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lego men and woman

following on from that post about feminism, it seems that there's a bit of a 'thing' going around called 'manweek'. part of an initiative of reachout.com.au, some of the boy bloggers are expressing their feelings about being a man, in an aim to get boys talking about how they feel about stuff, in an effort to stop the crazy depression/suicide rates of australian men.

and as much as i stand and applaud the initiative (and its fantastic mix of twitter hashtags and radio), i'm going to be challenging some of my boy blogging friends to dig a little deeper yet again. whilst it's vital to express ones emotions, nostalgia and responses to life, i think it's also necessary for these particularly articulate mates to also ask questions like 'why?' and 'how?'. why do i care what my father thinks of me? why do i feel it necessary to be extroverted, macho and/or brave? how can i use my feelings to reflect/develop my idea of masculinity? who are my male idols and why?

again, i think it's about a continual assessment of what identity and gender roles are placed on us and whether that leaves us as human, social beings.



At 06 July, 2009 08:44, Blogger Rob @ Cynic said...

Excelllent point - but that's something that could/should be asked to both genders.

The thing is, in many cases we know the answers - the issue is we don't want to face the facts and instead prefer hiding in contrived innocence for fear of opening doors we think are better off shut.

And I say that as someone who is a master of not opening my own doors even though my job is to open others.

At 07 July, 2009 11:19, Blogger Age said...

Rob it's always the case. My old man fixed peoples cars for a living but his was a piece of shit. I'm the go to guy for help with relationships in my friend circle but will probably be single forever. It's just the way it works... :-/

I will take on your request Lauren. Answers to those questions coming soon!!

At 07 July, 2009 13:45, Blogger lauren said...

i think fear of opening doors we think are better off shut is not just a gender thing. but it's more socially acceptable for a man to be the strong, silent type. which certainly boxes everyone in a little. and while feminism has a lot more 'unlocking' to do for women, questions like the ones i've been asking are similar to ones that woman asked themselves early on in feminist discourse - catalyst for the immense changes that happened.

age - i'm glad that you're takin' on those questions. and you are NOT going to be single forever - you're too much of a goddamn romantic for that to happen.. (unless of course you want to be!).

At 07 July, 2009 22:08, Blogger nikoherzeg said...

actually the gender roles have been changing alot, but not quite in plain sight.

69% of african americans have been birthed by single mothers. So how a lot of men turn out, has had more to do with their mothers than the fathers.

Question of masculinity are in large part formed by females.

In holland for example there was study done with regards to knive incidents amongst teens from the dutch caribian. Commom thread was that the mother always told the son to carry something to protect himself. Because she was the only one around, she had to, from memory/imagination,
come up with a male answer to the question: what to do when shit hits the fan.

On the balkans, it are the women, who wear black to mourn the dead till they themselves pass away, thus makng sure that everyone knows of the pain and suffering.

Women are the propagators of culture and habits in many parts of the world.

So actually to get some more perspective on the man vs feelings matter, we should get the mothers of the manweek stories to tell us something.

they in all likelyhood had more to do with the men they are then pops..

or something..

At 08 July, 2009 11:14, Anonymous lauren said...

niko - masculinity has always been formed by females. and vice versa. it's the basis for freudian theory and almost everything since has been in reaction to it.

i kind of have a problem with your suggestion to focus on the mothers of the manweek stories. not because i don't believe that woman have an intense role in bringing up a generation of arseholes, but because the aim of manweek is to encourage men to be responsible for their own wellbeing - which incorporates the physical, mental, spiritual, social and emotional aspects of ones existence.

by pointing the finger at the fucked up mothers, we'd be buying into a long, sorry and dangerous circle of finger-pointing and blame-gaming that is not really all that helpful anymore. sure, analyse that stuff and certainly research those scary patterns, but to only focus on the problem is a repetition of the same old shit which got us into this mess in the first place.

and, to put that response into perspective, i also have the same view when i hear 'smash the patriarchy' kind of vitriol from feminists. (although i would still love a 'smash the patriarchy' t-shirt. and a 'dig for victory' poster. ah, nostalgia)

i believe that true power (and maturity) comes from rising above ones resentments and hang-ups by taking responsibility for the course of ones life.


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