Why Feminism Is Wrong About Patriarchy by Typhon Blue

Posted: April 4, 2012 in Feminism, Identity, Masculinities, Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

Typhon blue, who sometimes comments here at QRGHQ, is, according to her profile on her own blog:

‘a Canadian in her thirties. She writes about the state of decay in the relationship between the genders in our culture with a focus on men’s vulnerability and women’s agency.

She is also currently working on a sci-fi webcomic about conflicting world views and colonial arrogance.’

Typhon has made a fascinating vlog about the problems with patriarchy theory.

She has called the traditional feminist view of patriarchy, where all men share power and dominance over all women, because they’re men, ‘patriarchy 1.0’

And she calls her own theory of a more nuanced system of gendered power, ‘patriarchy 2.0’.

In particular, typhon introduces a concept called ‘apexuality’. She says that ‘apexuals’, who I think she conceptualises as ‘male-bodied’, are people who achieve power in hierarchies. And, contrary to feminism’s patriarchy 1.0 theory she says these apexuals do not achieve power based on their commonalities with other men, but rather by distinguishing themselves from them. The search for ‘uniqueness’ is a key part of the search for power. And ‘apexuals’ have to sacrifice their ‘maleness’ as an identity in order to achieve high status roles.

So feminists ideas about men working together as a kind of ‘team’ are rejected by typhon’s analysis.

I agree with her, if I have understood her correctly. I think we live in very ‘individualistic’ times.

She also says women do not achieve the same kind of power in hierarchies as men,  because women are less likely to sacrifice their ‘female’ or ‘woman’ identity in the search for power. And, as a result, more likely to identify with other women, and the commonalities they share.

I am not quite so sure about this, as I think some women gain power by invoking their ‘femininity’. I think Margaret Thatcher did, and Princess Diana, and say, Dolly Parton. I’m sure they trod on a few female toes to get where they did, too.

I am also not quite sure about what typhon’s theory of apexuality means for social change. If women are gaining more powerful positions, and more earning power, how does this fit in with the ‘apexual’ hierarchy as it is now. How does change occur within it?

Anyway it is interesting stuff and I’d love to hear some thoughts from typhon and other people about it!

  1. Jared says:

    “If women are gaining more powerful positions, and more earning power, how does this fit in with the ‘apexual’ hierarchy as it is now. How does change occur within it?”

    It could mean that women are becoming more inclined to put aside their feminine identity in order to acheive professional success. Alternatively, society’s enthusiasm for helping women overcome ‘discrimination’ without making this sacrifice.

    If the former than all is well and good, if the latter then you can expect these women to fail as soon as whatever is force propelled them into their position is removed. My guess is that it is mostly the former, but that enough of the latter is likely taking place that when reality reasserts there will be a temporary decline in women in powerful positions (to be accompanied by great wailing, gnashing of teeth and cries of ‘backlash!’).

    • interesting I see what you are saying. I just don’t know how far women are putting aside their femininity. a lot of women have careers AND are the main childcarer at home. e.g.

  2. redpesto says:

    Why not just factor in class? I know that feminists told socialists to get stuffed decades ago – but that’s one of the reasons that ‘patriarchy 1.0’ (or, as everyone else calls it, radical feminism) gets stuck the moment it has to deal with vulnerable men or with women in positions of power (see the car-crash around ‘Tory feminism’), or anything to do with economics.

  3. typhonblue says:

    @ QRG

    Thanks for reviewing my vlog and your questions.

    In terms of women not being able to achieve as much due to their feminine identity… the height of a hierarchy is directly proportional to how much its members will sacrifice for it. Because male-bodied individuals derive their identity from their service to the hierarchy, they will sacrifice even their male-bodies in its service. Women categorically will not sacrifice their lives in service of a hierarchy which is both why we don’t see them sacrificing their actual lives at the bottom or their social lives in the effort to climb to the top.

    What my theory means for social change is that if we, as a society, take away male-bodied individual’s exclusive right to compete in the hierarchy, it no longer functions as an exclusive male identity, necessitating their search for a new exclusive male identity.

    Potentially this new male identity may come from the _experience of being male_. Metrosexuality may be one manifestation of this, since meterosexuality is about a man placing overt value on his male-body.

    • Hi @redpesto and Typhon I can see where you are both coming from! And I like the mention of metrosexuality – of course. And it is very much about the love of the (male) body. But as Simpson has written, metro-men’s love of their (male) body is often so extreme it becomes ‘feminine’ even in how the body looks. e.g. Body building men have big breasts and slim waists.

      as for women not sacrificing themselves/their bodies. Some do. Thatcher again springs to mind. The Iron Lady the film was a lot about how she sacrificed her family and her role as a good mother, for her career.

      • typhonblue says:

        Yes, but Margaret Thatcher was still a woman, regardless of her political successes.

        • Hi typhon I agree. But isn’t Barack Obama still a man, too? for example.

          • typhonblue says:

            As soon as he stops preforming to the ‘man standard’ he ceases to be a man. It’s why ‘be a man’, ‘man up’ are phrases that make any sense to us.

            If the only thing an adult male-bodied individual _can_ be is a man, then how can it be coherent to imply that he can lose his identity by failing to preform certain actions?

  4. I don’t think Obama has lost his male identity though. I know some critics have called him a pansy ass metrosexual! but that has not caused him to lose his manhood really. He is still seen as a good looking, father, husband, man.

  5. […] relevant to the concept of Conscription. (Watch the video or read the article here).  I also find Quiet Riot Girl’s interpretation thereof to be […]

  6. valeriekeefe says:

    Please can we stop with the de-sexing of women with female neurology and frequent estrogenic cross-development, huh? It’s like, hey, way to make trans women run screaming for the hills so that you only get the most-self-hating as activists, just like the TERFs do (yes, pro-TERF trans women, I still can’t get my head around that either.)

    Anyway, I like my model better, and yes, class still intersects and yes, cis men (as presently counted) are not considered the unidirectional oppressors of cis women.

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