We’ve seen the rise in the “trendiness” of feminism, with more and more brands offering merch that empowers women - from Feminist Apparel to the abundance of Etsy shops selling unique feminist-themed items. And apparently, some “pro-patriarchy” men are pretty upset by this.
Enter Patriarchy Tees. According to their website, they are “an Anti-Feminist, Anti-Racist, Pro-Patriarchy company” that believes “America has gone a little looney by letting women be too much in charge.” Their slogan is “Patriarchy Tees: A t-shirt company for men with balls and the women who appreciate them.”
“Our company is designed to humorously give free reign to the first amendment, by making what should be obvious points. We love and respect women down to every bone in our bodies: but not if they're feminists,” the "About" section of their site reads.
Uhm...okay? Claiming to be “anti-racist” and then selling a shirt that says “Protect Hate Speech At All Costs” (plus ones that take jabs at rap music and “the projects”) seems a little hypocritical, as does the idea that they “love and respect women,” unless these women advocate for their human rights. Plus, what’s up with claiming “men have always had it harder,” but then on another shirt, acknowledging male privilege?
“If feminists had their way, any word that hurts a person's feelings would land you in court. We're pushing back on that hard, 'cause frankly, guys know better and are natural leaders,” they claim, clearly not understanding what feminism actually is about.
“To the women who support strong families with a strong and respectful man as the head of the household, we thank you for your support. To the rest: I'm sorry, we don't respect your views,” the end of their mission statement reads. Wow, awesome customer service!
The Patriarchy Tees website is powered by Shopify, a platform that doesn’t allow for harassment or hate speech by merchants who use their platform. One can report an acceptable use policy violation via their website. However, Shopify has come under fire before for hosting controversial shops including Brietbart's, which they have yet to take down. This Acceptable Use Policy was created in response to this outcry.
“Merchants may not offer goods or services, or post or upload Materials, that condone or promote violence against people based on race, ethnicity, color, national origin, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, disability, medical condition or veteran status,” Shopify’s new policy reads.
So, it’s hopeful that this shop will be taken down, as many have already reported it (including myself).
I reached out to the owner of the site for comment, and he wrote me a novel. Here are some key quotes:
"I’m highly educated: I have a master’s degree and two bachelor’s degrees. I was raised in a completely liberal family and all around milieu. I understand liberal and feminist thought instinctively and thoroughly. I may even have identified as a liberal, essentially, when I was young. Through the gifts of my family I’ve been exposed to culture both high and low throughout my life: In other words, whether you agree with me or not, mine’s is a fully informed view about society - contemporary society in particular."
- "[The store] was directly 'triggered' (Sorry to use your word guys!) by the weekend talks and chats a friend of mine and myself have over beer. Thanks to the iPhone, whenever we come up with a catchy phrase I write it down. So I began collecting them. I’m also a pretty funny guy (Yep, I’d even make you laugh)."
- "There are a lot of hurt guys out there because of this new 3rd (4th?) wave feminism, which is completely irrational. In the end all of this feminism from the start is founded on a woman’s issues with their fathers. That’s not a disproven cliché - sorry!"
- "In our time a great proof of how false and fake feminism as a movement really is can be found in the fact that we literally have an enshrined Taliban-like culture today in modern American society. It’s something that I was actually a part of, in making music for. It’s rap culture. It’s complete denigrating, abusive and humiliating to women in just about every way possible to the utmost extreme, and yet feminists claim the white man is the problem. The white man they are talking about is clearly their dads, or an imaginary male system of oppression, whether they know it or not. If feminism was real, its main target would be rap music and the violent misogynistic culture it represents."
- "Because a woman tends to conflate feeling something with it being real, such that if a woman feels something is true it must be true, we have a raft of attempts to legalize penalties for personal offense, like we see on campuses today. This is what I might call, the 'feminization of law,' whereby there are attempts to make people have to say a transgender woman is a man (or whatever the phraseology), under threat of legal action."
- "Abortion was the gateway drug that led today to gross lows such as Sex and the City and then Girls and every other promiscuity-green-lighting media or philosophy afterward: the indulgent right to do whatever you want at anyone’s expense. That’s what victimhood does, and the concurrent entitlement that comes with it. Feminism and modern liberalism are victimhood cultures, or should I say cults?"
- "Women are not steady sources of rationality. They can be steady sources of love, and intelligence. Women can be compliments to a man and vice versa."
- "Social media, image pressure: all the things you talk about at your magazine is just overwhelming deep down and is causing these fits of irrationality, and in turn a ridiculous answer to blame their problems on men. This mix of emotion and logic for women is an issue that can't go away: a wise woman would know her limitations in that respect, and the fact that a man is just typically not prone to this problem. But this is not what a feminist women would want to hear."
- "But now to make clear: the best partnership is a woman and a man because it highlights both’s strengths. Women are just as smart as men but they aren't just as wise for the above reason. A woman can be rational, and give great advice and counseling sometimes. But In the end a woman is fundamentally irrational. Why? Because they are intermittently rational. A man in charge leads to the greatest happiness for both men and women, and this could be a simple summary of why I started this company: So people could be more happy."
He has also continued to message me since the publication of this piece, claiming I "censored" him because I didn't post his 2,592 word response to 7 simple questions. He clearly has strong opinions, yet won't even tell me his name. Poor man baby...
T-shirt Images via Patriarchy Tees; 'Princess Bride' gif via Imgur; Male Tears Meme via Tumblr
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Rafaella is a graduate of The New School, where she majored in journalism and minored in gender studies. She's passionate about feminism, LGBTQ+ rights, combatting online harassment, and ending herpes stigma. Visit her website: ellagunz.com