Monday, February 7, 2011

Contemporary Masculinity

I have decided to look at the ever growing number of men in America who are becoming stay at home dads, whether this be down to the recession is not clear, but for whatever reason they have given up one previosuly masculine activity (being the breadwinner) for a more tradtional female role. However, in the article i looked at the idea that this is feminine in anyway is ridiculous! It starts with "Not only are stay-at-home dads macho, but all dads who show up for their kids are macho." From the first sentence their is no mistake about the man feeling any lose of masculinity, in fact he feels very masculine which suggests that there is more than one way to define the male in the 21st century. Men can show their masculinity a number of ways. Men no longer have to go out to work in an office to feel like they are contributing to the family in the traditional masculine way. Instead staying at home is found to be just as masculine.

The article deals with the problems the stay at home dads have, and the challenges they must overcome in order to earn the right to feel masculine in their dad position. This like any other job has a 'purpose', and you must suceed in this in order to show your strength like nay other man- a binman would be no good at his job if he couldnt lift bins, and similarly a father must learn how to look after his children in order to gain that feeling of sucess in a job. From this article i feel like it is the sucess in a job that creates the masculine feeling, similar to any man in a high corporate position who earns a bonus pay check because of his sucess- it is juts a different reward. Although this is still a fairly new role reversal, while researching i found numerous websites and blogs devoted to stay at home dads and a lot of support for the men, suggesting that this is an aspect of masculinity which needs to be encouraged. Women, especially in the 21st century are gaining higher positions in the workplace and are climbing higher up the corporate ladder than before; meaning this type of masculinity will only become more visible in daily American life.

However there are problems with stay at home dads. For these men meet challenges daily being called 'sissies' which has to be endured. The film 'Daddy Day Care' with Eddie Murphy in some respects challenged the traditonal masculinity by putting the male in the child care role, which was refreshingly nice to see- however the plot finished with him creating a business out of childcare, subverting back to the traditional money- making, strong man that history has taught us men should be.History tells us the man will be responsible and work for his family, and the stay at home dad must do the same. It is just as easy to care for your children day in, day out and still feel like you are earning; but instead of getting macho money to buy 'boys toys' you are getting to 'makes up for time lost in prior generations' as this article suggests- and this makes it sounds a lot more rewarding.

Masculinty in this article is defined as stepping up to the task in hand, and putting your all into it. Previous generations and images have told us that it is masculine to teach a child how to cook a barbeque, how to hold a gun and how to attract women but this generation of men suggets that there are many more masculine activities a male can do with regards to children, and still feel the masculine strength they need.

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