Hegemonic masculinity is something that without previously knowing the term, I think on at least some level, I have always been aware of. For the majority of my childhood, I grew up in a single parent home, with a Mother who was my soul caregiver.
I remember from this early age, knowing that my family dynamic did not fit into the cookie cutter image that had been popularized as normal. My Mother was both breadwinner and homemaker, there to pay the mortgage bills, harp on me to practice martial arts, and have dinner table-ready when I got home from school to boot! I grew up with the idea that women could do it all, because this woman really had. I also know of many situations where this role was played equally well with the sole parent being a Father.
Men, like women, are constructed and deconstructed. This idea that men are the strong caregivers, while women are simply passive and needy undermines not only women but men too! When what is in your nature, is something seen against what society deems appropriate, you are being put in a box, and that is never okay. Women might be kept under a glass ceiling but men are victims of similar restraint as well.
When we look at the idea of language (a necessary stepping stone in popular culture), it is impossible to not see the how it relates gender to power. One example of this that I was recently reminded of, is the upcoming passing of Canadian politician, Mauril Belanger’s Bill C-210 to change the lyrics of O Canada from “all our sons command” to a more gender neutral, “all of us command”.
Having now passed the Senate, C-210 is well on its way to officially being changed. One only needs to look as far as the public feedback on the bill to see that as a country, the term man is not under one universal definition. The dissatisfaction expressed from so many in parliament alone, stands to reason that we are a split nation in this regard.
By drawing attention (through the many facets of pop culture) to the implications these separations in opinion, have on society, it is my hope that our overall ideals will change to a more realistic and unified tune. People are people after all; nothing more, and nothing less.