I don't quite know how to best articulate what's on my mind today. It may involve inadvertent stereotyping, generalization and perhaps sexism? I was a little surprised at myself when the train of thought came to me, but quickly realized it's probably the ingrained societal outlook bursting forth. Nevertheless, an interesting area to explore.
It all started because we're having the place renovated. Fancy galleries and fresh painting, it'll be gorgeous by the time we're through. After getting the one-line requirement from us, Pa took charge and orchestrated it all, from conceptualization to execution. At 61, he is sharper, fitter and more enthusiastic than most people. He is the most well-rounded, informed, capable man I know.
Which brings me to my point - men, back then versus now. Because I have seen my father take up duties traditionally left to the man of the house, I think I have built an unfortunate subconscious association between the ability to perform a certain set of tasks to the competency of a man. It's no secret that the generations before ours were much more regressive and had assigned gender roles. Add to that the limited career choices of the time, and you can see why men from those times are much well-versed with subjects like construction, mechanics, and other everyday life-essential topics. Their expanse of knowledge can also to attributed to the wealth of experience and maturity they possess, but I'd credit the times in which they grew up in higher.
Today, when I see the boys around me, I do not see the kind of awareness or life education that I expect from a guy. Technology and emotional availability may all be well, but if you cannot change a tyre, I cannot trust you to take care of me. If I'm asked to build a life with a partner, my assessment of them will include these checks, failing which I might deem a perfectly pleasant person inadequate. Even as I write these words, my head hangs in shame. I am mindful of gender bias and toxic masculinity better than most(?), and it took me a long time to come to terms with the realization that I fell prey to the very things I revolt against.
Just goes to show how ideologies permeate through ages, and why it is so difficult to eliminate even conspicuously nonsensical ideas from society. I wonder if I will ever be able to rise above my preconceived notions. Reading a well-cited article and considering the almost Freudian decisions I have made thus far in my personal relationships, I'd say I'm far from it. So much for being the change I want to see in the world. Well, tomorrow's a new day. I hope I can do better. I hope, we can do better.