How to move away from patriarchy?

e3 / podcast & show notes, wherein I proceed knowingly naïve


In this episode a wonderful chap who—like all my subscribers—I deeply admire, asks the following question:

How does the collective result of your work relate to what I believe is a gradual, albeit painful, transition from a patriarchal to non-patriarchal way of living, working and being? (Oh, by the way, if I was to sum up your work in just a few words, it would be to ‘help people make meaningful progress’.)

It seems to me that much of your messaging is congruent with the move away from a hyper-masculine, warrior-archetype approach to business and leadership. To some degree, it also pricks a pin into patriarchy’s most dangerous characteristic—an obsession with control. (Cue machine and military metaphors for leading and organising.)

The last time we met, you told me in person you were interested in my explorations around this messy topic of patriarchy. With this in mind, a brief articulation of my own message around this patriarchal to non-patriarchal transition can be discovered via this <video link>. Assuming you can’t make its viewing a current priority, may I suggest you ask a few of your favourite feminists to view it, and report back on its merits—or lack thereof.
—Grand Patriarchy Slayer, The Realm of Possibility

Oh Grand Patriarchy Slayer, it is such a delight to hear from you. Thank you for your question. I always make viewing such things a priority,* and I very much like and admire the message you are helping bring to this world. So much so that I would love to consider a chat with you on this podcast—I suspect I still have much to learn, and would benefit greatly from the banter.

* I’m just terrible at getting back to people. I severely overthink my replies, and tend to wait for the mythical ‘perfect moment’ to get back to you with a response that at least mirrors the eloquence of the original message. Alas, this is the ‘tragedy of the commons’ that is email -_-

Nonetheless, I have made a lengthy attempt to provide some perspective on this. Or rather: a glimpse at my own flawed and incomplete proto-synthesis of things.

» Speaker Diversity (manel boycott)
» The Culture (books) by Iain M Banks are brilliant, and a great example of postgenderism (and hence: post-patriarchy) in science fiction. To quote from Player of Games“Marain, the Culture’s quintessentially wonderful language, has, as any schoolkid knows, one personal pronoun to cover females, males, in-betweens, neuters, children, drones, Minds, other sentient machines, and every life-form capable of scraping together anything remotely resembling a nervous system and the rudiments of language (or a good excuse for not having either). Naturally, there are ways of specifying a person’s sex in Marain, but they’re not used in everyday conversation; in the archetypal language-as-moral-weapon-and-proud-of-it, the message is that it’s brains that matter, kids; gonads are hardly worth making a distinction over.”
Trickster Makes This World by Lewis Hyde
» The Courage To Be Disliked by Ichiro Kishimi & Fumitake Koga
» I talked a bit about the absence of verticality in how we relate to fellow sentient beings. But this doesn’t mean that (non-dominance) hierarchies aren’t apt, accurate and appropriate. Far from it! I don’t think I explained my stance here well, so in light of this I recommend to you the following excerpt from The Listening Society by Hanzi Freinacht: In Defence of Hierarchies among Humans.
» Female Conference Speaker Bingo
» Congrats, you have an all male panel!
» It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work by Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson
» How Do I Reconcile My Masculinity With The Toxicity of Men? by Thomas Page McBee
» Aphro-ism by Aph Ko & Sly Ko (I misremembered this as ‘Aphro-feminism’ in the podcast, and I don’t think I did the best job of representing this, but their work is brilliant)
» Beyond Safe Spaces by Richard Bartlett. I like the way he finishes his article: “I can anticipate a certain number of White men taking this as an invitation to complain about being prevented from dominating organisations or gatherings. If that’s you, please read this article I wrote for you before commenting on this one.”
» Hesitate—“Quick decision-making might seem bold, but the agony of indecision is your brain’s way of making a better choice.”
» Feminism, yes. Culture of fear, no thanks.—another article by Hanzi Freinacht. Here’s an apt quote, taken out of context. “…‘full inclusion’ is a logical paradox, and must therefore be and remain a chimera. Unfortunately, because people cling on too eagerly to sociological theories of power structures and exclusion, they are lead to believe that any homogeneity of a newly formed organization is caused only by the tendency of powerful groups to exclude others. Such explanations may play a part, but they are not exhaustive. And once you cling to an impossible ideal, and your only explanation for why it does not materialize is to blame the power structures (subtly blaming other people), you feel justified in making vague, sweeping arguments about discrimination and exclusion. And so you feed the culture of fear, which debilitates the vibrancy of your organization as explained above. The leadership naturally becomes less audacious and energized.”
Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now by Jaron Lanier
» 21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari (this book is a must read)
» Antifragile by Nassim Taleb (I need to stop quoting this book).

Whew. That was hefty. I dearly hope this podcast isn’t simply interpreted as virtue signalling. I like to think it’s that—and more. Bah. I’ll get better at this (but thanks for joining me.

Have a question you’d like for me to muse upon in auditory fashion? Subscribe to my museletter and keep your eye out for my next Call for Questions.

PodcastJason FoxComment