Thursday, 6 August 2009

Destroyed masculinity?

A new book claims that women are destroying men's masculinity which is why so many men have sunk into passivity and failure. Groan!

I love it when my husband cooks, it’s very sexy. Why on earth should I be irritated when he fusses in the kitchen? as the book suggests I should! Providing food is very masculine.
Nor do either of us find it unattractive for me to fill up the car – what am I supposed to do when out driving for heaven’s sake? Run it dry?
I’m certainly grateful that he and my son heave the heavy bins out as I CAN do it but it’s so much easier for them.
The examples given are limited and odd.

But there certainly is a problem. The “lazy teenager” husband in the article I read definitely rings a bell.

My own analysis after 20 years of marriage is that men are not programmed for equality much and we don't train boys to handle it where it counts. They are creatures of extremes: either dominance or passivity with nothing in between.
If men feel they are in charge, the boss, they will often do well – though not always as no one is perfect.
But if someone else is in charge, they don’t cope well at all. They become sulky teenagers complete with passive resistance, sabotage, irrational tempers and rages, refusal to get help or advice, parasitism about money etc.
I try to deal with it by making sure my husband has certain things like the car that are “his.” That works OK but the trouble is you can’t split everything up like that.

So in areas that must be shared it simply comes down to who handles it best. If he does, fine. No problem.

But if not, inevitably, yes there has to be some of that feminine stuff because men are just not equipped to handle inferiority. Which really comes down to lies.

Pretending he did his part better than he did. Repairing what he messes up, but doing it discreetly so it doesn’t notice. Letting others think he does more than he does, and does it better. Feminine wiles like this are filth, but men aren’t ready to cope without them.

Doing this feminine filth is damaging to both. It infantilises the man that he does actually need it, and it damages the woman who must provide it to ensure the family works out.
It is most bitter to provide most of the money for a family, make sure bills are paid, things get fixed, events organised etc – and elaborately pretend you’re not doing it.
If anyone does realise what is going on a female provider is not seen as heroic, admirable, worthy of help and support, as a man would be. She is instead either a ballbreaker or a stupid exploited victim letting a man live off her.

Try not doing it though, give him “time” or “space” to do one of those things, and watch the mess appear if this isn't one of his skill areas.

With children at stake you can’t let that happen. Certain things just must get done right. Nor do I really see why my security financially, or my basic comforts at home, should be put at the mercy of someone who won't look after them properly all to save him a bit of accurate self assessment.
On some things there isn't much room for a man to mess up. Those things have to get done by the best person for the job and the other must either defer, or try to learn better skills.

Women are simply much better at recognising they aren't good at something and either supporting the person who is, or learning to do better, or both. It comes out very early on in children learning things which is why girls get ahead if they are not artificially held back. Boys give up and flop into failure if they don't zoom to the top straight away, where girls cry, then try again.

There is no good answer right now. Somehow though we HAVE to find a way for men to learn how to handle not being dominant, and not collapsing into useless lumps as a result.
It would help if there wasn’t this constant emphasis on masculinity meaning being in charge, being dominant, being deferred to. Masculinity is gorgeous in its distinctively male bodies, its capacity to father a child, its strength to carry heavy stuff, an ability to stay detached and nurturing when we women occasionally need to collapse.
It would so help if men could be shown what we really appreciate, instead of being fed a pretence. Every time a man carries something heavy I am delighted in his masculinity. To him it's a shrug, minor, just as many of my female sensitivities he finds so useful are nothing to me.
That kind of mutual respect is REAL.

Stop implying men should be exaggeratedly strong and dominant and they could have breathing space to get used to not being exaggeratedly strong and dominant. Stupid articles telling women to apply more feminine lies do NOT help.


Post a Comment