Following in the footsteps of Nike’s Colin Kappernick commercial, Gillette recently released a two-minute ad that, recieving wide viewership, calls on men to step forward into manhood in a new way. A friend who knows I write about gender and social change sent it to me. Tears welled up as I watched something happen on a screen that offered a much longed for window into how our broken culture may yet be able to offer a pathway forward for my twin, 9 year old boys. Finally.
For a mother concerned not just with the modeling my sons are getting from the White House, but with the abounding crisis of masculinity largely responsible for Trump’s election and the alarming (and related, to my mind) climate change denial, it is hard not to fear for my children and the world they are inheriting.
The election of Donald Trump created — or perhaps highlighted — a man-shaped-hole at the core of our country. Trump’s election, described by some as the “last gasp of patriarchy”, begs a question I have been asking almost from the day after he got elected: What kind of new man might fill that hole? What does post-patriarchal masculinity look like?