GETTING QUALIFIED FOR LIFE: LICENSING MARRIAGE, SEX AND RAISING CHILDREN

I’m a member of an organisation which owns a chainsaw.  But, to operate it, a person needs to do a two day course and get a licence, which has to be renewed through training every six months.  It got me wondering:  why do you need a licence to operate a chainsaw when you don’t need a licence to operate a marriage, to be competent at sex or to raise children? (These are linked, but not necessarily in this order.)  Surely these are much more important issues for individuals and for operating a society than operating a chainsaw?Read More »

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Dear Sonia: Men Talking about ‘Gender Issues’ (aka Violence)

So, Sonia, you want men to talk about gender issues (Orchard, ‘I wish men were as interested in discussing gender issues as women are’, Daily Life, 2 Sep 16).  By which you meant, to quote you, ‘Why aren’t men discussing how they’re  feeling?’, eventually, why do men behave ‘appallingly’ and – rather conclusively – that men have ‘a warped perception of what a man is supposed to be’ (a rather biased conclusion when you ask for a discussion!).

OK, I’ll talk.  But first, I don’t think I’m your ‘normal’ man.  I think I’m pretty feminist and egalitarian (setting myself up here…).  I don’t like lots of men’s interests and pursuits (heavy drinking, men only groups, being out with the boys).  But I do have some things about me that I don’t like that are very ‘male’.  I don’t understand these aspects of me and I don’t think you, or women generally, understand them either.Read More »