For purposes of this blog, I’ll keep it short. After all, what hasn’t been said about patriarchy and masculinity on here that I would document now.
But it does baffle women how men are so much stronger and tighter within themselves. There is no misandry. Therefore there is no internalized misandry. Men call themselves part of the herd. They protect each other and make for a very impressive community. Unfortunately, due to internalized misogyny, women don’t have the same communal values.
A few ways in which heteropatriatchy works to preserve and strengthen itself are now our famous heteronormative values. Heteronormativity is an essential part of the patriarchy. It is the way patriarchy respects and endorses binary ideas. It’s how patriarchy scares us of the other.
Men and women, for many years, in sophisticated societies have been divided into colors. A woman’s is pink and a man’s is blue. Sexes are assigned at birth and any deviation in anatomy causes physicians to pause and classify it as the other. Girls wear pink, have dollhouses, don’t cross their legs in public, can’t be heard or seen too much. Boys are loud, play sports, rule the world, bring home the bacon. You get the idea.
Men also have been allowed the bro-code. Women have been injected with so much hatred for their own kind that no real girl code exists. The mindset of scarcity is such an integral part of a woman that she never enjoys unity with her kind. She is always wary of another woman wrongfully taking what’s rightfully hers. The famous pie of one man that many women have to contend for is a woman’s biggest problem. She fights for it, sacrifices for it, even compromises for it. The pie doesn’t belong to her anyway. In a man’s world, men belong to men. They make for fleeting moments in women’s lives but their self belongs to other men….. men that they share a fraternity with.
The bro-code brings forth critical deficits in friendships that women try to have with other women. Women are always scared that the friendship will shortchange them in some way. While this is sometimes merely a baseless fear, it has enough precedent that it does take roots rather quickly. Throughout history, women have taken other women’s power at the behest of men. The mindset that pulls us back is the very creation of patriarchy. Patriarchy always reserves a rain check for it.
Women are also considered children of lesser worth than male children. Women are expected to uproot themselves for family while men are supposed to always be there for family. While these seem similar situations, men don’t uproot themselves to become part of a growing family. Men stand in their place, where they were born, like a tree, and gain respect just by being old and constant. Women are pulled and repotted several times and are more comparable to pets who can change owners if a particular owner can no longer care for them.
Men can choose to change the script also. In a country like Pakistan where the word “religion” is thrown around in attempts to exert control or moral guilt, men can change what would cause guilt. They can actually reprogram the whole thing. A woman can be raised to not work or date or cavort with strangers but if her patriarch needs her to do it, she might end up learning a new lesson. There aren’t many constants in the world of a woman. It’s astounding because her world is directly adjacent to a man’s where everything is always predictable, constant and steady.
You can argue that men and women have different roles hence the need for heteropatriarchy. Patriarchy supports men and conditions them to protect women. I think that’s where this argument is lost on you. Patriarchy harms men too. It doesn’t benefit anyone in the long run. Its biggest loyalty is to the system.
But even you can’t ignore that heteronormativity is the biggest strength of the patriarchy. Predictable behaviors and predictable outcomes is what patriarchy thrives on. Deviants are punished. Deviant behavior is punished more severely. Spirits of the other and the unknown and the unmeasured are crushed daily.
So whether you are a man who wears blue pants with a blue shirt with a blue tie, you owe your strength to the women who wear pink so you can take power in blue. Whether you like to drink beer and watch football and eat a steak, you will be going home to a woman who keeps it together for you. Whether you unbutton your shirt to the navel so your chest hair shows and announces your toxic male values, remember there’s a pink shaving kit that your wife will pull out tonight before making love to you.
Whether you are a patriarch or simply a man, remember how heteronormativity was created so you could feel powerful and the person who upholds it so you could be comfortable in it isn’t even a man.