By now everyone knows about the infamous “Trump tapes” and has heard just about every opinion the internet could possibly have to offer on the matter. I’m fairly certain I couldn’t come up with some great new angle on the issue you haven’t heard. I’m not going to try.
But now that its been a few days, and I’ve been mulling this over and reflecting on it, I do have a couple of thoughts that while uncomfortable, might hopefully be profitable.
- A man’s place, a woman’s place
I read a book several years ago titled “Manning Up: How the rise of women turned men into boys” by Kay Hymmowitz. It was an interesting look at the social progression of gender over several decades. Hymmowitz makes the observation that although the women’s rights movement (of which she was a part) produced some wonderful outcomes, they also produced an inadvertent consequence: the loss of social “place” for men.
In both the explicit and implicit messages, many men have now grown up hearing the message that they are not needed to hold any significant social role in the home, workplace, or public square. The girls got this. Unfortunately, this produces two types of responses: on one end there are men that react by “hyper-masculinizing” and basically becoming misogynistic “anti-women”. On the other end, are all the boys who can shave and having believed culture’s message, are currently 35 playing video games on mom’s couch and when they do get married, their wives end up raising a husband.
And with no responsibility to the culture or the women around them, they default to whatever message they are sent. Like for instance…
- We aren’t really OK with it, but we still (sometimes) give it the “ok
Short version: Men in our culture are inundated with the idea that we are defined and given value by what we consume or acquire, including people. In a sex-before-kissing culture, our real sexual attitudes are starting more and more to resemble the cinematic world in which “no” means “come and get it”. This is the culture in which we live, and the sad part is that we tolerate it. We daily allow for a word in which men are given a pass in the worst parts of their behavior as being simply a result of their gender. Sometimes we say “boys will be boys” other times we speak of it as “locker room talk”, always we give the OK to the worst men have to offer with the least of our expectations.
- This says A LOT about the other men in our society, myself included
…and then there’s the third group. The one I belong to. We are in some ways worse than the first two. We are those who sit silently and critique. We see the injustice and the hurt around us, we are glad we’re not in those groups. and we move on…
Completely content to be the “good guys” we take our “rightness” and walk right on home with it. …and leave the women who need us the most to deal with the ‘other two’ guys.
- All hope is not lost
The anti-woman and the man-child are what they are, but the rest of us still have a voice. Men, it’s time to stop being passive simply because that’s what we’ve been taught. It’s time to stand up and BE MEN. The kind who don’t let those around us become the victims of our cultural conditioning. We can be the kind of men who neither “grab her by the p*ssy” nor sit back and play our video games while it happens.
We have the choice to be different.
For their sake, I hope we will be.