Episode 20

Breaking Down Patriarchy and Men's Perspectives - with Andy Dunn & Ian McAllister

Published on: 24th May, 2022

As women and our allies continue to share knowledge, resources, and take action to dismantle oppressive structures, the progress we make is being met by oppositional movements. Here in America, the MRA Movement (or Men’s Rights Activism) continues to expand its reach and intensify its rhetoric, with prominent MRA leader Matt Forney going so far as to say “Women should be terrorized by their men; it’s the only thing that makes them behave better than chimps.” Meanwhile, crimes targeting women and girls have only continued to increase world-wide. The picture this paints seems clear – some men are aggressively pushing back to protect a repressive status quo and when women voice frustrations with the situation or – yet it is not uncommon to hear cultural and political leaders continuing to claim, as Sen. Josh Hawley did only a few months ago, that “men are under attack.” And believe it or not, I’m going to agree with Senator Hawley on that point…

Men are under attack, but not from feminists and others fighting for equality; men are under attack from the very same patriarchal institutions which diminish the rest of us. They are taught that there is a small box of acceptability that they must fit into or be shamed (or worse). Most damaging of all, men continue to be taught not to speak up against other men in situations of injustice, not to upset the normativity of a repressive system which ultimately serves none of us.

But if all of us work together, we have the collective power to put a stop to these systems and build a world that works for people of all genders. And that’s why today I’m excited to be bringing men’s voices to the table – men who are ready to pull away the wool patriarchy has draped over their eyes and speak out about injustices they’ve observed and even participated in. We’re so grateful to share their courageous voices with you today.

Andy Dunn (he/him) co-founded menswear brand Bonobos and served as CEO until its 2017 acquisition by Walmart. As an investor, he has backed more than eighty startups, including Warby Parker, Coinbase, Away, Glossier, Real, Parade, SeatGeek and Alula. His memoir, Burn Rate: Launching a Startup and Losing My Mind, explores the intersection of entrepreneurship and mental illness.

Ian McAllister (he/him) is a father and small business owner in Portland, Oregon. When he’s not chasing his two year old daughter around you can usually find him at a farmers market, on the ski slopes, paddling the rivers of the Pacific North West, or cheering at a college football game.

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About the Podcast

Breaking Down Patriarchy
An Essential Texts Book Club
Breaking Down Patriarchy is a podcast for everyone! Learn about the creation of patriarchy and those who have challenged it as you listen to bookclub-style discussions of essential historical texts. Gain life-changing epiphanies and practical takeaways through these smart, relatable conversations.

About your host

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Amy Allebest

I grew up in Colorado as the oldest of 5 children, reading, writing, drawing, singing, and practicing the piano and violin. I attended Brigham Young University, where I met Erik Allebest during my first week of freshman year, studied abroad in Israel, lived in Chile for a year and a half as a missionary, and married Erik all before graduating with a degree in English. Erik and I moved around - to Colorado, Southern California, Utah, Spain, and Northern California - while Erik started and ran chess businesses for a living (primarily chess.com) and I stayed home to raise our four children. Those four kids have become brilliant, hilarious people and are our very best friends. I am a long-time trail runner, a recent CrossFitter, a lifelong reader and writer, and an almost-graduate of Stanford University's Master's of Liberal Arts program.