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?
Patriarchy is the system of societal oppression which exists by dint of the vast majority of global control and authority being in the hands of people (n.b. wealthy, white males) who rule with such ruthless selfishness that they have a vested interest in the people they routinely oppress (n.b. overwhelmingly women) being powerless. The example they set filters down through society, across class and race lines, and influences behaviour world-wide.
How has patriarchy hurt you?
Patriarchy has hurt me by, until coming to terms with my bisexuality aged 17, leading me to commit behaviours which were extremely homophobic; I would refuse to listen to gay musicians, and accuse others of being gay as a way to deflect attention from my own sexuality. The expectation of men as heterosexual and “blokeish” meant there was no easy way for me to address my non-heterosexuality.
How have you hurt people in a way influenced by patriachy?
When I was in my late teens and early twenties, I would constantly cheat on my partners (all of whom were female) out of a belief that I couldn’t help it; that men were more sexually-charged than women and were only following their biology. It also led me to be uncomprehending in the face of my partners’ anger at my infidelity, and my expectation that no matter what I did I deserved forgiveness. I assumed men were the centre of the relationship and women were their sidekicks.
How would you define masculinity?
Masculinity (in a cisgendered male, as I am) is the understanding that your existence as a man affords you certain privileges which you did not earn or ask for; whether it be simply your greater size and strength than most women, or your societal advantages; and that with these privileges comes the responsibility to never misuse them, and to use them to aid those without them. I suppose, at it’s best, that’s what “chivalry” attempts to be.
Does misandry exist?
Misogyny in men (and women) is instilled via the patriarchal society in which we live, being unbased in anything in nature; by applying the same principles, we can say misandry categorically does not exist as there is no corresponding social force encouraging the oppression and hatred of men. While there are of course women with prejudices against men, these are borne entirely of personal experience (i.e. abuse at the hands of males); NOT background societal pressure.
Have you experienced gender and/or sex related prejudice?
Only in a way that has advantaged me
I’ve got jobs and interviews which I was eminently unqualified for due to the fact I am male and went to a good school.
What best describes you?