There mustn’t be, Microsoft Word spell check doesn’t believe it exists but let’s explore it any way. Let me preface this by saying I am by no means against Feminism or the Women’s Movement. The Women’s Movement had to happen and the world is a by far better place for it and as much as we have made great progress, it is clear we still have a long way to go. Now, let’s get controversial…. But first go and boil the kettle, this one has an intermission….
Growing up in the age of the women’s movement did nothing for a young man of my generation. Hearing everywhere you go about how all men are bastards, they are a bunch of misogynists and they think about nothing but where they would like to jam their sausage next. As much as that last comment might be true, the first two are not. There are countless men out there who are in fact the polar opposite. Having said that there is still a number of actual misogynists out there who are managing to hold back the rest of their male counterparts from advancing our species. How sad is that?
It is men, who are holding back men! Think about the very few male midwives out there, a profession fiercely dominated by women. Do you think it is women who are holding men back from studying the fine art of extracting freshly baked humans? NO! It’s the small population of dung beetle-esque males out there managing to have us all tarred with the same brush. Telling their juniors they are ‘pansies’, ‘pussies’ or ‘fags’ (excuses the expression, it’s their words not mine), telling these young men they are weak and somehow their choice of career makes their cocks that much smaller. If that was the case, then I am in for some serious shrink action as I have just started working in the early childhood sector… Better refrain from swimming in the cold ocean waters at least until I start driving an excavator for a living.
Look how tiny! He must work in the early childhood sector…
Why is it, if a female enters a male dominated industry it’s sexy, powerful and inspiring but if a male enters a female dominated industry you hear ‘weak’, ‘sad’ and “What’s his problem?”…. If you ask me, it takes blue whale sized meat and two veg (I wonder what the whale does for a living…) for a male to enter a female dominated profession, hats off and much respect to those bucking the trend. Now male gyno’s, that’s a different story… Get out of it you bunch of perverts!
While we are on the topic of junk size, what is that about any way??? The human wang can be perfectly functional at 1 inch all the way up to 24 inches (ouch!). However if we as men can be honest for a moment it would only be 1% of the male population who could actually satisfy a woman with said functional appendage. So what’s the fuss? Does size really matter? Well yes it does, in the male world it is very, very important. I can’t tell you why but I can point you in the right direction to find the evidence to support this argument. Head down the health and beauty aisle at your local supermarket and see if you can buy yourself a packet of condoms marked “Small”. You’ll have a better chance of finding the following “Large”, “Extra Large” and “Holy Fuck, get that thing away from me!” So it’s not about satisfying the opposite sex, we know that. So where did it all start? Seriously I would like to know why it is we have this burning desire to be as big as an elephant, and if we can’t then why do we feel the need to compensate? This intrinsic need at our very core to compete with other men I would suggest hasn’t changed for a millennia.
Honey, can you help me tie a knot in this later?
Sadly in this culture, a majority of men have been driven to fit into a ‘concept’ of what a man should be. For some men this concept runs against the grain of their very existence. The concept is driven by our fathers and grandfathers, media and consumer marketing. Contrary to what current affairs programs will have you believe, women don’t actually have the monopoly on a skewed sense of self image. Men are equally affected. We have just been reared to be disconnected from our emotions and to not talk about it, because emotions are for pussies. Men don’t cry! Like fuck they don’t! It just takes a catastrophic cluster fuck to release the pent up emotion and by the time this happens, the man is swimming in a sea of hopelessness – more about that later.
The concept of what a man should be goes something like this: tall, dark, handsome with a chiselled jaw and perfect rock hard washboard abs. We need to be clean shaven (or manicured beard, depending on the latest Hollywood celebrity trend) and smell of what we think is some modified form of Rhino piss, but we are led to believe this ‘Manfume’ or whatever French term is applied to feel more sexy, will ensure ladies are throwing their perfectly sculpted bodies at us like bogans at VB, (see body spray commercial, all of them). The concept man is a high earner with a successful career, big house, fast cars and the unattainable supermodel wife. That’s the physical just about wrapped up, now for the emotional. The man is the sturdy, resilient, emotional rock for the family. What this probably means is he is disconnected from his emotions. Some men manage to break the mould on this one but most remain in that place where his emotional and spiritual needs are parked in order to indulge others around him. He ranks his own priorities a distant second and subsequently, they go unfulfilled. This can leave a hollow shell of a human being who exists only to provide for his family. This can be a dangerous place to be. We all suffer from the same affliction and I’m not talking about the man flu – it’s male pride and yes it is an affliction. Male pride prevents us from even admitting to ourselves we may have something amiss, let alone talk about it with family, friends and gods forbid a shrink! Remember that cluster fuck we were talking about earlier??? This is where things can start to go wrong in a big way. Phew, this is getting a bit heavy… Time for a cuppa tea. But before you leg it to the kitchen I would like to leave you with something to ponder over while you lovingly stir your favourite brew, you will find relevance later in the post; According to Beyond Blue “in Australia, there are approximately 2,200 suicides each year. 80 per cent are by men – with an average of 5 men taking their lives every single day. Suicide is the leading cause of death for men under the age of 44, significantly exceeding the national road toll. Alarming isn’t it?
Welcome back! The smart ones always come back, good on you…. Now, let’s talk about work. Remember that empty shell of a bloke? One way to fast track the concept man to that point is for us to almost solely identify ourselves with what we do for work – more common than you may think. Don’t forget this is culturally driven. Most of us will glorify what we do in general conversation in a bid to feel adequate to the person with whom we are conversing, women in particular. “Hi, my name is Daryl and I’m a horse trainer”, what Daryl is really saying is “G’day, me name’s Dazza and I’m a stable mucker, but me ego won’t allow me to admit that I shovel shit for a living”. But it goes a step further than just fudging our occupation. We get so tied down to our jobs some of us will end up doing little else. The pressure from our forefathers to get a real job, grow up and be successful, provide financial security etc is so great that a lot of men throw themselves into their work to be the best they can be, to strive for promotions and increase their financial positions. They will spend long hours at work, not because they don’t want to see their families but to make a name for themselves in order to bolster their identity and be in the running for the next big promotion and financial leg up.
The dirty little secret here is corporate business loves this mentality. They lap it up in great big slobbery mouthfuls with no concern and no regret for the long-term effects for the employee. After all, the employees are only there to make the shareholders money. “Chew em up and spit em out, there’s more where he came from.” I shouldn’t be so cynical. In fairness there are some corporations who do foster healthy work life balance, at least that’s how their values and policies read any way. When it comes to the crunch however, the over worked, over committed man is simply a “human resource”, that the Human Resources Department wants to safely remove, in the best interests of the business not the employee. NEXT!
Sound familiar??? Well here’s a little more… Some ASX200 listed corporate businesses will actually make it part of their recruitment teams KPIs to recruit a certain amount of women. Sounds great in principle, especially if you can’t see the hidden bias. You see, the purpose for enlisting women in upper management is undertaken under the guise of bringing diversity of thought to build a better, more efficient business. If you dig a little deeper however you will find a grubby sort of underbelly. ASX200 listed companies are rated amongst other things on their gender diversity to see how corporate business is handling gender equality and rightly so too. You can improve your rating by employing more women in certain roles and having policies written to be inclusive. Again a great and valuable initiative.
Here’s the down side: what happens to the man who dedicated his very existence to the company, performed at a high level and has all the skills and qualifications for a promotion, only to be pipped at the post by an under skilled and underqualified woman in order for the recruiter to achieve his or her bonus and the company’s ASX200 gender equality rating? Now I want to be clear here, I fully support the companies who are employing, promoting and paying women equal or more than their male counterparts and enjoying the benefits of improved business function and ASX200 ratings. What shits me is those operating under the false pretence of doing the right thing in driving diversity and equality while the focal point is a short cut to improving shareholder value. You’ll find a few of those cluey old misogynists heading up these companies. But to be fair I have worked with some males within these companies who truly believe in diversity and equality so understand it’s a generalisation. Unless of course you are one of those misogynists – in that case PULL YOUR HEAD IN! You are destroying the lives of many….
Nothing is more soul destroying for a man (or a woman for that matter) than failing at his work. Not scoring that promotion could well constitute a failure in his work, which is an extension of one’s self and in more extreme circumstances he may as well have failed at being himself. And for the real kick in the nuts, he didn’t actually fail at all! For all his good intentions to provide for his family and feel good about his contribution to his work and family, the results are unbalanced and negative.
Excessive exposure to the stress and pressure endured from work, his unbalanced family life and even society (pressure to have a ginormous knob etc) can result in a chemical imbalance in his brain. I’m talking science people! Now don’t quote me on this, (I am no mental health care professional – In fact I’m the opposite, I am a recipient of said mental health care). When we experience stress and anxiety our brain releases chemical endorphins and serotonin to sharpen our reflexes, think and act quickly and engage the ‘fight or flight’ reflex or to simply keep us balanced. If you are exposed for any great length of time, this state of heightened brain chemistry can become permanently adjusted and also become your new normal state. The trouble is, we do not have an endless supply of these brain chemicals and like all matter in Newton’s theory, “what goes up must come down”. Bam! Just like that, Depression! Welcome to the club, it’s not exclusive… Beyond Blue’s web site states, “On average, 1 in 8 men will have depression and 1 in 5 men will experience anxiety at some stage of their lives” What? You mean… It’s normal??? That’s right, you bet your average sized perfectly function appendage its normal!
So why then in this day and age are we so afraid of talking about mental health? According to the Black Dog Institute, 72% of males don’t seek help for mental disorders. If you broke your leg or developed cancer would you ignore it and not tell anyone? What about an Iron deficiency? What about hypertension? What about elephantitis of the nuts? I guarantee you’d seek medical advice for that one…. (Maybe after a week end at Bondi Beach in nothing but a pair of dick stickers….Check it out ladies….) Mental wellbeing and mental illness are no different to physical fitness and physical illness so get to a GP and get yourself better. You can and will recover and you know what? It takes far bigger balls to admit and address your problems than it does to ignore them. If left untreated there is the potential for marriage breakdown and even loss of custody of the children. Forget soul destroying, this could be life destroying!
Are men really better off than women or is it just a slightly different sort of injustice? Perhaps we have the makings of a Men’s Movement. If we as men can take the first step in saying it’s actually quite normal to fall into some level of depression and/or anxiety at some stage of our lives, if we could say that ‘I too have needs and it’s important for me and my health to satisfy those needs’, then maybe, just maybe we could regain some balance.
I ask again, is there really such a thing as Masculinism?
If this post has struck a chord with you, I suggest you read Manhood by Steve Biddulph. Both men and women will benefit from the insights the author provides on the world according to men. http://www.stevebiddulph.com/Site_1/The_New_Manhood.html ***This is not a paid advert***, simply helping another brother out.
If you think you may need some support of your own (or know someone who might), please don’t hesitate to get to your GP ASAP, it’s the hardest you’ll ever do but once you have taken that first step you are on the road to a brighter, happier, more colourful and rewarding life. You may also like to check out these web sites.
If you are feeling suicidal contact Lifeline’s 24 hour crisis support service on 13 11 14 or seek immediate help from a GP, psychiatrist or a psychologist.