Snow Day

Self portrait, January 28, 2009

Lily Peacock: Snow Day, January 28, 2009

I have shit to do, but I’m avoiding it because it’s a snow day (2nd in a row!). Snow days are cool, especially when Mr. Peacock is snowed in too, and I’m not just talking about friction here, though that’s wonderful too. Better…well, okay not better, but just as fun as all the friction and keeping each other warm is the beer we get to drink in the middle of the day and all the talking we do before we get to friction-izing each other.

He’s had some “click” moments lately, both with regard to our relationship and with regard to patriarchy. He used to be somewhat of a patriarchy defender. He actually said to me at one point during our first year that it was natural that I do the house work because I was better at it. We should all act on our strengths, he used to say. Lately he’s been getting it. My full-time job has started AND I’m in grad school, leaving him with all the work I used to do, which I think it part of it. But it’s more than just that. Lately he’s been talking about ideas he has about what masculinity and maleness mean.

Now, Mr. Peacock is a pretty special guy, or else I wouldn’ t have bothered with marriage at all. One of the things I first fell in love with him over was his…how shall I say this…femininity? Not that really, but he just wasn’t really a man’s man, even though he looked the part. I joked early on that he was the unmanliest manly man I’d ever met. My gay friends joked that I managed to find a lesbian with a beard and a penis. I admit, we had a wicked laugh over that.

So it was great today as we sat and drank some high quality beer and scarfed down chili at a wonderful little hole in the wall in New Albany, Indiana called the New Albanian Brewing Company. It’s actually our bar, and we know it by its old name, Richo’s (we ate on the Sportstime side, for locals).  I’ve been trying to convince him for months now that he needs to start his own blog, because he has some great ideas, and I really think the other half of feminism is going to be men like him leading other men into the light. Today he told me he thought he would be forty before he was ready for that (he’s 33, ftr).

Forty?!?! WTF? DUDE! We need you NOW. Maybe it’s the beer, maybe it’s the snow, maybe it’s the friction, I don’t know, but I think feminist-minded men need to organize like women are. This is a huge glaring hole as far as I’m concerned. Women have been and are organizing, and that’s wonderful, but something needs to be done so that the other side of the system is being examined and re-programmed. Women cannot do that. Men have to do that.

I started thinking about this after that wonderfully unforgiving post on Anglachel (that I can’t find now) wherein she basically told the truthiest of truths, which was that men would have to stop other men from raping, stop making rape culture permissible, and wherein a number of testosterone-driven persons exploded and got all haughty. You may recall. It came up again with the brouhaha happening over at The Confluence regarding Ali Campoverdi, an employee of the White House. Dr. Socks, as expected, is on the case.

This, among many other things, is what Mr. Peacock and I discussed over lunch beers today. It is my hope that men like him, and myiq, who I think is a wonderfully talented, insightful writer, can see their way to offering their insights to the men in their life, and to men in general. They have a point of view that is valuable to all Americans, but mostly it is women who hear them. They, like we all, have residual patriarchal markings, but they get it in a big way, in a way that most men don’t, and I wish they would try to get more men to see that big picture. Maybe if that was the focus, mistakes like yesterday wouldn’t even happen. Maybe it’s the final click.

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13 comments on “Snow Day

  1. madamab says:

    Anna Belle – I could not agree with you more. Straight men need to join us in our efforts, and there are quite a few out there who are ready and willing, as long as we don’t scream and yell at them how they are evil and horrible and the enemy.

    The patriarchy is an institution, not an individual. If we keep remembering that, we’ll have more guys with us than you can shake a stick at!

    What you do think of this definition of feminism – we had it on The View from Under the Bus last night:

    Feminist (fe-mi-nist, n.): 1. A woman who refuses to be treated like shit; 2. A man who refuses to treat women like shit.

    Enjoy your snow day!

  2. Patti says:

    Good for Mr. Peacock! Don’t wait until you’re 40 though.

    What will it take to get men to speak up on behalf of feminism though? Are men too afraid they’ll be laughed at by their peers? My husband is, for the most part, a feminist (thanks to me) but his friends just don’t get it. They have sent videos to us that demean Sarah Palin without giving a thought to just how sexist they are. These are decent guys that probably just don’t agree with her policies. That’s okay, but leave the sexist crap out of it. It’s just built into their psyche that it’s okay to put down women in this manner.

    I love Madamab’s definition of a feminist!

  3. Naughty Monkey says:

    AnnaBelle, I enjoy reading your articles and every thing you write comes from the heart. Keep up your important work and…Nolite te bastardes carborundorum.

    It’s a line from The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood.

  4. Sunshinelvr says:

    “The patriarchy is an institution, not an individual. If we keep remembering that, we’ll have more guys with us than you can shake a stick at!”

    So true, Madamab! To gently point out sexism to my husband works so much better than using a less friendly tone. And I try to remember it is way of life for so many people because it is so accepted and ignored.

    Anna Belle , the two of you sound like lovely people and I wish you many happy years together! Enjoyed your post.

  5. Patti says:

    By the way, that’s a very cute picture of Ms. Lily Peacock. Except I can’t figure out what the object is she’s holding. A frozen tree cone in a bubble?

  6. Anna Belle says:

    It’s one of those spikey things from a tree, not sure what kind. She loved how it looked encased in ice. I’ll let her know you liked it. She’ll be thrilled. She took the picture herself.

  7. Fran says:

    Hi, Anna Belle.
    I have a couple of thoughts here, not in depth.
    These days I cook dinner for my recently widowed Father. He has managed to get to 88 without ever having made a dinner for himself. I have a neighbor whose Father in the same situation has learned to do these things himself. Her Father said that he had never realized just how much work women did. (At least I make my Father compensate my financially.)
    I raised a son, whose Father I would say was wounded in his attitudes about women. He died awhile ago. Anyway, I raised our son alone. He is 28. So, he grew up without the ‘benefit’ of having a father.
    My son had to do things like get jobs, do his own laundry since he was 14. I taught him how to do things like fix the faucet or the roof. He knows how to sew. When he got older, he cooked dinner because he is a better cook than I.
    I feel that either a son or daughter should know how to take care of themselves. No tasks are gender specific.
    My son is very popular with women, with people in general, because he responds to everyone as a person. (He is also an extrovert, which I am not.) Kids like him a lot also. Every year he taught at our Quaker camp. He probably understands me better than anyone, even my girlfriends.
    I was thinking that men who have daughters should care about how they are treated. But, often those fathers are the worst, unfortunately.
    I think my brothers have done a fair amount of work, made progress on their attitudes about women. But they are still the boomer generation. I think that having me as a sister has helped.

  8. Anna Belle says:

    I’m so glad you stopped by with your thoughts, Fran. I loved reading about your son and how you’ve affected your brothers. Apparently women can do some of this work. Heh. Seriously, I have said for a while now that mothers should use their power to indoctrinate their children, Republican (not that kind of Republican) Motherhood-style. Sometimes you just have to work with you’ve got, and if we’re going to be forced to do the dirty work of raising kids, and we want to see a better world, might as well put that together and shamelessly shoot for a better world that way.

    Have you ever talked with your son about the idea of promoting his values to other men, just in a natural setting as it comes up kinda thing?

  9. Fran says:

    You know, I think that Mothers tend to be the ones who spoil their sons, and I don’t think they are even aware of how much they do. I cannot say that the tendency is entirely absent in me.

    When I look at successful women, I think it helps if they have a Dad who believes in them. It helps if their Mother does, but I think even more so if their Dad does.

    It has not been easy for me to let my son go, or for him to let go, for that matter. I think that is a lot because it was just the 2 of us for so long. But now I know we have. I am always there for him, but a guy cannot be tied to his Mother. It is not healthy.

    I imagine that my son does promote his values to his male friends in gentle ways. He has never been afraid to say what he thinks. For one thing, I think they could learn from him that women will like them better if they treat them with respect and consideration!

    My thoughts for now. Thanks.

  10. Cher says:

    It’s a seedpod from a sweetgum tree (Liquidambar styraciflua). The photo is absolutely lovely, Annna.

    Cher

  11. djmm says:

    The patriarchy is not good to men as it leads some women to seek power in passive-aggressive ways. Only feminist women are the friends of (good) men. He can call himself an Equalist (which I saw today over at Confluence, I think), if that makes it more palatable.

    Congratulations, by the way, on leading him, gently, to the path of righteousness.

    djmm

  12. Anna Belle says:

    Thanks dj, I agree that the patriarchy is not good to men. I also like that term “equalist.”

    Thanks for the info and the comment for Lily, Cher! I’m going to show her this thread so she can see the feedback on her work. Who knows, maybe she’ll post a comment…

  13. Lily Peacock says:

    Hello I”m Lily and i’m glad you all like the pic Momma used. Thanks for the comments.

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