As my friend and I went on one of our Sunday walks – as these days it’s the safest way to “socialise” and grab a moment alone away from family and kids, she discussed with me a Twitter post sent to her about a man’s roles and societal expectations. The following is quoted from @TellYourSonThis and triggered some thought-provoking prospects.
“The reason men are so obsessed with achievement is that nobody gives a fuck about men. Including the majority of men. The closest thing you can get as a man to being cared about, is being cared about because you are useful. Implicit to the role of provider is not being loved for who you are, but what you can do.
True love is very rare. Most people are just using each other out of practicality. Men have no inherent value. Women and children are valued simply for existing. This is why boyhood to manhood is an especially rough transition for males. Because they’re no longer loved simply for existing. Their worthiness must be proved, or they’re nothing. And no one cares.
Women preserve their value, men create it. This is why the average woman is more valuable than the average man. Especially in a society which favours women over men. And this is why the feminist arguments that focus on inequality are trash. They only focus on the winners. Success isn’t a lifestyle choice for men. It’s a matter of life or death. It’s a lifestyle choice for women. A woman who fails in academia or business can just give up and become a mother. She will be wanted for who she is. Who is interested in a loser man? Fucking nobody.”
Whilst mulling these word over; I’ve come to realise that the saying : “some are more equal than other” are more accurate than one may think. Though I’d likely refer to myself as a firm believer in equality, the words this man speaks has troubled me. I was raised in a single parent household where my mum played both mum and dad. We were taught we (anyone) can do ANYTHING ourselves. So much so that it had affected most of my romantic relationships in the past; and today I still have to work on “asking for help” or allowing someone special to do something for me because they want to, and that I do not have to do everything myself. That as well as being vulnerable or showing vulnerability.
Considering my upbringing, I have never really had that example of a man under pressure. My mum was always under pressure. Under pressure to feed all four of us, under pressure to keep us all in school and do well enough to finish school with university exemption or college options. Under pressure to pay the bills, to pay for school, to pay the mortgage, to pay for the car parts if and when it broke down and petrol.
Being with men who was/is forever worrying about doing better, burdened about their determination to succeed and achieve more…it never occurred to me that it is expectant of the average man. It’s something that is engrained in them, and part of their genetic setup. Furthermore, “men are only useful as providers”. What’s even up with that? Is this true? How come I do not feel that way, or does it have nothing to do about how women feel and how men feel about themselves and about their fellow man? Do women go into adulthood expecting her man to provide and if he didn’t, he’s the loser? ….wait… they actually do…
I wonder if these pressures are something that can be changed, a mindset rather than something men are brought up into believing it is expected and “that’s just the way things are”? We are living in the twenty-first century where the average woman in corporate or as a business owner or an entrepreneur is also able to provide and deliver her fair share of success. Where we may accept that the blue roles and pink roles could be done or shared by one another. I mean if I’m able to clean the pistons in a car and my partner can cook and iron clothing, surely we can share the responsibility of providing and winning together? Or am I an isolated case here? I really do not enjoy cooking!! 😂 And I have a cupboard full of most tools you could think of – AND I know how to use them.
Jokes aside… Yes, I understand that back in the day the man’s instinct was to hunt and to fight and protect his family. The woman’s role was to gather, cook, bear children and be the nurturer of the family. However, considering the human being is the smartest and most evolved organism on earth; would that not mean that our gender roles have evolved and adapted?
What’re your thoughts on this?