By Raymond Cuttill
“The Patriarchy is truly dying,” says Mike the Therapist in a Tweet.
My problem is, I can’t find it. I keep asking feminists for a phone number for it, but they never reply. The thing is, I don’t seem to remember ever oppressing women or even wanting to, but I keep getting told I have. I’m part of the Patriarchy, apparently. I would have thought I would know. Apparently, I can get women to do what I want. I’m 70. I was a young man in the 1960s/70s. So if I could get women to do what I want that means I’ve been dating Raquel Welch, voluptuous star of “One Million Years B.C. (1966)” and “Fantastic Voyage (1966)”, since the 1960s and we’re very happy together. Now, in reality Raquel Welch has never heard of me and even some of the girls I went to school with turned me down. So, what I’d like to do is talk about the Patriarchy and the relationship between men and women as I see it and then later come to some of the specific points from Mike the Therapist.
When I went out in the 1960s with a woman you bought two of everything. If we wanted coffee you bought two coffees. Dinner – you bought two dinners. Dances – you bought two dance tickets. She was never expected to pay a penny for anything. Sometimes when you arranged a date she stood you up. At least once I went to a dance with someone and paid for our tickets. Once inside she ‘spotted some friends’ and I never saw her again all night.
You hoped to get more dates and that would maybe lead to kissing and cuddling. That didn’t necessarily lead to sex. Things were changing around then. The pill was starting to come in. However, most were still getting married.
As a young man I was unclear on how to get girls and what they wanted. My friend and I decided it was a case of numbers. If we’d asked one girl in the street if she wanted coffee and she didn’t perhaps we should ask ten girls. It turns out if you ask ten girls if they wanted coffee none of them had to say yes. I didn’t understand then that they had criteria which we were failing.
Around this time a young woman I knew decided not to wear a bra under her T shirt. This was a bold move in those days. It was clear it wasn’t for my or anyone else’s benefit. She was getting ready for a date with her boyfriend.
So as you can see I’ve never lived in a world where women didn’t have agency. I’ve seen a woman who claimed to want a family with someone but later and later really meant never and the relationship, which was clearly on a false foundation, ended when she ran out of excuses. Back in the 60s somebody ran some paternity tests and found that by blood type at least 10%, possibly as high as 30%, of children were not conceived by the supposed father. I just saw a YouTube video about someone who’d been married, happily he thought, for 33 years. He had two daughters and one son. One day they did a DNA test to look at their ancestry. Turns out the two daughters weren’t his.
It shouldn’t be necessary to say this but before I go any further I would like to point out that at no point have I said that men are angels and never lie or cheat. If I say dogs have tails I have not said that cats don’t have tails. I haven’t even mentioned cats. There’s no need to mention men because there are women all over the media pointing out anything they don’t like about men.
So where does all this come from? Well, I’m interested in Psychology and have been for 40 years, and I’m particularly interested in Evolutionary Psychology that looks at why we are the way we are.
We seem to have arrived here because as a species we are weak. We are weaker than chimpanzees, our nearest evolutionary relative. I know of no-one, apart from Tarzan in old movies, who could, unarmed and single-handedly, fight a lion. The solution to that is to group into large numbers. We can spot and raise the alarm or even fight as a group if needed.
There’s a number called Dunbar’s Number from a British anthropologist. He suggests, although some dispute it, that around 150 is the right number for a tribe, and in order to maintain social relationships with all those people we need a large brain. At some point we seem to have separated the hunters and gatherers; the hunters being men and the gatherers being women. This world work quite well if you have a stable village to work out of.
This seems to leave women with a problem. If the men bring back a kill they might favor the prettiest women when handing out the meat. They might also only protect the prettiest women when threatened. The solution to this is monogamy. This assures the man that the children his partner has are his. She might be ready to die for her children and he might too, but not if there’s doubts that they’re his.
Essentially, this is a deal and all deals can be broken. Either can cheat. Either can take a chance that they won’t be found out. For the woman, she can have sex with someone she thinks is better than her husband. If she gets away with it, she still gets help from the husband, but there’s a chance she’ll lose his support if she doesn’t, and that could be catastrophic. Hence some people cheat and some people don’t.
Women still want support. There was a woman on TikTok recently celebrating her new boyfriend because “he buys me anything I want”. Alimony still exists, and in some cases she can ask for more for no other reason than she used to live with him. There have been cases where she spent her half of the divorce settlement and then says she needs more alimony, as if women are still dependent on men whenever it suits them.
In fact it’s safe to say that by promising the man she’ll have his kids, she effectively creates the Patriarchy, a situation in which the man, chosen by her, has to look after her. Now this does give him power, but only in ways that suit her. Whenever it suits her she may cheat or leave him. In fact, it’s impossible to see the human race as the success it is without women’s choice being involved throughout.
It is a success at 8 Billion. Success, of course, brings other problems. I wonder if there was 8 billion tigers and 3000 humans, would the tigers not eat the last 3000 humans?
All females of all species choose the best mate they can, and that includes women. They demand more of males, and then choose the best of them. The stronger or faster or cleverer men were chosen by women, and so had children. The weaker, slower, stupider ones did not. Generally that means we get a better species. Given our rather weak position in the outside world we had to do that. It is inconceivable that we would have got here without women choosing the best men and men striving to meet their demands. Women remain drivers of the human race, even if it’s back seat drivers.
Now let’s look at Mike the Therapists Tweets –
“The Patriarchy is truly dying. It really is.
It is more noticeable in some circles. In others, it is still glowing with dying embers.
Here is where I as a therapist see it all the time. With men under 40.
They are whining and scratching their heads to figure out why women won’t date them, have sex with them, or marry them. In social media meetings, they claim it is unfair. Their fathers, older brothers, uncles, grandfathers didn’t have to do much and women did their bidding.”
I’d say women still want to date, have sex and even get married at times. As for “women doing their bidding” I don’t see that happening unless she wants to please him.
“Those days have been over for a decade. Here is the new reality.
Women do not owe men anything. Nothing.”
It depends. We’ve built lots and invented lots so maybe a thank you would be good. Conversely, this also means men don’t owe women anything. Women, however, have not stopped asking for things, even when now, they could get them for themselves.
“2: Even if you’re nice to them, shower them with kindness, buy them gifts, speak softly and tenderly, they do not have to do what you want.”
Women still complain if he doesn’t pay for dinner. No one has to do what anyone wants but it’s a reasonable expectation that a relationship is a two-way exchange of love and support. Perhaps it’s about time women showered men with kindness and gifts.
“Treating someone nice is the bare minimum we should do for every human.
3. Women never have to have sex with you. Ever. Not if you buy them dinner. Not if you date them for two months and not yell at them. Not even if you marry them. You have no right to sex. Ever.”
Treating someone nice is the bare minimum whether men or women. Perhaps you should tell women that. You may not have a right to sex but again, it’s a reasonable expectation if you’re in a relationship. Honesty would be nice too, but there are liars on both sides.
“4. Women are allowed to remain single and never have men in their lives.”
MGTOW are doing the same to women but it does seem women mostly want men in their lives. The fact that MGTOW is called misogynistic is a testament to women’s expectations. Some don’t like it if men turn them down.
“5. Women can sniff out someone who is being nice to them to get something they want. They won’t put up with disingenuous friendships with men any longer.”
It’s a pity more men can’t do the same to women.
“This attitude that says “Hey, I tried being nice and you still won’t date me” doesn’t work any more.”
This is the gap between women’s claims and the reality. Women say “I want someone kind and someone who listens,” but then the ‘Nazi gorilla on a motorbike’ turns up and she’s off with him because the kind guy somehow doesn’t ‘do it for her.’ Women don’t seem to know what they want, and it does confuse men.
“6. Women are humans, equal in all ways to men. They work harder at being humans than most men. From now on, they expect men to work just as hard at being decent human.”
“Equal in all ways” is a bit of a joke. Equal rights are fine but don’t say everybody, men or women, can run the 100M as fast as Usain Bolt. Women need to work harder as being “humans” because some seem totally happy with a hostile attitude to men, which men do not deserve. Men are being quite patient with women, but some have given up on finding a reasonable women.
As for Mike being a therapist, I cannot see this judgmental attitude as being good. For someone who’s supposed to have empathy, it sounds like he’s a little short. I’d be surprised if this attitude doesn’t bleed through, not just to men, but to all clients. He’d probably claim otherwise, but I would wonder if he’s actually short on clients.
I’ll finish this off by saying I am a men’s rights activist who finds the addresses of conferences and talks have to be hidden to the last minute. I can barely talk about International Men’s Day without someone attacking it. Many, both online and offline, claim men don’t need rights or have sufficient because this imaginary Patriarchy is busy oppressing women. Ever since I read in a Feminist book that it “might be an idea” that boys were sexually abused to take them down a peg or two, I’ve tried to point out that these Feminist ideas have nothing to do with helping women and a lot to do with hating men. We haven’t had it for 50 years, but one day we may have a real conversation between and about the sexes… but I doubt Mike the Therapist is capable of that.
- What has psychology forgotten about boys since the ’60s? | HBR Talk 279 - September 28, 2023
- Does this 1960s case study expose modern psychology’s flaws? | HBR Talk 278 - September 21, 2023
- Two things experienced by over 1/3 of Kenyan men | HBR Talk 277 - September 14, 2023