When I hear talk of patriarchy, I look upward and I see our political leaders pen in hand, head down, writing policies to help our women and girls.
I see billions spent in tax funding and private charity, with public initiatives launched and Government departments announced for women’s needs.
Protect those most vulnerable we say – get them out of prisons, out of violent homes, out of the cold, and into safety.
Ministers are lined up, to ensure the issues that affect women and girls are rightfully spoken about and heard.
And I’m glad to see them.
But I don’t see the same things for men and boys – I don’t see the opposite strategies, policies and interventions.
I don’t see the funding, or charity, the same care or campaigns, nor hear the same impassioned cries of advocacy.
I don’t see the refuges. I don’t see the shelters or the headlines. I don’t see Ministers call out from the front bench.
No. The voice for men’s health is unspoken, and the concern for violence against them, remains unwritten.
So, I look down. And I see them.
The forgotten men on the streets, in prison or rehab; in cardboard boxes, beneath bridges or in morgues.
I see the cracks they fall through, and silent darkness of public compassion they drown in.
I see them trodden on by those who don’t look, their necks craned and hands balled – too busy shouting at those at the top.
I don’t see patriarchy, whatever that even is anymore.
I just see an insincere and incompetent Government grandstanding.
Photo hungry politicians stepping over the homeless, to kiss the head of a mother’s baby. Popularity politics in full swing, signing checks for votes and virtue.
I see lost men told they are privileged.
Those who have it all, hold handfuls of nothing.
But thank god the man on the street, and the floppy haired idiot in Number 10, share the same genitalia…
Phew, problem solved – men are now privileged.