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 sum of the social structures that favour men over women. eg. politics, the media etc.
How has patriarchy hurt you?
I hear explicitly sexist opinions from people close to me which shock me eg. Women who dress provocatively are asking for rape, insinuations that women shouldn’t be given certain jobs if they aren’t pretty enough etc. However, while I feel I fit the definition of a feminist, I don’t identify as one. This is because I don’t feel I share some of the priorities of popular feminism. For example, while I think that female representation in the movies, TV etc is a big problem, I generally don’t take issue with the moral values of a particular work of art. This is partly because art often approaches an issue with a sense of detachment or irony and you can rarely prove how a song/movie intended something to come across. eg. The song from Mulan ‘Be a Man’ heard on its own seems to promote gender stereotypes, in the context of the plot, it’s doing the opposite. In a grayer area, some hip hop songs objectify women and some do so with a sense of irony (see Reggie Watts’ ‘Fuck Shit Stack’). While some take issue with irony as a shield against criticism, I value that kind of satire. I therefore give most art the benefit of the doubt and criticize it aesthetically rather than morally. In media, I care more about there being equality in female lead roles rather than men being the default. I also disagree on the issue of sexist jokes. While they can be in poor taste and at worst reflect sexist opinions, I feel like it’s a generalization to vilify them altogether. I even think some of the cruder, dumber ones aren’t always meant to offend or cause offense. If nothing else, I think it detracts from those with blatantly sexist opinions. Overall, while I think it’s worthy of debate, I’m not sure I agree that the subtle, systemic, deep-rooted causes of sexism are more worthy of attention than blatant and easily identifiable sexism. I also think the worst offenders are stubborn and will ignore nuanced arguments.
How have you hurt people in a way influenced by patriachy?
I can’t think of a good example. I may have offended someone with an off colour joke but I can’t remember an instance of that. I once defended rape jokes on facebook which offended a lot of people. While I don’t disagree with what I said, I cringe to think of it now. It wasn’t an important or appropriate comment to make in that situation. I was being coldly pedantic about something horrible that has affected a lot of people.
How would you define masculinity?
Human traits that are commonly associated with males could be said to be masculine. However, these are not set in stone. So the definition will change as society’s idea of men changes.
Does misandry exist?
I don’t doubt that there are people who hate men though it isn’t reflected massively in everyday life.
Have you experienced gender and/or sex related prejudice?
In very petty and unimportant ways that I won’t bother to detail.
What best describes you?
Though I think I technically count as a feminist, I disagree with some aspects of popular feminism.