18 November 2009

Just Be Yourself, Boys.

It seems that young men today are struggling to create a new masculine identity for themselves, one that takes them away from the good 'ole boys idea of a REAL man. And they are brainstorming new ways to be in this post-feminist world.
This is about so much more than the 200 men who attended this conference. They are on the front lines, but there are legions of progressive men of all ages, all over the country who are struggling to redefine masculinity and live that redefinition every day. They fumble without models but continue on because they know that there is so much to be gained. Guys who reject traditional masculinity, for starters, have a greater chance of finding fulfilling work that isn't just a symbol of their provider status. They might explore the joy of relationships - being nurturing with their kids, real with their friends, open with their partners. They have the opportunity to shed their socialized skin and all the anxiety that comes with trying to be a "tough guy" and make a happy life defined, not by their paycheck or their size, but by their humanity.

I say good for you, guys! Even though it appears to be difficult to come up with a model that will work for these brave men:
While it's thrilling that there is also a movement of young men all who want to tear down the patriarchy right alongside women, it's dangerous that they don't have a clear picture of what they want to build in its place.

I question the 'dangerous' part. It's dangerous NOT to tear down the patriarchy; the sooner that's done the better.

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