• Virginie Da Costa

Male patriarchy

Written by Virginie De Vevey

What happiness to have seen yesterday husbands, fathers, brothers, lovers, mates, taking part to the parade with us. However, I realized that this participation in the feminist strike was not so easy for our male counterparts. I think of all these stealthy glances, smiles barely assumed that I crossed. These men seem to say "yes I know ... you do well but it's difficult as a guy to know how to take part in all this". Also thought for all those gentlemen who in the shadows have gradually reduced the injustices affecting women. For example, my mother reminded me yesterday that it was also thanks to my father that she was able to develop professionally and hold a position of responsibility. In the wake of this historic day for Swiss citizens, I wanted to illustrate the limitations of patriarchy by pointing out, and recalling, its alienating impact on all of us, whatever our gender. I have chosen to remember that men are also hindered in their daily lives. Virginie Despentes 1 (2006) describes in her magnificent book King Kong Théorie how the state dogmatizes its citizens in order to better serve its interests. She points out, when she defends the valorization of active fatherhood, that "The father's look at the child is a potential revolution. In particular, they can mean to girls that they have a life of their own, apart from the market of seduction, that they are capable of physical strength, entrepreneurship and independence, and to value them for that strength, without fear of immanent punishment. They can signal to the sons that the macho tradition is a trap, a severe restriction of emotions, serving the army and the state. Because traditional manhood is as mutilating as the assignment to femininity. In our society, a woman can not be both seductive, ambitious (oooouh the angry), intelligent, funny, adventurous, without being experienced as dangerous and castrating. In our society, a man can not be virile, while being sensitive, cared for (oooouh the metrosexual), without being taxed weak.

I know that my father has always suffered from meeting only a few men among his contemporaries with whom he could have discussions about the emotions aroused by the beauty of a work of art, or by reading a book. He has little interest for meetings limited to sharing banalities about the last football match or the latest model BMW. He has thus "chosen", if not better, to prefer the company of his flowers and his brushes. I am sad about this because I am convinced that many men encounter this loneliness even when surrounded by their mates. In my opinion, a figure reflects this forced learning of emotional loneliness in men: "In 2014, 1029 people killed themselves in Switzerland (754 men and 275 women)" 2, about one woman for every three men. How to explain such a difference ? Are our brains and neurons so distinct? I think not. During my studies in psychology, and in the daily practice of my clinical practice, I learned and found that men speak less willingly of their emotions and do less to call for help than women. This is mainly explained by our education and by the norms created by our patriarchal society.The latter harm both women and men because they lock us into patterns that sometimes isolate us from others but especially from ourselves. It is a form of alienation, a sanitization of our personalities that are more unique than our fingerprints. Through these well-defined standards, the patriarchal society shapes us to better control us. It is indeed easier to anticipate the needs and reactions of identical subjects. There are no longer people, but men versus women. Two well-separated entities, with such rigid boundaries that the few "errors" lying between two are directly qualified as abnormal. This tendency to reduce the world and the perceptions that we have of it in two very distinct categories is called a cleavage in psychology.Cleavage is part of the defense mechanisms, a whole range of strategies put in place when an individual is in a situation of suffering. These defense mechanisms are varied and some are more efficient than others. Cleavage may be effective over a short period of time, but deleterious in the long term. Indeed, by reducing the world and our experiences in binary elements, it stiffens the relationship that an individual has with them. This stiffening and the suppression of nuances are sources of suffering. Like the one my father was able to confide to me, like mine, which I will discuss on the occasion of a future writing. We are all unique, and this society seeks to impoverish our wealth for the benefit of its own. I was very moved to see at this huge rally Friday that some of these borders are crumbling, giving way to other colors. It's up to us to continue to evolve this by first taking care of the diversity of our indoor garden, while refusing to match it to a pre-established layout. 1 (p.28) - Despentes, V. (2006). King Kong Theory. Paris: Editions Grasset & Fasquelle 2 Federal Department of the Interior DFI; Federal Statistical Office FSO. (2014). Cause of death statistics 2014.

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