A lot has changed since the 1950s. [...]
Not so long ago a man would have no option but to spend most of his time working because it was common knowledge that men were not emotionally competent enough to raise their babies and children. It was better for a man to come in with an iron fist1 at the end of the day, so that the children would be scared of him and toe the line. Wait till your father gets home!
This was the way it was meant to be because men were more competitive and adventurous. A man wasn’t a natural carer and wasn’t outwardly2 affectionate. [...]
If he was exposed to the genuine3 emotions of others, or became more directly responsible for
the emotional development of his children, he might realise his own emotional depth; he might lose the ability to push his emotion aside or hide it away. If that happened to a man, it would make
it impossible for him to be the singularly focused, iron fist, the world, the workplace, and the family required him to be. Pride, aggression and anger and any form of expression that provided him with control were allowed but if he expressed any other emotion, well, he simply wasn’t a man, and not being a man in a patriarchal world – we all know – is a pretty damning thing.
“The 1950s Man in Me”, Clint Greagen, The Good Men Project, 2015.
with a firm, strong hand