Addressing students and the general reader, this series introduces key concepts in feminist theory. Any reader will find the series vitally useful for understanding what new theories mean and how these have evolved and are being used today. Where does the word ‘partiarchy’ come from? Once it meant the ‘absolute ruel of the father or the eldest male member over his family’. Today it refers to male authority and power as exercised in our lives. Culturally it is so pervasive that it appears ‘natural’ and those who struggle against it are seen as ‘deviants’. V. Geetha shows how patriarchy is supported by kinship structures, relationships of production and the caste system and perists because it is not merely coercive but is based on acquiscence, beguiling us by its cultural myths and rituals.