Wicca is often accused of being a-male. I certainly practice a Dianic form of Wicca that, well, that generally ignores the male. It works for me.
Perhaps it's the coming of Beltane, when my circle-sister K. always demands that we invoke the Green Man, that has me considering what it means to be a male: the union of the king and the land. Perhaps it's seeing Son being such a wonderful father to G/Son, changing diapers, cuddling, gentling to sleep, providing for, ensuring the future of.Miniver Cheevey
explains what it can mean to be a man in 21st Century America:Nothing is stopping the bleeding. There seems to be nothing they can do. They talk about trying some drugs, but then they decide things are going too fast to give time to let them work. So that leaves only surgery as a possibility. Surgery means hosing her out. It means killing the baby. So obviously, we look into other options. Only now, my wife is so out of it, from blood loss, from the painkillers, that the doctor said she is no longer able to legally consent. Now I'm handed a clipboard. On it is consent to basically give my wife an abortion and kill our future child. And it is all on me, my decision, mine alone. Something I never thought I'd ever face, ever have to deal with. Made worse by being a decision of either kill the baby or potentially watch both my wife and the baby die. The doctors did not say at this point that it was absolutely necessary. Maybe more blood could be transfused in. Maybe she wasn't dilated—they hadn't figured it out yet. Still too much blood. So then there I was, facing the sort of choice that you usually see only in hypotheticals in ethics and philosophy classes. Only it was real. It was my wife. And I didn't have exactly a lot of time to think about it. It was just me and the clipboard. An empty line there, marked for my signature. My wife bleeding right next to me. The ultrasound of my baby, and its heartbeat, fresh in my mind from minutes before. I cannot begin to describe how I felt at that moment.
At an early point in D-i-L's labor, when the doctor was trying to impose his will on D-i-L, Son said calmly to the doctor, "Let's step outside and discuss this." He was calm, "Let's step outside." The doctor was freaked out; he thought that Son might be about to punch him in the nose. The doula was amazed; she came out later and told me, "Your son is stronger than almost any father that I've ever seen." Son just wanted to discuss the issue someplace where it wouldn't interfere w/ D-i-L's work of breathing, concentrating, bringing G/Son into the world. To me, that's the epitome of male power, the ability to protect wife and child, to deal with the outside world so that the inner world of childbirth and magic isn't imposed upon.
I'm sad that SCOTUS did what it did. Something in me doesn't believe that this will be allowed to stand. Sometimes, men are, they just are, called upon to stand in that doorway between life and death, that place where their wife's blood and their child's heartbeat run into each other. Sometimes, they are handed a clipboard and asked to step up, to be the Green Man, Pan, Dionysis, and Apollo all at once. Sometimes, they are called upon to stand in the breach, to tell the doctor to step into the hall, to do what they'd hoped not to have to do. I'm sorry that SCOTUS has made that moment so much more fraught, so much more difficult. I think that living male in this patriarchy is already way, way, way too difficult.
I had only one child, Son. Son and D-i-L have likely had their only child, a son. And in this insane patriarchy, in this culture of war and domination and acquisition, I have tried, Son and D-i-L are trying, to raise a man who can thrive and do the right thing in this world, a man who can face this scenario: And it is all on me, my decision, mine alone. Something I never thought I'd ever face, ever have to deal with.
May the Goddess guard our sons. May she guard them as they must navigate this Roberts/Alito world.
May the Goddess and the Green Man guard Justice Stevens. It's already as difficult as it needs to be.