Respondent 614

Does patriarchy exist?

Yes

How would you define patriarchy?

A blind, deaf, lumbering elephant of entrenched social, cultural and institutional gender norms, that tells us what men and women are and what they can and should do.

How has patriarchy hurt you?

I live with chronic self-doubt, mental health issues, and a persistent voice that tells me I’m not a proper man unless I am an island of self sufficiency. I pretty much am that now, and I’m still waiting for a school bully to show up and ridicule me to the world. I don’t expect that voice to go away until everyone older than me is dead.

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

I’ve unconsciously used social pressure to push boundaries and cross lines in sexual relationships where I’ve had the role of power. I once physically assaulted a woman who was being abusive to my girlfriend in order to scare her into backing off, and when she got the police involved, immediately had them on my side because I was calm and dismayed while she was shrieking and making threats – because I knew which set scenarios they might expect to encounter, and how to play them out. I’ve mocked men and women alike for their femininity or weakness. I’ve never failed an interview, because I’m a charming & intelligent cis white man who overflows with energy & potential, even though I know full well that I’m as reliable as a paper boat and there were better suited women vying for the role.

How would you define masculinity?

Basically “If” by Rudyard Kipling.

Does misandry exist?

No

Conceptually, it might exist in a culture (or sub-culture) where women have an established & assumed role of power & privilege, but I’ve yet to encounter or even hear of such a culture and it’s hard to imagine one ever existed. I’m sure there are women who hate men, but who can blame them.

Have you experienced gender and/or sex related prejudice?

Yes

What best describes you?

A feminist

As my answers probably indicate, I wasn’t always a feminist. I didn’t even think I was sexist, once…