In 2011 I had a heated debate in a hallway with one of the executives of the Political Science Society. She was a radical feminist and insisted that men have it so much easier than women, and I told her that between being called a slut and a rapist, I’ll take slut because as far as defamation of character goes, I’ve never heard a man recover from the latter.

For this, and for insisting that 95% of rapes being male-perpetrated was not a real statistic, I was branded a misogynist and shunned at mixers. It did not help that this girl ran the Political Science Society like it was high school student council, emphasis on the HIGH school. I came across Karen Straughan’s GirlWritesWhat YouTube channel and found her view on men’s issues refreshing, but I have some issues with how feminism is addressed and for this reason I don’t identify as an MRA.

Every conversation I’ve had about patriarchy theory and privilege has culminated in this, though: a counter-argument that I have dubbed “patriarchy math.” In patriarchy math, we use the language of numbers and value signs to determine whether the tenants of patriarchy theory hold up when we reduce them to the most universally recognizable written language of mathematics. First, I’m going to list the values that non-radical feminist liberals and civil rights greats like Nelson Mandela would assign to the following variables:


Table 1: Mandela Assumptions of Human Equality

White=0, Heterosexual=0, Cisgender=0, Male=0

Non-White=0, Homosexual=0, Transgender=0, Female=0


Remember these for later; we will be altering these starting values to better model various feminist theories of patriarchy and privilege.

There are other variables such as disability and age, but they are special cases in criminal law and for reasons that go beyond the scope of this exercise. So, we assume that all actors in this equation are able-bodied adults to reduce complexities that arise from these other forms of vulnerability.

Now here’s where I’m going to summarize the primary argument of patriarchy theory and privilege: some people are more susceptible to certain forms of mistreatment than others. Based on statistical evidence and social norms, we hold certain demographics to be more vulnerable to various forms of mistreatment and injustice, such as but not limited to rape, violence, civil injustice, and accessibility to employment.

In summary, the perceived statistical frequency (feelings) of who does what to whom is a significant factor in patriarchy theory and its framework. The idea that someone is more vulnerable than another is an important difference between patriarchy theory and non-radical feminist theories, as it forms the basis of privilege. Privilege, in this case, assigns a new value of 1 to attributes so deemed “privileged.” And so the values assigned by patriarchy theory are as follows:


Table 2: Basic Patriarchy Theory Privilege Assumptions

White=1, Heterosexual=1, Cisgender=1, Male=1

Non-White=0, Homosexual=0, Transgender=0, Female=0


Here’s where things get interesting—when we look at and examine the most highly contentious and debated concept in radical feminism: “rape culture.” While I cannot speak to how it feels or the emotional turmoil that results from the crime of rape, I can certainly say without being insensitive to those who are victims of it that it is a traumatic experience.

So now we ask ourselves a very important question: Is the measure of trauma based in the act of rape itself or the attributes of its perpetrators and victims? Well, let’s take a look.

Male rapes female. Or, using patriarchy math with all other things being equal, 1 rapes 0.

1>0.

There is domination, privilege, and systemic oppression at work.

Now, say we reverse the roles here: female rapes male, or 0 rapes 1.

0<1.

There is no domination or oppression at work because 1 is privileged. The net math is that the suffering of 1 is thus argued to be less severe than the suffering of 0 because … privilege.

In other words, even in cases where traditional roles are reversed, 1>0 and we can discount the suffering of a privileged victim. Every conversation I’ve had with people who claim the merits of patriarchy theory fails to really answer one question: What do we call it when a female rapes a male?

No matter how noble the intention, the answer is always some variant of either “Men cannot be raped. They are privileged” or “Yes, Conrad, of course a man being raped is serious, but it’s more serious when a woman is raped because men are naturally physically stronger and thus able to defend themselves more. Besides, they’re privileged, and with that privilege they are less likely to be victims in the first place so it’s still more serious that men can freely rape women because of rape culture.”

I’m just going to boil this down to the most simple and eloquent universal language of math: So no matter how severe the situation, 1>0 is more important than the situation itself. That is typically the justification of all types of role reversals.

Non-White discriminates against White, 1>0, remembering here that White=1, Non-White=0. Homosexual treats heterosexual badly, 1>0, remembering here that heterosexual=1 and homosexual=0.

Now also remember statistical frequency; that is, who is oppressing whom/privilege is why certain variables are assigned a 1 and others a 0. So we claim to do this in the spirit of promoting equality, but there is one problem: The > does not look like =, or, in long hand, “greater than” in math has not and never has been “equal.”

So already the math does not add up, so to speak, but this is typically where patriarchy theory will get off the elevator, and that’s where feminists want you to stop when you hear their theories of “privilege,” but let’s not get off on this floor. Let’s take this elevator to the absolute and final top. Let’s carry it all the way to the penthouse and see what happens.

Okay, so the “logic” follows that who is involved in an act is more significant than the act itself. In this case, who rapes whom matters more than the actual trauma that results from being raped because, arguably, male rape victims are “less vulnerable” and females are “more vulnerable.” Sounds great, but I’m going to take this to a new level. And this is where everything falls apart and why I get the words “privilege” and “misogynist” yelled at me by the worst of the patriarchy theory crowd and “misinformed” and “you need to educate yourself” by those with the most noble of intentions.

Lesbian (female) rapes straight female.

Remember, females are a vulnerable demographic so 0=0.

However, also remember that heterosexuality is a privileged attribute, so basically:

Homosexual (0) + Female (0) = 0; and Heterosexual (1) + Female(0) = 1.

And remember how I said earlier: male raped by female, 1>0, and we dismiss his suffering as being less severe because of privilege. So what do we do, if logic is to be 100% consistent in patriarchy theory, in the case of a homosexual female (lesbian) and a heterosexual female? Well, no matter how vulnerable a straight female is to rape because of male privilege, you could never claim she’d be marginalized for her sexuality more than a lesbian. 1>0.

Logic would dictate that because a lesbian is the greater victim based on a history of oppression and persecution, we dismiss a straight female’s rape as being not as serious because … privilege. BUT WAIT! FEMALES ARE VULNERABLE MINORITIES! Yes, but not as vulnerable as lesbians, who have to deal with marginalization on two counts. So, even though I know for a fact that most people who advocate for patriarchy theory would like you to think that 1>0 is not the end result of their logic because they don’t want to look bad for “blaming the victim” in the end, isn’t the net result of patriarchy theory that the greater victim is never to blame as seriously as the more privileged one?

That’s the end result of the implications of privilege that no radical feminist has ever been able to explain to me. You put a straight female in a position where she is now the privileged one, and YOUR LOGIC has to be taken to its inevitable conclusion that a male being raped by a female is just as trivial as a straight female being raped by a lesbian.

So let’s make it a non-White lesbian raping a White lesbian just to nail the point in HARDER:

Non-White (0) + Homosexual (0) + Female (0) < White (1) + Homosexual (0) + Female (0)

1>0.

The situation is not serious because the victim is more privileged than the victim. Now, if I were saying this to anyone, they would call it racist and rightfully so, but remember, I didn’t say it that way. I’m a patriarchy theorist. I get to say, I’m not racist because the White lesbian is privileged, right?

So we’ve reached the third floor; next stop, penthouse!

The complexity of transgender issues makes everything that patriarchy theory stands for—the idea that some people are more marginalized than others—COMPLETELY FALL APART when we get to the penthouse of the patriarchy theory logic tower. A transwoman lesbian rapes a straight female, which would imply:

Transgender (0) + Homosexual (0) + Female (0) = 0. Cisgender (1) + Heterosexual (1) + Female (0) = 2. 2>0.

We dismiss the rape as being not as serious because the victim is privileged. But wait, there’s an interesting little monkey wrench here because while the gender identity of the rapist is female, the sex of the rapist is arguably male. So what do we do here? Patriarchy theory depends on who is more oppressed to justify its entire schema based on privilege. If the sex is male, the tenants of rape culture come into direct conflict with patriarchy theory because, remember, males are physically stronger and thus are able to overpower females, and that is why they are more culpable and also … privilege of being perceived as male even if your gender identity is female.

Now we have a problem: Do we analyze this scenario based on a transgender’s sex or gender identity? If the case in question is a transman, the same issue would also apply here so there’s only ONE WAY and absolutely ONE WAY to make the structure of patriarchy theory and privilege work now in light of this complexity: subdivide the transgender group by sex and assign new values to each subgroup to make the math work.

Because of the physical strength biology factor, we have to ignore the person’s gender identity and focus in on the sex, essentially cancelling out the non-privileged-ness of homosexual and female. The most elegant way to accomplish this is to increase the privilege assumption of the transgender female to 2, as the trans-exclusive radical feminists (TERFs) are wont to do.

My, my, my, patriarchy theory is getting more and more progressive by the minute.

Adjusting our original assumptions from Tables 1 and 2 above to reflect the problems caused by intersectionality, we get:


Table 3: Radical Feminist Privilege Assumptions (TERF Version)

White=1, Heterosexual=1, Cisgender=1, Male=1

Non-White=0, Homosexual=0, Transman=0, Transwoman=2, Female=0


Thus resulting in the case where, all other factors being equal, transwoman (2) rapes cisgender (1) + female (0). 2>1.

WE HAVE A LEGITIMATE INCIDENT OF RAPE. DING! DING! DING! And all at the mere expense of throwing transgender rights under the bus to make our little exercise work! Score one for patriarchy theory!

But wait, the gender identity of a transwoman is still female, so wouldn’t that make this a case of a transwoman raping a male be equivalent to someone who is not privileged raping someone who is privileged?

Transwoman (2) = Cisgender (1) + Male (1). 2=2.

Yikes! Suddenly transwomen become equivalent in privilege to males—no wonder some radical feminists reject the company of transwomen. Well, that’s easy enough to fix. We just tip the scales once again and assign a value of 2 to males!


Table 4: Radical Feminist Privilege Assumptions (Less TERF Version)

White=1, Heterosexual=1, Cisgender=1, Male=2

Non-White=0, Homosexual=0, Transgender Male=0, Transgender Female=2, Female=0


There, now the logic of Table 4 is completely consistent and everyone has their proper place in a theory based on calling certain incidents of rape and assault more serious than others because we no longer have the “problem” of 2=2 under the Table 3 assumptions when a cisgender male is clearly more privileged than a transwoman.

Now, under Table 4: Cisgender (1) + Male (2) = 3  Transwoman (2) + Female (0) = 2 3>2.

It’s not as serious a rape because the victim is privileged. Fixed.

So now let’s go back to what I said, this > does not look like this =. In what sick and twisted universe do I get called the privileged male who is insensitive to the trauma of rape victims when an entire theory based upon seeking ways to make incidents of “privileged people” being less serious or non-existent is being blatantly insensitive to the traumas of one particular set of variables?

Because when we look at issues such as theft, a much lighter subject than rape, we see the same logic would apply. Non-White man steals from White man. The victim is privileged, so it’s less serious. White man steals from non-White man. The victim is not privileged, so the situation is more serious. 1>0.

No matter how you rearrange the variables, the concept of privilege makes patriarchy theory a giant hot mess once you go past the first floor of its tower. Take the elevator to the penthouse and you see that patriarchy theory is a complete and utter failure of a theory—a joke on itself and trying to explain things through the lens of privilege.

But let’s go back to the reasoning that the greats of the world use: the Gandhis, the Martin Luther Kings, the Mandelas (you know, the guy who divorced his wife for preaching hatred towards those “privileged” white folks in South Africa?):


Table 1: Mandela Assumptions of Human Equality

White=0, Heterosexual=0, Cisgender=0, Male=0

Non-White=0, Homosexual=0, Transgender=0, Female=0


So now those annoying 1s and 2s that were messing with everyone’s head and the dilemma of figuring out where transgender people fall into the schema of things completely disappear because in liberal equality, the statistics, physical attributes, and physical strength of the victim DO NOT MATTER. Because no matter what scenario and what atrocity I throw at you: 0=0. The situation is serious and needs to be addressed.

WOW, AMAZING, who knew that REAL equality ignoring privilege and its attempts to convince you that > looks like = would end up being more effective in promoting equality?

Patriarchy theory has about as much to do with equality as plastic has to do with woodworking. Plastic is not wood because you tell me it is, and in the same way patriarchy theory is not equality.

The math just doesn’t add up, and at the end of the day: Radical feminism<<<liberalism, and it never will equal it EVER.

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