Thirty years ago almost to the day I sat in Bristol’s Berkeley Square in early spring sunshine wondering what my chances were of being allowed to write my doctorate up as a continuous narrative, embedding my findings within the context of my woman’s life from which my research question had sprung. I was studying masculinity.
My chances were not good but were soon to become irrelevant as the very circumstances of my woman’s life sunk all hope of completion anyway. I always intended to finish my doctorate some day and so continued to read and research and most especially to talk to men about the ways in which they had come to construct their concepts of masculinity and the impacts this had both on their lives and on the lives of those around them. In doing so I realised that they were revealing a fundamental truth regarding a construction of selfhood that had not previously been either identified or explored. I have not, however, named this solely as the ‘masculine’ self as although it certainly applies to the majority of males it also explains why it’s ‘not all men’ ( to quote a predictable response ) and why it is some women, although nowhere near as many, who behave in ways which are both fundamentally abusive, supportive of a male-dominated status quo and detrimental and derogatory to other women. I have thus termed it the Patriarchal Self as this is far more accurate.
I’ve tried many times to write my lost Ph.D up as a book but my woman’s life is no easier now than it was then and this is just not possible, so I’ve decided to publish all that I’ve found and come to understand in a series of incremental pieces here on my site…exactly as I always wanted to…..embedded in the story of my woman’s life which was the origin of it all.
Gaia Charis, February, 17th., 2022.