Darrell Jackson is a member of the Black Prisoners Caucus, Co-Chair of T.E.A.C.H (Taking Education and Creating History) and a writer through Empowerment Avenue. He is a student, mentor, and social justice advocate who is currently serving a life without the possibility of parole sentence at Washington Corrections Center in Shelton, Wash. For more information, contact him at securustech.net Darrell Jackson#329268 and follow him on X/Twitter at @DKJackson20.

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In Churches I Learned Patriarchy; In Prison I Became a Feminist

by Darrell Jackson 05-10-2024

ACI inmates browse \"Felon,\" a book of poetry by Reginald Dwayne Betts, a former inmate who visited the prison. Credit: USA TODAY NETWORK via Reuters Connect.

Like any Black man, I’ve had no choice but to learn how to navigate racism. But as a man, I’ve had to intentionally educate myself and correct my own sexist behavior.

Men often fear critiques of patriarchy, but I want to keep learning about feminism, which I understand to be the fight for women’s right to self-determination. I was taught to believe that a woman’s central purpose is to serve men’s needs — a message that came from both religious and secular sources. But I am learning that I can challenge that message.

With a feminist framework, I can see that my socialization into gender roles started early. My parents, mass media, the education system, and the church were all part of training me — sometimes overtly and sometime subtly — to believe that because I was male, I was superior to women.