By Nimue Brown
A few years ago, talking to Damh the Bard, he made the important point that you cannot have strong, empowered femininity without also having strong, empowered masculinity, and that the reverse is equally true.
By contrast, an ex of mine was generally of the opinion that empowering women displaced men, pushing them out of jobs, out of their identity as bread winners, into a no-man’s land of frustration and barely suppressed rage. (I have no idea what said ex thinks these days, I try to avoid his opinions as much as possible.)
There are, I have no doubt, people of both genders who see any power in the hands of the opposite gender, as a threat to them. There are times and places where this is true. But when we disempower one gender, really speaking, we disempower both. That ‘man as bread winner, dominant and running the world’ archetype, beloved of my ex, tends to mean that a man not in full time employment doesn’t have so much sense of self, and that’s no kind of win.