So, it’s been a while since I’ve talked about the masculinities. One of the really awesome things you gain from teh feminisms is the ability to critique masculine culture.
Today I want to talk to you about what I like to think of as the other man. Or if you like, the Other man.
He’s your Dad. He’s your priest. He’s your counselor. He’s your community organiser, your social worker, your legal aid lawyer, your teacher or lecturer, and sometimes he even manages to be your MP. He might watch the rugby, but if so, he usually does it from home and he winces at the high tackles. He may drink, but he doesn’t get pissed. He may be the main earner, but if so he doesn’t stifle his partner, and he’ll make time for the family.
In short, he doesn’t buy into damaging stereotypes of masculinity. He can wear pink shirts. He can tell his partner he loves them in public. He can go to a gay bar1. He can sew, he can cook more than just spag bol, he doesn’t get overprotective of his daughters2, he can let his wife take charge, he can let his wife be the breadwinner, he can decide not to have sex right now3, and he can talk about feelings without bursting into laughter.
In short, he can do things that men who buy into the whole rugby bloke culture can’t. He’s no longer the same old man, cut from a template. He’s free from his own expectations for himself to be someone he may not like. He can do anything. He defines himself, and has broken free of any script that other men might want to write for him. Psychologically speaking, he’s stronger than they are. (Maybe physically speaking, too. Depends on the bloke)
The Other Man is a stand alone complex. You just need to know the idea exists and suddenly you can pick up the mantle yourself completely independently of any other person you know. And if you do, you’ll be surprised just how many of your friends and acquaintances are actually the Other Man.
And once we all realise just how many of us there are, it makes it easier to change things for the better, little by little.
1Or more specifically, he can go into a gay bar without trying to make sure his ass is covered at all times. And yes, walking stereotypes are hilarious. 🙂
2Apparently every woman is a slut except your daughter(s), and you need to keep it that way in both cases. Now you know.
3He can also decide not to rape women even if they’re “provocatively” dressed, or if he’s just really, really horny and angry. How cool is that?!