In Our Pursuit of Equality, One Group Is Consistently Left Behind
I just finished reading Glennon Doyle’s Untamed. It’s a book written by a woman for women. Its culturally feminine cover screams, this is not for men!
Few men would even dare to pick that book off the shelf. And if one did, he would carefully look around to make sure no one noticed and then shuffle off to a quiet corner to speedily read the front flap.
I ordered mine off of Amazon, you know, to save myself from all that.
About halfway through, there’s a chapter titled, “boys”. In it, Glennon confesses she raised her son differently than her daughters. While she taught her daughters the importance of serving their family, she taught her son to value external rewards, instead, like grades and athletic achievements.
After this realization, she admitted this mistake to her son and told him that things were going to change. She said, “I don’t give a rat’s ass how much respect you earn for yourself out in the world if you are not showing respect to the people inside your home. If you don’t get that right, nothing you do out there will matter much.”
This statement made me pause. How often do we say things like this to our sons? Our partners? Our fathers or brothers?
Don’t we tend to say the opposite? Don’t we direct men toward external things to the exclusion of what’s happening on the inside?
In truth, I love Glennon’s book. She’s wise and funny and I think many of her ideas are helpful. But her book wasn’t written for me nor any of the men I know.
In our battle for equality, we’re tearing down walls that should never have existed. But there remains one group whose walls are standing strong and they, and everyone else as a consequence, are suffering for it. And most of us don’t give this group much of a thought.
That group, of course, is men.
The patriarchy isn’t great for men, either
When you think of men, do you think of them as the oppressors in our patriarchal system? Like they’re the ones maintaining, sustaining, and reaping all the benefits from the unhealthy…