That’s what It’s all about right?
Bringing home the bacon?
Being the provider for your spouse/family?
That’s what being a man means right?
If you want to be the man of the house you have to be the provider.
You’re masculinity depends on it.
But what if you’re not?
Are you less of a man if you’re wife makes more or is the sole provider?
If you read my first blog Are You Man Enough you’ll recall I referenced a period in my life when my wife at the time had a higher paying job than I did. Was I emasculated by that? Did it make me feel like I was any less of a man because she brought home more bacon than I did?
Any of you my age who grew up with TV may remember the commercial for Enjoli perfume where the woman sings:
“I can bring home the bacon (oh Enjoli!)
Fry it up in the pan (oh Enjoli)
And never let you forget you’re the ma-an,
Cuz’ I’m a wo-oman (Enjoli!)”
The ad was meant as an empowerment device for the modern woman. That she can, in fact, do it all and do it well. And part of ‘doing it all’ meant despite the fact that she can ‘pass out the kisses and get to work by 5 of 9” that she can also make sure her man knows he’s still the man.
Because that’s important.
Actually that is important. The reality is that this advertisement for an ‘8 hour perfume for the 24 hour woman’ did just as much for masculinity as it did for feminism.
Guys, she can bring home the bacon AND fry it up in the pan, and never let you forget you’re the man.
Feminism isn’t about emasculating men.
Having a spouse that earns more or is the sole provider isn’t emasculating either. Unless you let it be.
That’s the point here. If you let your masculinity suffer because you’re partner makes more money than you and you can’t be the provider than what kind of man are you? Does that mean you’re the woman of the house?
Being in a relationship can be confusing these days for sure. For generations roles had been predefined. The men go to work and earn the money, and the women stay home and run the household. It’s been that way since the dawn of time. The caveman went out and hunted for food and brought it home for Betty and Wilma to cook. Really, little has changed since those early BC days. The War to End All Wars changed that. Rosie Riveter and her troupe of woman were called to work because guess what? All the men were sent to fight for our country and someone had to make, well everything. The second wave of the women’s movement struck in the 60’s and 70’s, and while you may think Gloria Steinem is the mother of feminism, as she is touted as, it was really Betty Friedan that sparked the second wave with the 1963 release of her book The Feminine Mystique. She’s credited with bringing to light that while the suburban housewife may have it all, the beautiful house, the loving children, the husband providing for the family, it left the woman feeling unfulfilled and deadened inside.
We’re not going off-track here diving into the history of the feminist movement when we are speaking of masculinity, because it clearly all ties together. The old adages of man as provider, it just feeds into that side of masculinity that has proven to be toxic. Because it defines the role of the man, or one of the men, in the relationship to be just that. The man of the house. The provider. And if he’s not the provider he’s less of a man.
Going back again to when the mother of my kids and I were married and the kids were little, she was earning more than I was. How did I handle that? Honestly? I tried to make her home life as stress-free as possible. She worked hard and I did whatever I could to make sure things were taken care of around the house and with the kids so when she got home she could enjoy her family time. We were a team. I did the daycare drop offs. I’d run the laundry while I worked from home, or ran to the market, or the cleaners. I’d hit the gym and go pick up the kids and get them home, settled and fed so that when their mom came home they were happy and she could see their smiling faces and her work stress would fly out the window. The money thing? Like I said in my first article, we pooled our money and paid our bills. Neither of us cared. She never once even thought of holding it over my head and I never let it bother me. Why should it? I’m a man just the same whether I was on a job site or the playground.
My masculinity was whatever shade I made it.
The partner I have now, he and I have the same outlook. We are a team. We are a family. We provide to each other what we can and where it’s needed.
Couples, all of you, that’s the point, you are a team! Pick up the slack for each other. Help out around the house, divide the chores around your schedules so that when the two of you are together you can actually relax and enjoy what you have worked so hard for. Otherwise what are you working for? Life is literally the longest thing we ever do but it feels short because time flies when you spend it not on enjoying your life and each other.
That is all I have to say about it, but what say you?
That’s right, I want to hear from you!
Don’t just read the article and like it (I mean yeah click that like button for sure!)
But comment here, I want to know how things run in your household.
Men? Are you the sole provider? Or making more than your partner?
And if your partner is a man, how does that balance out?
Who has the deeper shade of masculinity, if there is one.
Women, do you bring home the bacon?
Do you fry it up in the pan?
How do you let your man know he doesn’t have to worry about his manhood if you are the sole provider or if you make more than him.
Seriously, feedback is everything, throw me some shade!