My Indian grandmother was born in Punjab. She was promised to be married at 11, married at 13, lost four children by the age of 17, and ultimately had seven kids, the middle of whom is my mother. She was only educated through the sixth grade before she had to leave schooling to be a child bride and to raise a family. Before she died last year, I asked her at what age she would have gotten married if it were up to her. She said 25. She wasn’t Lean In, she wasn’t Lean Out. She was Never Had a Chance to Be Anything But What Men Decided She Should Be.
The world has changed immeasurably for women since she was born in 1922. The rise of women and feminism is well documented. What is equally fascinating, and less talked about, is the impact this has had on men.
With more women in the workplace and in positions of power and leadership, with the legalization of gay marriage and the emerging liberation of the LGBTQ community, traditional definitions of masculinity are changing for the better.
Why should men be constrained by antiquated stereotypes of masculinity?
What does it even mean to “Be a Real Man” anymore?
Shouldn’t we all be celebrating a wide range of definitions of manhood?
And shouldn’t men be more proactive about all the unfinished work to create equality in our society?
Men don’t wear the pants anymore.
We all do.