This week starts a new series that will last all week called “The Pussification of Men”. This is a five part series that will cover the decline of the “manly man” and how the traditional gender roles in America are sadly becoming non-existent. Here are the parts of the series:
1. Monday – A History Lesson
2. Tuesday – The Man Who Never Leaves Home
3. Wednesday – Men As Bread Winners
4. Thursday – Dating in a Pussified Culture
5. Friday – What Can Women Do?
For today – I will be providing a history lesson on traditional general roles to give you perspective on the rest of the week. We’re going to start with the birth of human kind… (No – not the bullshit you read in the bible about Adam and Eve and a rib, but real history.)
Humans are by nature hunters and gatherers. When we figured out how to use our thumbs, and how to create fire, we fell into two separate roles based on our gender. This is typically called the sexual division of labor when talking about it from an evolutionary perspective. The theory states that because women are the ones to birth children – everything a woman does is defined by her initial role as a mother and caretaker of the children. So for instance, in a family unit where gathering food is divided among two people – the woman would be most likely to tender a garden, pick berries or raise animals close to the home. A male, because he is not tethered by the need to care for the children on a day by day basis becomes the person who goes out in the world and does more dangerous tasks such as hunting large game.
Because of this structure, the ability to do something like hunt large game becomes a bartering chip when it comes time for a male to pick a mate. The better a hunter he was, the more likely he would be able to support the family in the future – and therefore the more desirable he was to a prospective mate. As these roles started to emerge, children were raised by their parents to fit into these roles – men were raised to be hunters and protectors, and woman were raised to be good mothers and gathers. This is the way the world worked for thousands of years. In fact, there are still some tribes which this is the social norm, such as the Hadza tribe in Tanzania.
With the beginning of what we would call modern agriculture in some of the most advanced cultures such as the Egyptians and the Romans, the roles changed somewhat slightly. Men became the people who would plow the fields and work all day out in the sun, and women would do the household chores such as cleaning, cooking and sewing. This was not because men were oppressing women, in fact, far from it – it’s because from an evolutionary perspective, men had been built to do the heavy lifting and women were designed to be close to home to take care of the children.
Now – this is not to say that there weren’t women, or men, who bucked these trends. History is littered with tales of women and men who shunned these roles – but the reason we know about them today and hear their tales is because they were not the cultural norm. In addition, this is not to discount societies in history who are matriarchal, although I would argue that these existed because women were the ones taking care of raising the children. (For example, the first church in Christianity according to the Bible was actually led by a woman, because it was a woman who let Jesus into her home and invited others to learn his teachings.)
These roles continued up until the women’s suffrage movement - particularly in the United States after World War I. See, during the World War something funny happened – the men were far far far away fighting each other, and the women were the ones left here to pick up the slack. This is where you see the rise of women who were taking on traditionally males roles in places such as factories and other work places. Women were forced by the nature of the war to be not only the female caregiver of the house, but also the male enforcer. At the conclusion of the war, women (especially in America) started to get the idea in their head that men were oppressing women by having them stay at home and be care givers, and that women had the ability to do everything that a male could. The rise of feminism in America began to occur.
Feminism in America is based on a flawed theory though. Feminists suggest that men throughout history were oppressing women by forcing the traditional gender role on them, and that women just kind of had to go along with it because they were physically weaker. They presume that masculinity developed under the influence of men alone in such a way that it became attached to characteristics like strength, action, and virility. They believe men imposed this system on women, and turned even the partnership of marriage into a contract of servitude and oppression of women. What they failed to acknowledge is that patriarchy, particularly at home, was an evolutionary structure imposed to protect the human race and ensure the survival of offspring. As such, for the vast majority of our evolutionary past, women were the main beneficiaries and enforcers of these patriarchal gender roles.
Which takes us up to today – where gender roles are nebulous at best. For the rest of the series, I will be focusing on men who in staggeringly high numbers are choosing to shun their traditional role and make less money than women. In addition – I will talk about the effect the men doing this has on women and dating, as well as what women can do to combat this.
I realize this is probably going to make me the most universally hated blogger this week. I’ve accepted this and moved on.