I recently watched the movie A Quiet Place, it had the actor, John Krasinski, who played Jim Halpert from The Office. There were five characters in the movie, a father, a mother, two sons, and a daughter. *SPOILER ALERT* As with many other fictional tales there is one person that is expendable, and that’s the man. Whether it be the father, brother, cousin, nephew, or random passerby, as long as they’re above the age of 18, they’re pretty much fair game. A Quiet Place followed suit in this regard, both the father and one of the sons died, portrayed as a depiction of the chaos to ensue, and to have a sacrifice in the name of protecting the family.
It’s traditional, the man is the protector of the family, is eligible for the draft, and the breadwinner. There has certainly been a shift in recent decades in regards to the typical male’s role in the family, though we see that the culture has been slow to catch up in some ways. If you pay attention to entertainment in the United States’ you’ll find that in almost every movie, television show, or game, men are the characters that are eligible for death and disfiguration. I have no desire to see women’s demise, or men’s for that matter, though it’s been a constant trend that, well, men are expendable. For many young boys growing up what is the idea that’s being planted in their heads? With shifting gender roles, we have some catching up to do, it isn’t a seesaw, it’s a balance beam.
We now find, more than ever, that men can also be caretakers, caring parents, and supporters. I’d like to appeal to Newton’s third law of physics “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” There are plenty of men that’d sacrifice themselves for their family, and for Mothers, they would defend their children at all costs. There are plenty of men that look to serve in the military, and to bring home a large paycheck, as there are women. What we need is for the culture to reflect this change.
Men and women alike are strong, and capable, both with their unique set of strengths. It’d be refreshing to find a balance in entertainment and life where men have the capability to hold down the backline; to share with boys and men that their life is more than a sacrifice, it has meaning.
Have you read the original anthology that was the catalyst for The Good Men Project? Buy here: The Good Men Project: Real Stories from the Front Lines of Modern Manhood
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