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.
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.
Call me, feminterested.