You’ve heard the expression “bringing home the bacon”, usually used when referring to a man making money for his family. This phrase has a deep-seeded meaning to us humans and goes back to our earliest ancestors, the Hunter/Gatherers (or as I’ll show you it should be phrased, the Gatherer/Hunters). The age of Hunting and Gathering was the Eden of our existence. Women would gather the food and materials that everyone needed and the men would go and hunt Woolly Mammoth and everyone worked an average of 2 hours each day. Most of the time was spent singing, dancing and telling stories. The food and materials the women collected and prepared were the staples of our existence. They also had the babies and raised them. This was before we made the connection between sex and pregnancy too. Women were viewed in a supernatural and mysterious light.
So what were men good for? We were good for bringing home the bacon, literally. When we brought home our newest kill, our importance was suddenly, if temporarily, understood. We were allowed into the village and granted certain err…privileges.
Yesterday at a birthday party for our friend’s 2 year old, I looked over at all of our women gathered together. They were talking, laughing, nursing our babies; all of the things our ancestors did so long ago. Not all that much has changed since then but I think that us men are now being given a unique opportunity. We have the chance of moving into the village permanently, but we have to earn this privilege and we can do it by offering support.
Everyone has heard of Dooce, the blogger who was fired for her online journal and has gone on to write one of the most popular blogs on the Internet (#39 on Technorati). But if you look on her husband’s blog (Blurbomat) you see in his resume: “template and CSS work for dooce.com”. He’s also supposedly the one who taught Dooce her bad-ass photography skills.
[Update: Just got an email from Jon Armstrong (Mr. Blurbomat) himself. He says he’s not sure he taught her “everything in terms of photography”. Thanks for the humble revision, Jon!)
In essence, he supported her and not just financially. He helped his wife realize her potential as a writer and he doesn’t mind playing second fiddle when it comes to her fame (Blurbomat is #13,565 on Technorati).
His support has paid off for them. He’s now able to be a work-at-home father and with the ad money that Dooce.com generates (not to mention the recent book deal) I’m sure they are doing very well financially.
So how do we modern day cavemen one-up our Hunting/Gathering ancestors? Well, I know that I look at my wife in a kind of supernatural light. Seeing her birth my children has made me her #1 fan. She’s also a much better writer than I am, so anytime I can encourage her to contribute to her blog I do it.
We can create a new kind of Eden here in the 21st century by supporting the women in our lives in every way possible. We will all benefit from this and before we know it, we may be gathered around the campfire telling stories and working just 2 hours a day.
If you’ve been married to me for 8 years click here.