Read my latest at elephantjournal.com. Link at bottom of excerpt:
In the heart of the divorce boom (starting in the ‘60s, peaking in the ‘70s) a generation of women ended up parenting (mostly) solo, and a generation of boys ended up being raised (mostly) without a positive father figure, if they had one at all.
Maybe it was partially a reaction to “women’s lib” that lead men to feel less-than-needed. And maybe it was the grey flannel rebellion, personified by the whining tone of the dissatisfaction of the Playboy Men of the ‘50s, that lead women to feel fed up enough to stand up and say “To hell with this!”
How far back this winding battle for self-actualization as war-of-the-sexes goes is a question that can’t be answered. But irrefutably, while entirely necessary, the attempt towards some leveling of the playing field has resulted in some serious casualties.
In the absence of a paternal figure, an inadvertent, angry, faux matriarchy emerged; one that was bound by the confines of the walls of the home, because outside of the home all the old rules still applied.
But in the home, woman ruled. Boys (and girls) grew up with women, angry women, women who were (righteously) angry at men, as the alpha and omega of their young lives. The mother became the sole ruler of the world that is childhood.
A generation of men really did fuck up. They left, fucked around, used women and dumped them. Fathers bailed, leaving an abscess as often as an absence.
And the absence of men, of good men, of real men, of responsible men, left a nasty taste not only in the mouths of overwhelmed mothers, but of boys raised in a world of righteously angry women.
This group of boys would grow into men. Men who still had a bad taste in their mouths. A bad taste about men. Which is hard to live with; especially if you’re a man.
For these reasons and more, a generation (or three) of sensitive and careful men have had to struggle to reclaim their man-parts. And the women of that same generation have had to cultivate the ability to trust men who, themselves, don’t trust men.