Radio talk show therapist Dr. Laura Schlessinger cut a promo this year attacking men who complain about their jobs. Usually Dr. Laura goes into rant mode when a woman calls her radio show and laments about her husband not enjoying his job and thus is constantly whining about it, feeling stressed out, looking for new work all the time, and having periods of volunteered unemployment because he can’t cope with it, and he takes “mental breaks” from working. To clarify: she was not attacking husbands who come home tired, she attacked husbands who complain about their jobs.
Dr. Laura strongly asserted that “back in the day” husbands were proud to be breadwinners of the family, nay, it wasn’t just a matter of pride, it was their responsibility. This archaic breed of man grinned and bared it, and did what he had to do with no complaints to put food on the table to support his wife and kids. Around the Great Depression all the way up to the early 1960′s husbands knew their role and stuck with jobs that were stressful, draining, and quite simply “not fun”.
Dr. Laura continued that this whole idea that work is supposed to be fun is a relatively modern idea, created by hippies and yuppies from the 1960′s and 1970′s as part of their New Age liberal everyone must be happy during every activity they do philosophy. She said this has created weak husbands who have been conditioned to find the ideal HAPPY job, instead of just working their tails off by any means necessary to pay the mortgage.
Dr. Laura frowns upon such men, and she expressed her dislike for metrosexuals, and why women of today are attracted to metrosexuals (pretty boys who don’t like getting dirty, and like to feel comfortable) as opposed to rugged manly men who aren’t afraid to get their nails dirty.
Anyway, I let me give my opinion: every husband I know my age (30′s) at some point has become disgruntled with their jobs, bosses, co-workers, salary, unfair rules, favoritism, and has complained about it, so this ”new era” is here to stay.
That being said, I do agree that it is not macho for husbands to “take a year off” or quit a job without another one already guaranteed. I was pretty upset when a buddy of mine was on unemployment for 5 months, found an office job making $12/hour and then quit it after a couple of months because it was “too draining”. WTF is “too draining” in 2010? Now he’s back staying home all the time, watching CNN and ESPN, surfing the net and watching XHamster, while his wife works and puts food on the table. Not very macho at all. I guess he believes the thought of working two jobs is ridiculous as well. I know more women that work two jobs than men.
So although at first Dr. Laura’s statements seem idealistic and mean-spirited, the general point remains: now, more than ever, husbands are more concerned about their individual happiness while working than in previous generations. Perhaps.
I say perhaps because my grandfather’s generation (he was born in 1919) was conditioned not to express his emotions, especially in the complaining department, and especially concerning work. Comparisons between eras once again proves that we have it made in 2010 even with its economic downturn, sometimes called The Recession, and sometimes called Great Depression II. Why do husbands have it made, even with 50% of all houses being under water?
Because no matter what the doomsayers claim, struggling families don’t become homeless like they may have been ”back in the day”. Families today have 2-3 people capable of working. They may be forced to rent a small apartment or team up with other family members, but there are more options today than in 1930. There are numerous ways to make money, such as part time minimum wage labor, internet marketing, data entry, manual labor, and even it’s not a lot, it’s something. We live in a society where out of work computer programmers refuse entry level jobs because of their egos. They somehow can afford that luxury of “sitting it out”. I really doubt a husband in 1940 would ever think about that. But who knows?
As I eluded to, men from that era were generally cold to their children when expressing their innermost thoughts. Maybe they secretly complained about stressful working conditions. God knows, bosses took full advantage of people without regulation. Maybe they wanted to take a “mental break”. Maybe they resented their wives. Who knows? Or perhaps they were conditioned to not even worry about stuff like a boring, dead-end, monotonous, physically tiring occupation with no benefits. Just as we have been conditioned that our jobs must be fun and rewarding, perhaps they just saw working as a necessary function, almost like toiling in the desert in Biblical times.
Just some food for thought, I have an open mind either way, or a third way. After all when I’m called a bleeding heart liberal AND a fascist, I must be doing something right.