Saturday, May 4, 2013
TOWARD A LIFELONG FEMALE-LED MARRIAGE: OUTSIDE INFLUENCES – Part 2
Books, magazines and hobbies are opportunities to involve your man in constructive activities that heighten his appreciation of women and our perspectives. These are great ways to productively occupy your man's leisure time.
· Your man shouldn’t be reading books and magazines that are derogatory to women or that perpetuate traditional female stereotypes. Insist that he read the same magazines as you. Men can benefit from reading “women’s” magazines. They can learn what is important to women by reading these magazines and should be required to do so. Men may be skeptical at first but will come to enjoy the viewpoints and practical tips many “women's” magazines provide.
· Since men are doing more and more housekeeping, books and magazines that deal with homemaking are certainly appropriate; get your man reading, ladies!
· To make sure your man is reading appropriate magazines, get him a subscription in his name. If you subscribe to the same magazine(s), it's an opportunity to engage your man in discussions about certain articles and features.
· Insist that your man have a “feminine” craft or hobby. One woman has her son-in-law doing needlepoint and he’s now learning to knit. Many other husbands have – and enjoy – such hobbies as a result of their wife’s urging. It's a great way for your man to expend creative energy and to use any down time you allow him. Dennis enjoys knitting, a shared interest with Mother. He's embarked on an ambitious project to knit a scarf for women friends and family; that's nearly twenty scarves before Christmas. Get knitting, sweetheart!
A woman might also have her man “come out of the closet” with his hobby by joining a craft group. Consider a knitting club or sewing circle. Dennis is involved with Mother's knitting group and her romance reader group. To be sure, his primary role is serving the women, but he participates in the discussions. Dennis regards typical male activities as boring but looks forward to social events involving Mother and her friends.
· Reading romance novels is immensely beneficial to men. Romance novels portray women in a favorable light and communicate women’s desires, values and fantasies. One sees not only a positive image of women but also a realistic image of men. The male character is always a self-centered egotist – until the woman completely takes control by the end of the story!
Romance novels are wonderfully addictive to men as well as women. Mother got Dennis reading romance. The two of them share and discuss books. He always packs a few romance novels for trips out of town as he has lots of time to read after his early curfew. When Mother holds one of her Girls’ Night Out events at our home, dennis serves but is also allowed to participate.
· Occupy your man’s time with a social or charitable activity. Involve him in a local feminist group. They'll put him to work stuffing envelopes, cleaning up, making copies – whatever is needed. And he'll be working for some aggressive women; that should teach him some humility!
· I'll say it again, workshops around Feminist topics are also beneficial. We have some impromptu meetings, mostly with women, but we're starting to see more couples – we don't accommodate single men. Topics range widely but some of the more energetic discussions involve men taking the woman's name in marriage, prenuptial agreements, the gender quake, and men doing more (why not all?) housework.
· Take a casual learning class together. Cooking, art, and ballet classes are only a few suggestions.