Sunday, November 13, 2005

In search of a few good men

It's hard for me to believe that my last post was Wednesday. Everytime this happens, I wonder if I have any readers left--although whether or not that is the ultimate point of this blog is debatable.

Decisions, decisions might be the theme for the last few days. So many opportunities have come up in the last 3 months or so--some have not panned out, others I have turned down. It's nice to feel wanted, even in the context of those opportunities that did not work out, since the positive thing about those is that there was interest at all.

The horizon is opening up, as it were, and now the question is in which direction to drive chasing the ever-approaching, never-reaching place where the sky and earth meet. Which is a lot like trying to balance your life, something female parents struggle with much more than men, I think. But only because my generation is still populated by men who think of themselves in theory as supportive of the basic goals of feminism, but who in practice are reluctant to yield the time and energy and effort it would take to be in reality supportive of their female partners. So many men of my generation were raised with conflicting sensibilities: that they were required to be thoughtful and sensitive and supportive of women, but that at the same time they were still entitled to lead the kind of life that men have always assumed that they would lead--pursuing their own goals first, spouse and family second (at least until life's primary goals were met).

These guys simply assume that women should be entitled to lead the same types of lives that men lead. But marriage and family require that at least one of the two partners make themselves available to home and family duties. If one spouse is oblivious to the necessity of doing so, the other really is forced to pick up the slack. And then that spouse is the one doing the balancing act.

There are plenty of men out there who are paying more than just lip service to the idea of female equality. These are the guys who pick up the slack with family and household duties without being asked, yelled at, or cajoled. Who simply consider it their responsibility to share an equal burden of childcare, housework, etc., without suggesting that someone else be hired to fulfill their share of responsibility. Because once someone is hired, these guys don't see that there will always be some work that needs to be divvied up. Their more responsible and enlightened peers are also those who not only know the names of their children's teachers, but have contact info for their teachers at hand, whether on a piece of paper, or in their Blackberries. These are the guys who don't hear it from their wives that there are problems in school, but know because they are part of the information contact loop to begin with. And they've met the teachers, not just know their names.

Progress, progress. So why is there still so much balancing to do?

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