New Contest Offers Cash Prizes for Ideas on How to Dismantle Patriarchy

A new competition sponsored by the violence prevention organizations V-Day and A Call to Men is calling on New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut area high school and college students everywhere to submit original ideas on how to Dismantle the Patriarchy. The goal of the contest is to identify and implement ideas that encourage healthy and empowered expressions of gender identity, empower youth with exposure to new gender justice language/culture, bolster existing curriculum by including access to information on gender, sexual health, and socialization such as consent, and center voices of marginalized folk and communities in ongoing youth programming and education initiatives.

Dismantle the Patriarchy consists of two categories of competition: high school and college. Winners from each category will receive $5,000 for the grand prize, $3,000 for second place, and $2,000 for third place. All final submissions are due February 28, 2021; finalists will be notified on March 19, 2021. An awards ceremony is planned for May 2021.


The Dismantle Patriarchy contest is an opportunity to welcome ideas from young voices and minds about how we might literally dismantle — take apart, break into pieces, deconstruct — patriarchy.

The Dismantle Patriarchy contest will be judged by YouthACT!, a group of young leaders “Actively Committed To” promoting healthy masculinity and healthy relationships, preventing gender-based violence, and creating a better world for ALL women, girls, men, boys, LGBQ+ Transgender, and nonbinary people. YouthACT! is mentored by A Call to Men.

Worldwide, youth are calling for a change in the systems that continue to fail us. We have seen the resurgence of white supremacy, state sanctioned violence on minorities and protestors, the devastating effects of the climate catastrophe, and economic inequality. The Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated the effects of these crises and continues to be felt by the most marginalized today.

One of those systems is patriarchy, a system of power whereby masculinity and men are marked as inherently more worthy than femininity and women. This puts men on top, giving them more access to power, resources, and even knowledge. It tells women that they deserve less: less money, less freedom, less power. And it erases people who do not ascribe to traditional gender roles, too often with violence.

Patriarchy results in things like the gender pay gap, rape culture, and even climate change. In the end, patriarchy hurts everyone by forcing people to pick between their full humanity (which includes “feminine” qualities like empathy and “masculine” qualities like assertiveness) and access to a host of privileges. Patriarchy is still the dominant way our culture is organized. It’s time we dismantle the injustice at the heart of the system. Interested students can submit applications at

More About Dismantle Patriarchy:

In 2018, V (formerly Eve Ensler) and Tony Porter, CEO of A Call to Men, organized a meeting in New York City, gathering 20 anti-violence activists from across the United States. In response to the #MeToo movement and wave of victims and survivors stepping forward, the group was diverse in race, ethnicity, sexual identity, class, age, and geographical location. Their collective discussed an intersectional vision for a collaborative project that would help shift culture and directly impact how we engage and interact with one another. The group unanimously agreed that some of the best solutions to combat gender-based violence rested with young people. The Dismantle Patriarchy contest was born.