Patriarchy is of course held together by a number of ideological state apparatuses. Churches and schools are obvious examples. My observations suggest to me that the following, “softer” instututions, even though apparently “feminist” or modifiable to feminist ends, often function as running dogs of patriarchy:
1. Academic departments of Women’s Studies: they are called this, but in many cases they are really the Ladies’ Auxiliary. I do not think these programs are revolutionary any longer. In some cases they are barely reformist. They say they are undertaking analysis and critique, but much of what they actually undertake is justification.
2. Women’s magazines: where shopping is “empowering,” and Huxley’s soma is marketed. O Brave New World.
3. Psychotherapy: where insecurity is “health” and systematic weakening is undertaken to achieve it.
4. 12 step groups: where we learn to remain in dangerous and unhealthy situations, because all problems can be resolved by a change in our own attitude. Societal change is not necessary, and you need not leave the discomfort of your home. This is a perfect recipe for women’s oppression.
I would also suggest that these institutions tend to create new “soft” agents for the patriarchy, more effective than any priest.