Wednesday 7 November 2018

#Patriarchy or #ClassSystem?

I’ve been watching interviews with #JordanPetersen given my fascination that begun after my husband was given his book #12RulesforLife. He gets a lot of flak, mostly from women who hold the patriarchy to account for much of society’s ills, but I find a lot of what he says makes sense and he certainly knows how to think things through. I am a feminist in that I believe men and women are equal and I would and do fight for equal opportunity and equal pay and against women being attacked in any way shape or form by men, or by women, but I believe in attributing consequence to where it actually arises from. Also I don’t believe in tokenism unless competency and full support is inherent or a given; for me, competency must play a role for the common good. For me it’s about widening the net of opportunity as much as possible. Wider access to good education is what is needed here in the UK, but we have an ancient and entrenched class system that needs dismantling.

One of the things I find most annoying about the many voices that attack the patriarchy, is that the women in the media that are often making the attacks are where they are because of the very patriarchy that they attack. I hate sexism and misogyny, as much as anyone but I think sometimes the class system is more the issue, particularly in the UK. Their privileged position is theirs because of their elite education and the status of their parents. I made this point to an Oxford educated film director when in a key election some years back when I voted differently to her, she accused me of not wanting my housing association flat that I was given when I was a homeless single mother to go to a refugee. She could not have known whether I wanted that or not. She was making a projected assumption. She had unfriended all the friends that voted differently to her having used language against us such as: ignorant bigoted pigs. 

I put it to her that she wasn’t grasping the irony of her words (behaving like an ignorant bigoted pig in order to supposedly highlight ignorant bigoted pigs). She complained that I was denying refugees my council flat (actually it was ill run Housing Association flat and subject to constant rent hikes that I had had to work many jobs to afford so that I would not be a burden on the system). I put it to her that if she was in a tizzy about the flat I gave up (possibly so a refugee could move into it – who knows? I saw a lot of corruption in the system when I was accessing it out of genuine need) then perhaps a good start would be either to give up her flat in London or her country house in Somerset (that she owned thanks to her parents) to a refugee family. The fact that I worked with the homeless, the addicted and those recently released from prison or that risked my life by standing up against apartheid as a teenager in South-Africa, or made extended trips to the Thai-Burma border to actually help refugees whilst working (unpaid) as a chair of a charity that raised money for people that actually risked their lives to help the #Karen people of #Burma, she likely wouldn’t have been interested in because it did not fit in with her privileged albeit ignorant worldview; she had already been fully initiated into her tribal thinking. 

I had a similar conversation with a very privileged young lady who had been privately educated and medicated, and had never accessed the state schools, social housing nor the NHS she was ranting about. She had never had to look for a job given the patriarchy gave her one – she holds a privileged position in her father’s company. Of course this woman was entitled to her opinion, but I doubt whether she was planning to part with any of her inherited entitlement. In my view, this kind of lazy thinking is as much a danger as extreme right wing thinking. The end result is fascism, totalitarianism. It’s dictatorial and undemocratic and suppresses freedom of speech, whilst driving the extreme voices underground. Politicians (or anyone) that refuse to speak to politicians (or anyone else) who disagrees with them are vying for a ‘one party state’ whether they realise it or not. Perhaps they need to live in Zimbabwe for a while to aid their thinking. They’re also missing a trick: potentially changing their opponents minds for ‘the better’ and a treat: keeping those with potentially dodgy intentions above ground where they can be seen and heard rather than underground where dark forces divide and proliferate.