About the show: Dave Pickering takes us on a personal journey through gender as he tries to explain masculinity both to you and to himself. Part true storytelling, part TED talk and part apology, the show looks at how the patriarchy hurts men too; how the patriarchy has hurt him, and how he has hurt people because of patriarchy. Drawing on an anonymous survey of 1000 men, feminist theory, internet memes and his life experience, Dave will explain the conclusions he Read More ...
Does patriarchy exist?
How would you define patriarchy?
Patriarchy describes how in our culture, men receive many–sometimes overt and sometimes subtle–advantages. It covers everything from how men have to worry less about how they present themselves publically (dress, behavior, etc), to how women have to worry about “unsafe” (i.e., rapey) social situations way more than men. Even little shit, like how men are acculturated to ask for things or even demand them, whereas women are acculturated to say yes to everything. Oh, also, women are so underrepresented in media of all kinds, that a man can only consume other art made by other men literally without even trying–many men have to go out of their way to consume art made by women–whereas if you only read books by women, not only would it be hard to do, but people on the internet would call you a white knight or a psycho bitch and send you death threats.
How has patriarchy hurt you?
Not a lot! It’s been pretty good to me, honestly. I’ve had some situations where I probably bulldozed around and made people feel shitty without meaning to, and I felt bad about it afterwards, but that’s about it.
How have you hurt people in a way influenced by patriachy?
Nothing completely heinous, thank god. I’ve probably voiced some stupid ideas about cat calling or whatever that annoyed the hell out of women in the room, but later I amended those opinions. Nothing really stupid about how women should take a compliment and lighten up or whatever, just not realizing the gravity of the situation. I had at least one relationship disintegrate because my partner was terrible at saying no–not regarding sex so much as regarding anything–and I just turned into an obtuse slob without even realizing it. Get an inch take a mile kind of thing.
How would you define masculinity?
It’s a construction; it’s a performance. It’s a performance I like, by the way. I like to act masculine, a lot of parts of it feel “natural” or comfortable to me, but it’s all aesthetic. I don’t think it’s a standard other men should be required to uphold.
Does misandry exist?
I’m sure there are women who hate men, but beyond one time where a woman came up and yelled at me at a bar for no reason, I really don’t see the social or political consequences of this.
Have you experienced gender and/or sex related prejudice?
Only in a way that has advantaged me
What best describes you?
I don’t like the rhetoric of people being allies, because a lot of the time it turns into pissing contests on the internet over who is a good ally and who is a false ally and I find that creepy. I also find the “anybody who supports women is a feminist” line to be kind of imprecise in a way that bugs me, because feminism is such a big thing and there are definitely versions of it that I don’t identify with. But if this were just a conversation and I knew nobody wanted to hear some stupid semantic blah because we were actually talking about a specific, important thing? I would call myself a feminist or ally without losing sleep, yeah.