Men called on to refuse patriarchal privileges

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Alvine Kapitako

Windhoek-In a recent interview with New Era a feminist from Swaziland called on men to be courageous enough to refuse privileges that come with being male, such as patriarchy and supremacy.

Patricia McFadden, who referred to herself as a radical feminist, attended the African-European party dialogue of socialists and democrats.

“We hide oppression in culture. The man must eat first, he must eat more, and the man must have the privileges in the family,” remarked McFadden.

She added that women are raped, killed, abducted, humiliated and it’s mainly by black men.
“They do it because of the social systems that we have. You can find the social system of patriarchy everywhere. This system of patriarchy is linked to power. When human beings invented power, we invented it as something that is taken by one group to control another group,” she said.

McFadden further remarked: “It was power over other people. Power is a very important resource for humans. What we need to do is change the meaning of power.”

Power has to be about reinforcing the equality between men and women, she suggested.
“Just because you are born male does not mean we are taught to be superior because that’s what sustains patriarchy. Supremacy is what underpins racism, gender inequality, class inequality,” the 65-year old said.

She further questioned: “How is it that a man can kill a woman when she tells him she doesn’t want him anymore? Why does he think and feel that she cannot do that? That’s patriarchy”.

She added that black men have to change what they have been taught to be and become “different type of black men”.
“The type of black men who don’t need to control women to be men because we don’t control men to be women.”

She also said that women cannot free men. “Men have to free themselves from patriarchal privilege and women have to free themselves from patriarchal oppression.”

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