While the folks who illegally occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge claimed to want to overthrow the tyranny of the federal government, they seemed quite willing to leave the tyranny of patriarchy unquestioned. Their actions and organization can teach us a lot about how patriarchy works.
From the beginning, the men who occupied the refuge engaged in macho posturing with their display of guns and their blatant disregard for the law, the environment and the communities around the refuge. These are not successful men as traditional masculinity requires them to be. Many of them don’t hold down regular jobs. Several have declared bankruptcy. Many have criminal records, from felony driving with a suspended license to second degree murder. Most left their families elsewhere in order to parade around with guns and wreak havoc on a remote wildlife refuge. They have felt powerless in their struggles with the federal government.
It was sickening to watch these yahoos try to turn that nutcase and cheat, LaVoy Finicum. He and his wife had made a cottage industry of foster children who were a source of money and labor for his ranch.