Magazines: Men Have Issues.

Last weekend’s edition of Sunday Life was dubbed “The Man Issue”, and it gives a forum to men to talk about the things that bother them: namely, stay-at-home fatherhood being seen as feminine and “what women should know about men”, with one clearly more profound and less satirical than the other.

Packed to the Rafters’ James Stewart covers the magazine and talks about his new role as stay-at-home dad to baby Scout, with partner and former Rafters star, Jessica Marais. He admirably says:

“I don’t want to be an absent father…  And now my partner—who has a much larger profile than me, can make five times as much money as me—is hot right now… So it was kind of easy for me to go, ‘Just stop what you’re doing, hang your boots up for a little bit, support her 100 per cent and learn to be a father.’ It was a no-brainer, you know?”

Swoon.

The article touts Stewart as “poster boy for modern-day ‘manism’” [quotations mine], a movement which “liberates” men “from their traditional masculine roles”. Um, I think we already have a movement that works to break the shackles of gender normativity and promote equality between the sexes and it’s called feminism.

In a rare moment of sense from Ita Buttrose, she tells the magazine that “We used to say to women, ‘Make your choice, don’t apologise.’ Well, I think those messages need to be given to men.”

Here, here.

But where The Age insert undoes all its equality talk is in an article that precedes the cover story, about the facts women need to know about men, by former Zoo Weekly editor Paul Merrill. He tells Sunday Life’s primarily female readership that “as hunter-gatherers, housework is not a priority” (how about you hunter-gather some washing?!), and that men prefer famous people who actually do stuff. You know, ’cause women aren’t capable of admiring anyone except the Kardashians. And speaking of that über-preened family, women must remember that “looks aren’t everything”:

“To a woman, the most important thing in any situation is how something looks—her hair, make-up, shoes and house… Who cares!… It’s not being slobby, it’s being less shallow.”

What do I think Merrill needs to know about women? We’d prefer to share the burden of housekeeping, we don’t only read if it’s a gossip mag or 50 Shades of Grey (which he infers in not so many words in the piece), and we don’t like to be called shallow for being well-presented. And where would Merrill be without the latter? Certainly not the editor of a lad’s mag.

Elsewhere: [MamaMia] Hot Pants & Slut-Shaming. Would You Like a Cardi With That?

Image via Sunday Life Facebook page.

TV: Gossip Girl—Is Serena Our Generation’s Dominick Dunne?

 

That’s according to Nate, anyway, who talks up Serena’s expose on Ivy Dickens’ stealing her family’s money for The Spectator to a potential investor for the newspaper. “Serena’s writing from the inside. She’s our generation’s Dominick Dunne.”

Like Packed to the Rafters’ Julie penning a chapter for a romance novel competition and suddenly she’s a writer, Serena exploits her social butterfly standing to write a gossip column and she’s hailed as the society writer du jour. Is that my bitter blogger coming through…?

Related: Gossip Girl Thinks Bloggers Aren’t Good Enough.

The Problem with Serena van der Woodsen.

The Beautiful & the Damned: Serena Settles for Second Best.

Pretty But Dumb: Serena’s Tertiary Education Predicament.

Another City, Not My Own by Dominick Dunne Review.

The Mansions of Limbo by Dominick Dunne Review.

Image via SerenavanderWoodsen.com.

The Perils of Living with the Parentals.

I’m writing this after spending five nights over Christmas at my mum’s place; the home I moved out of eleven months ago.

It’s no secret that our mother-daughter relationship was strained in the final years of me paying board, and at sporadic intervals over the past year, so I approached this Christmas with some trepidation.

But I was oh-so-pleasantly surprised that there were no major arguments or fights (like last Christmas… and the Christmas before that, come to think of it!), and I found myself wanting to spend time at the family home, as opposed to only being there to sleep, eat and catch up on my TV shows, as was the case in the few months before I moved out.

MamaMia had a post up a few weeks ago from site contributor Lucy Ormonde, who is 23and still lives at home. Ormonde detailed the benefits of living at home, such as a free laundry service, lower rent/board costs and the comforts of having your family around.

Well I’m here to rebut those comments, listing my top five reasons for leaving…:

1. I needed some “me” time (long-time readers of this blog will know how important that is to me), without parents hounding me to hang out my washing or sisters yelling at me to turn my TV down. Now I hang out my damn washing when I can be bothered, and have to TV as loud as my heart ears desire (see above).

2. Independence. I’m quite an independent, solitary person by nature, and whilst living alone is hard fiscally, it helped me gain financial independence that I otherwise might not have.

3. Overstaying my welcome. While Ormonde is 23 and her living arrangement with her parents is still going strong, I feel I overstayed my welcome about two or three years. While I was not ready to go out into the big, wide world and fend for myself, my mum felt that I was, and that caused friction.

4. I’d been studying and working in Melbourne for four years before I made the move here from country Victoria, so it only made sense. It was also one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

5. Cutting the apron strings. In this day and age, the apron strings are cut much later in life, as about half of my good friends would attest to. The other half would probably default to the rest of the points on this list as reasons for severing their family ties.

… and those for loving living out of home:

1. Doing what I want, when I want.

2. Developing my own decorating style, as opposed to working within the limits of my mother’s.

3. Having parties, board game nights and as many people stay over after a big night out as I want (or as many as my sofa arrangement will allow).

4. Getting up as early as I want to vacuum, make smoothies or watch morning television. Most normal people would say “sleeping as late as I want”, but since I grew out of the sleeping-til-1pm phase in high school, I’ve been an early riser. Now I can do noisy things in the morning without risking the wrath of late sleepers.

5. Taking the next step. A study in the New York Times lists “completing school, leaving home, becoming financially independent, marrying and having a child” as the milestones of “emerging adulthood”. Well I’ve achieved three of the five, so now I just need to get married and pop out some babies. Although, getting a boyfriend first might help…

Related: The 10 Commandments of Work/Life Balance.

Elsewhere: [MamaMia] I’m 23, I Live At Home & Here’s Why.

[The New York Times] What is it About 20-Somethings?