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?
The structural and institutionalized privileging of men and masculinity while devaluing women’s agency and femininity.
How has patriarchy hurt you?
In the ways it hurts men, including me, here are a few examples: it limits the range of emotional expression that are acceptable to express, makes creepy behavior an acceptable default, and defines and supports a narrow and toxic conception of masculinity. It’s also ignorant or outright hostile to issues affecting men who aren’t cisgendered and heterosexual, which hurts men I know.
How have you hurt people in a way influenced by patriachy?
Through micro-aggressions like frequently interrupting women to inject my opinion and through acting entitled to women’s time and attention, as though owed both for being male and desiring those things. As a man, you may be taught to “respect” women, but usually it’s built on the belief that women are delicate flowers and an expectation that women exist to be receptive to men’s attention and “respect”.
How would you define masculinity?
Ideally or as it is? As it is, masculinity is defined by entitlement (e.g. finding a woman attractive means she’s owed you her time and space), hypocrisy (e.g. calling women “professional victims” while acting like men are constant victims of women), valuing violence above all other modes of expression (e.g. belittling Obama’s masculinity because he engages in negotiations with Iran instead of outright going to war), and seeing other men primarily as competition to be defeated because you so alpha (e.g. check out Taurig Moosa’s Twitter timeline for examples of dudes who waste their time trying to prove their superiority to him). Each of these examples affect all men, btw. Not just bros, but intellectuals as well. I’ve known many male intellectuals with unexamined sexist beliefs, including assumptions that progressive, liberal men can’t be sexist and can’t act in ways that are micro-aggressive. It’s a bit like believing that declaring yourself a feminist and/or anti-racist gives you a “free from being problematic forever” pass.
Does misandry exist?
Not like you think. This is all that needs to be said, really: https://medium.com/the-archipelago/men-get-on-board-with-misandry-4a3bc6c08e16
Have you experienced gender and/or sex related prejudice?
Actual hate for men that’s come my way? It’s rare and I’d have to go back years, over a decade, for a genuine example. Expressions of anger about men have largely been not just about me, but for having been and continuing to be on the receiving end of toxic masculinity. And it’s never been a threat to job security, admission to college, my physical well-being, or anything significant like that.
What best describes you?
An ally to feminism
I prefer the label pro-feminist to feminist because too many men come into feminist spaces and then dominant the conversation by making it about themselves and defining feminism for feminists (even unintentionally).