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?
Patriarcy is a system designed to control people by convincing men that they are dominant and powerful, by convincing them that women are there for them to dominate, and have power over, and that women exist purely for the “pleasure” (for want of a better word) of men. It’s a system that go back centuries – most religions are patriarchal. The bible makes repeated references to men finding wives (rather than the opposite way round), and many men in the bible have more than one wife, but a woman never has more than one husband. (and a divorced woman who marries again is considered an adulterer).
How has patriarchy hurt you?
Certain members of my family were/are very patriarchal, and as the only male of my generation (I have no brothers, and my cousins are all female), there was immense pressure to carry on the family name, by getting married and having kids. I’ve never wanted to do either (maybe by rebellion? I don’t know). I’m bisexual, so finding a life partner who was a woman has never been a given. As a result of this pressure, I’ve stayed closeted, and kept most of my relationships secret.
How have you hurt people in a way influenced by patriachy?
Being closeted, and wanting to keep my relationships to myself has hurt partners of mine in the past.
How would you define masculinity?
All that alpha male bollocks.
Does misandry exist?
Having seen some of the shit that men have put my female friends through, and having seen the way men act on social media, I think I’d class myself as a misandrist. I suppose it depends how you define misandry: if you mean an irrational dislike of men, I’d say maybe, but I’ve never met someone with an irrational dislike of men.
Have you experienced gender and/or sex related prejudice?
Negatively: I was once sexually assaulted by a woman in a position of power over me, if that counts as sex-related prejudice, but that’s the only negative one. Positivel: I don’t think so. In a work environment, every job/promotion I’ve been offered, I’ve only competed with men for (mainly coincidental, considering my first two jobs had a fairly even gender split). Although in my first job, I was promoted above women I’d previously been junior to, as they’d not applied for promotions, because they’d all left for maternity leave, and returned on a part-time basis, and put their careers on hold (I’d call that patriarchy, rather than prejudice though) People rarely see when they have benefited from prejudice though.
What best describes you?
Not for me to say. I can’t be a feminist, because a feminist is saying they know the definition of feminism, and a man can never define feminism. I’d hope I’m seen as an egalitarian and an ally to feminism (but not an equalist, I think everyone should be able to achieve the same, rather than be treated the same, as some need less help than others), but I believe you cannot define your own good qualities, only other people can.