Over the years, whenever straight, white, men feel threatened, they band together in groups to discuss the situation and ‘right’ the ship. See – when dudes feel like they are losing grip on the control that they have ALWAYS had over women, they freak the fuck out. This is evidenced by the backlash against moves toward gender equity in the tech workplace. Women, in Silicon Valley specifically as well as other areas of the country with a heavy concentration of tech jobs, started speaking out last year about the harassment inflicted upon them within the male-dominated field. At my own place of business, I have witnessed dudes that have gotten away with low levels of harassment with a slap on the wrist and a ‘just try to be better’ or ‘avoid that girl from now on’. This amounts to a wink and a nod between dudes and we, as women, continue to suffer under this horrible system of misogyny.
In 2010 there was a similar backlash within women’s studies departments on college campuses. The MRAs (Men’s Rights Activists) got all twisted up about women’s studies being biased toward women. They felt the need to have male studies as well (this was in contradiction to the formal men’s studies wing of sociology that had already been incorporated into what is now called gender studies). As if all the other things that are studied in college weren’t already MALE studies. Good grief. The HIStory of the world has always been taught from the perspective of men. Women’s studies departments were created to bring some equity to the world of education and suddenly some men were getting nervous. This is what happens when people get scared. They start a backlash against the thing that scares them. And when men (specifically white, straight, cis and mostly wealthy men) get scared, the rest of us better ‘get in line’ because they have to get things back to the status quo. The patriarchy must survive and if it looks like it is being dismantled in any way, that’s when the MRAs appear to prop it back up again.
The best question we can ask ourselves, at this point in human history, is what would the world look like if the system of patriarchy that we have lived under, for all of eternity, was dismantled?
If we had a true and lasting system that was not skewed toward one sex (in this case the male sex), we would ALL be better off. Feminism works toward making EVERYONE EQUAL, not making women more powerful than men. That was never the cause of feminism. Women need more power in order to be equal to men, yes, and this is where those who are afraid of losing their grip on the full scope of power get nervous. Men who speak up against feminism are afraid of losing their power over women. They do not want to be equal because they want to continue to hold ALL the power. They want to be able to make all the decisions for the women in their lives and not allow those women to gain any traction in the movement.
This isn’t about losing equality, it is about losing the top spot in all areas of life. It is about losing the boy’s club and the ways in which the patriarchy support their policies of subjugation. If the patriarchy was dismantled, we would all be free to be ourselves and live our best lives. Women and men would both have the same opportunities and have to compete with their brains on an even playing field. Men would not be given preference, as they have for all of HIStory, in business. We are a long way from dismantling the patriarchy, but we chip away at it a little each day.
Patriarchy is not an American invention. You would not know this if you read the comment sections of any article pertaining to dismantling it though, as most Americans think that 1) our system of patriarchy has only been around for 100 years or so and 2) it’s all quite fine and dandy here in America and the misandrists (a bullshit term that denotes people who hate men and boys) need to stop trying to change things. See, when feminists (or anyone that wants to make things better for any group of people) try to make changes in society, those that benefit the most from the status quo start screaming as loud as they possibly can. Often, they find ways to back up their claims with arguments that look, on the surface, to be valid, but with a little bit of research, these arguments can be quickly dispelled.
The difficulty with research though is that many people do not want to hear facts unless they align with the position they already hold. So they listen to non-experts that spew garbage on the internet and regurgitate this crap for their ‘friends’ on social media. We used to live in a society where research and reason ruled the day, but it feels like those times are quickly diminishing. I am hopeful that we can turn the tide and stop the stupid among us from claiming expertise, but hope is not enough to make lasting change. Voting for progressive candidates that understand how to assess information is super important. If we don’t get smart people in office in 2018, we will continue down this path of stupidity that has been cultivated by the current POTUS.
So – what can we do to move toward a world where patriarchy is a thing of the past?
VOTE! Get to the polls and choose the smartest and most informed candidates, regardless of their place on the spectrum of gender.
MARCH! Attend marches in your local, regional, and national community to show support for the issues that affect you and yours the most. March with women when they gather to demand equal rights. March with people of color when they gather to demand equal rights. March with LGBTQQIA folks when they gather to demand equal rights. March with immigrants when they gather to demand a path to citizenship and equal rights. March with people of conscience when they gather to demand equal rights for all, regardless of the distinctions above.
WRITE! Go online and send a letter to your representative on issues that you find important. Hold these leaders accountable. You can even do this through text messaging with Resistbot! To setup, simply text RESIST to 50409 to get started. It is simple and awesome!
STAY INFORMED! Continue to read up on the issues that are important to you and research articles before posting/reposting on social media. The ALA has a comprehensive set of rules for evaluating sources listed here: Evaluating Primary Sources. Assessing the Authority, Audience, and Accuracy of the source will allow you to determine it’s credibility and worthiness. Let’s work together to improve the nature of what is shared on social media and on the internet, in general. Improving the reliability of sources will help EVERYONE.
So – are you ready to join me in dismantling the patriarchy to improve the world for everyone? It’s time to get to work! Leave comments below to tell me how you will work toward a world of equality for ALL humans!
Peace and Down With Patriarchy!