Saturday, September 23, 2017

Essay on Men and Masculinity

The main point of this essay is to analyze the article “Portraits of Fathers” written by Diane Dubeau, who is Ph.D. at the University of Quebec. For many years fathers and masculinity has been a primary subject of study of Diane Dubeau. However, the main subject of Doctor Dubeau’s researches is not only men, masculinity and fathers, but also the role of fathers, comparison of maternal and paternal roles, effect of fathers on the development of their children and family as a whole.

So, in her article “Portraits of Fathers” Diane Dubeau speaks about fathers’ and mothers’ roles, compares modern fathers with fathers those of previous historical periods, fathers’ influences on the whole family, and consequences for each member of it (father, child, wife, siblings).

According to the article by Diane Dubeau fathers are now being discussed a lot in comparison with previous years, “because of these numerous studies, that we are now in a position to come up with a critical analysis of the literature on fathers, and assess what’s known or less known about the topic” (Dubeau 1). It’s obvious that being a father is one of characteristic features of men performing their masculinity. According to masculinity is a characteristic virtue of the male sex of behaving in ways considered typical for men.

Analyzing the article it’s possible to emphasize four major themes of it:

Theme 1 underlines the essence of being a father. This theme covers such points as the role of fathers, comparison of contemporary fathers and their affect on family with fathers of previous years. For many centuries fathers have been providers of food and material wealth for their families, that’s why they had to work hard, thus having no time to spend with the family.

Nowadays “men are no longer mere providers but are now affectionate and caring fathers, directly and emotionally involved in raising, caring for and interacting with their children” (Dubeau 8).

Theme 2 speaks about different features of maternal and paternal behavior, because especially great emphasis in the article “Portrait of Fathers” is put on “fathers compared to mothers”. There’s even a separate paragraph devoted to this topic. Parental behavior is estimated according to several conditions. The first one is the type of activity in which the parent is engaged. It means that mother tend to spend more time with their children teaching them, while fathers prefer to play (Dubeau10). 

The next is the area of verbal exchange, underling a characteristic feature of mother to explain everything, while father like to show everything in action. The third condition is children’s dependent behaviors. Usually a father prefers a child to be more independent, especially if it’s his son. And the last condition is the following. Very often fathers like to tease and make fun of their children, because they “tend to exhibit more unconventional behaviors which tend to surprise and throw the child off balance” (Dubeau 11).

Theme 3 emphasizes fathers’ effect on the family, together with the influence of being a father on the father himself.

Theme 4 of the article “Portraits of Fathers” is associated with different kinds of fathers who are sort of an unusual phenomenon in the society. They are teenage fathers, immigrant fathers and gay fathers. Each of this group experiences a certain set of difficulties connected with their paternity, which are clearly discussed in the article.

To make conclusion it’s necessary to mention that understanding of men, masculinity and its role is a very personal thing, that should be done with the help of critical thinking, which is the process of evaluating propositions or hypotheses and making judgments about them on the basis of well-supported evidence (2).