Posted by: hellonhairylegs | May 22, 2008

Riding in Cars with Patriarchs

Dad:  blah blah blah… when you have a husband and kids… blah blah.

Deviant Spawn: -uses power of ignore-

Dad: And about your feminist phase. If you’re going to be serious about it you need to have a new way of looking at it. Having women change so they can act like men pretty clearly doesn’t work. Women have to find a role which suits them.

Deviant Spawn: The onus shouldn’t be on women to change. Men have to change their role in society.

Dad: -mind blown that men are not a fixed point that the world revolves around-

Deviant Spawn: They could start by not oppressing us. I know gender roles suck for everyone concerned, but women definitely get the short end of the stick.

Dad: -patriarchal programming reasserts itself- Those men’s rights activists actually have a few good points… blah blah blah.



  1. Ugh, you have my sympathy. My patriarchy-worshiping father got a lot easier to deal with once I hit legal adulthood and I could just refuse to spend time with him if he didn’t behave in a somewhat-civilized fashion.

    Mine liked to arrange chances for a captive audience — like long car rides — and hold forth on his most vile pronouncements. Does yours do the same thing?

  2. Oh I am so sorry…

    My father just doesn’t talk to me about my feminism, my grandmother, aunt and I debate about my liberalness because my aunt is in the Army, and my dad’s girlfriend (who I don’t like…Not even a little) reads my website and then brings it up as dinner discussion to point out why I’m such a horrible person.

    I am SO glad (and they are so lucky) that I no longer live there.

  3. My dad doesn’t use the same points, but damn it, the attitude’s exactly the same.

  4. You poor thing. I particularly like the advice on how you should run your “feminist phase”. Good luck with that…

    My dad also used to use the car as a trap for giving me “talkings to”, though I was not so advanced ideology-wise as you and spent my years at home being pleasing to men, so the diatribe was usually how awful I was to my mother, by not thinking children are the be-all and end-all of life, rather than against feminism.

  5. My dad, despite being 67, is actually starting to see the sense in some of my points about this subject. Sure, he’s still liable to bring up something he saw on CNN about how shitty Afghani women have it and how us American feminists ought to think about how good we have it, but it isn’t hard to point out how silly that is to him.

  6. God damn I’m lucky.

    My dad is nothing like this. Neither is my husband.

    I am really sorry you have to put up with it though. Frustrating as fuck when people who are supposed to be teaching you things about life suck at their job.

  7. LOL @ “feminist phase.”

    Translated: “Silly spawn, don’t you know you’ll grow out of wanting to be treated like a full person?”

  8. Thanks for the love, yeah my dad uses cars and things to give us lectures. He also believes that everything he says MUST be listened to (or else).

    “Silly spawn, don’t you know you’ll grow out of wanting to be treated like a full person?”


  9. My dad has made a similar comment about Fred Nile – years ago – which has always stuck in my head. I.e., ‘Fred Nile’s got a few good ideas, you know…’ Uhhhhhh ok!

    He doesn’t usually come right out and say these kind of things though. Dear God.

    Tell your dad you’ve got HEAPS of great ideas for your ‘new’ gender role: 1. No husband or kids so you don’t have to live a triple life of paid work, housework and childcare, or 2. Partner who looks after kids while you work, or 3. both you and your partner work part time so you can share the rest of the time fighting the patriarchy!

  10. Ugh, I’ve definitely gotten the “silly little feminist phase, how cute!” from my father, both when I was younger and even now, on the cusp of 21. It’s gotten to the point where I just don’t try to discuss these things with him, because I inevitably get the patronizing laugh like my ideas are so radical and insane (Haha, the wage gap? What a hilarious, crazy notion!) I fully understand and empathize with how infuriating it is to deal with someone who thinks that because you haven’t lived as long as he has (And aren’t a sensible man, but an illogical little girl who needs to learn a lesson from said sensible man) that your ideas are invalid.

  11. From the post you seem to be “child free by choice”?

    (I just want to say that you’d make a much better mother than either the one i got or many out there. Keep your options open.)

  12. If we don’t grow out of the “feminist phase”, pass go, collect $200 and a husband, kids and a home by the age of 30, we are then assumed to be in the “lesbian phase”. To quote my aunt, “It is really good that you don’t need a man in your life Michelle, but I wonder if you are a lesbian?”.

    I kid you not.

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