Each year catalogues, TV and press remind us how great our dads are, and that the one day of the year to really celebrate this is Father’s Day. But what do these messages really tell us about the beauty of men and what it is to be a man?
If we came from another planet and looked at the media around how we celebrate Father’s Day we would assume that men love to:
- work on cars
- have lots of tools
- spend time and money in hardware stores
- drink beer and brew it at home
- do anything associated with BBQs
- play or watch football
- play or watch sports of any kind
- play with gadgets
- use an X-box
- read and watch thrillers, comedy and action stories
- escape the grind, get away from it all (for some this also includes getting away from the family)
- dress trendy or sporty
- eat meat.
So what does all this say about what it is to be a man? What if you are a man who loves to:
- be pampered
- buy his own clothes (including socks and jocks)
- drive a car but not be married to it
- go to the ballet
- watch romance movies
- have a bath
- spend time with the family, truly enjoying being with them
- dress up
- go walking?
Would enjoying these things risk torment, rejection or being considered unmanly or just weird?
Is it possible that the narrowness of what we are ‘told’ men are like limits all of us? How much do men bend to fit this mould, and how much do we miss out on when they do?
Imagine if Father’s Day celebrated the true beauty of men?
What if we considered more deeply what it is to be a man – beyond the rough, rugged, outdoors stereotype, or the beer drinking, car loving bloke, the gadget guy or the sophisticated executive roles we’ve all been fed – and appreciated instead the innate delicateness, sensitivity and beauty of men?
It could unfold into the kind of Father’s Day where we acknowledged and treasured the tenderness of men and enjoyed all that came from men being allowed to be and share their beauty.
By Adrienne Ryan & Peta Schaffer, Daughters, Queensland, Australia