Category Archives: The Patriarchal Matrix
“What is the Patriarchy? Control. The Patriarchy is a male-generated dream world built to keep us under control.”
Those familiar with the film The Matrix know that the film centers on a man who knows there is something strange about the world he lives in, but can’t quite place what it is. He lives in a computer simulated dream world known as The Matrix where humans are used as energy sources for a robot society that harnesses the energy to stay alive. Neo is awakened from the dream world by a series of fighters who want to free humanity from the grasp of the robotic enslavers.
What struck me about The Matrix is how it relates to patriarchy and its perverted sense of masculinity. In a lot of ways, The Matrix (the dream world) represents patriarchy. The patriarchal social order, much like the world created in the matrix, is one that was created to keep us in control, to make it appear that this world based on male domination and control of others is the “real world.” The reality of The Matrix is accepted by 99% of the humans, but the machine class cannot control certain anomalies born into The Matrix who reject the program. These individuals resist the “dream world.” In the matrix this person is known as “The One,” and becomes embodied in the character Neo. In patriarchal masculinity the anomaly is “the sissy” represents “the one.” The “sissy” in patriarchy represents a realization that no matter what patriarchal masculinity asserts, there is and always will be an alternative masculinity that threatens to take down the order created by patriarchal masculinity. The idea that a man is supposed to be one way, and one way alone is rejected and rebuked by the “sissy” who represents a manhood that is varied and diverse.
Like Neo in The Matrix, the “sissy” has a choice as to whether or not he can remain in the dream world, or live in the real world. The “sissy” has a similar choice in terms of whether he reinforces patriarchy and its perverted sense of masculinity, or if he embraces an alternative manhood one that exists outside of patriarchy, and acts to challenge and change the controlling order of patriarchy.
In The Matrix, Neo chooses to take the red pill as an act of resistance against the world of The Matrix created to enslave the human race. Many “sissies” have chosen to take the red pill as well, and have embraced their alternative masculinity rather than colluding in the patriarchal idea of a strict or rigid masculinity. These “sissies” like Neo, fight in the struggle to free humanity from patriarchal masculinity, but as you know in The Matrix, there are “agents” whose role it is to maintain the dream world, and to do so at any cost often with violence. In our world the “agents” who exist to keep patriarchy and its perverted sense of masculinity in place may be our parents, friends, church, school, etc. These “agents” exist to keep the patriarchal order in control. They fight to keep the male dominated society based on conquest, control, and perverted masculinity in control. They ridicule the “sissy” for his alternative manhood as a way to protect the social order intact, to protect the matrix.
Neo becomes an enemy of the matrix precisely because he is aware that it is a dream world, a fantasy world created to control the human race. The “sissy” becomes an enemy of patriarchy when he realizes patriarchal masculinity is the construct of a dream world, a fantasy world based on hyper masculinity, domination, conquest, and control.
I believe that individual “sissies” who resist patriarchal masculinity and embrace their alternative masculinity are the freedom fighters of The Matrix and are fighting to save us all from the controlling illusion known as patriarchy. Like Neo we each have a choice to make: we take the red pill by engaging in resistance struggle against the patriarchal system, or we can take the blue pill and remain oblivious to the patriarchal system.
Neo ends the film with a message to the matrix,
“I know you’re out there. I can feel you now. I know that you’re afraid… you’re afraid of us. You’re afraid of change. I don’t know the future. I didn’t come here to tell you how this is going to end. I came here to tell you how it’s going to begin. I’m going to hang up this phone, and then I’m going to show these people what you don’t want them to see. I’m going to show them a world without you. A world without rules and controls, without borders or boundaries. A world where anything is possible. Where we go from there is a choice I leave to you.”
This is my message to patriarchy.