I have been thinking a lot about men lately. I have been reading books about raising boys. It’s been pretty eye opening. I never realized boys were so cruel to one another.
Then the other night I was driving home from my AA meeting when an NPR show came on about the “Mind of the American Male”. Even a couple of years ago, I would have thought, “Men own everything, and now we have to know what they think too?!” However, a little American male is now the center of my existence, and I was rather interested to know what men had to say for themselves. I drove around Boston listening to the program even though I had a sweet wife and ice cream at home waiting for me. (100% aside- Boston is not a fun city to just drive around in. Even at night. When I was young and living in Arizona, I would drive for miles. Those generous open highways! There was the beautiful desert and the dark sky that went on for days. A girl could really get her head together driving around Black Canyon Highway).
What really interested me about the program was that men seemed really anxious to join the discussion, and there were a lot of strong feelings expressed. However, the complaints struck me as kind of vague. There was the standard complaint that feminism has redefined the sex roles and now men don’t know what their role is. This is undoubtedly true. But wasn’t the height of the feminist movement in the 70’s. Like thirty years ago. You would have thought men would have figured something out by now. I think there has been some foot dragging.
There were discussion of girlfriends who had left them, and how hard it is to make a living. But nowhere in the discussion did anyone say something so insightful that I thought, “This is the heart of the matter.”
Now, I have dated men and women. In my judgment, there is little difference between them. And what is different gets exaggerated, my guess is for political purposes. I do think boys are raised in a manner that forces them to pigeon hole themselves into acceptable masculine personas. Just this year, I have observed boys being acutely discourage from expressing feelings and interests that would be considered unmasculine. I think some men take these lessons to heart more than others. Some men do this so thoroughly that they become dulled and completely cut off from parts of themselves. In some cases, the most interesting parts.
Comments left on my blog have been mostly from women, however, if a boy should happen to pass this way, I would be really interested to know your thoughts are on any of this. So please, consider this a written invitation to comment. Don’t worry if you are not a boy, I still would love to hear from you.