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 is the rule over society by men. I would describe it as a passive effect of male bias in the selection of people to take on important leading roles in politics or industry, rather than an active concerted effort of men to get more men in power. It’s a symptom of earlier times when sexism wasn’t challenged so much, and hopefully the balance between the sexes shall be redressed as new people are appointed to take over these positions in a system with no gender bias.
How has patriarchy hurt you?
I don’t know that it has, personally. For men as a group, however, it does have it’s downsides. In an attempt to expediate the rebalancing of genders in positions of power there have been the introduction of all female shortlists for positions (e.g. in the Scottish parliament). Selecting someone for a position on the basis of their gender, rather than their ability to succeed in that position, is what caused this whole problem in the first place. Trying to fix sexism by introducing more sexism isn’t the way forward. Patriarchy can also be argued to have led to the formation of radical feminist groups. Recently published minutes from the NUS national women’s conference stated: “White gay men are the dominant demographic within the LGBT community, and they benefit from both white privilege and male privilege.” This insinuates that any discrimination against me (as a gay man) is not as bad as discrimination against another gay person if they’re a different gender or ethnicity. In short – patriarchy could hurt me by potentiating the division between the genders. Maybe I’ll be considered more favourable for a role because I’m a man, or maybe a woman will be picked over me by an employer worried about gender equality quotas. It’s a messy system – not considering gender at all worked out fairer for everyone.
How have you hurt people in a way influenced by patriachy?
Not in any way I can think of.
How would you define masculinity?
Masculinity is a fairly subjective thing. It’s being manly – but does that mean emulating butch men like lumberjacks and rugby players, or having the courage to be your own person regardless of what other people think. I suppose I’d define it as being confident and courageous.
Does misandry exist?
I complained a bit in one of the boxes above… I believe it does exist, but affects fewer people than misogyny. Both are wrong, it’d be nice if both could be stopped.
Have you experienced gender and/or sex related prejudice?
What best describes you?