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?
Hereditary power in the hands of a few white men.
How has patriarchy hurt you?
As a life-long sufferer of mental illness I’m stigmatised and find it difficult to get the support I need. A weak man is no one. No one ever looks up to a depressed man, even if the effort to stay alive is heroic. I’ve been expected to be a cog in the commercial wheel – to play along with grinding out useless products for people who don’t need them and can’t afford them. To try to dissent from the status quo is to invite society to squash you back into shape. To not work at all is to be a nobody, a failure, a fraud. As a member of the lowest socio-economic class in the UK I’ve watched my conditions be eroded by the requirement to pay for the greedy of bankers and corporations who are laughing at those they fleeced.
How have you hurt people in a way influenced by patriachy?
I don’t think I have. I’ve not been an angel, but I was brought up to disagree with and dislike patriarchy and authority generally. I have been aware all my life of the power that people wielded over me, from playground bullies, to sadistic teachers, to officious bureaucrats, to medical professionals and religious teachers. I’ve tried to avoid being like those people. I’ve tried to be on the side of the underdogs. I’ve always been pro equal rights, for different races, for women, for homosexuals, for transgendered people.
How would you define masculinity?
More to the point, *why* would I define masculinity? Why does it need a definition? Who would the definition serve? Who is the audience for the definition? Why singular? Why not multiple masculinities? Why would I even want to play this game? Definitions are OK for dictionaries, not for people.
Does misandry exist?
Women routinely say that they hate men, that “*all* men are X”, where X can be anything from “rapists” to “stupid, unemotional, unfaithful, scoundrels”. All of us apparently. We’re all retarded, emotionally stunted, bastards. (Why are these boxes so small?)
Have you experienced gender and/or sex related prejudice?
Women routinely make derogatory sexist jokes (to my face) nowadays. I learned not to do that growing up because it was rude and unhelpful. So I don’t understand why I am now the subject of ridicule based on gender. There are housing options I’m excluded from on a gender basis. When I needed housing assistance from the council as a middle-aged man I was the lowest of all the priorities despite having physical and mental health problems. Women seem to make a lot of assumptions about men. Most of them don’t see me as a person, but as a stereotype. Having been on the side of equal rights all my life I’m horrified by this.
What best describes you?
None of the above
I don’t understand most of the terms. I believe in equal rights and opportunities for all people regardless of differences. I also believe that some parts of society, including Neoliberals & Feminists, think they have a vested interest in the persistence of inequalities. So I doubt we’ll ever be as equal as we ought. Clearly there is also one law for the rich and another for the poor.