Interview: Madisyn Stogsdill on Project Patriarchy and The Importance of Conversation
Founder and president of Project Patriarchy Madisyn Stogsdill on her work and the importance of conversation
To begin with, can you tell us what exactly is Project Patriarchy and why you started it?
Project Patriarchy is a youth organization that provides unbiased, nonpartisan resources to help engage all ages in politics. No matter the platform and no matter the position, we provide step-by-step ways for the average person to get involved in politics.
I founded Project Patriarchy because I realized that there were so few teens around me who were politically active, despite the fact that politics is a driving force in our lives.
Conversations are important. However, politically-speaking we have never been more divided – to a point where dialogue about important issues has become severely limited. Do you believe it is feasible that we can get to a place where all members of the political spectrum can join in union and engage with one another civilly?
While a world in which members of all political parties get along together may seem a pipedream, it’s a place I know we can work towards. In fact, on paper, the solution is pretty simple: less division and more unity just takes patience and a lot of tolerance!
At Project Patriarchy we are strictly nonpartisan, meaning that all of our members have different political perspectives and we don’t endorse one over the other.
In my experience, social media has been an amazing tool for spreading political awareness, especially among teens who would not know about politics otherwise. However, when we frequent platforms that cater towards just one political ideology, that’s where it gets messy. It creates a place where people end up not speaking their minds because they feel their opinions and values aren’t "mainstream” or “acceptable” enough. We cannot have meaningful political dialogue if we do not recognize and listen to individuals with opinions that are different than our own.
What does bipartisanship in action look like to you?
Bipartisanship in action is exactly what Project Patriarchy strives to encourage!
It is about respecting every perspective and requires an eagerness to listen and learn.
It’s also about realizing that to encourage others within politics, shame isn’t the game – it is discouraging and ineffective and makes people feel more politically isolated.
Our goal at Project Patriarchy is not to enforce opinions, but to provide our audience with the facts and let them figure out for themselves what their positions are on the issues.
There are a lot of pressing issues that our generation is facing – from the climate crisis to crumbling political institutions to the rise of fascism. What does our generation need to do to properly address these issues? And where do we start?
It would be a lie to say that we don’t have a lot of areas to address politically. In my opinion, the first step in addressing these issues is to recognize that they exist – it is as simple as that. Then we can brainstorm how to solve them. Ultimately, the sky is the limit – so there is no reason for us not to act on what we believe in!
Finally, how can those interested get involved with Project Patriarchy?
Thanks so much for asking! Considering we’re a part of 5+ platforms, there are actually quite a few ways to get involved with Project Patriarchy!
The most significant and impactful way would be to join our member base of over 100 students worldwide. By offering our members a variety of positions within different teams, we hope to provide opportunities that match all interests.
If you are interested, you can find more information on how to apply within our website, or follow the link in any of our socials.
You can also support us by listening to our podcast Politically Unwrapped, buying from our store, or signing up for our newsletter. Any form of action counts!
BIOGRAPHY: Madisyn Stogsdill is a high-school sophomore residing in Kansas. When not acting as founder and president of Project Patriarchy, she can be found debating, running, playing tennis or studying!