Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Save The Males! *Eye Roll*

This morning began a little disastrously. I woke up to my phone vibrating; it was my aunt calling from outside, needing me to give her truck a jump. She doesn't know how to use cables, so I rolled out of bed, slid on my flip flops, and grabbed my keys. Half asleep, I attached the cables and sat in my truck. The temperature was a lot cooler than I anticipated. Definitely too cool to be outside in my nightdress and flip flops, but I didn't mind. After I finished, I went back inside and debated between breakfast and more sleep, and I chose breakfast. While heating up the skillet, I turned to CNN to catch the last bit of American Morning and, boy, was I in for a treat!

"Save the Male." There's a group of rich white men that are trying to resurrect the "macho" man. Clothing stores are carrying "retrosexual" instead of "metrosexual" ensembles in an effort to bring back "manly" men. Colleges are wanting to teach "male studies" -- which, according to the report, discusses the biology of what makes a member of the male gender what he innately should be: powerful, dominating, and aggressive. They also shared that, in the 60s, life for the American male was so much simpler and as a result, of a higher quality. Things were sooo much better when the man was the head of the household, the breadwinner, the one in charge. Oh, and everything that we are doing in society today is "feminizing" men.

I didn't want to eat after that, because a few things ran through my mind:
1. This is ridiculous. People attempting to define what it means socially to be a man pisses me off as much as (the same) people attempting to define what it means socially to be a woman.
2. The 60s were only "simpler" for white men; Black men were getting hosed and beaten, and even still lynched. Oh, and the attitudes of the 60s also included the justification of beating a woman, since you were in charge and the head of the household. And people want to revert back to that?
3. Are men still whining about not having equal rights when women can't even have full protection and rights to our own bodies in the eyes of the laws, even up to new policies?
4. Who gets to decide what "masculine" actually means? And how? And why?
5. Is this just a way to bash women's empowerment without directly doing it? I can only imagine some paid white dude sitting back with his feet up and smoking a cigar saying, "if we can't get the women to act like 'women'...then we'll just have to be hyper-masculine! That will balance it all out!" followed by an evil laugh.
6. The report uses "machismo", which is supposed to be a negative term for the sexist and/or chauvinistic attitude of some in the Hispanic/Latin/Spanish-speaking world, as a positive modifier.
7. The comments on the American Morning live chat are sick; one dude commented that women in the work force creates a confusion of "roles" in relationships. Seriously?
8. Are the same people in charge of this "movement" also in charge of this whole Tea Party bullshit?
9. I'm sure that the "Male Studies" programs will get more funding than Women's Studies programs. I remember how the programs struggled - at every school I attended. #justsayin

Does this really have to be revisited? This makes me think of an anecdote told to me by an associate of mine:
As a kid, he grew up watching his father run the household as "the man". He witnessed his father being a rolling stone, doing whatever he pleased and coming home. Even, on some occasions, witnessed his father hitting his mother. Fast forward to the years where he was in his youth, guessing at relationships. He recycled the behavior that he saw because he didn't understand that 1. that wasn't the "right" way and 2. even if it was "acceptable" then, it wasn't appropriate for modern times. He used outdated techniques and failed in relationships early on because he didn't see a need for the social evolution in relationships. He was wrong.

I am not a "feminazi", as some would call it. I have strong opinions, I am vocal about them, I don't believe in "roles" in relationships, and I loathe most unneccesary labels.

Why are white men in powerful positions so stuck on how "disadvantaged" they are? What is the matter with accepting new attitudes? Even if it isn't for you, why does it bother you so much that younger men have a different way of life? It makes me sick to my stomach. It doesn't anger me that hetersexual men have "pride", but it does make me want to bang my head against the wall that words and attitudes adopted have an admittedly homophobic and/or sexist undertone; there's no righteous anger in it.

It's all very silly and confusing. So what if a man doesn't know how to do "manly" things like jump a car? I've got cables in the trunk, I can teach him! That's what relationships and human nature should be about.

Sigh. And woosa.

Be Righteous.

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