The Research Is In: Women Prefer Patriarchy

Ok, obviously this is not news. This is one of those things everyone knows, at least on a subconscious level, but doesn’t want to admit.

Psychology Today:

Research suggests that women do in fact find sexist men attractive. Gul and Kupfer recently published research where they conducted multiple experiments, testing women’s attraction to different types of men, and teasing out women’s motivations.

“Sexist” has a negative connotation, but really, sexism is something innate to all human beings. Sexism just means that men and women are different and, as such, ought to be treated differently and according to different expectations. Everyone understands this on an instinctual level and revelation reaffirms these instincts: “And the male is not like the female.” [Quran 3:36]

Past research has suggested that evolutionary biology explains these dynamics, pointing to findings that women reportedly prefer men with more masculine features and more indicators of “fitness.” Gul and Kupfer take a related tack, but head in a slightly different direction. They suggest that female interest in sexist men, specifically men who display “benevolent sexism” may be seen by women as being more interested in investing resources in a woman.

“Benevolent sexism” sounds like a great term for the patriarchy called for in Islam. Patriarchy has a simple definition: A social system in which men hold more power than women. Every society in history has been patriarchal. Most importantly for Muslims, the Prophet’s ﷺ society was patriarchal in the sense that men wielded more power than women. And furthermore, Allah calls for this patriarchy in explicit terms in the Quran:

Men are in charge of women by [right of] what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend [for maintenance] from their wealth. [Quran 4:34]

Despite creative translations from some apologists, the wording of the ayah makes it very clear: qawwamuna `ala. Allah has given men authority over women due to how He has created men and women and the roles He has defined for them in this ayah and elsewhere, as well as in the example of the Prophet ﷺ.

But, as the Quran and Sunna show, this is a benevolent patriarchy. Men are authorities by virtue of taking care of women, protecting them, shielding them from harm, providing for their children, etc. This is a patriarchy that benefits all, men and women alike.

There is profound wisdom in the way that Allah has created males and females as different and made both sexes with defined, complimentary roles.

Feminists, however, want to portray patriarchy as an evil force for subjugating women for the selfish interests of men. This kind of evil patriarchy is nothing more than a boogeyman invented by the feminist imagination. Yes, there are abusive men who violate the norms of the sharia by harming their wives or daughters. But these individuals don’t constitute a “system of oppression” any more than abusive women constitute a “matriarchal system of oppression.”

Despite aspects of benevolent sexism appearing chivalrous and romantic, previous research has found that women who endorse these beliefs often demonstrate approval of restrictions on women’s freedoms, independence, and autonomy, and may impact women’s support for gender egalitarianism.

Yeah, of course. It’s a fantastic deal. A husband protects his wife with his life and takes care of her with his blood, sweat, and tears. The least his wife can do is be devoted, loving, and obedient. This is basic common sense.

Men and women are innately attracted to members of the opposite sex who fit these roles, which can be summarized as: men as breadwinners and maintainers, women as mothers and caretakers. It is only modernist indoctrination that has turned people off from these basic principles humanity has been practicing for thousands of years.

Gul and Kupfer used several different related experiments in order to test why women find men with these types of beliefs to be more sexy and appealing. They found that women who saw these types of men as more attractive also saw the men as being more willing to protect and care for them, and to commit to a relationship. Interestingly though, these women weren’t love-struck fools, but had their eyes open about these men.

In other words, smart women know what kind of men are really going to take care of them and their children. Apparently, the “woke” men, i.e., white knights, are more useful for virtue signalling on social media than actually getting things done.

Women who were both more and less feminist displayed similar levels of attraction to sexist men, so this effect isn’t the result of women not being “woke” enough.

Big surprise there. /s

Try as they might, feminists can’t escape their basic instincts and the way they have been created.

Women who find sexist men attractive are not being traitors to other women, nor are they naïve women who don’t understand their choices. Instead, they are women who are making rational decisions, accepting tradeoffs. They are women who recognize that it may be more beneficial to have a partner who is committed to them and willing to sacrifice for them and their family, than it is to have a “woke” feminist man who wants them to be independent.

First of all, this shows that the attraction to sexist men is not the result of some kind of brainwashing or false consciousness. Women are not only instinctually attracted to sexist men, they also rationally understand why sexist men are overall better for their interests.

Second, those men who project a “woke feminist” attitude are often the ones who are deadbeats and even abusive. As the researchers note, many women clearly pick up on this — whether consciously or subconsciously — which informs their preference for sexist men, among other things.

Time for women to own up to their true feelings and for men to man up and be the benevolent patriarchs the world needs.

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I agree with everything that you have said EXCEPT what you say about the translation of Qawammun. Qawammun in practice would result in the person being in charge BUT the word itself does not mean that in any context.
Pick up any Arabic dictionary or ask anyone who knows Arabic and you will not find Qawwam being defined as having authority.
The word itself means someone who stands up for their affairs. That is why it gets translated as protectors and maintainers. Someone who is Qawam is a supporter. You can check the Arabic lexicons to confirm what I am saying.

Ahmad Khan

Since men are qawwamun over their women, they must have some authority to make decisions, for a person cannot be an effective guardian or maintainer of someone without having some decision making authority.

And whenever there is legitimate decision-making authority on one side, there is some necessity of obedience from the other.

In Hadith there are many traditions which encourage women to be obedient to their husbands.


I precisely acknowledged the point that you made in my initial comment. Somebody who is qawam would naturally have more authority as well. Otherwise qawam role cannot be practically executed.
My main quibble was with the fact that qawammun as a word in the verse cannot be translated accurately in English as having authority or being in charge. This is not being creative,rather it is a matter of keeping the word’s authentic meaning in translation. The word itself does not allude to authority or being in charge. It’s a linguistic point that I am making.


Osama, I’m sorry to tell you that you have an extremely limited understanding of the arabic language and apparently an even more deficient level of research into the field. Infact, the translation Daniel has used can be found in “المعجم الوسيط”, one of the most BASIC and fundamental arabic dictionaries commonly available.

Aside from this gaping oversight, anybody with even a cursory acquaintance with islamic texts would never make such a moot point of this translation. The concept of male ولاية is substantially proven in shariah and the books of fiqh are replete with this concept in the chapters of نفقة, نكاح, etc. Don’t even get me started on the books of hadith and tafseer.

You’re not a scholar. Don’t pretend to be one.


@Abdullah: You should have spent your time reading my comment thoroughly. I did not deny Male wilyaah,etc…I talked about the translation of the word alone. The translation of the text and the books of tafsir are two different things. And the reason why I brought it up in the first place is because it irritates me to see words incorrectly translated. Another such example would be khimar (24:31) in many translations you will find it translated as veil or even shawl but the word specifically refers to a head covering.
Qawammun as a word does not mean authority or being in charge. If you knew Arabic you would know this :-)It is not a moot point for the following reason.Anybody who translates the word as that is not being true to Allah’s word. This is a matter of authentic translation. I care about scholarly opinions, in fact it was a scholar who first enlightened me to this.


قوّام: الحسن القامة بالأمور و
المتولّي لها و في التنزيل العزيز (الرجال قوّامون على النساء)

Page 796 المعجم الوسيط

I typed it out so nobody will have to go look it up, ironically it cites the exact verse that brother Daniel used.

Why do you assume I don’t know arabic? You said “You can check the Arabic lexicons to confirm what I’m saying.” Well I’ve done just that and DEBUNKED what you’re saying.

I’m confused with your obsession with making perfect translations of every verse of the Quran. If you seek to make a 100% accurate translation of the Quran than I have bad news for you, not possible. Arabic is part of the إعجاز of the Quran itself, no translation will ever do it justice. Lucky for us, however, the Quran was never meant to be a story book for mere translation. Otherwise we’d be stuck. Along with being a معجزة, the Quran is also a book of rulings. And rules CAN be explained into other languages.

Which brings me back to you making a moot point, yes, that’s exactly what you’re doing. Not only by being unaware of the accuracy of the given translation, but as well as implying that male guardianship (you used the word authority) over women is not intended by this verse if quran when it most certainly is.



Qur’anic text is a miracle from Allah. A translator should try their best to get the best meaning across so that non Arabic speakers can get as much of the experience as possible. That is why I care about translation.A translation which includes things from the tafsir that are not found in original text is a deficient translation. If one wants the tafsir go read the tafsir.

I did not deny husbands’ authority. I view it as a natural consequence of being Qiwam. Think of it like this wilayah does not mean authority either but whoever is the wali would by virtue of that position have authority too.
This is why you will find Qawammun translated as protectors and maintainers and even managers of affairs.IMO these are superior translations of the word.
And it’s not like 4:34 is the only verse confirming Male authority. 2:228 shows that men have authority over women. Though once again no word for authority is used there. Also in many places in the Quran Allah addresses men as the ones who are expected to lead. E.g: the verses which talk about the relations that are forbidden for marriage. Allah does not say forbidden to you are your fathers rather Allah says forbidden to you are your mothers.


Oh and the modern world has a lot less blood,sweat and tears. So women are less dependent on men compared to the past.


The modern world does have significantly more blood, sweat and tears.


I’d agree on blood and tears, not on sweat though 😉


This is a valid point. Note that technology is the cause here. All technology is truly evil in my opinion.

The Muslim Theist

Osama how can you deny that being “waliyul amr” means being an authority?

Look, Arabic words tend to be extremely deep with multiple meanings and connotations such that they have no English equivalent. One could write an entire paper to explain what qawwam means and in fact the lexicons like Lisan al Arab do exactly that to explain what a word means.

Now even if we were to accept the translations you’ve put on offer the question still remains – is Daniel’s translation *wrong*? And the answer is no, because his translation is pointing to one haythiyyah (aspect) of what the word means and what the arabs understood from this verse. In other words, the translations you’ve offered and Daniel’s translation are *all* deficient and miss out on the full connotation of what the word means. The word means *all of the above translations* and more.

He wanted to highlight this haythiyyah of the word, you want to highlight another and in the end we both accept the principle of Male authority so let’s move forward on what we agree on.