Like them, appreciate them, adore them for their ability to wade in there and … fix stuff. I like them for all those qualities and more, although sometimes they exasperate me, and I have been exposed to slightly more than my statistical fair share of total male fahrk-quads. Twenty years in the military will do that to you. At best, it’s an 85% plus male-dominated profession, and one is guaranteed to observe them in their masculine glory and also at their absolute piggish worst. But on the whole, I like men when they shoulder responsibility, when they are stand-up great co-workers, when they are good in bed and fantastic with amusing children, when they come to your physical and emotional rescue – which they will do – and when they give those perfectly thoughtful and slightly skewed gifts. From one long-time Significant Other, I got a birthday-Christmas present of two pallets of bricks. Yes, but it was what I really-oh-truly-oh-really wanted and I had said so. Dad once gave me a metal tool-box as a Christmas present, for pretty much the same reason.
I am unutterably saddened to read things like this post and the long trail of comments – about the continued and long-term demeaning of men in things as un-inconsequential as television commercials and stupid situation comedies. Over time – this all adds up, and to nothing good at all. I am also unutterably saddened to read about the constant bashing of the males of our species in any theatre you want to name … even the personal, when my S-I-L denigrates her husband on Facebook. That is my brother she is casually disparaging, who is a good and responsible father … but alas, if I am reading the zeitgeist aright, this is something that happens all too often. I have often described myself as a small-f feminist. Look, by this I meant that one should have the same pay for the same work, the same educational opportunities that your interests and intelligence warranted, the same opportunities to be hired for any work that education and experience qualifies you for, and to sort out your home and child-rearing responsibilities in any way that works for you; nothing less, nothing more. Really – at this point in time it is probably self-evident that no matter what the job is, there is probably a woman somewhere who is well-qualified to do it, with the exception of being a sperm-donor. The personal is not political, and no, it’s not even interesting to the rest of us. If your job pays great and you love it, while your significant other wants to cook gourmet meals, home-school the kidlets and keep the household ticking away like the proverbial well-oiled machine, well then – just go and do it, stop boring me with the details, and for heaven’s sake, stop whining. I’m not interested in the rationale for other people’s choices … and how all this got to be an excuse for male-bashing, I just do not understand.
But it’s been going on for simply ages and I am sick and tired of it. I started being sensitive as a parent to the subtle undermining of parental authority and male-bashing, back about the time that my daughter was ten or so, and returned to the US to encounter network television in it’s sordid glory. Yes, thank you for telling kids that they are intuitively wise, tolerant and understanding of all situations and parents are ignorant, bigoted dufuses, who can be safely and profitably ignored. “A little child shall lead them” is a Bible verse, not a strategy for raising kids. That kind of krep does long-term damage.
And men – real, manly men – our other half of the world, our partners, lovers and friends; they deserve better than the unsubtle knocks they get from the media world lately. I hate to earn the reputation as a nickel-plated b***ch … oh, wait – I already have that … but I don’t intend to let the next few examples of man-bashing that I see go past without comment. Now, let’s just see how tactfully I can get through to my S-I-L…I guess that a couple of bashes with a hockey-stick won’t do the trick, eh?