By Tim Kalinowski
There is an folksy expression you sometimes find old farmers quipping when they look at the pop cultural landscape today: “Sometimes it’s hard to tell the bucks from the does.” And it is; especially with the advent of unisex mani-pedis, man-purses and neutral-gendered names like Jordan or Parker or Ryder. The whole idea of gender is shifting rapidly in society with the breakdown of traditional masculine and feminine roles and identities.
It’s now acceptable, for example, for the man to stay home and take care of the kids; especially if the woman’s job pays more. There even seems to be a certain group of men who would rather be househusbands than out there working in the field even when there are no kids to consider. (My grandfather would have had a few choice words to say about that one had he lived to see it; believe you me.)
I have to say I find today’s society quite confusing. I grew up understanding that being a man meant going out there and facing the world head on, keeping a strong moral centre, being an example to others, and going to work everyday to bring home a paycheck. It didn’t matter what the job was as long as you did it with a certain amount of dignity and commitment. The whole idea of the entitled man-child or the half-hearted clock puncher was not an idea I was raised to accept.
But today we are faced with an increasingly urbanized population that has less and less to do, makes more money than ever to do it, and still finds ways to complain about it all anyway.
I think boredom is the answer at the heart of it all.
That’s why we have time for all these social squabbles about identity, worrying over small irrelevancies from daily life, or for all this jockeying for position to see who can make the greatest claim for being the most victimized by society. In previous eras we didn’t have time for all that. You dealt with what the world gave you and were content as long as you had family, a job that paid the way, a home that was yours and some good meals in your belly.
I think it is wonderful people can get further ahead these days. I am not against capitalism. I just wish people wouldn’t complain as much.
If you have two cars, an oversized house and a massive flat screen TV, you are not too bad off. And maybe you should consider that fact before voicing your next complaint about how the world is sticking it to you.
And speaking of gender confusion, the Elk picture I put in last week’s Courier, on second consideration, was definitely male, not female. Antlers should have been a dead give away in hindsight. Dropped the ball on that one. You see, even with nature, I sometimes have a hard time telling the bucks from the does. I guess that puts me in good company.