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Still valid, but less relevant as society changes.....
By:  Ciaervo (Humour Impaired; 13928)
Posted on: 09-09-2019 17:25.
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I mean, I would describe that as the "classical" model of masculinity, where man is the Patriarch and thus the "manager" of the family. This works well in the context of the 20th century, where American society was less dependent on the global economy and the gender roles were "harshly enforced" as you say.

I reject this model for myself, because it doesn't match the world I live in. Also because the men in my life who exhibit this kind of masculinity (like my own father) have left me with bitter resentment. It's "do what you gotta do" until it's "you gotta do what I tell you to do"...

What we admire about men like your grandfather,, I think, is the nobility of their self-sacrifice, self-sufficiency, and utility. Men work hard and make things, and that drives human civilization forward. It's the second-hand pride I feel when I look at a marvel of engineering like the New York subway system or the Hoover dam, recognizing that it was built by hand by tens of thousands of men working in terrible conditions.

But the flip side of that nobility can be quite dark. Men typically feel they're owed something for their work, even if it's doing "what you gotta do". I think the presumed guarantee of fulfilling your role as a man is that you get all the trappings of a good life- an obedient staff (wife and kids), property in your own name, and perks like a mistress or the freedom to sit on your ass and drink all night after work. When they feel they aren't being "compensated" fairly they can end up exacting it from society or family in violent bursts of rage, or crumple under the weight of despair. The latter type of man doesn't get much sympathy from this version of masculinity, because there's never an excuse for weakness. You do what you gotta do until you can't- and then you're no longer a man.

    Robert_Wyatt imparted these words:
    And in the past where gender/sex roles were binary and harshly defined, a woman who stepped up to her responsibilities would have/should have been recognized for it but in a way that reinforces/acknowledges the types of obligations and difficulties that come with being a woman specifically, a mother, a wife, etc in the traditional nuclear family.

    Same for men. Work for the family to bring home the bacon and provide shelter.

    And in both instances, reinforce the good that comes with these social and familial necessities, further reinforcing the dichotomies between the sexes. "Women are these qualities and men are these qualities".

    There's photos of my grand dad back on the farm in the 30s where he looks straight out of some period western. Handsome guy. Living off the land. If he didn't hunt it, fish it, or plow it then he often didn't eat.

    When you're dirt fucking poor and are the breadwinner and cornerstone of the family unit, you don't have to get shit off your chest and suss it out. Maybe you don't want your kids to know their station in life and you just kind of keep this stuff to yourself.

    That's the vibe I get from older generations, regardless of their particular hustle.