Musings from outside the mainstream.
This column originated several years ago when, over the course of a couple of months, I read several women writing in on the theme of contemplating divorce and not wanting to hurt their kids or deny their husband access to the kids. They would say, “I don’t want him to be relegated to being a weekend parent.”
Where to begin? Well, for one, it’s a dated view point. While for so long the mother was automatically granting custody, more and more court systems default to 50/50 custody. There’s no reason why anyone should accept being a weekend parent. And two, I was surprised that each time this was mentioned, none of the (female) advice columnists pointed this out to their readers.
Frankly, there are many aspects in our society that are defined by women. Relationship is one of them. So are many social customs. Women won’t admit this, and men fear to tread in these arenas, but they affect family and relationship. And we have been too dependent on women to take care of us, our children and relationship.
Through feminism, women have a well articulated language for their concerns and issues. There now exists many familiar themes and archetypes that women can refer to and be instantly understood and validated. This is a good thing. And we’re hardly done. However, as men, we have no such language addressing the masculine point of view in family, workplace and relationship.
We can’t expect women to do it for us. No, it’s time that men step up and frame viewpoints for themselves. So, while I hate to be reactionary, no-one is writing me directly. Therefore I’m using some of their advice columns as starting points for fleshing out my agenda. And I readily admit, I have an agenda. I want the masculine voice to heard in relationship. One of the reasons why we are failing the feminine in our society, is because the masculine has allowed issues of the heart, spirit and relationship to be defined soley by women.
We’ve allowed stereotypes to define us. I don’t think feminism realizes how much of their vernacular is dependant on keeping men defined in a rather narrow range. The vast majority of us are not conquerors, CEOs or rapists.
This column is, in part, about creating a vernacular for men to shape their issues and communicate them effectively to be heard and acknowledged.
We also need to be better role models for each other. For instance, while I hope to generate disucssions here, I will not tolerate yahoos, simply wining, much less misogyny masquerading as intellect. It’ll be deleted.
Because there were some aspects of our society that were indeed derogatory, exclusive and limiting to women, many issues needed an in your face comuppance. But, each time the mantle male dominated society is bantered about, a significant portion of men, are lumped in with that group. Men who hold no power over anyone, men who bought into the concept of equality, who’s voices are often silenced by the very women they love, ironically enough.