Nothing about my relationship with my husband has been conventional. Not the way we met and most certainly not the roles we both slipped into over the nine years of our marriage, especially when it comes to parenting.
When Violet was born Serge was definitely more of a stay-at-home parent than I was. I had a great job (with great health insurance) as an executive producer for the local news that required me to be at work from 1pm until 11pm. Serge was able to reduce his full-time hours working construction (with no health insurance) to part-time and so it was that he ended up being our daughter’s primary caregiver during the first two years of her life.
Although I felt like I missed out on a lot (spending more time with family is what ultimately prompted me to become a freelance writer) it was beautiful to witness this man, who had absolutely no experience with children, forge such a strong relationship with our tiny girl. Serge’s willingness and excitement about being a stay-at-home dad is an example of the positive outcomes of the change in roles in heterosexual relationships over the past fifty years. But oftentimes, as a result of women’s struggle for equality, men end up feeling lost and uncertain of their new role in this new world both sexes are trying to figure out. Equality can only be a good thing but it has come at the loss of chivalrous behavior and the small niceties men used to bestow upon women as a part of the traditional male/female set-up.
That confusion many men experience as they struggle to figure it all out is what Jon Uriarte had in mind when creating his photo series The Men Under The Influence. It features men wearing their wives’ or girlfriends clothing. Here is what he says about the project:
“The Men Under The Influence addresses the recent change in roles in heterosexual relationships from the relationships of our predecessors and how those changes have affected men in particular. the photos attempt to capture mens’ sense of loss reference, now that women have taken a step forward and have finally come into their own as equal partners. The project consists of full-length portraits of men wearing the clothes of their girlfriends or wives, taken in the space shared by the couple.”
It’s an interesting, humorous way to represent the fumbling loss so many men feel when it comes to negotiating relationships with women of today. I find the serious, thoughtful, almost sad expressions on the men’s faces a stark contrast to the humorous circumstance of wearing women’s clothing which is a perfect way to illustrate men stumbling through a world that demands they are flexible enough to deal with women in search of someone to take care of them all the way to women who seek relationships that are nothing short of complete and total equality.
All photos used with permission from Jon Uriarte who you can find on his website, jonuriarte.es
Read more from Monica on Babble:
- Be Naked When I Get Home: 25 Brilliant Signs About Love
- 25 of the Most Hilarious Recreated Childhood Photos
- Top 10 Cutest Disney Couples
MORE ON BABBLE
8 inspiring women who pioneered the feminist movement
9 things I’d give up sex for— would you?
7 things ALL women want in bed
8 ways to tell if your man is ready for marriage
20 things you should NEVER say during sex