Is He Ok?

Felicia Falconer
4 min readMar 18, 2024

Sometimes I land in conversations about patriarchy that empathetically lay out all the ways it harms women without exploring what it’s like on the other side.

“Why should we?” I’ve been asked, “when men literally did this to themselves.”

Patriarchy is a long-standing system that generally converts greater degrees of social and legal power to men but sometimes we talk about it like t was made yesterday and the men alive today are each somehow directly responsible for everything that has happened, is happening and will happen.

Sometimes, we forget that they too are shaped by forces beyond their control and guided by systems that predate the draw of their first breath.

“So you’re just making excuses for bad behaviour?” No.

I’m acknowledging that each of us is taught how to walk through the world and that framing men as inherently evil and predatory doesn’t feel honesty and discussing masculinity like it’s a genetic disease doesn’t feel fair. It also sets up a framework to discuss social issues around sex and gender in a way that dismisses any nuance and potential for real change.

There’s this anthropologist named James C. Scott who explains that, “What is inadmissible, both morally and scientifically, is the hubris that pretends to understand the behaviour of human agents without for a moment listening…



Felicia Falconer

A mindful look at Canadian society by a sociolegal theorist.