From James Bond to “Girlie Men” in less than forty years
Diaper bags. I used to carry them anywhere when our kids were little. More men than ever carry not only diaper bags, but also their fair share of parental responsibilities. We clean houses, cook and help with child rearing. Does this make us “Girlie Men”, which used to be the catch phrase of the then California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger? I feel men should be proud of what they helped achieve. They helped women to come closer to being emancipated and thus making room for other issues to roll into the forefront.
James Bond once stood for what a guy should be like. Who would not wanted to be a man of flair, look like a million dollars, and enjoy dangerous work, tall, slim, bringing home the dough, play hard during the day and relax at night? The woman was there to entertain and be around when needed. Single income families used to be the standard. Nowadays, very few families survive with only one family member going to work.
Then there is the old fashioned notion that every man has to go to do the yard work and fix things around the house. Today, more women than ever enjoy the average hour of cutting grass just the same as their significant others. Let the husband deal with the screaming kids for a change. And who is to say that woman cannot fix things? My own sister knew how to properly adjust her car engine’s valves and fix the brakes and much more.
Even as late as the eighties, men were not as involved with child rearing as they are today. Have you ever noticed the amount of men lugging all kinds of children’s paraphernalia during your latest visit to the mall? Men of yesteryear used to not be caught dead with all the baby stuff. It was just too cutesy.
Then there are the jobs men and women can finally share. Men make a living as nurses now for instance. Women enjoy careers nowadays that would not have been possible in the sixties. In today’s world men have a totally different defined role just the same as James Bond has no clear defined enemies like he did in the Cold War days. So much progress has been made, yet some of the old prejudices of men doing “girlie” things prevail in many a mind.
Fortunately enough none of this seems to make big news anymore and the most one can here is most likely limited to the occasional verbal jab from a close relative or friend. Three closely related issues are still wide open for improvement and more focus though. Why are there not more women in top leadership positions? Why does the income between women and men for the same positions still exist? How can we help the ever so growing share of single parent households?