A Sorry Sort of Privilege

There’s a description in Carol Craig’s excellent book: The Tears that made the Clyde
of women and children hanging around the gates of factories and shipyards, or outside pubs. It was pay day and they were hoping to run into their men folk and shame them into giving them something from their pay to run the household, before everything was drunk away.
 At the time, it was common, accepted practice, for the man take all the money and spend it on his own pleasures. So much so, that trade unionists, recognising alcoholism as a problem, had a campaign to persuade landlords to refuse service once half of a man’s pay had been drunk.
 In other words, the most progressive, left wing men around at that time thought that it was reasonable for one member of a household, to spend half of the entire money for a family, for one week, on himself, in a single night.
 I read this, with a short lived sense of relief at how far we had come.
Short lived until I noticed the number of adult men coming into the advice centre, where I then worked, with raging substance issues and cheerfully tell me about the financial help they were getting from aged parents, from girlfriends, from ex partners even.
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From The ‘New Man’ To The ‘The Bro Code’

So no one told you life was gonna be this way. Thankfully we have the media to spell out for us the way it is going to be. Whether we like it or not. The images of masculinity in television have changed quite dramatically since the 90’s. In order to demonstrate what I mean I will use the globally wide syndicated show ‘Friends’, in contrast I will also be looking at the more recent show ‘How I Met Your Mother’.

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Why I Became a Feminist

I grew up around the outskirts of Glasgow and up until my early to mid twenties I was unaware of feminism. Discovering feminist ideas sent guilt surging through my brain. It was like getting a new lens with which to look not only at my present way of being but all of my past too. I was horrified with the way I had thought, believed and acted previously. As far as I was educated by TV, film, music, books, family and friends, being male meant desiring sex from women. Seeing women as objects of desire rather than human beings but then I didn’t really see humanity in males either.. I was too effeminate and as such I would be called gay or bender and would be beaten up regularly. This was ALWAYS from males, the violence was a way of them reminding me that I do not fit into the masculinity box. I think the fact that I was obviously heterosexual was what made my feminine traits all the more unbearable for these males. I was breaking out of the masculinity box. That box that tells you to be a “hard man”, a “big man” and “take nae shit fae nae wan”. A man should love football and sports, enjoy porn, like drinking and “going on the pull”. Let’s not forget the main important thing, be able to fight.

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