The 80s

It’s now 7 days until we move to Durham which means we’re beginning to recognise doing things for the last time, it’s the last Thursday the kids will be at their current school… The promise of a ‘treat’ just about got our youngest in without the usual kerfuffle this morning although I now need to find said treat and work out how not to set an unhelpful precedent of bribes when they start their new school. #parenting

On the walk back home this morning I was chatting with one of the mums and we were reminiscing about our childhoods and the way technology has impacted how we communicate. We also noted that children socialise in a very different way now. When was the last time you saw a pile of BMXs on someone’s driveway because the kids were in the house playing on the Commodore 64?

The pandemic has many of us yearning for the good old days when we could have office Christmas parties, meet people in a coffee shop and actually see members of our family when we chose to…

Although the 80s weren’t all great were they? The Bradford fire, Manchester Airport, Zeebrugge, Hillsborough, Lockerbie, Kings Cross and the Marchioness disasters dominated the news, along with the impending doom of Poll Tax which I just about remember having an opinion on at 11 years old.

There was also the great gender divide, pay gaps, general inequality and more sexual harassment than you could throw a #metoo campaign at. Society has made some positive changes but it’s scary to think how little we’ve really changed in 40 years. However, there does seem to be a growing movement of men who are taking up the mantle of combatting unhealthy stereotypes which I think is probably the only way for things to change. Unless male allies are questioning the status quo, making policy changes, getting out the way for career women and setting an example of how we can do things differently, then we’ll continue with this slow path to improvement.

It’s International Mens Day today. Do men really need their own day? Haven’t they got it good enough you may ask… Well, I believe it is needed, because there’s stuff that needs to be said and awareness that needs to be raised.

Gender equality needs to be a 50 50 discussion, developed as a 50 50 debate, questioned in a 50 50 way, not as a one sided agenda. Feminism is for everyone and at some point probably just needs to be referred to as gender justice or something less alienating for male allies. Later today I’m attending an event by 50 50 futures, there’s probably time to still register…

It was brilliant to attend a webinar in the early hours of this morning (it was based in Australia) that explored the need for a more expansive model of masculinity. I believe they are going to put the recording on the website which is well worth a watch but I can’t currently find it. The ‘keynote’ speaker was David Leser who’s book ‘Women, Men and the Whole Damn Thing‘ has immediately gone on my Christmas list. What was most interesting to me was that he referred to a bunch of Old Testament verses which really highlighted to me how embedded the patriarchy is, going back thousands of years.

This evening I’ll be attending the second session of an ‘introduction to feminist theology’. Last week was really thought provoking and I’ll post some reflections on these sessions at a later date.

2 Comments

  1. This is spot on James, love this. 50 50 great challenging phrase, i’m really enjoying your perspective on things- it’s really making me think.

    Let me know if I can help in any way, but it sounds like all is in hand. So I guess will see you in the North!

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