the fire these times

27. The Risks of Psychologising Patriarchal Oppression

Trigger warning: gender-based violence is mentioned throughout the episode.

This is a conversation with Chuck Derry, co-founder of the Gender Violence Institute and the Minnesota Men’s Action Network: Alliance to Prevent Sexual and Domestic Violence.

Chuck has worked to end men’s violence against women since 1983. From 1983 to 1993, he worked with male offenders at the St. Cloud Intervention Project in St. Cloud, MN, and was the men’s program coordinator for six of those years. In 1994, he co-founded the Gender Violence Institute in Clearwater, Minnesota and through that organization provides training and technical assistance nationally and internationally on the dynamics of domestic violence, criminal justice system reform, effective coordinated community responses to domestic violence, law enforcement investigations, and rehabilitative programs for men who batter.

I wanted to talk to Chuck after reading his very interesting essay ‘psychologising oppression‘ in which he argues against the belief that men who are violent are “losing control” or about to “explode”. He instead argues that men who are violent do so because it is beneficial to them, and thus argues that this is what society should instead be tackling and facing.

In some ways this is an episode addressing men, especially cis men who benefit from patriarchal structures even if they’re often unaware of it. It is an exploration of the privileges that come with simply being a cis man in society, and especially a cis straight man, and how even men who consider themselves allies, the so-called ‘good guys’, need to also question why so many of us do not actively work to end gender-based violence, structural inequalities and patriarchal oppression more broadly.

You can follow the podcast on Twitter @FireTheseTimes.

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Music by Tarabeat. Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash.

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