Tom Matlack doesn’t understand why we can’t talk about the good of men without continuing to step backwards.
Meghan starts out strong, nailing the whole End of Men argument and tearing apart Manning Up: How the Rise of Women Has Turned Men Into Boys by Kay Hymowitz. She quotes HuffPo contributor Marcia Reynolds who, she says, “put it best” when she said, “We are all evolving. It’s the labels and judgments we place on each other that are not evolving.”
Amen, girlfriend, with you 100%.
But after all this great prose from a woman in Forbes magazine of all places saying that the women sociologists-psychos like Hanah Rosen and Kay Hymowitz who are so determined to take down men rather than work with them as a force for good (Yeah, this whole thing is a bit too Star Wars for my taste with us guys as the “dark side” for sure), my BFFL Meghan goes completely under on me. Just after bemoaning labels she goes right back to the well.
It’s true. We want our men smart, but not cocky. Protective, but not patronizing. Driven, but not a dick. And we also want him to help us out when we’ve got an eight pm meeting and there are kids that need to get fed. In other words, we want a decent human being to pick up the slack where we can’t, provided we pick up the slack for him. Seems like a reasonable trade.
So why is asking for equality, the “end of men?” Why is asking our partners to be partners emasculating?
Because despite the case-by-case expectations of equality in gender roles, culturally we haven’t let go of the paternalistic authority of men over women. And stories about the “decline” of our men-folk aren’t making things better for any of us.
How a thinking person could champion a woman’s strides towards equality in the same breath that they criticize men for becoming less than as a result is beyond me. The double-standard—that a women can and must demand her seat at the table to be a real woman but that a man giving up his to clear dishes makes him less than a real man—is just so outdated.
Let alone the fact that women only hold 3.2% of the top CEO positions and, across the board still earn roughly 79 cents to the dollar. Oh, and we’re still the only ones who can bear children (thanks, science!). The pages of Forbes aren’t yet filled with feminine faces. ForbesWoman still exists. We may be winning some battles of the sexes, but we still haven’t won the war.
Really, Meghan? We had to go back to the old paternalistic authority argument? And just when I thought we were getting somewhere here.
I think labels do suck. I think most men in 2011 are descent human beings who are not emasculated by cuddling their kids and doing the dishes (and actually think its the best part of their day, read just a sampling of posts here on GMP). The whole idea behind what we are doing here is to be, as men, partners to our wives and husbands. Why the piling on?
And just when I couldn’t get any more depressed, my buddy and our wonderful columnist here on GMP tweets me this:
photo: iamalegend / flickr