Femininterest.

Each day in March, I’m participating in the Slice of Life challenge, hosted by Two Writing Teachers. You can visit their site here. This is my slice for Day 17.


For many years I have really been turned off by the way men have been portrayed in commercials and on television. Especially dads. We’re often depicted as out-of-touch, immature, spineless, nimrods. 

Boobs. 

No not that kind, but perhaps solely enamored by that kind. 

These are no doubt unfair caricatures, but in truth they account for only a small portion of the grossly over-simplified representations in the media. Are teens fairly represented? What about people of color? Do women get treated free of bias?

Of course the answer is we are all misrepresented at various times, and in a multitude of ways. But I was mostly in tune with how “my kind” were being portrayed. I felt offended by how often fathers were depicted as ignorant, self-absorbed, wimps. 

It seemed to be time to point out the need for the media to “man-up”.

And by pointing outward, I must also reflect inward. If I’m honest, there are at least some grains of truth in those characterizations. I have been self-absorbed. Aren’t we all, by our very nature, more attuned to our own feelings, sensitivities, and biases? Don’t we each possess blind-spots when it comes to understanding people that are different in age, gender, culture, or race, than we are? Aren’t we all a bit hesitant to speak out against injustice when it is exacted on groups that are not who we most identify with?

The need to man-up begins here. With me. There is no “my kind”. Such thinking is ridiculously small-minded. There is only “our kind”. As members of our global community, we are really brothers and sisters from many nations.

Perhaps, instead of attaching a gender bias to the term “man-up”, how about I:

‘fess-up – to being at least partially out of touch.

own-up – to being part of the problem.

rise-up – to be a voice for kindness.

stand-up – against the willful prejudice and misogyny that is prevalent.

lift-up – the heroes and heroines who brave the harsh path to equality.

zip-up – the impulse to engage in fruitless debates with those that are close-minded.

pick-up – the torch passed on by those who fought for fairness and equity.

look-up – to the brilliance manifested in people who are different than I am.

load-up – on curiosity, eager to learn about, and from, my siblings of the world

 

Because the older I get, the more I realize just how little I know. My convictions strengthen, but they also widen, and deepen, leaving room for the unknown. I live in a home with three females, yet in truth, I don’t have a strong grasp of the female perspective. The more I know women, the more I appreciate how little I know. And the more I appreciate them in general.

I want to be more curious, and less critical. I want to be curious about racial perspectives, cultural perspectives, and gender perspectives. I want to embrace uniqueness, instead of ignoring it. I want to illuminate cultures, instead of hiding them. 

White male may be a majority in our nation, but it is the minority in my household. Males constitute a mere 25% of the population in my family, and the women in this home are strong. Amazing. Determined. In fact, I come from a heritage of strong women. All of the females that I grew up around were educated, opinionated, articulate, kind, competitive and generous. So is my wife, and my two daughters. And as much as I may know them, there is so much more to learn. 

And I’m curious. 

I’m interested.

Call me, feminterested.

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12 thoughts on “Femininterest.

  1. This was a great post for so many reasons. I loved your rewriting of “man-up” to all the other “-ups” that are so much more meaningful. Like you, the older I get, the more I realize how little I actually know. I grew up in a predominantly female household and now live in a house of boys. It has been an education! But I don’t think I will ever fully comprehend what it is to be male. It doesn’t mean, though, that I won’t try understand or that I don’t appreciate the differences. Thanks for sharing your very thoughtful perspective.

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  2. Greg you have hit on something here. I too feel that we are not always portrayed in the best light. I am very aware of he biases out there and sometimes need to “check” my word choices like “man-up” or similar phrases. I too am feminterested. I at least have a little guy, three years old, who helps me keep the numbers even, but we still get outvoted. Have you seen the commercials “Like A Girl” or the “Sorry Not Sorry” ? On the other end is the phenomenal ad “Blind Devotion” https://youtu.be/_99ySDoC1fw . As always, you got me thinking. And by the way, you are putting out great stuff everyday!

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  3. I love the word play in your post – the “ups” and “feminterested.” My husband can identify with you since he, too, is a 25%er. He insisted on getting a male dog to try to even out the odds. 😉 One of the things I said “Amen” to is your discussion of the portrayal of dads in the media. You are completely right about them being portrayed as simpletons. Where is the middle ground between “Father Knows Best” and the village idiot?! Somehow we’ve lost the middle ground. Many of the moms on those shows are control freaks, nags, and disrespectful. Yikes. We have a lot of work to do.

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  4. I love this post. I’m 25% of the female gender in my household. 75% of the males here are strong, funny, compassionate, hard-working, smart, and just plain awesome. I know that we are always called to Love each other! Thought provoking stuff here. Thanks!

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  5. You know…just when I was starting to get squeamish and annoyed from reading “man-up” you flipped it on me. I’m glad you did. As I’m peeling back my layers this month, I’m realizing just how much we need to pay attention to – but also how much we need to just let it go and accept everyone. Definitely a fine line to walk! Thanks for sharing!

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  6. The heart of what you said today, Greg, lie in these words, “Because the older I get, the more I realize just how little I know. My convictions strengthen, but they also widen, and deepen, leaving room for the unknown.” Your words give me pause this morning.
    ~Deborah

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  7. A very thoughtful post, one that made me think more about my experience than the post itself, although the structure struck me as interesting too – back and forth, in and out. I think often of perspectives outside my own because I’ve always been curious ago them, but that doesn’t mean I get it right. I think I may make assumptions that may be untrue, inaccurate, or simple. The idea of convictions becoming more solid but also making room for revisions and additions as we age and learn resonated strongly with me.

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  8. I also love how you switch up “man up” to more inclusive terms about bettering oneself! I also love how you say the more you know the more room you leave for learning and knowing there is more to know. Your writing radiates kindness and is always a pleasure to read.

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  9. I love the way you presented your stance. I wrote yesterday about point of view through three books I reviewed. Learning and growing and working hard to see others’ Point of View is a consistent goal for me, for my students. Thanks for the wise words.

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