In the writing classes I teach, I often address connotation: the understanding that words have different meanings, and different emotional resonances, for different people.
And here’s the perfect example. To me, patriarchy connotes centuries of oppression for women forced into submission. The word connotes hierarchy, with powerful men demanding obedience from those below. Although my sons may some day be patriarchs in the denotative sense of the word—that is, the oldest men in their families—I hope they will never be patriarchs connotatively.
Apparently, not everyone shares my concerns about patriarchy. Big Family Shirts has created an entire line of children’s (presumably boy’s) wear that announces a Patriarch in Training. You can see the line and make your orders here.
Why not start this training in biblical manhood early, by getting your bouncing baby boy a Patriarch in Training bib? Let your toddler crawl around and on top of his little girl playmates with a Patriarch in Training jumper, which comes in pink or blue (but surely a girl wouldn’t wear these shirts, would she? And a boy wearing pink? Who are they kidding?)!
At night, your son can cuddle a Patriarch in Training teddy bear. But not too maternally, of course. And, if your school-aged son having a hard time on the playground, you can put him in a Patriarch in Training sweatshirt (multiple colors available!). This will earn him the respect of those bossy girls, for sure.
In the least, it’s good to know those budding patriarchs are announcing their intentions via their clothing. Most of the patriarchs in training I know aren’t so fortunate.