Respondent 303

Does patriarchy exist?


How would you define patriarchy?

The monopolisation of power by cis men and the denial that such monopolisation exists.

How has patriarchy hurt you?

By denying equality of opportunity; by preventing skilled individuals from attaining positions of power through their systematic exclusion. More personally and obviously, I am currently unable to live in my country of birth because of restrictions on spousal visa nominations caused by a fear of foreigners I would directly associate with the monopolisation of power by white, straight, cis, men.

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

I’m not sure I would necessarily describe it as “influenced by” patriarchy, but I have denied the existence of patriarchy and insisted that there are more important things than feminism on which to focus (e.g. climate change) as if it were impossible to care about more than one thing at a time. I have also had privileged available to me because of patriarchy because I am male (and white, straight, and cis).

How would you define masculinity?

A cultural construct which ascribes particular qualities to people based on their gender – in this case, male.

Does misandry exist?


Sexism is power plus discrimination. Men, as a group, monopolise power and thus cannot by systematically discriminated against. On the other hand, I sometimes suspect that I am in fact a misandrist.

Have you experienced gender and/or sex related prejudice?


I come from Wolverhampton, where one of the best schools in the country is the Girls’ High School from which I was excluded based on gender. Perhaps I should have had that opportunity, but perhaps my DPhil from the University of Oxford makes that irrelevant now. I think that positive discrimination is tricky and giving women and people of colour advantages to try to alleviate the privilege of (white) patriarchy needs care, but it is essential that there be visible public figures in positions of authority who are women and PoC and queer et cetera to inspire future generations and to try to get rid of the unconscious biases which continue to create a need for positive discrimination.

What best describes you?

A feminist