The Sage of Knoxville has a column in USA Today that says that 'feminism works in the West because patriarchy is dead -- but it might not stay that way.' His point is that the fact of feminism shows that people care about the opinions of women, and even their more minor discomforts, and that this is a necessary condition of feminism existing at all. But this will all go away, he says, because of the admission of mass immigration from genuinely patriarchal nations, where women are subjugated and treated like dirt (or, rather, like women according to these cultures' lights).
We often speak of a government as acting in a fatherly capacity if it cares for the needs and concerns of its people. This concept is usually given as "Paternalism," rather than "Patriarchy," but actually they mean almost the same thing: both of them mean that fathers should lead, but the former word suggests that they should lead in the manner of fathers. It seems to me that Paternalism is exactly what left-leaning feminist usually want: they want a government that will take care of the needs of women in the way that a father should care for his daughters. He should provide for their medical care, for their birth control expenses, for the protection of their independence, and so forth. It's the Julia concept of what government is for.
One proof of this is the aggressive nature of feminist protesters. They clearly expect to be protected. Code Pink -- and, in Europe, Femen -- operates aggressively in complete faith that policemen or even just passersby will keep them from harm in spite of their provocations. It worked out well most times, except where Vladimir Putin (who had encountered them in 2013) sent a Cossack militia armed with whips to put down a similar protest at the Sochi Olympics in 2014. There's a patriarch for you.
You don't get that here, because we who consider ourselves men in the West are in favor of women leading decent lives. We take them seriously even where our interests strongly diverge, out of love. But we also hold them to certain standards, also out of love, because to violate those standards would be to fall.
So I don't think that feminism works in the West because 'leadership by fathers' is dead. I think it works because the leadership in the West is exercised in love. What Glenn Reynolds is advocating for is men-against-women, rather than men-for-women. What I think I'd like to see more of is women-for-men rather than women-against-men, and that combined with men-for-women. Speaking as a husband and father, that dynamic of friendship and reinforcement has been of tremendous importance to me.
Of course, I don't want a paternalistic government -- no more, and perhaps less, than a patriarchal one. It might be well, though, if our civil society better embodied the idea of love and friendship across the sex divide. We ought to take care of each other, and lift each other up.