Respondent 103

Does patriarchy exist?

Yes

How would you define patriarchy?

A way in which our society is unconciously structured to advantage men over other genders.

How has patriarchy hurt you?

While I am relatively comfortable within conventional masculinity, as I grow older I worry that constant exposure to the ideal of ‘sex as conquest’ has damaged my ability to form meaningful relationships with women. I also dislike how inherant homophobia discourages the formation and celebration of deep male friendships.

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

Most likely in countless ways. I certainly internalised a degree of homophobia in my younger years. I can also easily fall back into lazy gender stereotyping, if I am not careful. Reacting with surprise when a woman enjoys sport for instance, only to realise how ridiculous my own reaction is.

How would you define masculinity?

This is a difficult question! Because there’s both masculinity as it exists and how others perform it, and a more idealistic notion of masculinity as I’d like to see it reclaimed. To try and split to the difference, to me masculinity is largely about restraint. My masculine ideals were always stoicism, toughness, self sacrifice, ‘strong and silent’, which while problematic in themselves, meant even before being fully exposed to feminist thought I disagreed with a lot of loudly performed masculinity. If you feel the need to proclaim yourself a real man, you aren’t. Often I would call this ‘macho’ to distinguish itself from ‘real’ masculinity. If I were to paint a more ideal portrait of masculinity it would be about restraint, about recognising one’s strength and power and resisting the temptation to use it for selfish reasons. Instead lending your strength to protect the weak, your power to protect the powerless, etc.

Does misandry exist?

No

While I believe there are likely women who truly hate men, they do not have the power to exert that hatred in any way equivelent to sexism or racism.

Have you experienced gender and/or sex related prejudice?

Only in a way that has advantaged me

What best describes you?

A feminist