Respondent 211

Does patriarchy exist?

Yes

How would you define patriarchy?

It’s not for me to say. I understand it’s something that makes things worse for women and men, but since women get the worst of it, I should leave it to them to define. If anything, I’d say it was a systematic reinforcement of male privilege, held in place by the relentless upholding of primacy for the male voice in culture.

How has patriarchy hurt you?

It’s put things in such a state that, even as a man who acknowledges things are badly wrong and would like to help make them better, I feel terrified to speak in public in case I get something wrong and make things worse. I have struggled all my life with very low self esteem, and to know that I am part of something dreadful doesn’t help with that. I honestly don’t feel I can say much more here, even anonymously, since it doesn’t feel like something I’m entitled to talk about, and I’m increasingly comfortable with that.

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

It took me until my twenties to even acknowledge it was a problem, and I said and did a lot of ignorant and damaging things before I faced up to the way the world really was. In my late teens / early twenties I saw no problem with joking about rape, for example, and falling into a lot of the misogynist bullshit thinking that MRAs/”nice guys” use to process their anger with the world. It also took me into my mid twenties to properly address and control enormous anger management issues, because I grew up in a culture that made it very easily to believe that male aggression and loss of control is perfectly acceptable and normal.

How would you define masculinity?

I honestly don’t know where to start with this. If I’m honest, I’d say it’s not really something that matters to me.

Does misandry exist?

Maybe

This is a hell of a difficult one; I feel like I’m sitting a multiple choice question in a personality quiz where the wrong option will peg me as a scumbag. The reason I’ve said maybe is that the way people use this term is HUGELY loaded; some fools use it to bleat about being persecuted by women, but then again sometimes women use it as a cathartic rallying cry and revel in it. The latter makes me feel awful inside, if I’m honest, but then who am I to say it’s wrong? As ever, best to shut up, listen, and not be part of the problem.

Have you experienced gender and/or sex related prejudice?

Only in a way that has advantaged me

What best describes you?

A feminist

Qualification: while I’ll say this to friends, I would be desperately afraid to say this in public; not because I’m ashamed of it, but because I know it might make some feminists angry. Again; I don’t feel I have a right to have an authoritative opinion on any of this, so I don’t feel it’s up to me to define what I am.