I have a realtor friend who uses phrases like “the best use of that land” on occasion. I thought about that phrase as I’ve seen it applied to some people’s lives, and it highlights to me, just how people in different positions in life are affected by the people who have the power to make those kinds of decisions.
I was at a charity Christmas dinner last night. The charity provides cheap housing to struggling single moms. It has been around for a few years, and its starting to get its feet under it, with the right people in place to start to have a successful track record in setting single mothers on a successful path in life to raise their kids.
I have an acquaintance who sometimes jokes about all of the “sisters” I have, who are not blood sisters, but young women throughout my life, that my parents mentored: “His parents must not like boys, they only adopt girls.” I had never really consciously thought of it that way, but, well, I admit, it gave me pause.
When this charity first started out, they needed a place. So, they bought a complex with a bunch of duplexes in it. All of the tenants were single men. The place looked like a place where only single men lived. I remember the transition, while they were still living there. They obviously weren’t very excited about being uprooted, but, well, they were not landowners; they had no say in the matter. Being a single man, myself, I remember empathising with their situation. Didn’t seem fair to them, but, well, “best use of the land”, and all of that.
It seems like current popular culture goes on and on about gender this, gender that, and it really just sounds like a bunch of nattering to say the politically correct thing of the day to me. The long term culture, probably all long term cultures, place a much higher value on females than they do on males. It would be overwhelming to try to point out all of the every day examples, (ladies night!). Yet people talk as if it isn’t so. It’s one of the maddening things about people, as a collective, if you ever try to talk to them.
Today, after years of generous contributions, the complex of duplexes does indeed look better taken care of, (how could it not, with all of the attention and generosity generated toward the cause of single mothers rather than a place just kept up enough to keep the rent checks coming in from single men), and so, whether I think it says something about the disposable condition of single men in modern society, it probably is a better use for the land.
Tough luck for single guys. They don’t serve the same function in society.