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November 29, 2022

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: On Sunday we smash the Patriarchy

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Calling for an end to Patriarchy is not saying you hate men. It’s saying you hate a system that gives privilege and purpose to one particular group at the cost of others. It’s saying that there has to be a better way.

In a system dominated by straight white men, how do we get truly representative government? Can Patriarchy ever deliver the equity so many of us desire? I can’t see systemic change ever happening without an end to the big P. And before some of you start getting angry and shouting at The Echo that Mandy Nolan has gone on another man-hating rampage. I’m not. Calling for an end to Patriarchy is not saying you hate men. It’s saying you hate a system that gives privilege and purpose to one particular group at the cost of others. It’s saying that there has to be a better way.

Patriarchy demands a particular style of masculinity. It postures. It dominates. It invades. It controls. It marginalises. It’s violent. It creates war. It is the architect of so much of the world’s suffering. It’s not just women and the non-binary community, so many men are injured by a system that demands their brutality. The cost of passage to the Gentlemen’s Club is their heart. It’s their kindness. It’s their silence when men they know behave badly, or tell sexist or racist or homophobic jokes when they’re drunk, or bash their wife or partner. It’s the compromises they’ve made to survive in a system that crushes men who don’t ‘measure up’. 

Patriarchy is the secret handshake. It’s the envelope full of cash. It’s the pat on the back. It’s the secret deal, the pay off. It’s the fucking disgusting privilege. Privilege that always comes at the expense of everyone else; the liberty, the equity, and the safety of everyone and everything else. It’s a mindset that says that everything is mine. It’s there for the taking. It’s the coloniser’s wet dream, bending Mother Nature over and raping every resource out of her. 

Patriarchy is the man in the shadows. The drunk boy who drags a drunk girl to the couch of his boss and rapes her – because he can. Patriarchy is the silent hand on the shoulder that says ‘We’ve got this my boy. We wrote the legal system. Rape has a conviction rate of just over three per cent.’

My 21-year-old son grew up in a household full of women. Inside the home there was no patriarchy. With a feminist mother, a feminist grandmother and four empowered sisters he had the opportunity of finding a different masculinity. A masculinity that was informed by the feminine. That meant he could cry, that he could talk about his feelings, that he could be himself. He could also kick a ball and go to the gym.  

There’s something terrifying about sending your son into the world of men. I remember when he left home I told him to be careful. It wasn’t the conversation I gave my girls about locking doors, dark streets and men who rape and kill. It was about being careful not to show too much of himself; to know when to be quiet and sneak past the gatekeepers of Patriarchy who sniff out ‘deviance’. Who hurt beautiful boys who don’t prescribe to the tenets of their club by ‘teaching them a lesson’.

One of my favourite sayings is: Nothing changes if nothing changes. And if Patriarchy isn’t dismantled, then we will never end domestic violence. We will never end the rape and murder of women and children. We will continue to live in a world of violence and war. 

It isn’t peace if it’s a pause, just a tiny gap where we congratulate ourselves for our astounding humanity, and wear a white ribbon and run an awareness campaign and raise money for the traumatised… before we face the next atrocity.   

We don’t need any more awareness campaigns. We are aware. The perpetrator is Patriarchy. 

So I suggest a quota system, where we set a limit on straight white men that we are prepared to accept as CEOs, on boards, in courts, in governments. Then we open the doors to everyone else: The people who have been marginalised, First Nations, the disabled, the LBGTQI community, people of colour… and women. Then, and only then, systemic change will occur, when leadership isn’t from the pointy end of the trickle down triangle of neo-liberalism, but from beside it. 

What does that even look like?

I don’t know about you, but I want to find out.

And I think most men do too.

Please join us at March 4 Justice this Sunday at 12pm at the Mullumbimby Civic Hall.

Wear black. 


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33 COMMENTS

  1. replace the word patriarchy with society and you might make more sense “we will continue to live in a world of violence and war.” yes because society demands it MARILLYN HEWSON. Chairman, CEO, and president, Lockheed Martin. LEANNE CARET. CEO and president of defense, space, and security, Boeing.
    LYNN DUGLE. Chairman, CEO, and president, Engility. all these women in the top roles of notorious arms manufactuers for war. hillary clinton arguably one of the moset powerful women in the world oversaw the sodomization with a combat knife of Muammar Gaddafi “we came we saw he died’ the word patriarchy is used to by white liberal women in an attempt cleanse and distance their connection to the benefits they receive from the society theyre part of but are theyre deluding themselves or just seeking social proift.

  2. What a load of rot – however you are correct about one thing – many men suffer from your perception of, “patriarchy” which isn’t really “patriarchy” at all. Like Dennis said, it’s “society”. I am one of them. Although I am a straight, white, male, I am a smaller stature man. Do you know which “group” of people I receive the most negativity from? Straight, women of all stripes. Even my own mother and one of my sisters can’t help but sneer about my smaller stature. These same women look up to my other brothers and always coo about how, “handsome” and “tall” they are. I don’t get any problems from my straight, white, male managers at work, but I get plenty of putting down, making fun of by our supposedly, “better” women folk. I’m not sure why.

    I can only assume because women (in general) like their men to be big, tall and strong. They then think it’s appropriate to not consider men like myself, “real men”. Women then won’t use their supposed big brains to override, their, “lizard brains”. They say they can’t help but feel attracted to big, strong, tall men. So please tell me why men like myself would support a woman dominated society when I don’t get crap from “the patriarchy” for being small, but I get plenty of crap from women for being small? For somebody like myself, a “matriarchy” sounds like absolute hell. Our supposed “superior” women want themselves “dominated” by a big, strong man in the bedroom and then “dominate” the same men outside of the bedroom. What would a “matriarch” do for men like myself?

  3. Put women in charge. Golda Meir, Indira Ghandi, Margaret Thatcher, Helen Clarke, Benezir Bhutto, Ursula Von der Layen, Tsai Ing-wen, Jillian Gillard amonst many woman that held positions of authority within their countries. Did we see any major transformation toward peace and equality? Do women figure on the most wanted lists in the world. Lets stop this pretence about men and woman! Believe it or not we are all people, some good, some bad, some sad. You continue to blame all ills on the so called “patriarchy”.
    Latest information (Feb 2022) shows that companies with women CEOs have significantly more women on their boards than those run by men. It will be interesting over the years to find they do just a well as men in their commercial roles and are just a ruthless as men in their management style. We are all people and should be rewarded for our talents no matter what!
    I personally believe that the job of bringing up healthy, self assured and socially competent children is one of the MOST important role that one can do! ie being a mother or undertaking a “mothering role”! That probably makes me a feminist!!

  4. Mandy lives in a world of her own creation.
    Oh sure, it’s great to have some target that you can project all your frustrations onto , but that’s about as realistic as her own unique definition of “Patriarchy ”
    The list of evil , war-mongering women is endless, though they often prefer to manipulate men to do their dirty-work for them.
    Who was Eva Braun, Ghislaine Maxwell ?
    The well documented Australian women zealots in the past two wars, who posted white chicken feathers to men who hadn’t volunteered to die for England, the same was true for that evil invasion of Vietnam and even the insane invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan, triggered by the Saudi attack on Wall St. Women have been there beating the drums of war .
    Some women are wonderful, I’ve even had the honour to know one or two, but it is an insane delusion to attribute all the evil in this world to your pet hate, men.
    Do you think this will get you votes ? G”)

  5. Patriarchy was enforced and backed by Religion !
    Still is in many Countries
    Women have had enough!
    Matriarch and Patriarch equally is the future !

  6. Thanks Mandy for speaking up!
    But the responses from sad people who can’t see beyond their own comfort zones and privileges. Threatened by patriarchy? Nah, just deny it!
    Or turn it into a war of the sexes – a tired old ploy.
    Glen Toamsatti said it clearly in her 1969 song, “Don’t be too polite girls” – It’s not their balls we’re after, it’s a fair square deal!”

  7. Mandy, did you not have five (!) children with a straight white man?

    Of course if you were a real environmentalist you would not have had five, but why are you attacking straight men of any colour after you found them so useful in your utilitarian contempt towards them?

  8. Today sounds & reads like a ‘set up’. Talk about stirring the fur. 2 spots from me.

    ‘All societies on the verge of death are masculine. A society can survive with only
    one man; no society will survive a shortage of women.’ Germaine Greer.

    ‘Take care how you place your moccasins upon the Earth; step with care for the
    faces of the future generations are looking up from the earth waiting their turn
    for life.’ Chief of the Cherokee Nation, Wilma Mankiller.

    • Masculine Republics degenerate into Feminine Democracies degenerate to Despotism, then collapse.
      Egypt, Greece, Rome, British Empire

    • If we had left the rule of society up to women I’m pretty sure our species would be still living in caves discussing our feelings.

  9. Disinformation all over. Vietnam Vets are those ‘done in’ by a government who
    sold them for ‘a shilling’ & I ought to know because those in power had no idea of
    what Agent Orange was & ‘still is’ for the ones who managed to return. I am an Editor
    . . . do you get that? I’ve worked with & on – “Homecoming, Images of Vietnam” &
    suggest you read “Cry in the Wilderness” by Jean Williams. As well, look out for the
    limited edition of “Loeng Nok Tha” by Willy Bach district of Yacothan, Thailand. Due
    to my beliefs & support for the ‘Vets’ the Paddy Wagon was well known to me many
    years ago. Women won’t slack off when ‘male or female’ has been done in by some-
    one parroting another.

    I note the ‘winging away’ at Mandy hasn’t stopped. Verbal punching-bag stuff. Now
    that’s uncalled for. There’s another ancient saying from ‘native Americans’. “What you
    do to others [read Mandy & other women] you do to yourselves.” Have a good day.

  10. Mandy does not have to answer the question regarding her children, Shane. It’s none of your business.
    For all you know the 5 siblings could be half brothers & sisters. Parents often separate. Get ill & die.
    Assumption again – straight men? Which colour? Nothing to do with you. Women also tend to adopt
    a child or children if the parent/parents are no longer on earth. Jumping to conclusions says a lot
    about no care, attention & love.

  11. This discussion is so depressing. Surely it’s obvious that the interests of both sexes (and non-binary) are served by the breaking down of expectations of what it is to be an acceptable man or woman. Women for example, can be expected to smile and be “nice”, men for example, can be denied self expression. It needs to be a joint effort to liberate each other. Or am I missing something?

    Masculinity police come in both genders (and perhaps non-binary though I doubt it)
    Femininity police come in both genders (and perhaps non-binary though I doubt it) and we can all at times be guilty. Time to build a bridge and get over it.

  12. A quota of straight white men? Wtf. How do you define white? Will you require Dna testing of potential white men at their job interviews and / or proof of their gayness not straightness? This is totally mad and counterproductive. Healthy relationships and schooling will solve this problem not blatant discrimination. Step down from the greens please.

  13. The usual rot about how if the people that ruled us had two x chromosomes, everything would be better. Margaret Thatcher, Golda Meir, Ursula de Leyden etc etc. Quotas etc just mean they are used by rich, overpriviledged women to get more overpaid women in cushy jobs in the public sector etc.
    The same day Julia Gillard made her wonderful ‘misogyny’ speech, she kicked 100,000 sole mothers onto the dole and into poverty. And the cheering sisters in the press gallery said nothing.
    Just once, just once can we please discuss the POLICIES rather than the GENDER of the people that rule us. Just once.

    • The single parent payment was no path to riches either Harry. Harsh as it may have seemed there are always two sides. Encouraging anyone to subsist on such an allowance until their youngest turned 16, eventually left people (often women) still well below aged pension age, thrown onto the job market with no recent work experience, no savings, no superannuation, no real estate.

      And what does the LACK of quotas give us Harry – a true diversity of socio economic representation and the ascension of only the truly meritorious? Think Richard Colbeck and Stuart Robert as shining examples.

      Btw – saying that there needs to be a little more evenness in the distribution of power is not saying everyone with two X chromosomes is perfect. What Julia Gillard achieved in such a short time in minority government facing three opposition leaders, will see her regarded in history as one of our greatest prime ministers.

      • Great, so you’re saying it was good women were kicked off sole parent down to the dole. As long as the govt. that does it has two x chromosomes, its all good!

        • No I thought John Howard was on the right track as well when he introduced the policy. The Gillard govt just removed the grandfathering.

          The thing is good policy does not encourage people into lifelong poverty under the guise of kindness.

          • Yeah, lets empower our sistas by cutting their money! That’ll teach ’em incentive! Feel that huger and homelessness!

    • Oh and POLICIES. Yes very important – thing is you can waste a lot of breath talking about policies when those in power get the ultimate decision about which ones prevail.

      • yep and the policy you support is women being kicked off sole parent payment onto the dole. (Provided the PM’s a woman, its all good).

  14. I agree, Harry. To hell with gender upsets – however so many of us need
    to grow up if that’s at all possible. I’ll listen & understand a school kid or
    teenager any day. Hope you’ve not been flood bound. Most of us have.

  15. Let’s talk about this quota system. So how will we know if someone is gay or straight? Do we ask them at the interview? That will certainly go down well. Do we register our sexuality and race status with a centralised government agency. Perhaps get it tattooed onto our forearms or wear a symbol around our shoulders to mark everyone out, that went well for our Jewish friends.

    She never spoke of people with disabilities, how dare she forget to mention them, do they not count?

    And please explain what exactly defines someone as being white? What about mixed races? Do they only get entitled to be a part-time CEO?

    Yes, yes, so called “white” men are brutal animals and are to blame for all of the worlds problems. That would make African and asian nations run by non-whites ever so peaceful huh?

    Don’t be fooled by this moron. Her aim is to divide and conquer, using minority groups as one big collective under her banner. She doesn’t give a damn about you or your minority status, just her own hungry ambitions.

    Marginalising people based on sexuality, sex and race, regardless of if it’s in favour of the minority or majority won’t work and is evil. Have we learnt nothing from the Nazis?

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