It's all about perspective

Posts tagged ‘masculinity’

Similarity is not Equality

It’s Roller Derby time boys and girls. Yet while I waited patiently for that 7pm whistle last sunday which started the rekindled sport my mind wanders to thoughts of gender equality. I know, boring, but hear me out. I’ve been noticing an upswing in articles related to the oppression of men and this all-women sport has rekindled my interest in the subject. Now before you go off laughing about how its impossible for men to be the subject of oppression based on their gender, I would have you stop and think about this for a moment.

I am, due to my own history with the state and childcare, an unflinching supporter of Father’s rights. In this instance I am absolutely convinced there is a biased view of parenting in this country which favors the mother. Does this happen all the time? Not hardly. Does it happen enough that it should be investigated? I say a resounding “yes.” While going through the custody process myself I encountered several avenues of assistance that were available to the mother, that were not available to me, which were based solely on her gender. Furthermore, the prevailing child development model at the time was one that claimed children were developmentally disadvantaged when separated from their mothers. This standard was absolutely biased against fathers and thankfully is beginning to change.

In part, I believe it is changing because of the drastic difference in education based on gender. Last year I read several articles and blog posts about how the current model of education; one that many believe is detrimental to boys’ learning, is not being studied on that basis of gender [1]. In my own recent attempts to join the K-12 teaching ranks, I have found a great emphasis on race and class, but no one is talking about gender. For this reason alone I feel there should be an open discourse about it.

Now, it appears this may actually happen. (more…)

Standards

I hate the standards associated with American masculinity. Men don’t cry. Men do not show weakness. Men must be strong. Men must not show fear. Men must have a long list of conquests. Men must be aggressive. Men must be able to fix everything. Men must dominate those weaker than them.

I want to know who the hell said I am no longer a man if I cry! I want to know who created the social stigma that keeps me from being labeled as one of the guys. My best friend in the entire world told me that I’m just a “sensitive guy,” but there wasn’t anything wrong with that. Yet ever since then he has tried to “train” me in the ways of men. Giving me pointers and advice and in a way telling me who and what I am is wrong. But there’s nothing wrong with being a sensitive guy. Right? Right. Bullshit.

Everywhere I look there are ads showing ridiculously cut and highly tanned men doing all sorts of “manly” things. These ads are showing the myth of the regular guy. This is what a man is supposed to look like. This is what a man is supposed to be doing on his days off. This is how you are supposed to be doing it. I am so sick of this crap.

I’m overweight, granted, but I’m working on that and it is a slow process. I’m just so tired of being ignored because I don’t fit the model. I am the nice guy that no one believes is around anymore. I’m courteous, I’m nice, I’m genuinely concerned about my fellow humans, I would not hurt a fly unless it bit me, but because I’m overweight, because I’m not an aggressive prick, and because I don’t brag about my conquests over other human beings, I’m ignored.

Case in point: My best friend is everything I am not. He is in fantastic physical condition. He is a braggart. He is aggressive. He rarely ever shows weakness. When we go hang out to grab a bite to eat or some coffee, I get ignored. The waitress will walk by and ask him specifically if he needs anything and will then walk right away. I remember at the last restaurant we were at, he got a refill three times, while my glass sat empty for twenty minutes. I know, I should have said something sooner, but I didn’t. I wanted to tell her when she asked if we would like to go cups that I would if she ever would have refilled my drink, but that it wasn’t necessary now. Of course I didn’t say this though.

I’m tired and I’m done. I’m also late for work, crap.

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