Monday, January 26, 2009

"Be A Man"

Sorry I haven't updated- still no internet at the house, and still more sick than well. I understand now that seasonal depression thing some people go through. Never thought I'd miss SoFlo, but dear Goddess I just wanna be warm again.

...Anyway. Today's rant is on something I've been seeing in Christian websites just lately (I was looking for a feminist book review and my Google-fu went awry). Actually, I see it all the time whenever Fundies get together and discuss how The Liberals Are Ruining Society. It's this: "We have to encourage our men to be men!" Or some equivalent. Has anyone else noticed this creepy meme?

One commenter on (which I will not link) babbles happily "Sometimes my friends who have a “super sized” family like I have sit around and discuss that our large families have forced our husbands to step up to the plate and become a man. They shoulder immense burdens for the sake of their families when they could’ve limited their family’s size through sterilization, the IUD, or the pill and used their wives as objects while they pursued personal interests." 
Yeah, that truckload of brats "forced him" to step up and work back breaking hours to feed all those dependents. Good thing, too- who knows what would've happened if you hadn't been there to add to the world's overpopulation. It's not like he was probably a decent guy from the start or anything. But without all those kids, he might've pursued *gasp* outside interests- like friends, a hobby, or career ambitions. Hey, we all know having a shit-ton of kids prevents an otherwise irresponsible, unfaithful man from chasing other women and/or divorcing his wife and leaving her with 5 kids to feed. Also, good thing to know that the woman who's basically a uterus on legs doesn't feel like an object! Whew! I'm so relieved.
She also adds a cute little aside about how she makes a MUCH better chocolate chip cookie than hubby, but golly, he's her best taster! Tee hee! Cause he's a man and, you know, they love to eat but can't cook! Those menz- they'd starve without a wifey in an apron! 
Excuse me while I go throw up.

And now the church is saying than men aren't manly enough, and that, obviously, old-fashioned gender roles and huge families are the ticket to making them "step up and be men".
I'm guessing what that means is: they should be responsible, loving, considerate, and do their best to care for and protect the ones they love. Be strong enough to take care of their kids, homes, and livelihoods. Treat others as you'd want to treated. Not act like 35-year-old children, not act as though the world and everything in it is their personal toy. 
Great. Awesome. I couldn't agree more. Except... why is this the purview of men? Why do we need to go back to traditional gender roles? Aren't these qualities important for, um, everyone? What- responsibility and steadfastness are only desirable if you have a penis? And us laydeez are just supposed to stand back and giggle/applaud, or something?

Ick. Is it just me, or does that logic not resemble our Earth logic?
Look, my thing is- what is a man, anyway? And why do we make boys work so hard to conform to that narrow ideal? Why can't a woman work and support her family (wage gap aside)? Why can't a man be the one to take care of and nurture his kids? 
Why, other than that we're taught from a young age "this is how things are"? Why is it so important to 'be a man' when what we should all be striving for is to 'be a decent human being'?

Well, catholics and fundies? I'm waiting.   ...Bueller? Anybody?