Feminism | Posted by Amber Q on 01/14/2010
What My Father Taught Me About Feminism
Men weren’t really the enemy – they were fellow victims suffering from an outmoded masculine mystique that made them feel unnecessarily inadequate when there were no bears to kill. – Betty Friedan, the Feminine Mystique
It wasn’t until very recently that I realized how blind I was to gender stereotyping — on the masculine side of things. We hear so much about feminism and women’s liberation… but what about out fellow sufferers?
My father was really the one that opened my eyes. He’s been out of work for the larger part of the recession, and thus home a lot more with Mom and I. Most of the time he seems to pace around like a caged animal, as if he doesn’t know what to do with himself. It drives mom and I crazy. He hovers and mopes about, as if he has no real purpose at home. Recently he told me that once he gets back to work, he hopes to forget all about this part of his life. He’s learned his place, and that place is in work. And that’s just the way it is.
The comment sort of flew by me at the time, but hold up, now… What? Are you serious?
And yet, I’m afraid this kind of thinking is just as common as anti-feminist thinking. It goes hand in hand – men bring home the bacon so women can fry it up. We get so angry about the second part of that – the idea of a subservient position. But what about men? I can only think it would be terrifying to think you have no choice but to take the lead and ‘be a man’.
Feminism, to me, is all about the idea of being equals. But have you ever stopped to think…men need this, just as much as we do? Just food for thought.
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