I was raised by a feminist mother who made me aware of the whole patriarchy-issue since I was very young. This unique upbringing caused me to struggle with my own masculinity for most of my life, but luckily for me, I found the seed of peace when I realised that there was a huge contradiction within the patriarchy, and the fight against it. I learned that women are also causing the Patriarchy.

For this post I invite you to be open-minded and to bear with me while I take you through what I learned about this whole debacle. Let us together find the liberating truth that is hidden within the paradox of the patriarchy. And let us together find a better strategy that will get us to the next level: a society with TRUE equality!

First of all I want to say:

The patriarchy is real! Our society today values masculine traits much more than feminine ones. We think this is normal because we have been conditioned through our culture, our politics, our economy and the rest of our environment. And because this is the current standard, there are many injustices towards women. Luckily for us, I already wrote a post on how to deal with privilege and injustice: How to deal with white male privilege.

A unique point of view

As said before, my unique viewpoint on this subject comes from the fact that I was raised by a feminist mother. And although my mother was and is an amazing woman who taught me great respect for women, I did not learn gender equality. Like with many people fighting for equality, the focus was too much on the oppressor and hence I learned contempt for the oppressor.

So when I grew up, I unwillingly learned to dislike the oppressor. Which means I grew up disliking men. I grew up disliking myself and my own masculinity.

Needless to say this fucked up my love live during my childhood, puberty and my young adolescent life. This was because I was afraid to look women in the eye, I was afraid to touch them, I was afraid to flirt, I was afraid to seduce. Basically I was afraid that my masculinity was going to offend women.

Many men have been struggling with the same issue since the #MeToo-movement. But for me, this idea had been engraved in my subconscious like a die-hard dogma.

Fortunately for me, around the age of 26, I saw the contradiction in the patriarchy and the liberating truth that lies within it. It set me on a long 7-year-quest where I learned to reprogram myself. I learned how to see myself equal to women, I learned to look them in the eye, to touch them, to seduce them, to talk to them without being submissive or oppressive, and moreover, I started to love my masculinity!

This also taught me a lot of empathy because I now realise how our upbringing really affects our way of thinking and acting: How does having a super-macho-father effect you? Or what’s the effect is of a super-submissive mother?….

Thus, because of my unique self-empowerment-quest I finally understand what true gender equality means, and how it can be better for both women & men!

The paradox of the patriarchy

It’s actually very simple to show you the Paradox in the Patriarchy. Pay attention to the subsequent picture for 10 seconds, and observe how it makes you feel.

If all went well you saw a picture of a person’s silhouette surrounded by Good-looking women. These attractive women have a special impact. I like to call this effect “the privilege of the beautiful female”. And this privilege is not caused by culture, it is a product of our psychological evolution. It has been passed on for millions of years and if you’re like most people (not blocked by traumas or dogmas that make you think the opposite) these pictures should have caused the following:

As a biological Man you look up to that person in the middle. Or if you feel strong/worthy enough, you’d probably compete with that person to be in his place.

As a biological women you are extremely interested about the person in the middle of the other women. Your biology is telling you: “If other females of my species are interested, this is probably a good partner”

Click this link for a good scientific article about this (which has many other good sources too) or Click this link for an easier-to-read article about this subject of evolutionary psychology.

Now, the time has come for the 2nd part of understanding the paradox in the patriarchy. What if I told you that the person you wanted to be, or the person you wanted to be with… was

Nobody else

but our good friend

and known misogynist:

D

o

n

a

l

d

Okay….I know this is quite a shock for you. You just wanted to be Donald Trump, or you just wanted to be with him…It’s okay…just breathe.

Let’s not fight our biology. Accepting this is part of the solution to get to true equality. In the acceptance lies personal peace and the ability to go to the next question, the cultural question: “Why do these women do this, why do they support a known misogynist?”

I already asked this question in the blog about white male privilege and I got some answers from some very interesting people:

Stephanie Hermant, a friend and a die-hard feminist fighting for equality, explained it like this: “those women are empowering themselves

Henry Gordon-Smith, another Friend from NYC who’s very involved with the topic as he is leading a company with many women, says: “Men throughout history have been forcing women to do this, because of this cultural history these women are also being forced to do this”

I do agree with both explanations

Yet

I feel there’s a part of the truth missing. I feel that we are making excuses for these women and making excuses is ALWAYS disempowering. While we want to do the opposite, right?

So let’s look at the part of the truth that is missing. Most of us are already thinking it, yet it is hard to utter. So I’m just going to say it:

These women, right there on the above picture, these women don’t give a shit about gender equality. They only care about themselves and how they can get the best life possible. They’re selfish.

This is the paradox of the Patriarchy: Next to the fact that many power-hungry and unconscious men are enforcing it, there’s an enormous amount of women who are doing the same. Men AND Women alike are reinforcing the current ways of the patriarchy

The seed of truth hidden within: The patriarchy is not a gender issue, not a war between sexes, it is a crisis of personal values.

Choose your values wisely

Each and every day we choose what we say and do, and this reflects our values.

The women in the above picture made a very conscious choice to be there with this powerful misogynist. It reflects that they care a lot about money & material wealth.

Me, I put my effort in ecosystem urban farming and changing the food system so that everyone has more access to healthy food and a healthy life in sync with nature. This, I hope, reflects that I value community and nature.

Each and every day we all have the power to choose what we say and what we do and it reflects our values every time.

We choose what we wear, we choose what we eat and drink, we choose our friends and lovers, we choose our jobs and employers, yes, we even choose our politicians. We also choose to question our conditioning and to break through our dogmas. We choose to change and what our life and the world around us looks like.

And yes I acknowledge: there’s a such thing as privilege and some people have much more choices than others. Next to that, some choices are also extremely hard to make and require a lot of courage

Yet, the truth remains that we ALWAYS have the power to make some choice in one way or another.

At the moment most people in power thrive on the ways of the patriarchy. Still, it is within our abilities to empower the considerable amount of men and women who are living and breathing the ways of equality. We can choose to lift them up to have more influence in shaping our world.

With every CHOICE we vote to support the current status quo of the patriarchy and oppression, or we opt to take little nibbles out of the grand structures of society that cause systematic injustices.

We can choose to remain the same, or we can choose a more equal civilisation.

We are the solution

Because of my feminist mother I had a unique early life with specific personal struggles about gender equality. This caused me to learn about the patriarchy and see the great paradox within: Next to men, there are an extensive amount of women reinforcing the patriarchy. This shows that the problem is not a gender-issue, but a crisis of values.

The solution to true equality is therefore quite simple: We, together, can choose our way out of the patriarchy towards true equality.

We all have the power to choose to make our lives and the lives of others better. If enough of us come together and choose the path of true equality, we have the power to shape a society where this is the norm.

When we choose to have a civilisation like that, there’s literally nothing we cannot do.

Amen!

Huge thanks to Eva Donkerblauw, Laura Ayala Bucheli, Toastmasters Ghent and all the awesome people around the world for sending me good vibes and deep thoughts.

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