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Save the Men!

22 Feb

While women have been cast as victims, martyrs, mystics or saints, men have quietly retreated into their caves, the better to muffle emotions that fluctuate between hilarity (are these bitches crazy or what?) and rage (yes, they are and they’ve got our kids). -Kathleen Parker

Fair Warning:  This post is anti-feminist.  And no, I don’t care if you’re offended. (okay, I care now that I’ve written it.  There is nothing clear-cut about my views.  I just think people need to think things out a little bit.)

This has been a concern of mine for some time now.  Men are disappearing.  Read about it here and here.  They truly are.  There are two reasons:

1)  It has become socially acceptable. Which is such crap.  “Not so long ago, the average American man in his 20s had achieved most of the milestones of adulthood: a high-school diploma, financial independence, marriage and children. Today, most men in their 20s hang out in a novel sort of limbo, a hybrid state of semi-hormonal adolescence and responsible self-reliance. This “pre-adulthood” has much to recommend it, especially for the college-educated. But it’s time to state what has become obvious to legions of frustrated young women: It doesn’t bring out the best in men.”

True story.  Where are those men now?  Playing video games, eating Cheetos, and being promiscuous.  I mean, why would men want to grow up?  They want to be Van Wilder.  They don’t want to answer to anyone.  But it’s not reasonable.  We all have to answer to someone or something. It was fun being a kid–but it’s because you were a KID.  Men are creating more burdens for their parents by not growing up.  No, your mommy DOESN’T still want to do your laundry and bring you bacon.  She wants your wife to do it.

Which brings me to my next point.

2)  “Feminism has neutered men and deprived them of their noble, protective role in society.” This makes sense.  I do believe women should be able to vote.  I do believe they ought to be able to go to college, work, and anything else they want to do.  So long as you want to deal with this guy:

The exemplar of the modern male is the hairless, metrosexualised man and decorator boys who turn heter-osexual slobs into perfumed ponies. All of which is fine as long as we can dwell happily in the Kingdom of Starbucks, munching our biscotti and debating whether nature or nurture determines gender identity. But in the dangerous world in which we really live, it might be nice to have a few guys around who aren’t trying to juggle pedicures and highlights.

I do not want to deal with this guy.  All I’m saying is that if we all had clearly defined roles, well, maybe we wouldn’t have so many teen mothers, divorce, emotional diseases and devastation. I’m not saying these things would completely disappear, because in some instances they are unavoidable. Sometimes people have irreconcilable differences.  Some people treat each other badly.  Some people just don’t have the same goals in mind.

Taboos exist in society to keep people in line.

Stability promotes stability promotes stability.

Obligation builds character.

Reverence creates peace and respect.

Stepping down off my high horse now.

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20 Comments

Posted by on February 22, 2011 in Domesticity

 

Tags: , , , , ,

20 responses to “Save the Men!

  1. Elyse

    February 22, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    Erica, as a crazy-independent, liberal female, I surprisingly agree with most of #1 AND #2. But, I can not understand how this statement is logical: “All I’m saying is that if we all had clearly defined roles, well, maybe we wouldn’t have so many teen mothers, divorce, emotional diseases and devastation”. How do these “defined roles” counter-act teen pregnancy? I would think good parenting, sexual education and good role models would be more of a prevention than a man who is willing to work while his wife cooks dinner and irons his ties? Not that there is anything wrong with these things at all; I am all for freedom to be whomever you want to be and what role you want to play, but I just don’t see how sticking to rolls that many of us were not born to play would be the cure. If I felt confined to a role society created for me as the “ideal” role, I would probably be more likely to get a divorce because I’m pretending to be something I’m not. Curious on your thoughts about these things.

     
    • erica42285

      February 22, 2011 at 12:44 pm

      Hey Elyse,

      I would like to state that I know there are no clear-cut roles. But if you think back to a time when a child out of wedlock was a horrible thing, well, there wasn’t so much of it. I fully agree that the things you stated about teen pregnancy are true. But where are our good role models? I guess what I’m saying is that in order to have role models, we need roles. And right now, there ARE no clearly defined roles for anyone to follow.

      It’s a whole lot of, “you can do whatever you want to do and society has to accept you” and “sure, you can watch Teen Mom on MTV, and you can see how hard it is, but you could have your own show!”

      That’s the part that confuses me.

      About the pretending to be something you’re not… You should never do that. And I don’t think there needs to be an “ideal.” Just things that people do. Morality and responsibility are slipping through the cracks because no one wants to enforce anything in case they should offend someone.

      You make awesome points though. I’m willing to change my opinion on things.

       
      • Elyse

        February 23, 2011 at 10:03 am

        While it seems there wasn’t a rampage of teen pregnancy back in the day, there was still a large amount of them. Just like there were homosexual relationships. These things were swept under the rug whether the girl was deported to a “pregnancy boarding school”, she was married at the age of 13 and started poppin’ ’em out at 14, or had illegal abortions in back allies.

        I do, however, understand your point about in order to have role models, people need roles. Agreed. I think a parent’s role is one of understanding, compassion, discipline and modeling the life they want their kids to have.

        Teen Mom is bull shit. I refuse to watch that trash. You’re absolutely right; morality and responsibility are slipping through the cracks, but I can’t say I believe it is due to men being less manly or women being less needy. Moreso that while our culture evolves (which is ok, that is how women can vote!), we have to still take responsibility for that evolution.

         
  2. Erin Seabolt Bond

    February 22, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    I agree with a lot of what you’re saying–there’s nothing attractive about man-boys, and we seem to have an abundance of them these days. I also think we’re losing a lot of what was good about masculinity, or at the very least we’re not celebrating it as we perhaps should. Men have a lot to offer, and as much as I love being a woman, I’m glad for the differences between the genders (whether those differences are nature or nurture is another discussion). So, overall, I really agree with a lot of what you’re saying (but you already knew that!).

    I think I just come at it from a slightly different angle. I don’t blame feminism. I blame men. (Stay with me. Hopefully I’ll be able to explain this a little better.) If we’re arguing that men–generalizing, here, of course–have become more passive and less manly, then if we blame women or the feminist movement, we’re taking responsibility AWAY from men and only encouraging the trend toward passivity by putting the responsibility on the women. That stance actually gives too much power to women and continues to emasculate men.

    To put it another way, if men can’t be strong unless women take a backseat and become weak, then they’re not really strong, are they? I think fully blaming feminism could possibly assume that men are so weak they can’t be real men unless women step down and pretend to be less capable than they actually are.

    I can definitely see where you’re coming from, and I’m agreeing more than I’m disagreeing. I just think the solution may be more on the men than the women. If women hold the key to this, we’re just perpetuating the problem. Men need to step up and be men and stop blaming women or the women’s movement for their lack of masculinity. (Wow, soapbox moment. Sorry.)

    I just have to point one more thing out though, that I think is kind of amusing. The quote “Feminism has neutered men and deprived them of their noble, protective role in society” is one of the most extremely feminist statements I’ve ever read. How much power that gives women! We, just by requesting equal pay and the ability to have equal rights, have emasculated men? Well, how masculine were they to begin with if it was that easy?

    Thanks for starting such an interesting discussion!

     
    • erica42285

      February 22, 2011 at 2:56 pm

      Hey Erin!

      I should probably hate stated more clearly that feminism isn’t the only thing to blame. And I’m intrigued by this blaming men thing! What you say makes complete sense. If they WERE so tough, they would have stood against us.

      Which makes me wonder what exactly snapped in them. Perhaps they were looking for an escape from the obligation? Perhaps felt too much pressure from being that confident man?

      Maybe women had to step up to compensate? I wish I could pinpoint this!

      And I love love love your soap box moment, and I love love love the end of your comment. I never looked at that quote as feminist…but it really is.

      In the end, to each their own, but I’m intrigued and already thinking hard about your what you said. Maybe we all just need to…step up? In a general way?

      🙂 It’s times like this that I wish we were in the same town to discuss this over sushi or something. Miss you!

       
  3. Kimberly Brumsey

    February 22, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    We all do need to step up. I work hard running a business (and must admit that I love being a bread winner) but I also take care of the home in traditional female ways. Likewise, I expect my man to bring home the bacon and do the traditional male chores and household maintenance. It’s funny because I am very old fashioned in most ways and believe in chivalry and propriety but I refuse to completely succumb to a female role in marriage (staying home). If there’s one thing I’ve learned in life it’s to always make sure you’re able to take care of yourself in case you ever find yourself without a man. And thank God we are able to do that in this day and age.

     
    • erica42285

      February 22, 2011 at 4:42 pm

      Good point, Kim! You can take care of yourself, and we as women ought to be able to do that. It’s part of being an adult–just like these 20-something men ought to be able to do. But isn’t it nice being able to sit back and know that there’s someone taking care of you in certain areas of your life, and you’re doing the same for them?

      Symbiotic!

       
      • beckygermain

        February 23, 2011 at 7:09 am

        I totally don’t mean this to sound too tense (the internet can be misleading when it comes to tone), but here I go:

        I’m confused. Why is “staying home” succumbing to a female role? That’s always where I get confused. I’ve had many, many self-proclaimed feminists say to me (when I tell them I am a stay at home mom), “What, you don’t want to work?” Did I miss something? Is childcare and manual labor not work? I’m not exactly sure what the underlying statement is there, but it definitely doesn’t seem to be a compliment. I guess that’s where I formed a negative connotation about the word “feminist.” I try hard to see the word for what it is really supposed to mean, but it’s difficult when I’ve heard this time and time again. And in the end, I don’t believe in equal rights for women. I believe in equal rights for everyone. I’m not specific about sex/religion/race. I guess that’s why I sort of always saw where you were coming from Erica. I know you can get a little crazy with it, but for the most part, I don’t see any real problems with wanting these sorts of roles. Sure, not everyone has to fit in them or want them. And I encourage women to go out there and get what they want. But I encourage them to do so whether that want be a career as a CEO or a caretaker for her family.

         
      • Kimberly Brumsey

        February 23, 2011 at 4:19 pm

        beckygermain:

        When I said succumb to staying home, I wasn’t referencing children at all. I was referencing how women used to not work at all if they were married, whether they had children or not. Personally I think being a stay at home parent is much more work than going to your job and working outside of the home. My husband disagrees. We’ll let him find that out the hard way, haha.

         
  4. erica42285

    February 22, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    Good point, Kim! You can take care of yourself, and we as women ought to be able to do that. It’s part of being an adult–just like these 20-something men ought to be able to do. But isn’t it nice being able to sit back and know that there’s someone taking care of you in certain areas of your life, and you’re doing the same for them?

    Symbiotic!

     
  5. Jerry Pope

    February 22, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    How strong were men to start with? Not strong at all. How confident? Not at all, no more so than a woman, at least. Men were (and still are) expected to be strong and confident. It’s the alpha-male, leader-of-the-pack ideal. Time and again I’ve heard that what women find most attractive is confidence. Why is that?

    Truth is, we’re stuck on this ball of water, which is hurtling around a medium-sized star at 67,000 mph. We have limited strength and visual capabilities, and live for only the tiniest fraction of time, and somehow we’re supposed to be confident. Why?

    I would love to believe that, by divorcing myself from the understanding of my place in the paltry amount of time that modern civilization has been around, I can become the alpha-male of my own little speck in the universe. And by doing so I can get that promotion at work, and impress the woman who wants me to act like a man.

    However, my beliefs can’t deny facts. And the fact is that gender roles had been established. But women wanted to be treated equally, an outrageous idea to the confident men who thought women were here for their amusement. To keep their jobs, men had to change their ways. Once a few generations passed, men had come to accept women as equals. What, then, to do with all their butt-smacking, sexual harassment tendencies? Suppress them, of course. Which we did. Now this radical new generation wants their “men” back.

     
    • erica42285

      February 22, 2011 at 5:50 pm

      Hey Jerry,

      Of course ya’ll were strong to start with! And strength doesn’t necessarily mean being able to hoist a caribou across your shoulders and tear the meat off with your bare teeth. It just means being able to stand up and take whatever the world throws at you. We like confidence because we want to know that we can rely on you. It’s the same reason men want confidence in a woman.

      I think confidence goes hand in hand with trust, too. If you’re confident in yourself, and your relationship, you don’t have to worry about all the crap that goes along with jealousy and so forth.

      And I’m all for a little slap on the butt at the bar. It’s the primal way of indicating that you’re interested in someone–which is awesome. We need to get back to civilized primal ways!

       
      • Jerry Pope

        February 22, 2011 at 6:18 pm

        Wow, then we need to get to a bar immediately!

        I’m starting to understand what you’re saying. And maybe Feminism was just a step, a means to another end. I agree that completely suppressing our basic animal instincts is unhealthy and unattractive. However, we had to get past disrespecting an entire gender. Now we need to take the next step: thesis, antithesis, synthesis, the primal man and the modern man, made whole.

         
  6. Hope

    February 22, 2011 at 6:44 pm

    Let ‘s distinguish between being in extended adolescence ( Charlie Sheen, I’m looking at you) with metrosexualism. They aren’t the same at all. Women can be equally flaky and childish. Perhaps, this is more a reflection of post-Baby Boomer culture, which celebrates rebellion & youthfulness in equal measure?

    One is definitely sexier and more responsible in my mind. An SAT analogy:
    Man boy is to K-Fed as Metrosexualism is to Elvis 🙂

    But speaking as the daughter of suspended adolescent who was on his third wife at 35, no amount of love or effort can change those types and inevitably, those who try get hurt.

     
  7. Jacob Gillam

    February 22, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    I aspire to be a silverback gorilla, or a polar bear.
    In reality, the men I look at as role models are very, very dead, or largely forgotten:
    King Henri of Navarre, Geoffrey de Charney, Saladin, Mark Twain, Socrates–all men worth looking up to.
    Of course, my real role models are characters from books. Modern, real life alternatives are disappointing, to say the least.

     
  8. erica42285

    February 23, 2011 at 8:05 am

    To Becky:

    I totally agree with everything you said. Being a mom has got to be the hardest, most demanding job of all time. I’m not sure why it’s looked down upon.

    And I’m all for equal rights for everyone, too. I tend to come off pretty harshly when I’ve held it in for too long, or when I see something that is particularly disturbing to me.

    You make another point, too, about what “feminist” even means anymore. Because NOTHING MEANS ANYTHING ANYMORE. We’re so afraid to define something because we might leave someone out who wants to claim that they are something. So a plant that grows for a woman and dies when her husband waters it could be a feminist. Who the hell knows.

    All I know is that it’s easier to live when things are defined, because then you’re not stuck somewhere in limbo.

    To Hope: I have no problem with metrosexuals…I sure as hell don’t understand it, but I have no problem with them. So long as they’re not doing it to avoid manly abilities. *spark controversy now*

    To Jacob: I agree that the men of the past were by far more worthy of our admiration. And in terms of those characters all being literary–it’s because we write what we want. I know if I wrote fiction, I would create things the way I see it. Maybe I ought to take a stab at writing a novel.

    Happy Wednesday!

     
  9. Anonymous Male

    May 2, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    Erica,

    Interesting article, and you have some interesting thoughts and posters here.

    I read the article “where have all the real men gone…”, and as a man, a father of 3 boys, and a husband…that article hits the mark dead on.

    There is definitely an extreme backlash against males at this time in our society. Look at what mass media is pumping out (TV shows, commercials, etc). TV inevitably influences people and becomes the template for the behavior our children emulate. Men are either depicted as evil thugs, rapists, and neanderthals…or they are the ‘family man’ which equates to bumbling spineless weenies with no confidence who bring home the money, and do exactly as their wives command because they are useless without their wives direction (watch basically any sitcom on nowadays). That is the mass media angle.

    Now take the legal angle (which is referenced in the article). Men typically lose their children in divorce (worst of all), they have no say in whether children from an unplanned pregnancy are aborted, but must live with the woman’s decision to keep a child by paying off the woman for the next 18 years. The determination of how much child support a woman gets is not based on ‘need’ of the children, in some states (most?) its a cut of the man’s income. In short, divorce or having a child out of wedlock is a sentence to financial ruin for a man. How is that reasonable or fair given the man had no input into the decision (in the case of abortion), and that they don’t even live with their offspring (in the case of divorce)? Laws like this made sense in the 1940s when women were ‘talked into’ sex from a sex-crazed man, and were helpless fawns in the woods and needed a man…but those days are long since gone. Divorce and child support is an easy ‘fix’ for a woman now. Things not going your way in the marriage? Divorce = payday and keep the kids. What does the man get? A bill each month, and depending on the woman, possibly not a lot of contact with his kids or worse.

    Now take just the interpersonal angle between men and women. I talk to a lot of people (most are married between 25 and 55) about their relationships and with the ones that are honest with me, I find it difficult to hear how openly disrespectful women can be to men now (after they are married). After several years of this, they either get divorced, or the man gets tired of fighting and gives in and does what the woman wants simply to maintain peace and harmony (I’m sure it works the opposite way sometimes too). Does that make them weak? Perhaps, but I think it’s more like they are sacrificing their own happiness for the sake of giving their children a better life (nuclear family is still together). He must endure disrespect and putdowns from the woman that is supposed to love him, yet must quietly continue to provide money and support to his family because his only other option is divorce, a broken home for his kids, and an inflated invoice for 18 years. I don’t know what marriage was like in the 40’s, 50’s etc, but I would sure hope the providers and protectors of that era did not have their faces spat into by those they were trying to provide for.

    With all that said, what is the upside of a man acting like a ‘grown up’? There is none. They are not seen as hero’s to their wives. No respect or social status to be gained for being the provider and protector of a family, there is only downside. These men have seen their fathers and uncles dealing with these situations, seen how destructive it can be to a family and people’s lives, and rightly want no part of it.

    Although as I reread my post, it has come off as anti-woman in a big way. I am not anti woman at all, I love real women. A woman’s love is the best gift a man can get. I just think as a society we need to come back down to earth again. If you want your strong men back, society will have to start treating them with the respect they deserve as providers and protectors. Give them some incentive to make the sacrifices they make for their wives and families. To get there, feminism has to stop preaching hatred toward men and teaching girls from a young age that men are competition. As a society, we should celebrate women’s strong qualities (nurturing, loving, caring) and men’s strong qualities (providing, protecting, etc.), instead of putting them at odds with one another or trying to convince women that they should behave more like men if they want to get respect.

    Anyway, I’ve gone way off topic but this gives a point of view of a guy out there that agrees with the article.

    There is an author named Laura Schlessinger who writes about these sorts of things, and a lot of what she says makes sense.
    http://www.amazon.com/Laura-Schlessinger/e/B000APX9H6/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

     
  10. erica42285

    May 2, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    Hello Anonymous,

    Thanks for your comment. I’m glad this post hit home with you. I agree with you on your final remark about feminism. If women want “equality” so badly, they need to stop trying to knock men below them and just rise up and coexist peacefully. I’ll take a look at your book suggestion, too.

    Take care of those boys and raise ’em up right! 🙂

    Cheers,
    Erica

     

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