Respondent 983

Does patriarchy exist?

Yes

How would you define patriarchy?

As a somewhat undirected / embedded system that defines and exerts pressure on people based on their sex / gender. This affects peoples’ behaviour, career, appearance and many other things – and also our expectations / reactions to people who go against this expectation. It certainly most negatively affects women in terms of control and power for themselves and in the world – everything from being paid less to do the same job to feelings of how one should appear.

How has patriarchy hurt you?

Mainly in terms of feeling empathy for women who have suffered the negative effects of patriarchal systems / behaviours. In a small way, personally in terms of the expectations the media / group mentality place on being male. This manifested in feeling obliged to act in certain more traditionally masculine ways, which ultimately made me quite sad and stopped me developing into a more rounded, happier person.

How have you hurt people in a way influenced by patriachy?

Before reading feminist viewpoints and coming to a better understanding of patriarchy, I was undoubtedly guiltily of propagating the system. Mainly in terms of expectations of what and how women should be. I certainly had a bit of a ‘nice guy’ complex in my teens / early 20s, and felt hard done by with women, which is unfair and a bit immature. This all would have been somewhat unwittingly and ignorantly, but that’s how insidious the patriarchal system is though – it doesn’t always look especially bad or feel like you’re doing anything wrong.

How would you define masculinity?

I think and hope that it’s changing from a traditional tough, confident, strong, hetero ‘laddy’ type to one that’s broader and more accepting of all kinds of males. Taken further, it becomes a pointless term if it encompasses all kinds of behaviours and traits and becomes a synonym for ‘male’. I don’t like the idea that certain behaviours are more associated with men and some with women – it seems a bit ridiculous and like an outdated way of thinking. That said, we have to work in the world we live in – so if it is useful to broaden the definition to include more men in progressive work, then that’s cool.

Does misandry exist?

Maybe

I think any systematic negative things men experience are also part of patriarchal systems. I guess it might be a useful word for extreme forms of radical feminism (ie. the idea that all men should die, for eg.)

Have you experienced gender and/or sex related prejudice?

Only in a way that has advantaged me

What best describes you?

A feminist