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 way I have always understood Patriarchy is as the ideological system whereby men in a society are seen as the ‘default’, the standard, the norm, whereas women are seen as the ‘other’, the outsiders. When people (mainly men, obviously) complain, for example, about a woman commentating on a football match, or the fact that there are now more women writing comic books, they are blind to the fact that these areas have been the sole domain of men for decades, and can only see that these ‘outsiders’ are getting opportunities they think they do not deserve. Or maybe they do see that these areas are dominated by men, and think they should stay that way. Patriarchy favours men who not only act according to its rules but police its rules, that men and women should act a certain way, and those who behave or live in way which falls outside this framework are viewed with suspicion and open to ridicule.
How has patriarchy hurt you?
The patriarchy harmed me more in my younger years than it does now, as a shy, quite weedy kid I was sometimes bullied or picked on by other children at school, most often during PE lessons, while the teachers very rarely did anything to intervene, the attitudes and behaviours displayed by both my fellow pupils and the teachers being inherent within the patriarchal system. The extent to which I have internalised patriarchal attitudes has I suspect also been fairly damaging throughout my life, my reluctance to go to the doctors when I have been ill has, especially in terms of my mental health, brought me some measure of harm. I suspect also that my often chronic inability to express my feelings to others, or even to understand or recognise them myself, is another way in which patriarchy has hurt me.
How have you hurt people in a way influenced by patriachy?
In several ways I can identify, and probably many I have never been aware of. One major example I can think of is the division of domestic labour. I currently live with my parents and my two brothers, and it is invariably my mum who does every single domestic chore in the house. There are occasions when I feel incredibly guilty about this and offer to help out, but the key phrase there is ‘help out’, I am lending a hand with something that is not my responsibility, it’s my mums, and that makes me feel terrible when I think about it. The same is true for my circle of friends, when we meet up and visit someone’s house to socialise, it is always the women in the group who sort out the food, clean up, organise cutlery/plates, etc. Sometimes again I offer to help, but often I’m thanked but told to sit down. Again this only happens when I remember that this is incredibly unfair, and that’s the difference, when I remember that gender inequality exists I’m sat on the sofa chatting, when women do the same they are working while their partners/relatives/friends are relaxing.
How would you define masculinity?
To be honest I struggle to define masculinity (even more so than anything else in this survey, which is scary considering the incredibly scatter-brained nature of my previous answers)
Does misandry exist?
In that it exists as a word in the English language in a form which I can understand, the concept of Misandry does exist. And I’m sure there are people (men and women) who hate all people who identify as male. Does the culture and society I live in have a deeply embedded streak of misandry within its practices, its codes and its framework of morality? No.
Have you experienced gender and/or sex related prejudice?
I don’t think so. And if I have only in a jokey “Well you’re a man what do you know ha ha” sort of way.
What best describes you?
An ally to feminism