Respondent 612

Does patriarchy exist?

Yes

How would you define patriarchy?

The enforcement of a particular gendered model of power that excludes not only many women but also many men who do not fit the mold.

How has patriarchy hurt you?

I’m straight and cis but I’m still dissatisfied with the expectations placed on me as a man. I feel that my public expression of emotion and sympathy is circumscribed by those expectations; it pains me that I sometimes have to stand up in front of people and pretend not to be upset, pretend not to be on the verge of tears about something, in order to be taken seriously. I feel that it cuts me off from others. But — and this is going to get a little bit self-reflexive — I also recognize that I suffer under patriarchy less than a large majority of others. I try to address that in my practices at every level, but it also alienates me from my own suffering under patriarchy and makes me feel like a hypocrite when I think this way.

How have you hurt people in a way influenced by patriachy?

I ask myself this question all the time, and the horrible thing is that I rarely realize what has happened in the moment. There’s a normalization of microagression such that when people experience it from me, they either internalize it or assume that I will not be receptive to constructive feedback. And the truth is, I probably would respond defensively in some cases. It’s very difficult to see, from a position of privilege, that your own foibles and insecurities may come across as aggression rather than vulnerability.

How would you define masculinity?

I’d prefer not to!

Does misandry exist?

Maybe

I think direct misandry is very rare. I think hostility towards patriarchy is sometimes misdirected towards men who want to be allies and consider themselves feminists.

Have you experienced gender and/or sex related prejudice?

Maybe

I wouldn’t say only but I would say _often_ in a way that has advantaged me.

What best describes you?

A feminist