Thursday, March 29, 2012

What if women don’t need guys any more, and guys don’t care?

I do not usually like opinion pieces, stuff with no hard data in it. However this one had a nice feel to it:

Except after a while I started wondering if it really was a bad thing after all. It only makes you nervous if you believe men are losing a position they aspired to: breadwinner, provider, working stiff. What if feminism only recognized half the problem, i.e. the female half? What if it wasn’t only women who’d been shunted into a role they didn’t want, what if men had as well?

[...I]t could also be that a great number of men – perhaps the majority – filled the roles they did because they felt it was expected of them. And in defining new roles for women – releasing them to be professionals and careerists – feminism also released men from the expectation that they must spend their lives in jobs they didn’t aspire to, fulfilling roles they didn’t ask for.

I can understand that. I don’t mind working for a living, but, given a choice, I could think of better things to do. I have a career because it was expected. There was never an option: you went to school and then you got a job. And if you got married, you paid the bills. Maybe if you were lucky your wife worked too and helped with the expenses, but she had a choice about it and you didn’t.

I suspect a lot of men are like that. A few were dying to get out of school, get into the workforce and make a lot of money. But quite a few more did what was expected. Ideally you found a job you liked that paid well. More likely you got one that paid OK and you could stand. Some put up with jobs they hated or bosses they loathed because the pay was too good or it was the best they could find. The worst-case scenario was a job you hated at crummy pay.[...]

Men weren’t there to pursue their dreams or fantasies, they were there to earn. [...]

Men, on the other hand, have largely been ignored, on the apparent assumption that they had what they wanted and didn’t need any special care. As long as you taught them to read and write, and maybe do a little math, they were set. They’d reach working age and automatically set out to earn a living, because it was in their nature. It’s what they wanted.

Except maybe not. While the little girls have been getting lessons in striving, the little boys have been absorbing the message that they no longer have to. (They may look like they’re not paying attention in class, but, really, they do pick up on these things). If there’s no stigma to little Betty growing up to earn a fat paycheque, maybe there’s also no shame to little Billy refusing to do so.

It sounds like a good answer to all the "OMG, MEN ARE SUCH SLOBS NOW!!11!!" post one sees on a daily basis.

(Found via reddit)

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