I'm as feminist as they come, but I think there could be biological underpinnings to the widespread development of patriarchy. The biological facts including women's vulnerability during and right after childbirth, which men never have. The fact that women are flooded with maternal hormones after birth which up their nurturing instincts, whereas men are pretty much constantly flooded with testosterone with up their penchant for action and agression. Granted these are very broad statements, and I will be the first to agree that there are all sorts of individual exceptions to the rule - agressive women who are not nurturing in the least, or men who are very peaceful and nurturing. But I'm speaking statistically, not anecdotally.
It just seems like there is such a role for feminist scholarship in biological sciences, and in anthropology, and in history, just to show the possibilities.
It's ironic to discuss the patriarchy in relation to religion, since it seems like feminist scholars of religion have done so much work to uncover the feminist traditions in mainstream religions. But it's like shouting down a well. It's not that I don't think there's patriarchy (or better, sexism, and sometimes, misogyny) structured into religion. It's that we have a counter-tradition and we have to acknowledge and use it.