Who is he?
Patrick is an outspoken advocate for raising awareness of violence against women, particularly domestic violence. He was raised in a household with a violent father, during a time when domestic violence was barely spoken about. He writes about it in this amazing article, talks about it in this incredibly moving video and campaigns for the UK domestic violence organisation Refuge.
Why should we thank him?
There aren’t many high profile people who speak out about domestic violence, particularly those who’ve experienced it first-hand. Patrick has raised awareness of the prevalence of domestic violence, all the while acknowledging his position of privilege as a man.
“People won’t listen to you or take you seriously unless you’re an old white man, and since I’m an old white man I’m going to use that to help the people who need it.”
A note on men and feminism
Can men be feminists? It’s a tricky question, and one I certainly pondered before publishing this post. Certainly, I don’t think men can ever understand what it’s like to experience sexism, just as white men (and women) can’t ever truly understand what it’s like to experience racism first hand.
But if the true definition of a feminist is someone who believes in equality for men and women and advocates for feminist causes, then I believe a man can be a feminist.
Now we just need more of them in the world.