There is an African idiom that alludes to the fact that when the elephants fight it is the ground that suffers. It is a reflection of how ugly the domineering character so common in patriarchy can become destructive.
Patriarchy by its nature leads to inequality and skewed resources patterns because it accumulates more for itself at the peril of those it claims to protect. It garners its power and base by having an unfair advantage that it perpuates by making sure those resources are never shared equally by those seeking redress, be it the young and women. It understands that it derives its value and its power from these very same vulnerable groups and other under represented populations like those living with disabilities and marginalized communities such as those in rural areas. It always finds loopholes that it can use to make sure that its status quo is not questioned.
It is never in the nature of patriarchial societies to share. Wealth is accumulated at the expense of all and sundry with copius amounts of the bounty shared amongst the enablers of the status quo. There is a folly in assuming that one is valuable to a patriarch. You are only as valuable as the defense mechanism you can offer against those who seek to rock the boat. Those who have been yoked by the shackles of patriarchy must never make the assumption that it is their freedom and benefits that patriachs seek to preserve-on the contrary when one sees the gathering of patriarchs it is that old adage of Self-Preservation. It is like playing Russian roulette with them- sooner or later there will be an unlucky squirm.
When Patriarchial systems and structures are challenged it is not beyond themselves to gather together and form formidable structures in the name of self preservation. In the eyes of the weak it appears as compromise and a willing to let go and come to better terms but it is seldom that- it really is self Preservation.
Patriarchal cultures and traditions are not in a hurry to change the status quo. The weak and marginalized must never make the assumption that a system that benefits itself will self decimate- that is naivety. Rather patriarchs are champions of tokenism- you are given enough opportunities and resources to silence your distress. Women and youth are brought at the decision making table in only enough numbers to ensure that justice seems to prevail.
Self Preservation is the need to gasp for oxygen at whatever costs. It is said sometimes saving a drowning person who cannot swim is dangerous. When trying to save them they might fight you and take you down with them.
Patriarchs always find a way of surviving. Patriarchy is like that rock in the river that chooses to become a round pebble shaped by the torrent of the river. Survival and self preservation at whatever cost. Better to change shape than be totally annihilated. Self preservation the hallmark of patriarchy.
Limited opportunities, unequal pay , genderbased violence and all the ills of patriarchy will be with us for a long time as patriarchs will continue to gasp for air even yet as they try to avoid drowning.