I was thinking about this thread a little over an hour ago.
Today was Leg Day for me with my personal trainer and while I'm doing squats, I'm chatting with him some of the difficulties I've run into moving into my brothers place with him when it occurs to WHAT exactly it was I was chatting with him about. Here we are, two grown men...in a personal gym....working out.....
....and I'm bitching about my cats and how filthy my brothers kitchen was and how proud I am now that I've cleaned it up
I seriously expected Dr. Cox to storm in, take one of my Man Cards, tear it up in front of me, and then storm off with a growl.
My own experience: This sort of thing only seems to matter to younger folks and starts to loose relevance the older I get. It seems to me, the older I get, the less relevant gender roles tend to become. It becomes more about what we can do as individuals and how we can contribute (Can I cook? Can I clean? Can I do home maintenance? How am I with kids?). I guess it's because when we're younger, we're still kind of "raw" and haven't quite actualized into the individuals we are set to become. When you're older, you're pretty much set in your ways and now it's a matter of who do I want to occupy my time with.
I will say though, for me personally, that Patriarchy tends to be more of a detriment for me than something that is helpful. There IS something to be said about letting men "be men" and I will fully admit to deriving pleasure from very "manly" activities (however nebulous that may be) and I suppose for those much more disposed toward macho-esque personalities it's a big deal. For guys like me though who bitch about our cats and expend mental calories over the tomato sauce stains on my glass-top stove that I couldn't remove with a FUCKING FLOOR BUFFER - it usually just ends up getting in the way.
I do think though that women, and society really, need to make up their minds on what the hell they want from "men" in general though because ladies I feel seem to be pulling us in two conflicting directions. I think those of us guys that end up being comfortable with ourselves are those of us who stop just giving a shit and say, "This is me, take it or leave it"