I’m in the middle of a book called “A Man’s Country? The image of the Pakeha Male“ by Jock Phillips. It’s a well-known fact that the New Zealand male, and Aussie as well, has a “She’ll be right” attitude. All is well and good, but what happens when things go wrong, or life events happen that one didn’t plan for, doesn’t want and has no intention of participating in. Is “opening up” an idea who’s time has come?
A Man’s Country? From the back cover:
” A rugged practical bloke – fixes anything, strong and touch, keeps his emotions to himself, usually scornful of women. Yet at heart a decent bloke, loyal to his mates, provides well for the wife and kids…
Few Pakeha (white) men grow up in New Zealand without a strong sense of the Kiwi bloke they are expected to become. Jock Phillips’ book is a penetrating, provocative history of that stereotype.
Where did that stereotype come from? How has it changed? What truths does it hide? At what costs? The book begins with the Pakeha colonial society of the nineteenth century – the absence of women, the harsh physical conditions, the growth of an exclusively male ethic. It then examines in detail the image of the Pakeha male, as booze, as rugby player, as soldier, as family man, in the 1980’s, says Phillips, the stereotype has been well and truly exposed as a role model. We now know the costs we have paid as both men and women. After reading this book, no New Zealand man will quite be the same.
Published by Penguin
For another take, see my post on the movie The Men’s Group