What exactly is wrong with the concept and application of patriarchy?

This question goes to the basic root of feminism- that is, to challenge the notions and practices supposedly set forth by the infamous "patriarchy" and thereby establish equality for women. Patriarchy as defined by the dictionary is: "A form of social organization in which the father is the... show more This question goes to the basic root of feminism- that is, to challenge the notions and practices supposedly set forth by the infamous "patriarchy" and thereby establish equality for women. Patriarchy as defined by the dictionary is:

"A form of social organization in which the father is the supreme authority in the family, clan, or tribe and descent is reckoned in the male line, with the children belonging to the father's clan or tribe."

Anecdotes seem to relate the fact that women actually "run" the household more often than men, but that is not the issue here.

I have no problems if a woman heads a household, leads an organization, or even a country. The point is that patriarchy is a general guideline; that is, it doesn't have to be followed to the letter. Furthermore, I have seen many claims that it somehow cheapens the quality of women in some way, and results in many social ills. Is there any proof to back this up? Could one prove that a person died because of "patriarchy?"
Update: Could one prove that someone was raped because of "patriarchy?" Abused? Oppressed?

All answers are welcome. Let's do our best to keep personal attacks to a minimum.

Thank you.
Update 2: Since I've been getting a few comments about the particular point of this question, I'll break down my question like this:

Is there any proof that patriarchy causes the social ills that feminism asserts it does?
If so, where is it?
Update 3: Alright, everyone! Nice responses. I'm actually getting a better image of the nuances of patriarchy by reading the responses. I disagree with the "Middle East" idea because that is more a result of one interpretation of Sharia law rather than a patriarchal ideal. (My opinion.) Any other... show more Alright, everyone! Nice responses. I'm actually getting a better image of the nuances of patriarchy by reading the responses.

I disagree with the "Middle East" idea because that is more a result of one interpretation of Sharia law rather than a patriarchal ideal. (My opinion.)

Any other proof/information/opinions?
Update 4: Lotus, you imply that patriarchy somehow oppresses single mothers, denies divorce, etc. (Just so that you know, my mother is a widow; she says she is "still married" to our father as well.) I ask merely, how? As others have said, patriarchy has always been around in some form or another. Why should... show more Lotus, you imply that patriarchy somehow oppresses single mothers, denies divorce, etc.

(Just so that you know, my mother is a widow; she says she is "still married" to our father as well.)

I ask merely, how? As others have said, patriarchy has always been around in some form or another. Why should it change now?

You give me a source from Robin Morgan. Excellent. Did she not say the things recorded here?

http://wiki.mensactivism.org/index.php/R...

Why should I believe the unsourced/biased rhetoric of a woman who says:

"Sexism is NOT the fault of women--kill your fathers, not your mothers." (That is BARELY the gist of it; read the bottom quote in that link.)
Update 5: There go the insults. Why is Wendy G the only one at the bottom of the list who can formulate a response without insulting? Anyways, I'll have to look at the sourced book, Allegra, although your insult takes away from its credibility (as one who is not controlling herself is endorsing it). Whatever. More... show more There go the insults. Why is Wendy G the only one at the bottom of the list who can formulate a response without insulting?

Anyways, I'll have to look at the sourced book, Allegra, although your insult takes away from its credibility (as one who is not controlling herself is endorsing it).

Whatever. More responses are welcome.
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