|Women can geek out over ale too. Hell, anyone can geek out|
over ale. And we all geeked out a bit over ale.
My own brew as it happens.
But I failed to identify the hops.
|Penny Rolle imagined herself, as an|
idealised form, exactly how she looked.
My male privilege means I did not feel
the impact of that.
I was loaned, I borrowed, the graphic novel Bitch Planet. It is good. It is very feminist. But I found it odd that one of the key points in that tome was the origin of one of the characters that hinged on the fact that she was comfortable with who she was and what she looked like - it was portrayed as a heroic thing to be and, I guess, it is. It brought home to me that I could never be a woman and that whatever I am I am not a transwoman. There are issues in there and in the intersectionality of oppression that I simply am unable to identify with. My privilege is that I have never experienced any of it (and the setting was problematic for me, I want to know more about how this world developed, but I suspect that, being allegorical, I am to be disappointed in that regard). It would make a great textbook for feminism and I shall be seeking my own copy to use in lessons. This, too, is nothing to do with my title.
No, see, that mix-up at the beginning required some frantic texting back home to see if we could change the family plans in the field, so to speak, and effectively leave Tilly in limbo for a day longer. There was a dance practice on the following day that would take up all the afternoon and evening leaving me with the Boy. I arrived home to find that lunch had been made, that the pots were washed (mostly) and that the family had coped in trying circumstances (what, with me not being there and Tilly trying to get the Girtlie ready for a day out rehearsing for a show) without me. It was good to have me back, certainly, and all I could do was be tired and irritable.
|I tried petals, but Tilly was uninterested.|
I shall never have flowers or a candle lit bath drawn for me
because I am a man. I have enough privilege that I probably
don't need the gesture being made.
Is it not enough that men run the world?
I set the bath, I set the candles, and I prepared for a twenty minute relax in candle light. Except, at that moment, 7.30pm, Tilly arrived home. I blew out the candles and hid them, Tilly would not take kindly to my using candles for a bath. She would raise some objections and I would feel guilty. Or she would look at me with the same expression she used when I said that I wouldn't mind being bought flowers - the one that conveys confusion, disbelief and a little element of distaste at my tastes - and I wouldn't be able to deal with that. So I abandoned the attempt and just washed. It was not a lovely experience.
|Sometimes, though, it is genuinely|
And so the title: it's me.
I am lucky. In a patriarchal world I have the freedom of my job to escape the child-care, I can travel to visit friends and be the 'fun one' and have no real worries. I mean, sure, I offered to help but they did the cooking and the washing and provided whilst I just sort of, well, turned up. At home I do the pots and never get round to vacuuming quickly enough. I fold the clothes after they are washed and, increasingly, hang them up to dry and that's it. Throughout the day I get to avoid anything approaching family duties and I stay back late to do not very much rather than come home. I read books to the Girlie or the Boy and that's my parenting done in the week. In return I get meals made for me by Tilly and a house that is mostly kept in order. What more do I want? How much more do I wish to abuse the privilege of being male and middle-class?
All the way through my childhood I was warned against being boastful or ungrateful. It was a big thing in my household to not be grateful enough when receiving gifts even if, especially if, they weren't something you actually wanted. One had to be excited and genuinely thankful for everything or it would be taken away: food, toys or comfort - if I were not grateful I did not get it. Okay, that sounds worse than it was, but the basics are there. Being boastful was a confusing thing that I still don't understand. If I were to be proud of something I had done or enjoy recognition then that was boastful, it wasn't when others called attention to something I had done, so I spent (and still spend) much time waiting for others to recognise things about which I am proud so I get to talk about them. Mostly people don't, why would they?
As my parents feared, as I always believed and also dreaded, I am ungrateful and I am boastful. I am no martyr. Nor am I really depressed, no, this is just a statement of fact that was brought home to me on my recent visit. There was trial and there was a family who worked with one another - I do not offer the same support to Tilly nor to my children. Yet I am offered support in return. But I eschew it because I am not good at taking or understanding support and I never will be. Stunted growth emotionally.