Why Men Who Support Women’s Issues Don’t Support The New Feminism
I was raised by a strong woman. My parents got divorced when I was 8 years old, mainly due to my father’s heavy drinking and carousing.
When he moved out, he remained in my life, but I only went to visit him every other weekend, so the lion’s share of parental responsibilities fell on my mom’s shoulders.
My sister, who was three years older, often declined to go visit my father — who seemed indifferent about her decision.
From an early age, I developed a mistrust of paternal figures like clergy, principals, coaches, and male authority in general. I saw the damage that my father’s drinking and verbal abuse caused — while watching my mother work two jobs to raise my sister and me and keep a roof over our heads.
It was clear to me which person — and which gender — was the strongest, most trustworthy, and most loving.
This was the early 1980s, and the now iconic film “9 to 5” starring Dolly Parton, Jane Fonda, and Lily Tomlin was a huge hit.
It was a comedy about women in the workplace — which had now become the norm — and the sexism and disrespect they had to endure from their predominantly male bosses.
I remember my friend’s mother taking four of us boys to go see it — all of whom had parents who were divorced. Each one of us held our mothers in higher esteem than our fathers, and the movie further solidified how I felt about adult women and men in general.
My mother was not a feminist (in practice), but her actions were a glowing example of the innate strength in women. That was plain to see.
Money was always tight, but if she had a good night waiting tables (she worked at an insurance agency during the day) that meant we would go grocery shopping — for more than just one or two items.