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I go out to work and make money for my family to live on." From that, he would have derived his sense of self, of who he was in society.What's more it would have been one of the main motivators driving his life; a force, as history shows us, that allowed men to be the dominant sex in our world.
It would have gone something like this: "I'm a provider - I look after my wife and children.
She's been married for eight years and has two young children, both now at school.
Her marriage is far from happy and she was recounting to me a recent argument she'd been having with her husband about who should do the school run in the afternoon when both of them wanted to be at work.
Universities were predominantly for men, as were medical schools and colleges of law.
Women were meant to be their father's daughters until they became their husband's wives.
What has happened, in effect, is that men and women have become more, not less, alike.
This was brought home to me forcibly the other day when I was talking to a friend in her early 30s.In Britain, the Office of National Statistics revealed recently that the number of marriages taking place in the UK had fallen to an all-time low.So marriage and being the 'Dad around the house' aren't something a young man growing into adulthood can look forward to as a cast iron certainty.And these changes affect men and women in all areas of their life - from the bedroom to the boardroom.We were once very different: women stayed at home and reared the children, men went out to work and earned the money. The sharp differentiation of the sexes that was once so all-pervasive has - as women's roles have expanded into male territory - considerably weakened.As a young and enthusiastic feminist, I wanted to change all that (and I am very proud to have been part of a movement that did) but I also felt that men lived in a trap of their own: having to earn the money singlehandedly and, as a consequence, being denied the right to spend time with their children and to become emotional beings in their own right.