Being Men and Women

Musings this morning on expectations of men and women in our culture.

One of our denomination’s para-church ministries has a series of e-mails and articles aimed at men.  It was depressing to see that one of their pitches was for guys to send in photos of themselves in front of various ballparks around the country.  It struck me as kind of depressing how little is expected of men these days.  I saw a quote a few weeks back but can’t trace the source that said something to the effect that not so long ago, the mark of a well-rounded man was a room in the house set aside as the study or library.  Now the room associated with men is called a man-cave.  Once men were expected to be intelligent, grappling with issues of the day as well as fields of leisure study such as literature and history and philosophy.  Now guys are expected to be preoccupied with toys and sports statistics and video-games.

What a depressing change of expectations.

But, lest we mourn unduly, we could of course examine the change of expectations for girls and women as well, a la Halloween.  How wonderful it is that, what, almost 50 years of women’s lib and feminist activism has resulted in Halloween turning into yet another opportunity for young women to imagine themselves primarily as fantasy fodder for guys!  Gee, we should all be so proud of how far women have come in our culture, right?  I can’t imagine why more young women aren’t choosing the hard sciences as their vocations when what they are recognized most for growing up is their attractiveness?

We ought to expect more from others, but then that would require us to expect more from ourselves as well.  Hmmm.  That sounds like work.

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