Dismantling Patriarchy for Men

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  1. Male privilege is real and must be studied and interrogated on the personal and social level. Male privilege distorts men’s vision of the world, of our relationships to women, the LGBTQ community, children and each other.  It is a reflection of the abusive, oppressive and fatal entitlement that patriarchy creates for people generally born/assigned male.
  2. Male entitlement ranges from how men occupy conversational and physical spaces to the tragic violence of men who actually kill women who simply reject their advances and those that take advantage of oppressed women and queer folk in the sex trade and trafficking.  Men must become aware of this spectrum, how it is expressed in their lives and the effects entitlement has on women and other targeted populations.  Men must learn to identify their participation in oppressive systems, refuse that participation,  refuse to dehumanize women and revitalize traditional cultural values of balance, healing and new systems of social justice with regard to women.
  3. Prioritize women’s voices, writing, media and commentary, especially that of indigenous women, African women and other Women of Color including those in the LGBTQ community. Be willing to listen, actively be present with and deeply consider the perspectives and lived experiences of women as we reconfigure our own relationships personally, communally and on the societal level.
  4. When listening to women’s stories about their lived experiences, resist the tendency to center your own experiences or perspectives. Women are the experts of their experiences and narratives.  This is an area where the behavior of “mansplaining” often is identified or, as in social media, derailing of conversations or occupation of too much space or simply the domination of space too often, not allowing the voices of women and LGBTQ people to be centered and/or prioritized. Understand also that the narratives of European/white women may exclude the experiences of or further oppress Women of Culture/Color, indigenous women.
  5. No means no.  Learn to hear “no” in all its non-verbal, verbal and social mediated and digitally communicated forms.  Learn how to respect “no” and respond in a respectful way without needing to convince the person or pressure them into saying “yes” or “maybe”.  A no is not a challenge.  No is a complete statement.
  6. Consent in sexual and intimate contact and relationships is non-negotiable, but the conditions, times, activities and ways of connecting are totally negotiable at any and all points of contact, ranging from non-verbal and written communication to physical contact.  Gain information and personal insight on how you respect and/or broach consent in your relationships, whether fleeting, short or long term.  Ask for consent.  If you don’t get it, move on with respect and integrity.
  7. Don’t rape women or people in the LGBTQ community, children or other men. Teach other men and boys not to rape and assault.  Understand, identify and deconstruct/dismantle rape culture.
  8. Call other men out/in when you hear them speaking in misogynoirist/misogynist/patriarchal  ways. Educate those closest to you. Share helpful posts and information/writing in your social media networks by women and LGBTQ people. Colorism adds additional levels of exploitation, especially for women of African descent.
  9. Don't participate in "tone policing", telling women and LGBTQ people how they should feel or to stop being angry when you are in conversation or discussion, in their digital or real life spaces.  How people share about their experiences of you or the systems of patriarchy, misogyny or heterosexism is important information for you, no matter how you are feeling in the moment about it.  Learn from their human experience and be humble in conversation and action.
  10. Acknowledge and deal with your discomfort around talking openly about sexism, male privilege and patriarchal oppression.  Do your inner and external community work.  It isn't about you, but you are responsible for dismantling  patriarchal social and political systems and structures because humanity and justice are important to you.
  11. Constantly learn about the systemic nature of patriarchy, intersectional oppression and sexism/misogynoir/misogyny/heterosexism.  Become clearly informed on how and where patriarchy and oppression show up in the social, economic and political structures of your local, state and federal governments and around the world.  Know that the dominant (anti-)culture resists learning about how to identify these systems and patterns and there are people who will directly and incorrectly criticize you for seeking clarity. 


♦ We do not suggest that these are the only things or all the best things to be done in the interest of dismantling patriarchy, misogyny and men’s violence against women and the LGBTQ community, but that this is our offering to the work already going on all over the world, our offering to motivate and activate new workers for justice across the Global Village and create support for those who have made such serious and effective steps in this interest to date. 

We thank all those that came before us that showed us the way to reawaken us to what it means to live in a world of justice, balance, validation and peace.

Ways to use the above list - 

  1. Read and integrate 1 or more list items into your life each day....every day
  2. Start a discussion group to engage dismantling patriarchy, anti-sexism and ending rape culture work on a group level
  3. Share this page in your social media network, highlighting one or more items to stimulate feedback and conversation, especially amongst men and male-identified people
  4. Engage items from this list at work and in your community organizations.
  5. Contact us to book a workshop on any one or more of the items on this list.  We are eager and ready to assist organizations and companies with forwarding anti-patriarchy and anti-oppression work


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Go to our  Men's Work page


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