The domination, abuse and suppression of women by men has existed throughout history. Men physically, psychologically, socially and emotionally dominate women all over the world.
Our view of the world and ourselves in it influences our view of this. Men deny it and accept it. Most men see its existence but deny any personal involvement in it, they approach it from their own needs as men and leave women to resolve their own relationship to it.
I find I need to understand this from a perspective other than my own and respond to it in a way that helps women overcome the centuries of pain and humiliation. Read more
The more men come to terms with their masculinity, the more the tension grows between men and women. Yet from my perspective and my experience this movement brings men and women together.
Why is my perspective at odds with the wider experience? Has Graham Phoenix got it wrong or are there bigger issues at stake?
I have seen this situation brought to light in two different issues about masculinity and femininity. They show a level of discord which is surprising to me in this time of understanding and clarity. I have decided, therefore, to look at the questions raised over a short series of posts. In this one I lay the groundwork for the more detailed analysis to follow.
First, in an Associated Press article, “Gender stereotypes easing more for girls than boys“, the reporter looks at how it is much easier for girls to take on boy’s characteristics than the other way round. He draws a set of battle lines between groups for and against strengthening gender roles. It’s not men against women, it’s androgyny against stereotyping.
“For girls nowadays, it’s OK to play with boys’ toys, dress like boys, talk like them — it’s often encouraged. Boys have to walk a much finer line, and their fathers tend to be more stereotyped, telling them not to deviate from what’s typically seen as masculine.”
Second, in ‘My take on a manifesto for conscious men‘ a female commenter, Marianne, took on the men supporting the site by criticising its approach to the ‘Manifesto for Conscious Men‘. Her objection was that men shouldn’t seem to reject the historic domination of women,
“What I do think is abusive is to deny history […] when you minimize that or make light of it […] then NO healing can take place. The violence and second class status of women throughout history runs deep in womens psyche.”
There are three men Tom, Dick and Harry. Tom found women lost interest in him. Dick found his relationships crashing and burning. Harry had a secure long-term relationship and found women constantly interested in him. All three men had the same advantages in terms of looks and wealth so what's the difference? It's in how they react to female testing.
I am awake early. I get up, avoiding waking her. Start writing, time to get into my flow. She wakes, she's in the kitchen, "Shall we have breakfast first?". "Hmmm", I say, concentrating, "before what?". "Before we start", she says. Silence from me, I'm focusing. Slowly, ever so slowly, it dawns on me. "Come here", I say...
I was talking about my relationship to a female friend, talking about men, but she did not understand how to keep an exciting relationship at its initial level over time. My answer was simple, "You need to start afresh every day". "But how do you do that?" she said. That, of course, is where the simplicity ends.