From Ancient Greek κύριος (kúrios, “lord, master”) + -archy (“suffix meaning ‘rule of’”), modelled after patriarchy. The word was coined by Romanian-born German feminist Roman Catholic theologian Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza (born 1938) in her book Wisdom Ways: Introducing Feminist Biblical Interpretation (2001): see the quotation.
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈkaɪɹɪˌɑːki/, /ˈkɪ-/
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈkaɪɹiˌɑɹki/, /ˈkɪ-/
- Hyphenation: ky‧ri‧ar‧chy
- A system of ruling and oppression in which many people may interact and act as oppressor or oppressed. [from 2001]
2001, Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, Wisdom Ways: Introducing Feminist Biblical Interpretation, Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books, ISBN 978-1-57075-383-1:
- I have argued that patriarchy must be re-conceptualized as kyriarchy, a neologism which is derived from the Greek kyrios (lord, master, father, husband) and the verb archein (to rule, dominate). […] Kyriarchy is best theorized as a complex pyramidal system of intersecting multiplicative social structures of superordination and subordination, of ruling and oppression. Kyriarchal relations of domination are built on elite male property rights as well as on the exploitation, dependency, inferiority, and obedience of wo/men.