Am I a feminist? I don’t know. I am in favor of women having the same rights, getting the same pay, and having the same access to opportunities as men. So, some would say yes. But, that does not mean I don’t have a deep respect for the male species. My respect is founded on these two facts, they are meant to be here, and they are here for a reason. Progression of one sex does not mean that the other has to be annihilated. It means that there is an understanding that the roles and contributions of both sexes are equally needed and important to society.
More often than not, I am starting to see people accept the belief that a male is not needed for civilization to function properly. I’ve even noticed while in the mall, people are not used to seeing a man with his family. It’s like they honestly don’t trust that an active husband or father exist, and they certainly don’t think it deserves any regard. Sadly, a lot of people don’t believe a relationship is real until they have done everything to destroy it, and when it’s still standing they “get it”. In my neighborhood people truly look shocked to see my husband, even though they have seen him for over a year. We currently have no children, enjoy life, and have no drama. Huh? To some, that is crazy. I know there are plenty of neighborhoods where this lifestyle is appreciated, instead of just marveled, and one day we will get there.
People who try to underestimate the importance of men in our lives are delusional. Certain things just don’t happen when a male is around. I’m not saying that you are suddenly bullet proof, but it definitely gives warning to trouble. It’s like an invisible shield that lets those know who may be planning harm not to go there because you are protected. Men may not literally be king of the jungle, but they are king of their household, and a main function of their job is to defend. When a man is in the home, young women have a reference point to use when choosing potential mates, and young men have someone they can look up to that not only teaches them but shows them how men act. Having the presence of a loving husband, a strong father, a giving uncle, a supportive brother, or a grandfather that spoils you like crazy gives you an advantage over many. By chance if we don’t have people to play these supportive roles in our lives, it can cause a lot of pain.
The recent celebration of Father’s day triggered me to do some serious reflection on my own dad. Especially since I lost him two years ago physically, but really long before due to several strokes that caused him to not be able to communicate with or see me. I remember us watching an episode of Good Times, and afterwards him telling me they got rid of the dad because he was too much of a strong figure in the home. That statement may have more truth to it than most are willing to accept, and may help to explain why some of us are conditioned to believe that the show will easily go on long after the man has left. Is life imitating art here?
Growing up in a single parent house hold after the age of 11, I can definitely pinpoint exactly when things changed just because my dad was no longer in our home. There are many things my father taught me that have helped me as an adult. However, there are also many experiences that I probably would not have had if I knew I would have to answer to my father, and not only an overworked mother that was still trying to find out who she was amongst her many responsibilities. No one could have predicted how the loss of my father would impact the everyday life of my brothers and I. Their were definitely people that “tried it” because they knew it was only a woman in our home, not a man behind the scenes that could handle business if needed. People can sense vulnerability.
It is possible to raise great children, succeed in relationships, and go after our dreams without having a man around, but who wants to go through life without the guidance and perspective of the male. Just in case we need to hear this, men are just as important in the home and to our society as women. Maybe if we began collectively acknowledging their value instead of being focused on their shortcomings, they would feel appreciated and contribute more?
There is a popular saying that some men use to jokingly justify their commitment to staying in a relationship that is not ideal, which is “it’s cheaper to keep her”. But in reality if the person is positive, in the long run it’s just as cheaper to keep him (good guys only).
Rachel Bryant Lundy