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PlaidStallion (3): The male in the past twenty years has become more thoughtful, more gentle. But by this process he has not become more free. He’s a nice boy who pleases not only his mother but also the young woman he is living with.
The Iron John story retains memories of initiation ceremonies for men that go back ten or twenty thousand years in northern Europe. The Wild Man’s job is to teach the young man how abundant, various, and many-sided his manhood is. The boy's body inherits physical abilities developed by long-dead ancestors, and his mind inherits spiritual and soul powers developed centuries ago.… (más)
PlaidStallion (1): Especially in North America since the 70s there has been widely expressed feminist anger against men. Does this reflect, among other things, resentment against the mounting obligations on women to join the money economy? Do women feel betrayed because they are compelled to seek equality in the workplace despite their unequal obligations at home? Are women bitter because when and if they have children, as most do, they are forced to choose between the wordless pleasures and flowing demands of beloved youngsters and the precise requirements of work in places owned and directed by strangers? In my experience, mothers feel this ache more sharply than fathers. Hardly any mothers leave their children; they leave their jobs instead.
Whatever the cause, women have entered the labor force, increasingly in influential roles. They take over existing slots in education, work, politics, and elsewhere. Women are increasingly more responsible than men for creating new, initially small but effective businesses and new jobs. In response, men have slowly but inexorably withdrawn from the broad traditional requirement of manhood: that they provide resources to women and children. They are divorcing more, supporting their children less, and simply earning less money overall. Between 1979 and 1993 in the United States, the median income for white men dropped 10 percent and for black men 8 percent, whereas median income for white women increased by 10 percent and for black women 8 percent. “Nonemployment”—being effectively out of the labor force altogether—doubled for men twenty-five to fifty-five years of age between 1970 and 1994 in the United States, while in Britain, France, and Germany it has tripled. In the relatively prosperous Tyneside area of northeast England, only 45 percent of men over fifty-five are working, whereas in the 1960s 70 percent were employed. The remarkable film The Full Monty, about the lives of working-class men in northern England, reveals that when they are unable to find any work in traditional male jobs, they turn to what exigent women have often done—stripping their clothes off for paying customers of the opposite sex.… (más)
PlaidStallion (2): But I have been stressing that there are other underlying species-regularities involved. First, that women leaders do not inspire ‘followership’ chiefly because they are women and not only because of the consequences of those factors noted above ; secondly, even if they want to, women cannot become political leaders because males are strongly predisposed to form and maintain all-male groups, particularly when matters of moment for the community are involved. The suggestion is that a combination of these two factors has been the basis for the hostility and difficulty those females have faced who have aspired to political leadership. This has been the basis of the tradition of female non-involvement in high politics, and not the tradition itself. Cultural forms originally express the underlying ‘genetically programmed behavioural propensities’. In their turn, such cultural forms maintain – as tradition – an enduring solution to the recurrent problem of assigning of leadership and followership roles. In this connection, Margaret Mead writes about ‘zoomorphizing Man’. ‘Culture in the sense of man's species-characteristic method of meeting problems of maintenance, transformation, and transcendance of the past is an abstraction from our observations on particular cultures.’? This is then another way of looking at how broad political patterns may predictably emerge from the more detailed and programmed patterns of different behaviour of males and females.
Some females may indeed penetrate some high councils. They become ministers of governments, ambassadors, and so on. A few may receive assignments which are not ‘feminine’ in their implication, such as Golda Meir, former Israeli Foreign Minister, and Barbara Castle, U.K. Secretary of Productivity and Employment. It is important to know what happens to the ‘backroom boys’ under such circumstances. Do they retire to an even more secluded chamber? Does the lady become ‘one of the boys’?… (más)