Magazines: Man Up.

“Manning up” seems to be a common theme on The Scarlett Woman this past week.

I don’t agree with the term, as it implies that simply being a man is equivalent to being courageous. Not to toot my own horn (okay, I am!), but I feel like I “man up” a whole hell of a lot more than most of my male friends. But it is a good descriptive phrase, along with “grow some balls” and “don’t be a pussy”, to which the same above critique applies.

Last weekend’s Sunday Life ran a story entitled “You’ve Got Males”, about the conundrum of raising males, which could be a good article if it wasn’t so sexist and traditional-man bashing.

Some such examples are:

“… Mum went through a feminist phase where the various pitfalls of male behaviour were outlined to me early and often, boot-camp style: think The Biggest Loser if they were trying to create metrosexuals instead of skinny people”—most feminists will tell you that it isn’t a phase; children should be allowed to grow in their own ways, whilst being gently guided by their caregivers.

“Such a boy thing to do” —what, exactly? Playing with trucks and being destructive? I have observed plenty of male children being more mellow, whilst girls go ahead and trash their cubbies after they’ve been lovingly tidied by moi (true story). It comes down to being an individual, not a stereotype. And at aged three, should we really be pushing stereotypes on our children?!

“Our first-born liked babychinos and was more artsy than fartsy. But our second boy was a full-blown bloke (‘Finally, a male in the family,’ said my wife)” —liking babychinos means your parents are pretentious, not that you’re going to grow up to be a SNAG. And what’s so wrong with that anyway?

The article also discusses the pack mentality of “groups of men behav[ing] in a more blokey fashion”, which was briefly touched on at the Wheeler Centre’s “The Sentimental Bloke” discussion, in the form of a solitary wine vs. group beers, and how to “deprogram” this.

Personally, I’m not a fan of “blokey behaviour” in the stereotypical sense, but nor to I agree with the parenting style—or typical Australian attitudes—this article attempts to push: that it’s one (bloke) or the other (SNAG), with no regard for the myriad of options in between, or what’s best for the individual child.

Related: Unfinished Business at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

“Who the Bloody Hell Are We?”: The Sentimental Bloke at the Wheeler Centre.

5 thoughts on “Magazines: Man Up.

  1. I agree. Everybody is different, so why try to push children into set labeled boxes? Maybe it’s just easier for people to push stereotypes on their children, instead of going through the whole messy process of actually getting to know them.

  2. Pingback: In the News: It’s Not Easy Being Green—The Latest Trend in Discrimination. « The Early Bird Catches the Worm

  3. “I don’t agree with the term, as it implies that simply being a man is equivalent to being courageous.”

    Huh? I don’t agree with the term because it’s used as a way to minimise male suffering and dismiss men’s concerns. I’ve always seen it used in contexts where men are expected to surrender their wealth or health for the benefit women and the intent is always to shame and humiliate a man or men into doing something that will impact them negatively. It always struck me as being more akin to bullying than praise.

    I have to agree with you on the sexism of that article though. I’m pretty sure raising boys wouldn’t be a problem if we didn’t view boys *as* a problem.

  4. Pingback: Manning Up — The Good Men Project

  5. Pingback: Manning Up. « The Early Bird Catches the Worm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s