Respondent 703

Does patriarchy exist?

Yes

How would you define patriarchy?

I’ll just go with Oxford’s dictionary definition: a system of society or government in which men hold the power and women are largely excluded from it. I would also say that Q1 really isn’t a yes/no question, since you can clearly believe that patriarchy exists to an extent or in a particular way without believing, for example, that every man is systematically advantaged by his gender or that women are totally excluded from positions of power and influence.

How has patriarchy hurt you?

According to the definition above, I don’t think it has. Restrictive gender norms have hurt me, but I don’t see any reason to view those as a corollary of patriarchy, i.e. rule by men. They could just as well exist in a more equal or a matriarchal society.

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

Again, I don’t think I have. No doubt I’ve hurt people by unconsciously expecting them to live according to restrictive societal norms including gender norms, but again, this is only tangentially related to patriarchy.

How would you define masculinity?

The behaviours and characteristics that are commonly or traditionally associated with men in a given society.

Does misandry exist?

Yes

Obviously it does. There are people who are prejudiced against just about any identifiable group. What sort of mental gymnastics would lead anyone to think that nobody was prejudiced against men?

Have you experienced gender and/or sex related prejudice?

Yes

Positive and negative. Generally positive when my behaviour matched gender norms and negative when it didn’t. I have also recently become aware of a tendency to minimise/justify prejudice against men on the basis that it doesn’t matter because men don’t experience prejudice, which is so mind-bogglingly contradictory that I don’t know where to begin.

What best describes you?

A feminist