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 combination of the male gender and power being attributed to the male gender. Something which often manifests itself in lots of small ways that add up to a greater overall pattern of domination by the male gender in society.
How has patriarchy hurt you?
The intertwining of the male gender and this need to dominate over other genders is represented in the construction of the male identity. To be a man is to be tough, aggressive, competetive, argumentative, domineering and such like. If, as a man, you do not meet these criteria then you become a target. You get bullied, as I was at school. You get laughed at, teased, tormented all for not wanting to meet with this ideal (or simply just not living up to, because it’s not in your nature to). It’s wasn’t just at school, this stuff still affects me now at 29 years old. I’m supposed to just “man up” and be a tough guy and take it. Well, fuck off, voice in my head saying that, images in media saying that, people every day implying that. Fuck off. I’m not a tough guy, I never will be. Stop fucking bullying me.
How have you hurt people in a way influenced by patriachy?
I have hurt people, yes. Patriarchy has influenced this behaviour, I believe, yes. I find it hard to talk about but a number of women in my life have been hurt and affected by my words and actions as a result of me being influenced by a patriarchal mindset. Admitting stuff like this is very hard to do though and something, I think, a lot of men shy away from far too easily due to the demonising labels that will get attributed to you, e.g. rapist. I havn’t forced a woman to have sex with me, no. I may have (definitely have) touched a women though with full consent (consent) to do so. A lot of the driving forces at a young age for wanting to be intimate with women have been driven and influenced by the culture we live in. American Pie, for example, was influential on me driving in this importance to have sex and how important it is. The 40 year old virgin, another example. Both these films tie into this idea of the importance for men to conquer women, that capturing a woman is of heavy importance for a man and that in doing so there are certain ways it is fine for a man to act, that really are not fine. So many films and tv shows push a toxic idea of masculinity, one that forgoes consent, as being an ideal to aim for in attracting women and that to capture a woman is an ultimate goal to strive for. I see it in so many other people and I really wish I could switch it off in them. I don’t think it’s acceptable behaviour. As a sidenote I feel I have to emphasise that I’m not against consensual relationships, by any means, just this general pressure to act and behave a certain way that is unhealthy and hurts people. A pressure that has influenced me in the past and still lingers with me and surrounds me to this day. I wish I could perhaps give some funny anecdote. Hurting other people is never funny though.
How would you define masculinity?
I wouldn’t. Gender is a construct that should be abolished. Yet, at this moment in time, I continue to identify as male and as a man.
Does misandry exist?
Do I believe there are people that discriminate against men based on their gender? Perhaps. Do I believe in reverse sexism? no.
Have you experienced gender and/or sex related prejudice?
probably, aside from the stuff I mentioned above, I have been made fun off for having long hair (someone presumed I was girl from behind). I think, as a cis-guy though, I largely experience less (and or less serious) gender/sex related prejudice than others.
What best describes you?
None of the above
Some people say I should I identify as feminist, others an “ally” or “pro-feminist”, others say I as a man should do fuck all. I’m inclined to go with one of the first two, understanding the reasons I’ve heard for both to be valid but unable to feel qualified to make a precise decision