Our current Government has spoken of the ‘Age of Entitlement’ being over. What they mean, is to oppress those who seek to even the playing field. Whilst the truly entitled continue to reward themselves with benefits and pay rises, they take away from the very people who need it the most.
We have a Prime Minister worth millions, accepting over half a million in salary and ‘entitlements’ each year, with the promise of a generous ‘pension’ for life, who wants to take away from people who already earn a pittance.
This happens because the entitled do not know what it is to go without. They do not know what it is to worry over basic needs. To be refused anything.
Worryingly, there are entitled men among the struggling.
These are the men who have been given the opportunity, but feel they deserve better, so they sabotage their own entitlement, and then wonder why they are struggling. These are the men, who blame others for their own faults. Who refuse to accept responsibility for themselves. The peter-pan men, who treat their parents and partners (if they manage to get one) as servants. Who expect to be looked after, even if they do not pull their own weight. Who get angry if you point out their faults. Who have been led to water, time and time again, only to shit in the stream.
The problem infiltrates all levels of society. It is like a disease, the effects of which harm those around the ‘sufferer’.
We may not be able to cure the entitled men. But we may be able to protect the boys earmarked for entitledom.
We need to give these boys opportunities to take responsibility for themselves. To see domestic chores as something you just do. To see other people as worthy. To see themselves as equal, not entitled. To see themselves as capable, thoughtful and not above the ‘menial’. To see the ‘menial’ and basic tasks as essential and critical. That these tasks are where true awesomeness lives. That in undertaking these tasks, which involve giving, is the foundation of happiness.
If you, dear reader, think this is impossible, I assure you it is not. I know men who have embraced these tasks, who see others walking towards them and step aside, who offer their seat to a less abled person, who can see their own privilege and feel thankfulness instead of entitlement and make the most of those opportunities to help others. I know men who raise their children, and are offended if someone suggests they are babysitting or give them undue praise. These men are not be special. Sure, they are awesome, but they should be the norm. As a society we should be raising boys who see themselves equal, not above others.
For decades we have been telling girls they are equal, and can do ‘anything a man can do’, but the glass ceiling remains. It remains because boys are not having to relinquish their entitlement. Does this entitlement exist because you can not reverse the saying and tell boys they can do anything a woman can do? Because they can not. Biologically they can not grow a baby within them, and birth it.
But they contributed. They helped start the process. They can be involved. They can embrace it by supporting their partners. Through pregnancy and beyond. They take responsibility. They own it. As fathers and partners they must know how to put themselves aside, and be supportive of another. To see themselves as part of a team, not as the Head.
Entitlement is a disease. It is not good for anyone, including ‘the sufferer’.
As long as we have entitled men, we have men who are not reaching their full happiness. Entitlement robs them of humanity.
As long as we have entitled men, we have children robbed of fathers, partners robbed of relationships and society robbed of equality.
Entitlement is steeped in a societal construct of gender stereotyping, which is damaging in so many ways. If we put gender aside, and accept that biologically some people can grow a baby and others provide sperm to start the process then we are free to explore the possibilities of a society that does not categorise people based on ‘gender’. Because even fathers need time off work to be a supportive partner and involved parent. They still have ‘reproductive potential’, and many men want to be involved parents. Because some mothers wish to return to work, whilst their partner does the ‘home-making’. They say it takes a village to raise a child. The ‘village’ we have is corrupt and heartless, more concerned with putting people in restrictive boxes than providing avenues to explore different options, because people who dare to desire to live outside of an acceptable box are considered dangerous and suspect.
I implore you. Do what you can to stamp out entitlement. Do what you can to avoid gender stereotyping, or even gender completely. There is no ‘boys will be boys’. It ends now, if you take the steps to stop it.
With entitlement gone, we will see a drop in domestic violence. We will see drop in general violence. We will see more kindness. We will see more diversity. This means more women in leadership, more men in the home, more shared care opportunities as parents can work part time and still have career progression. Less institutionalising babies and very young children in daycare. Increased happiness. Increased health.
You may find these articles interesting:
From Sydney Morning Herald Dec 2015: “She Terrorises US: How entitled children are making their parents lives hell.” This article discusses how this disease is spreading to include children in general, not just boys.
From ‘Films for Action’: Gender and the body language of power.
For the second time, American ‘pick up artists’ have had visas revoked. These ‘entitled’ men run workshops which teach vulnerable men to disrespect women, using violence and abuse.
Check this out for a simplified understanding of what it means to be privileged.