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?
A self-perpetuating system of thinking and social organization whereby men are not situated, as everyone else is, but presented as the default. Anyone else is “having an emotional outburst”; I generally get the benefit of just being angry (unless there is another specific axis of oppression at work, like my disability, or if I was a man of colour or trans).
How has patriarchy hurt you?
Aside from the damage men do to women making it harder for me to develop close bonds with exactly the kind of women I get along with most i.e. women who are aware this is happening…My father believed men shouldn’t express vulnerability, so when he wouldn’t give me a ride home when I tweaked my knee, a 40-minute walk took three hours, and my knee hurt for about six months. My PTSD is because of patriarchy; any healing I’ve done is because of feminists.
How have you hurt people in a way influenced by patriachy?
When an ex told me she had been sexually assaulted the first thing I did was question how her actions contributed to it — so, gaslighting, rape apologism. I have since seen the magnitude of this and I know it’s because of how I was conditioned to respond, but the damage was still done, and I 100% appreciate her desire to keep me in her past. Thinking about how my first concern in that moment was whether she had cheated and not to offer a hug and say “It’s gonna be ok” and “I believe you” is very painful and a life lesson.
How would you define masculinity?
A sort of ableism of the human spirit. *I have a disability so I’m comfortable using ‘ableism’ in this context
Does misandry exist?
Maybe, but misandry doesn’t shoot up college campuses, targeting one gender specifically. That would be misogyny. I might argue that trans exclusionary feminists, in their misguided attacks on trans women (who are women, let me be clear), have some deep and misplaced hatred for men present — but even then that shows up functionally as transmisogyny, not misandry.
Have you experienced gender and/or sex related prejudice?
Cute story: I was looking at the “Women’s” sandwich board outside a salon/barbershop b/c I wanted to get my hair curled. Proprietor taps on the window from inside, looks at me and points at the “Men’s” sandwich board. Policing a gender binary was important enough to him that he was willing to risk losing a customer (which he did). Amazing, right?
What best describes you?
None of the above
I don’t call myself an ally, I try to live my life in such a way that, hopefully, *other people* would call me one.