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?
An ingrained undercurrent of cultural prescription that subtly shifts the balance of power towards men and enables those who are already bigoted arseholes to score more arsehole points at the expense of women. Whether that be regarding pay, banter, catcalling etc. it exists, is shit, unfair, self-defeating and should be eliminated. However, this form is perpetuated mainly by individuals and not condoned by “the system” (how many individual idiots are required to call something a culture/system?) That said, women living under oppressive theocratic regimes struggle to a much greater degree under a particularly vile form of patriarchy in which FGM, rape, and subservience are expected, ubiquitous and perpetuated by law. Now this really is systemic, structural and far more worrying.
How has patriarchy hurt you?
I’m a white privileged male, so obviously I’ve escaped unscathed, though it saddens me that when I’m jogging at dusk I feel obliged to cross the street when approaching a woman from behind in case she is scared.
How have you hurt people in a way influenced by patriachy?
I hope I haven’t but I’m sure I have implicit biases of which I’m unaware. Sure, I’ve taken surreptitious glances at women on a train but there’s a difference between Darwinian instinctive mate appraisal and hurting people. If that glance became a demand, or a stare, or a stalking, with the expectation of acquiescence and subservience, that’d be patriachy, but I’ve never wanted to do that and don’t feel I live within a (UK) society that would encourage such nasty behaviour.
How would you define masculinity?
Fuck knows. I’m a person who reads Grazia because omg Taylor’s outfit and then I ride a massive motorbike to work and gleefully discuss modifications to its carburettor. With both sexes. That said, I’ve no doubt my XY configuration and the interaction of hormones with my male body in the womb and at puberty have had an influence on my masculinity which is to at least a small extent ingrained in my brain. Nature and nurture are inextricably intertwined.
Does misandry exist?
Of course it does. Some unfortunate cretins hate women, others hate men. The balance of power makes the former rather pathetic while the latter is more likely to be based on experience and thus far mire worth dealing with.
Have you experienced gender and/or sex related prejudice?
Sorry for my appalling answers.
What best describes you?
Can I take feminist and egalitarian? Their aim is identical, yet the dice are loaded against women so we need a term that addresses the imbalance.