Sunday, April 18, 2010

Men's Liberation

Micheal Cook of MercatorNet has this nice article on men's liberation - the wave of the future, a view of the post-feminist world if you will. Each time I read an article about how the of the modern school system is not serving boys as well as it the girls, how the male of the species is getting left behind and not being able to catch up, I feel sad for today's boys. Obviously if one gender is left behind, it will eventually hurt the one that is forging ahead.
The comments on the article make for interesting reading. One of them talks about repeating the same mistakes that the feminist movement did with this idea of liberating men. Both are good ideas until the implementation and interpretation go wrong. The notion of being equal and different is a hard one to master or apply - a problem with any kind of gender liberation. It is possible for a woman to become too "liberated" to remain appealing to a man.Similarly,an over-sensitive, male stereotype defying man might make  a woman view him as some kind of unattractive genetic aberration. Feminism for everything that it has helped women achieve, fails in this respect as do the stated objectives of the men's liberation movement :

“We want less pressure to perform, better health care, and more quality time. We don’t want to be heroes of work; we want to live. We want to share power, responsibility and duties and to tear off the corset of gender roles. We want new horizons for men in the 21st century!”

One might be inclined to read that as "I am tired of being a man all the time. I want to exercise my right to be more like a woman. Better still I don't want to be type-cast as any one gender and just be a person of ambivalent gender"

Ambivalence when it comes to gender roles is unfortunately not a good idea because it leaves the other side very confused. Feminism should serve as a good example for this. Since there are clearly discernable external differences between the genders, there is also an expectation that those differences would translate over mentally and emotionally. As restrictive as the corset of gender roles is, there is a reason it exists. To break free may not end up giving someone the freedom or happiness they seek.


Anonymous said...

This is interesting but nowhere does the article talks about what is wrong with current educational system or that it is treating men unfairly. I personally believe girls are doing better than guys because they are getting the opportunity for the first time and they are working hard to capitalize on it. Somewhat akin to immigrants working harder.

Heartcrossings said...

Anon - The second article was not hyper-linked. That's the one that talks about the feminization of the education system.I would agree about girls getting opportunities for the first time and working harder - like immigrants.There is definitely that factor but there may be truth in the observation about the process of instruction being biased towards females.

J's class has had several girls reading 2-4 grade levels ahead from first grade. There have never been as many boys doing the same. Reading is greatly encouraged and appreciated (and that is a wonderful thing) by the teachers. However,when reading at an advanced level becomes a "girl" thing, the falling behind has started and the gulf can only grow. This is one example - I am sure there are many others.

Anonymous said...

rain before seven; fine before eleven.......................................................