The Division Of Occupation Among Men
The landscape of men is beginning to divide publicly, although I believe it has been divided for years before my time. There is a stark line in the sand between those who work in offices, and those who work with their hands. We find this so present in men because of the large disproportion of men who are manual laborers (78% of the workforce).
There is a narrative that has been around for a long time that describes the hard working, physical laborer man. It is a testosterone-fueled story that depicts the traditional man who works all day to provide for his family, doesn’t complain about what he does, and portrays the values of hard work and humility. This is a large part of what has created the divide of collars.
In 2016 we are witnessing an emergence of that traditional idea once again. The support for men to pick up careers in working with their hands, hand making items, or learning a craft is exploding as many men feel like we have lost the pride in occupations like these. With the emergence of the new way of thinking we also see a bit of a distaste for those who have moved into another class or work in offices. Granted, this isn’t just due to a cultural shift in men. This also plays very well into the narrative of the wealth gap in the United States that has become very publicly known.
The basics of the division come down to hard working manual laborers having different interests and values than those who work in offices, and the differences aren’t even based on income. The differences come from the new pride that is coming back for the middle class man who comes home tired and sore. It is comparable to the division between mothers and non-mothers that sometimes emerges between the differences in values, but it doesn’t come from a difference in income or social class.
So we have seen a difference fueled by social media that has created the divide between big bearded men and clean cut office guys. The problem is this: we are all working for the same goal. The office man is just making his income so he can take care of himself and his family. Sure, he chose his own route, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t working his ass off or looking for the same outcome as the man in construction. We, as men, need to realize that people of all incomes and occupations are not only looking for the same outcome, but have the capability to adopt each others interests. This shows up in sports where people of all backgrounds, incomes, races, genders, etc… come together for a common goal. So men, I ask this of you, do not cast judgment on the man in the suit or the man in blue jeans. We all need to care for ourselves and our communities and encourage us all to be the absolute best we can be. In order to patch our society in a way that betters the world around us we have to patch any divides between each other. We demand it of people on TV, of our friends, of our family members, of everyone else, but its time we demand it of ourselves.
Beard or tie, you’re welcome here.