Friday, October 17, 2008


There are thousands of articles and books out there where women are looking at men with all manner of lenses and thinking about men from every angle. I'm rereading Sam Keen's 'Fire in the belly' these days, and I asked my dad if he was interested in reading it. He politely declined. For those not in the know, 'Fire in the belly' documents 'the path' men must take if they are ever to feel comfortable with their gender; especially in relation to the female of the species. Contrary to popular belief, men are not in charge and they never really have been. Although men still receive higher salaries (for the most part) than women do, women have always had power over men on a psychic level. Anyone remember Oedipus and his problems? Keen's remedy for men lost and fumbling is to first get as far away from Woman as possible, and then rediscover their maleness while surrounded by other men.
I don't know if Keen is right, but looking at my pater, I'm tempted to disagree with Keen. My dad was an only child; he's married with two daughters (which is plenty of Woman for any guy), and is doing rather well. My dad never (as far as I know) went through the supposed mid-life crisis when he hit his forties (mid-fifties right now, and no crisis in sight). It makes me wonder if this mid-life stuff is really as intense as popular culture insists it to be. But, getting back to Men in general.... There seems to be an intense reliance on Woman if one looks through the history of music and literature. One song that's been echoing through my head (and my radio) lately brings this reliance to life. Prince's 'Raspberry beret' from the 1980's.
First off, I'm not that fond of the song, and the video could be better (even considering the decade it was done). I've had the time lately to listen to the lyrics and it seems to me that, for the 'hero' in the song (too-leisurely him that works in the local five-and-dime), nothing really changes until 'the girl' walks through the 'out' door with her second-hand story raspberry beret and very little else (listen to the lyrics for more info). She knows how to kiss, according to Prince, but it seems that before she walks through the door, nothing matters. Just a really silly and illogical example of Man's intense reliance on Woman one sees in pop culture.
Anyway, I'm going to continue reading 'Fire in the belly'. Do I agree with the message Keen's presenting? There is no doubt that men these days are stuck in a kind of paradox, and without one you cannot have the other, so I guess Woman has him trapped again. Perhaps I do agree with the message, but for some men, this paradox is not a real big deal. Anyone out there thinking differently? Drop me a line. Thanks and have a great weekend.

No comments: