You know, when talk turns to patriarchy and men’s violence and that kinda thing, most people’s minds imagine a so-called traditional man under a tree somewhere in Nigeria or a poor woman scraping for food in the mountains of a god-forsaken country like Afghanistan.
Watch this. And think again.
Patriarchy is not out there somewhere waiting to harass you as you go about your nice life. More often it’s your nice life that supports patriarchy, and because you get dividends from it you are happy to vote for it thank you.
In this clip you see what powerful patriarchal femininity looks like.
It’s like racism in that way isn’t it. Racism is not a tweet about monkeys or threatening to kill a whole race. It’s about the institutional finework that supports your privilege. And most people who are privileged are very happy to ride it till the end.
Patriarchy gets support from women as much as men. And the women don’t have to be poor or black or uneducated or ugly. The men who benefit the most from patriarchy are not the ones who sit all day under the sun hoping to get a day job. They sit in offices. They wear expensive suits. They run television networks. For Chris’ sake, they run the world.
Patri-archy. Father-rule, duh. The stronger the father, with a bit of reasonableness and healthy bank balance, the better.
It’s structure of government, patriarchy. Government in the home and a country. And it gets the votes from all types.
So, if there was ever a good reason for any one of you who is a university manager to have a week of teaching men not to be violent, to women and other men, surely the clip from Fox gives you one. Did Jonathan Jansen say something about hooliganism?
Just in case there is a misunderstanding, transforming men towards healthy masculinities is not about demasculinising men and boys. It’s about making men and boys treat women and girls as equals, about teaching that rape is always violence, about persuading men to have better relationships with their kids, about men learning to care for their own mental and physical health.