Charlotte Riley, a history professor at the University of Southampton, wrote a column in which she discussed a game she played on the train one morning called “Patriarchy Chicken.”
There’s only one rule, apparently, which is not moving aside for men. Charlotte says “if you don’t move out of the way for men, your commute changes. For one thing – I’m not going to lie about this – you do collide with a lot of men. This is where the name of the game comes from. You need to really commit to Patriarchy Chicken: don’t let your social instinct to step to the side kick in. Men are going to walk into you: that isn’t your fault.”
That’s right. You don’t need to be on the right side of the walkway, or I guess the left side since this is Britain, no, you should be able to walk on whichever side, go backwards, zig-zag, you name it. The only license you need is your XX chromosomes.
Charlotte continues, saying that the point of the game “is that men have been socialised, for their entire lives, to take up space. Men who would never express these thoughts out loud have nevertheless been brought up to believe that their right to occupy space takes precedent over anyone else’s right to be there. They spread their legs on tubes and trains, they bellow across coffee shops and guffaw in pubs, and they never, ever give way.”
You know who else liked taking up space? Well, if you pull out your old high school history vocab list, you might come across a little word called “lebensraum,” the need to capture space for the people in Nazi Germany to inhabit. This is why it’s OK to, you know, take action against both men and Nazis — many of whom, remember, were men! #YesAllMen