Welcome to the Matriarchy!
We wore the the much anticipated t-shirts we’d ordered from Red Bubble at work on Friday, and got as many compliments from the menfolk as we did from the womenfolk. That’s because we work in a fully-functioning matriarchy. Then CEO is female, the head of the academic department and her assistant are female, and in fact, bar our one token male, all the full-time staff are female. Two male assistant academic managers have come and bitten the dust, their egos between their legs, unable to work for younger, smarter, more capable females.
Our token male enjoys our company, our cooperation, our consideration, our lack of ego…he has no desire to work with a bunch of blokes. The teaching staff, all casual, are 50% male and I’m sure they have no longing to work for a couple of dudes either. They enjoy being nurtured, treated with care and respect and again, not having to deal with egotism, a common feature of the patriarchal working environment.
Three seasons of the brilliant and hilarious Transparent had had me hungry for knowledge about the writer/director Jill Solloway. My own Internet searches and an introduction to the poetess Eileen Myles by my feminism-canny assistant, had me astounded at the real-life basis for Transparent’s whacky storylines. And Jill and Eileen’s Topple the Patriarchy manifesto had me in stitches (topplethepatriarchy.com). What a utopia they present!
But actually, why did it make me laugh? Why is it so impossible to imagine a world where women occupy the positions currently held by men? Perhaps the copy of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s Herland on my bedside table may give me the insight I need.
You don’t need to act like a man to be successful in a position of power. The matriarchal microcosm I inhabit functions and it functions well, with the full support of the men we have employed. Smart men. Men who are feminists. Men who understand that life is better, for everyone, once all the patriarchal bullshit has been flushed away.