycare or with nannies, friends and family, as she pursued a career in law.  She nabbed the US Supreme Court seat once graced by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the judicial titan and champion of women’s rights who could barely land a job as a legal clerk after attending Harvard Law School before graduating, tied first in her class, from Columbia Law School in 1959. The far less experienced Patsy Barrett could not walk across a courtroom in RBG’s shoes. Instead, she embraces the opportunity to limit access to abortion and interfere with other legal precedents that have helped women achieve some semblance of constitutional protection and advancement.

#9.  The FEMALE Human Resources Director at my company in 2018 who refused to meet my request for a pay raise to match the higher salary offered to the new guy for doing the EXACT SAME FUCKING JOB the company hired me to do. I, of course, had more professional experience as well as two years seniority on the younger dude. 

#8. Darya Nikolayevna Saltykova. Can’t publish shit in this country these days without bashing at least one Russian.  Spurned by her male lover during the mid 1700s, this “pious” and politically powerful Russian noblewoman abused and tortured her 600 serfs, focusing mainly on the young women and girls. The “Blood Countess” threatened and punished any who complained to the authorities. She is believed to have killed upwards of 138 of her serfs, but was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for the deaths of only thirty-eight. Her evil showcases the oppression and injustice for peasants under the feudal system. 

I want every young woman to know that that there’s a place for you in America if you’re pro-life, if you embrace your religion and you follow traditional family structure … that you can go anywhere, young lady.” 

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) October 31, 2020

#7. Congressmorons Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert, and the rest of the elected or appointed Patsies currently in government offices across the country who grabbed the ladder built for their use by the trailblazing Shirley Chisholms and Bella Abzugs.  They use their power to bolster the patriarchy by restricting access to reproductive healthcare or disembowel any government action that promotes gender equality, voting rights or assistance for low-income families. These working girls should take note of how conservative men in power truly view them and how to appropriately respond to orders, highlighted by the sad case of the former senator from Arizona, Martha McSally. 

After two decades in the U.S. Air Force where she served as the first woman to fly combat and command a fighter squadron, McSally left the service as a colonel: some pretty cool shit in right-wing circles. While stationed in Saudi Arabia she sued the U.S. Department of Defense for requiring U.S. servicewomen to cover themselves in an abaya outside military bases.  While a politician, she spoke out as a sexual assault survivor.

Once a staunch anti-Trump Republican, she changed her tune after the rapist-in-chief took charge. At a 2020 political rally in Arizona, the then-president concluded that McSally could not boost his re-election bid, and he didn’t even feign respect; he treated McSally like a trained dog.

STEPHEN HANKS/MEDIUM

“Martha, just come up fast. Fast. Fast,” he demanded, flipping his hand in rapid motions to emphasize how quickly she should come to heel. “Come on. Quick. You got one minute! One minute, Martha! They don’t want to hear this, Martha. Come on. Let’s go. Quick, quick, quick. Come on. Let’s go.”

McSally publicly debased herself as she responded enthusiastically to his insulting behavior. “I’m coming!” she said. “Thank you, President Trump!”***

#6 Ghisaine Maxwell, convicted sex trafficker and current Patsies for the Patriarchy poster child. She procured young women for her boyfriend/boss and his powerful friends to engage in sexual hijinks of the perpetrator’s choosing. Thankfully, she’s in prison for now.

#5. women who falsely accuse Black Americans of wrongdoing, leading to atrocities committed against them at the hands of law enforcement, the Ku Klux Klan and mobs of white American citizens. Their false claims have spurred white supremacists to lynch thousands of Black Americans throughout our country’s shameful history of slavery and racism. The leading Patsy of this disgusting group is Carolyn Bryant, a Mississippi shop owner who accused teenaged Emmett Till of “improper advances” in 1955 while in her store. The woman complained about Till’s alleged flirtatious behavior to her husband, Roy Bryant. He and his half-brother J.W. Milam abducted and tortured the fourteen-year-old Till, leaving his mangled body in the Tallahatchie River. An all-white jury acquitted the two men of murder, and a grand jury would not indict them for kidnapping. These monsters later admitted their guilt, selling their story for $4,000 to Look Magazine in 1956.  Carolyn Bryant (now Donham) recanted her lie in 2017.

#4. Irma Grese, the brutally sadistic female Nazi war criminal. Grese earned the nickname “the Hyena of Auschwitz” for her cruelty toward the 30,000 female concentration camp prisoners under her control. Strutting around in heavy boots with her whip and gun, she reportedly derived sexual pleasure from torturing female prisoners both physically and emotionally. Survivors said she enjoyed shooting prisoners in cold blood.  Grese made history as one of only a few female concentration camp guards hanged for war crimes by the Allies. 

#3.  the females who accuse others of being witches. The main finger-pointers at the Salem trials featured Ann Putnam Jr., Elizabeth Booth, Elizabeth Hubbard, Mary Warren, Mercy Lewis, Abigail Williams and Elizabeth Parris. Approximately 50 percent of witchcraft complaints came from females during the European witch hunts. The false allegations from these bitches and others throughout history have led to the persecution, imprisonment, torture, rape and murder of innocent girls and women, as well as some men. The patriarchal assaults against “witches” continue today with the help of these Patsies

#2 Isabella the Catholic. In concert with her husband Ferdinand, this Spanish Queen ordered the expulsion or conversion, persecution, torture and murder of any person in their territories who could not prove themselves a “good” Catholic, as well as “heretics” questioning any of the Church’s teachings. Along with sponsoring the Spanish Inquisition,**** Isabella and her hubby financed Christopher Columbus’ 1492 voyage that ushered in the rape of the Americas and subsequent genocide of indigenous people and cultures. The Catholic Church thanked her posthumously in 1974 for her lifetime of service bending over others for the patriarchy, granting her the title “Servant of God.”

But out of all the outrageous acts of misogyny perpetrated by my fellow females, my all time numero uno is:

#1. Phyllis Schlafly – Displaying a passion for conservative views, 1950s Midwest “housewife” Phyllis Schlafly made a career promoting right-wing social and political action. An ardent anti-feminist, she helped prevent ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment.  She founded the anti-progressive Eagle Forum to promote pet reactionary causes like outlawing abortion and fighting gay rights.  

 She led the backlash against feminism, hounding and splintering the movement until her death in 2016. A staunch defender of traditional marriage and a woman’s proper “place” in the home, Schlafly spoke against the concept of marital rape; “… By getting married, the woman has consented to sex, and I don’t think you can call it rape …”

Why, you ask, do I choose the No. 1 spot for Phyllis? She didn’t directly order or participate in rape, torture or murder of other individuals, not that we know of at least. 

I chose Phyllis because generations of Americans will feel the brunt of this Patsy. She left a lasting negative impact on reproductive rights and gender equality in addition to other progressive ideals on our wishlist. The stench from her success reverberates around the globe.

This opportunistic Patsy weaseled her way into power by rubbing up against the dicks in charge, serving as their handmaid to divide and conquer American women. 

Phyllis hard at work
BETTMANN/GETTY IMAGES

She organized nationally against measures that help women struggle against the patriarchy, pitting women against women, young career-oriented college students and professionals against older housewives and young mothers, middle-class women against low-income women. 

Her advocacy of a woman’s role as housewife, helpmate and mother highlight her hypocrisy; she worked her entire life as a paid political activist through her newsletters, as president of the Eagle Forum, as a radio-show host and broadcast media commentator, as an author of articles and books, and as a touring speaker. She ran for office several times, losing each campaign thank god. She attended law school, quitting allegedly when her husband asked her to, then resumed her studies,  graduating in 1978.  Being a wealthy white woman with access to hired “domestic help” to raise her children and manage her household made Phyllis’ career possible. Despite her claims to the contrary, Phyllis was not your “traditional” 1950s housewife. Phyllis represents the wealthy Patsies who do not need assistance with government funding for childcare, healthcare, equal economic opportunities or other necessities. 

Thanks to Phyllis and her ilk, the term “feminist” became an insult after the 1970s, and many women since then refuse to consider themselves feminists, leaving us where we are now: disunited and broken. Reading today’s headlines leaves many of us old gray hairs literally sobbing into our dog-eared copies of “Our Bodies Our Selves” as rape statistics highlight a frightening reality for females, women continue to earn way less than men, domestic assault remains a traditional family value, and then there’s Roe …

” … her presence helped dramatically reshape the conservative movement into what it is now. Her near-sociopathic lack of empathy (especially for anyone who isn’t a straight white man) and her ease of ignoring basic facts in favor of her nasty prejudices turned out to be effective tools for organizing the right” writes Amanda Marcotte in a 2016 article published by Salon.

To fully understand why Phyllis rates highest on my list of Patsies for the Patriarchy requires a short history lesson.

Born in St. Louis in 1924, Phyllis learned first hand the difficulties for working women and low-income families. Phyllis’ father experienced unemployment throughout the Great Depression, forcing Phyllis’ mother to find work as a saleswoman, a librarian and as a school teacher to support the family. Phyllis attended a Catholic girls school before starting college. She claimed she served the war effort as one of the original Rosie the Riveters working at an ammunition plant. She earned her bachelors from St. Louis University, followed by a Master of Arts degree in government from Radcliffe in 1945. She worked as a researcher for the American Enterprise Institute, then and now a right-wing think tank, as a teacher at a private girls’ school in St. Louis, and on the successful campaign for a republican U.S. congressman. 

In 1949, she married into a wealthy St. Louis family. She and her husband, a financially prosperous lawyer, moved to Illinois, where they had six children. Both espoused their Catholic, anti-communist and pro-America views. Phyllis’ growing brood never kept her from working; she earned money from paid subscriptions for her political newsletters and campaigned unsuccessfully for elected office.

She attended every Republican National Convention starting in 1952. At the 1960 Republican Convention she and other “moral conservatives” revolted against presidential candidate Richard M. Nixon’s positions, which they considered anti-segregation and anti-discrimination. She self-published A Choice Not an Echo in support of conservative Barry Goldwater’s 1964 presidential run and in opposition to the more progressive campaign by Nelson Rockefeller. With three million copies of her book sold, she elbowed onto the national political stage. She co-authored books on national defense and criticized arms control agreements with the former Soviet Union. 

But her male handlers discouraged her from discussing issues outside of the feminine domain, preferring to sick her on her sisters. So instead of pursuing her Cold War anti-communist politics, Phyllis became an outspoken opponent of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). She organized  the “STOP ERA” campaign: “Stop Taking Our Privileges”. She riled women up over fears of losing “dependent wife” social security benefits and other financial “protections” for married housewives, exemption from the draft for their daughters, and god forbid, separate restrooms for males and females. She claimed the ERA would force women to work outside the home and even eliminate laws against sexual assault.

When Phyllis unleashed her attack on the ERA in 1972, twenty-eight of the required thirty-eight states had already ratified, and many expected gender equality enshrined in the U.S. Constitution within a few years. Then Phyllis and her minions began delivering their pleas to “protect” the housewifery lifestyle with homemade bread, jam and apple pies to legislators across the country.

The ERA missed its ratification deadline and died in 1982.

But the best evidence supporting Phyllis as the reigning Patsy for the Patriarchy, is in her own words, which are frequently paraphrased by men and women today. 

quotes from Phyllis Schlafly throughout her career

*NOTE: The editors have received some complaints about me and have requested my response. Apparently some of my gentle readers have grown weary of my published rants and tirades that apparently send a negative connotation about men.  The chief grievance concerns how the topics I write about involve disparaging some man for this or that. According to a couple of enraged writers of letters to the editor, my penchant for male-bashing permeates articles that have really nothing specifically to do with men. They point to my habit of scattering non-sequitur asides that single out a man (usually one of my exes) to denigrate in a nasty fashion.  In reviewing some of my other screeds published by our oh-so generously permissive and broad-minded GT editors, I can understand that perspective and am taking this pile of thoughtful, concise, and well-written, by the way, critiques to heart.  So in the spirit of a gender-based fairness doctrine, I’m now going to bash the women.  Not all of them, just a subset I call the Patsies for the Patriarchy.  And full disclosure, I am a Femnist with a capital fucking F, but certainly not because I think women are better than or equal, whatever that means, to men.  I just believe women have the right to screw up their lives in any manner of their own choosing, just like guys. 

**ferret: a small creature of the weasel family, often kept as a pet because they are “cute” but they create a horrendous stink

***sorry, I couldn’t help myself, I had to bash at least one man in this article

****”Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition! Our chief weapon is surprise… surprise and fear… fear and surprise… our two weapons are fear and surprise… and ruthless efficiency… Our three weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency… and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope.” from the Monty Python sketches. I don’t know about you, but I needed a laugh right about then.

About Karene Horst 12 Articles
As a fourth-grader, Karene Horst decided she wanted to be a writer when she grew up, and it's been downhill ever since. Her novel Moving Men is available via FlyingTreesPublishing.com