When it involves stuff I obsess about, right here’s a brief checklist:
Why can’t I get a good piece of pizza in New York City anymore? (I blame the dollar-slice business.)
Which Andrew Lloyd Webber musical is his crowning achievement? (I’ve grow to be satisfied it’s “Evita,” not “Phantom of the Opera” or “Cats.”)
And will the Miami Marlins — my favourite baseball workforce — defy the odds and win a wild-card spot this season? (I’m taking bets it’s going to occur.)
But discover I didn’t point out something about the Roman Empire.
If you’re a bit confused about this Roman enterprise, you’re possible not conscious of this newest viral development. Namely, a dialogue about how men can’t cease considering about that bygone period when Nero, Augustus and the like dominated the world — or no less than a good portion of it.
The topic has spawned many a social-media thread. It’s additionally been dissected by the New York Times and Washington Post.
And naturally, it led to my spouse of 32 years asking me: “So, how often do you think about the Roman Empire?” As if she didn’t already know my actual obsessions? I simply almost prolonged our upcoming Washington, D.C., trip to see a buzzy new manufacturing of “Evita.”
Of course, there’s most likely some fact to the notion that men are into issues of the historic Roman state. It definitely suits the alpha-male fixation with energy and authority. As in, us guys are only a bunch of wannabe gladiators, in search of our alternative to brandish a weapon and defeat the enemy.
At the very least, we do know that men have explicit obsessions which are much less more likely to be shared by girls. We spend extra on electronics and booze. We’re far larger followers of skilled soccer, which some would possibly argue is simply one other model of the gladiator video games.
But right here’s the downside: What’s true usually shouldn’t be essentially true particularly. And to suppose all men match a sure profile — particularly, the alpha-male profile — is to suppose that masculinity should adhere to a frankly outdated mannequin.
We’re dwelling in an period after we’re always redefining gender roles, if not the very concept of gender itself. Stereotypes may be rooted in sure realities, however these realities change over time.
Craig Agranoff, a Florida-based advertising guru, instructed me that corporations nonetheless play by some of the outdated guidelines of what speaks to men, however in addition they know they’ve received to develop that definition. Or as Agranoff mentioned, “It’s now OK for a man to want to have soft sheets to sleep on.”
The downside with enjoying the gender stereotyping sport is that it limits us all. And in limiting ourselves, we shut doorways to “otherness” at finest and create divisions that trigger actual ache and issues at worst. It’s such stereotyping that arguably results in the gender pay hole that continues to plague the workforce, for instance.
So, what about my checklist of obsessions? One might argue that baseball is a “guy” factor. Maybe pizza, too. And Broadway musicals? Perhaps not a lot by conventional requirements, however most of my male pals can discuss theater all day. The level is, we don’t all match neatly into the bins that society suggests.
Which is why I threw the query again to my spouse: “How often do you think about the Roman Empire?” It seems she knew her emperors excess of I did.