The whole subject of gender and work, whether it’s men at home or men looking to fulfil a role that feels more feminine, is one close to my heart. Many years ago, Frank left a very ‘male’ role in the police force to become the carer and home keeper. Due to the way we’ve consciously and subconsciously been raised, and the way society is formed, has meant we’ve had some seriously low points along this journey. So much so, I think I could write a book on it, but that’s a whole other story! With this month all about wonderful men, I wanted to highlight one of the areas I think holds men back. What’s deemed ‘women’s’ work? And thus, maybe never giving them the opportunity to fulfil a creative dream.
Why is that group of men at school pickup, is still so small? Why is it that women are the gender most likely to form a business at home? Yes I know us women have wombs and maternity leave! I know this plays a big role but, let’s move past that part of the story for a moment, as there are countless surveys that show how many men want to get out of the rat race. Want to stay at home. Want to create a micro business. Want to follow a dream. If that’s the case, how come the shift is so slow?
I know the crisis of manhood, if it exists truly, seems very different from that faced by women in the 50s and 60s, for instance. In some senses though, I think you can see the similarities between then and now. Women were saying then “Some of us might want to work.” Men are saying now “Some of us might want to work less.” Women were saying “We want to be taken seriously in public life.” Men are saying “We want to be taken seriously in our personal life.”
During ‘Man Made’ month I want to help men break free, become happier, more creative and potentially start to control their own destiny. But how does this happen? What are those steps they, the spouse and the family need to take, to support this? Who’s been on this journey? Can you share tips and stories to help men, who are looking to navigate a way to an alternative life, do so?