John DeVore

I know I am just one of those ‘privileged’ people but if I may be allowed a word…

Allow me to lay it on the line here. I am a simple, sometimes naive kind of chap who does not know everything that is going on, so I am always grateful for enlightenment from those who know more than I do. And I have it on impeccable authority that every man is a sworn adherent of a gigantic conspiracy called the patriarchy; whose overwhelming objective is to ensure men lord it over women and keep the poor wretches in their (subordinate) place. Apparently this conspiracy has worked a treat throughout history, and despite the best efforts of some truly heroic females, and the men who love them, the monstrous patriarchy still reigns supreme.

Daily, I am assaulted with texts, messages, speeches, and whatnot assuring me that I have a whole bunch of privileges just for being male. I’m of that group that is more unemployed, earns less per hour, has less healthcare, has a lower lifespan, poorer education and am privileged in ways I don’t even know.

Now this gives me two little problems. Firstly, whatever else the patriarchy might be doing on the side, it seems to me that its first and last great purpose must be to carve out exclusive privileges for men at women’s expense. I will take that as read, in which case the blindingly obvious question is exactly what privileges it has managed to create for us, after all that effort down through the centuries. It would be beyond all credibility, all sanity, all rhyme or reason, if millions of men had put their best efforts into building privileges for themselves, and achieved precisely nothing! Would that make us mega losers, or what? And yet .. and yet .. I still cannot find anyone who can put a finger on exactly what those privileges consist of. It’s driving me mad. Somebody must know; in fact a hell of a lot of somebodies must know and I’ve just read an entire spiel from someone talking about male privilege without actually naming a single one of them, I guess because it is so obvious to him. Is there anyone reading this who can rescue me from my ignorance?

Which leads to my second little problem with this patriarchy thingy. I am a fully paid up member of the male sex, and yet in all my life I have never been invited to join the conspiracy. I don’t know where the conspirators meet, what secret passwords or symbols they use, how they recognise each other, or what diabolical plots they are dreaming up next to keep men high on their thrones. It all seems to have passed me by, like a fart in the wind; momentarily sensed, then gone and quickly forgotten, never to be grasped. On the contrary, I was laughed at by a family court judge for suggesting that I have equal care of my children, I cannot get cancer screening handed out regularly to those not male, I am unemployed, and if I were only female I could be rehoused in one of those nice new homes down the street. Yet there are millions of men who are in on the plot, passing the torch from one generation to the next, continually replenishing the membership.

So I have a heartfelt plea here: let me in, you bastards! Why have I been cold-shouldered? I want to play the game, I want to claim my unfair share of all those privileges you have created for yourselves. Do you hear me? I WANT TO JOIN THE PATRIARCHY! If I am to be condemned for being a member I at least want to enjoy the rights of membership. But somehow I have been forgotten, overlooked, cast aside, while the rest of you chauvinist pigs wallow in your privileged existences. I am one of you, dammit. I deserve my place. If I must, I will secure impeccable misogynistic credentials. I believe in the supremacy of the male: oh, how I believe, honest. I will go through any initiation ceremony you can dream up for me. Tie me to Ixion’s wheel, flog my testicles with rusty barbed wire, force me to listen to the Vagina Monologues for three months on end, just as long as I can join the club, and be guaranteed to float blissfully on a cloud of privileges for the rest of my life, just like the rest of you. Is that too much to ask?