Patriarchy and Parenting
Can we fix the patriarchy and the problems of the patriarchy just by getting men to change?
Why does our society produce violent men, how are predators able to hide in society, and why do we create so many desperate men who can't relate to women or really even other men? The way men and women relate to each other is part of that.
The patriarchy is inculcated in everyone from birth and lives in all of us. It's what grew out of a society ruled by violence with men tending to be physically stronger than women. A lot of the awfulness is the product of the separation and lack of understanding between men and women. The product of evil/false gender roles we were all taught, especially in the formative years which sets the pattern for adulthood.
For example, why do men send unsolicited dick pics by the thousand when I've never heard of a woman be anything other than revulsed by them? I had no idea, couldn't fathom it. Appalling sexual harassment but so common and I didn't know who was doing it.
I finally found a guy who sent one, a friend who sent one to a mutual friend. She dealt with it pretty well, I was horrified. But I know this guy; desperate life situation, emotional pain manifesting as sexual desperation, no valid/healthy outlets for his desperation and he acted out of sexual compulsion which he was ashamed of. She could have gone to the police (or his wife) and reported him and I would have supported her in it, so that isn't an excuse. It's an explanation, an understanding. In a very real way the guy is out of his fucking mind with pain that he can't deal with. I've done insane things myself in the past (only to make a fool of myself in painful ways not that hurt anyone else beyond embarrassment), I know the pain and the pressure.
It's a product of a sexually repressed society. Over sexualisation is a symptom of sexual repression.
What is it about society that causes this fucked up situation. Yes violent men need to be dealt with, yes men need to shoulder more weight in dealing with this. I have no problem with rapists being shot and I think that would probably help (seriously - not that many men would have to die before others started to get the message).
I preach respect and consent culture to men wherever I can and stand up for women wherever I can. But the social divide and the psychological isolation, the way men are taught to repress emotions by both men and women - which I have personal experience of - all these things build a society where this happens.
On how predators are able to hide, I think that's because we value completely the wrong character qualities in society. The signs are there, but social pecking orders let predators hide. We tolerate nastiness to ensure social conformity and don't recognise the signs. Plus we don't believe women often enough and we don't shoot enough rapists.
That's why people should trust blunt and brutally honest people the most, those willing to break social rules. They're least likely to be talking shit behind your back because they don't have a repressed nasty side that only comes out for enforcing social compliance via being offended and through disapproval. Instead we value niceness and not upsetting people over truth, and we police what other people say and limit the conversations we can have and give predators social authority because they're good at enforcing niceness. And they're not just men. I know plenty of women who think they have moral high ground just because of their gender.
We socially reward people for being two faced, the nice, and are surprised predators are able to hide amongst us. This is social conditioning, it is where the patriarchy lives. Social groupings recreating the same psychological traps with different people in charge doesn't fix the problem and aren't a counter-culture. They're a symptom of the war that stands in the way. (*)
It's not men versus women, it is (and more should be) everyone against abusers. By and large the "good men" are oppressed by and afraid of the predators too.
Lonely, desperate men without hope do awful things. As much as that is still their fault and responsibility, if as a society we produced less lonely desperate men that would help.
The patriarchy is a psychological system and it lives in all of us and in the social pecking order. It's in how men treat men and how men treat women and how women treat men and how women treat each other and keep each other in their place.
The evil gender roles and stereotypes cause men to not see women as real people (and women to not see men as real people with real emotions). Instead of the person we see a man, instead of the person we see a women and we know who they are and how they should behave without any recourse to the individual and who they actually are. We don't see the real person. This prevents us from properly relating to one another, causes separation. The conscious and unconscious pressure to conform rather than to discover and be who you really are.
Where do you think people learn these stereotypes? Blue for boys and pink for girls.
(*) Which is why white feminism is often seen as white supremacy; a bunch of white people who think they know better and ought to be able to tell people what to do. Little more than American cultural imperialism and American social police culture in disguise. My psychotherapist, well known in the London kink and poly scene, no longer calls herself a feminist because of the state of white feminism in the UK. She calls herself an egalitarian.
You're not responsible for how your kids turn out, you are responsible for your ongoing relationship with them. Assume they'll have long memories.
Working out who you really are is just about the hardest thing. So it's super important that we teach our children to explore who they are and to have agency in that and work out for themselves who they want to be.
Trying to turn your child into someone, make them into who you think they ought to be instead of helping them learn how to work that out for themselves, is a very bad thing to do to a child.
You have to work out for yourself who you are. So what you should teach your kids is that they have to work out who they are for themselves. Everything is blurry and in ten years time when you're looking back on it everything will seem very different anyway. That's why I reckon giving kids as much agency and practise in using their own wills from an early age is good. So they're not forced to wrest their own will away from you in order to learn who they are. Agency and volition; let your yes be yes and your no be no.
Teach kids to face the world and prepare them for the world that is coming.