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Sun Feb 24, 2019, 08:45 AM

How to play Patriarchy Chicken: why I refuse to move out of the way for men

If you donít move out of the way for men, your commute changes. For one thing Ė Iím not going to lie about this Ė you do collide with a lot of men. This is where the name of the game comes from. You need to really commit to Patriarchy Chicken: donít let your social instinct to step to the side kick in. Men are going to walk into you: that isnít your fault.

Some men donít walk straight into you, of course. Some men find their brains overridden by the unfamiliar experience of a woman refusing to give way. Last week, on a busy train platform, a man was so confused by my trajectory towards him that he stopped dead in front of me, holding eye contact, and flapped his mouth like a fish. You will find that a lot of men justÖ stop. It is up to you to decide how to react to this.

Itís also important to note that Patriarchy Chicken isnít about anger. Of course, you can put your head down, square your shoulders, glower, and power through. But in my opinion, the best way to play the game is cheerfully. Smile! Make eye contact! But never, ever give way.

The point of Patriarchy Chicken is not just that you get where youíre going marginally faster (although you do) or that you irritate a number of men (which you also do). The point is that men have been socialised, for their entire lives, to take up space. Men who would never express these thoughts out loud have nevertheless been brought up to believe that their right to occupy space takes precedent over anyone elseís right to be there. They spread their legs on tubes and trains, they bellow across coffee shops and guffaw in pubs, and they never, ever give way.

Women have not been socialised to take up space. Women have been socialised to give way, to alleviate, to conciliate, and to step to the side.


[link:https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/feminism/2019/02/how-play-patriarchy-chicken-why-i-refuse-move-out-way-men|

Genius. Maybe a group of us should try it for a day and report back?!?!

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Reply How to play Patriarchy Chicken: why I refuse to move out of the way for men (Original post)
Soph0571 Feb 2019 OP
PJMcK Feb 2019 #1
hlthe2b Feb 2019 #2
MrModerate Feb 2019 #3
Sherman A1 Feb 2019 #4
efhmc Mar 9 #5

Response to Soph0571 (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2019, 08:55 AM

1. I live and work in NYC

No one-- male or female-- gives up their space! There just isn't enough of it. And nearly everyone is aggressive.

Which is not to say that men can't be dicks.

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Response to Soph0571 (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2019, 09:00 AM

2. Short women know how clueless (intentionally or not) big men can often be...

waving their arms indiscriminate of anyone around them, backing up obliviously, only to step all over the smaller woman (or man) behind them, shoving everyone else aside. Men with manners who give a damn are usually embarrassed by this and apologize immediately. But not always...

I experienced the one time a very arrogant man who had backed up and stepped all over me in a large store, sending me to my knees-- refused to apologize. When he started to verbally abuse me for reasons that remain unclear, a store manager who had happened to witness the whole thing stepped in and told him to leave.

Since then, I've witnessed similar episodes involving others. Is this just a sign of the further deterioration of basic civility?

I say, women, claim your space politely, but unapologetically.

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Response to Soph0571 (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2019, 09:14 AM

3. Yeah, this attitude strikes me as pissy and unhelpful.

Does the author lead with her shoulder as she cross-body blocks innocent pedestrians on the sidewalk? Does she wear pads? Does she knock 'em down toward the street or toward the building? Does her chiropracter approve?

Going out of your way to make something worse is seldom a good idea.

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Response to MrModerate (Reply #3)

Sun Feb 24, 2019, 09:27 AM

4. Agreed

and I have not really observed this to be the case. I see men holding doors and yielding to women on a regular basis when I am out.

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Response to Sherman A1 (Reply #4)

Sat Mar 9, 2019, 03:51 PM

5. I really do not have this problem in Texas either in the city or rutal areas.

Since I am short I have a problem with counters and making sure I am seen but have no problem telling the men and other s around me that I am here.

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