LIFE LESSONS | PARENTING | PATRIARCHY

How to raise a bit of patriarchy

(in your family on a Sunday morning over breakfast)

Francis Laleman
9 min readOct 25, 2023

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workshop images in Jakarta — flaleman, 2023

The first act of violence that patriarchy demands of males is not violence toward women. Instead patriarchy demands of all males that they engage in acts of psychic self-mutilation, that they kill off the emotional parts of themselves. If an individual is not successful in emotionally crippling himself, he can count on patriarchal men to enact rituals of power that will assault his self-esteem.

bell hooks: The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love, 2004

photo by the bell hooks Institute

We are a family of three, living on the slopes of the Ridges along the Southwest Coast of Singapore. My spouse Michaela: a lifelong learner, a mindful practitioner of kindfulness, and a highly skilled professional, who with her work as a consultant and educator in organizational agility is bringing in most, if not all of the means we need to stay afloat on this beautiful island — where the cost of living counts among the highest in the world.

Myself: a somewhat older dad and probably not much of a help. Even if I mop the floors and do the laundry and cook — for most of the time I paint, write, play the gǔzhēng, or go on hiking trips in the jungle — where I meet up with monkeys, monitor lizards, and sometimes a stray wild boar or a snake. To make matters worse, I am away for extended periods, touring in the region or in Europe with my workshops — and when I am not, I am committed to keep sharing my work and experience with individuals, teams and communities here in Singapore too. I have established a small company of my own in order to be able to do this. I am busy, but privileged: providing little income with what I think is meaningful work has been my signature lifestyle, that I hope to continue for many years to come.

Our daughter, going on fifteen, an ICGSE student with a broad range of interests, in her friend groups of course, and in social affairs, and English lit, languages in general, drama, science, psychology, and volleyball.

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Francis Laleman

a husband, father, painter, writer, educationist, designer, facilitator. author of “Resourceful Exformation” (a book on facilitation) available from Amazon.