The Cycle | March 06, 2013
>> that's what the money is for. you are young. you will get your recognition. honestly it is ridiculous to be two years into your career and counting your ideas. everything to you is an opportunity. you should be thanking me every morning when you wake up along with jesus for giving you another day. oh, come on.
>> it can be a bit confusing to be a man in today's world. we are no longer a mad men society. most of us are not quite as soft as men of modern family where we are somewhere in between. we talked about the feminine mystique . is there a masculine mystique of sorts that is holding us back from potential? our next guest said a masculine mystique pressured them to conform to a gender stereotype and prevents us from reaching our full capabilities. i'm not sure i agree. let's talk it out. author of the feminine mystique and the dawn of the 1960s . welcome back. stephanie?
>> thank you.
>> i feel like men of my generation have a lot more freedom and imperative to push the boundaries of masculinity versus the masculinity that was introduced to me by my father and grandfather. we have to be softer and more emotion emotional. the women demand it from us. this idea of a mystique that functions as a prison and keeps us from getting to full potential, i don't see that happening in men of my generation at all.
>> i think it's changing. the men are really, really moving very rapidly. i do think it kicks in in a couple of places. for example, it used to be the feminine mystique said you must not like to do anything masculine if you are good at sports. you are not being a woman. young boys are pressured like this. young girls don't feel like they have to play dumb, but young boys are not allowed the same freedom in liking to do things we associate with girls. they get bullied and tease and we thought one of the things that is interesting is although there is a lot of prejudice against women as mothers, when dads ask for flex time , they are often bully and harassed on the job. there is a ways to go.
>> stephanie, when the feminine mystique came out that, did not blame women for holding on to the outdated ideals of what a woman should be. if we are looking at masculine mystique, who is to blame or what is keeping men in these traditional gender roles ?
>> i don't think blame is -- i don't think we should be going around blaming men. i think they are working really, really hard and sometimes against these tremendous stereotypes about what it is to be a man. man up, you know? as young kids, girls are left off the hook. oh, honey, don't do that. i will give you a hand. man up and do it. there is all that pressure and i think we women give mixed messages. we want our guys to help with the house work and we want them to be gentle and listen to us, be but we want them to get rid of the mouse and some of us are caught in wanting to be the experts about child care . we want our guys to help, but we want to be the real experts there, unskilled assistants. i know my husband got me day repacking the dishwasher and he said if you don't trust me enough to pack the dishwasher, i will stop doing it. i had to say okay.
>> i read through your piece and it struck me that i lived through this moment maybe years ago that is in some ways ended. this moment where the so-called metro sexual emerged into popular culture . some called it the woosification of the american man. that moment was very much a real moment. i am wondering how that squares with your assessment that men are conforming too much to masculinity norms. how does that jive against that popular culture moment that we experience.
>> there has been a tremendous change. when you go back to the men and women i interviewed in the 50s and 60s, often men i interviewed from that president, older men would start to cry through the interview talking about how they were brought up to think their only identity is to be the breadwinner and they got the reward when they came home and their wife and kids could be grateful and they found they were strangers to their wife and children. this is not happening anymore, but we still do find that guys report they are afraid to ask for flex time at work and say i have a doctor appointment rather than say it's mine turn to say i have to pick up the child. they get tease and guys feel more pressure to be breadwinners. reason guys dropout of college more than girls is they are nervous about taking on the debt loads. they think they have to start supporting the family right away.
>> i wonder if there is room for just saying there real differences between men and women .
>> we are not sure what those are. we have been so socialized. from the day you are born, women tend to hold their baby fist they are a boy facing out and if they are a girl facing in. we don't know how much of this is biological and how much is conditioned. there more differences among boys and men and among girls and women than between them. what we should be working for is to allow everyone to be an awe thend authentic human being . we'll figure this out for ourselves and we need to step back from 200 years of conditioning that these things are appropriate for men and not women and vice-versa.
>> thank you very much.
>> my pleasure. thank you.
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