Wednesdays for Wives: Let Men be Men

Guys sure get a bad rap these days.

Turn on the TV and you see husbands and fathers portrayed as bumbling fools. If not idiots, they’re cheating womanizers or perverts. The news is all about the latest lover-turned-killer who murdered his girlfriend and stuffed her in an ice chest. Women’s magazines are filled with article after article about how men are trying to keep us down by keeping us under-paid and on the bottom rung of the corporate ladder. There’s all kinds of talk about how they can’t multi-task, can’t be emotionally open, can’t clean up after themselves. The current pop-movement wants them to be less masculine, telling them to wear pink shirts and get a manicure. And there must be a zillion books on How To Change your Man.

Are men all really that bad? We’ve been pre-occupied with them since our early teens. Until we got married, a lot of our focus was on figuring out how to get one for ourselves. Now that you’ve got one, you, hopefully, spend some time trying to keep him. If men were really so intolerable would we expend so much energy on them? Even Gloria Steinem, the ultimate feminist, finally gave in and got one.

Granted there are a few men out there who could use a little grooming. And yes, a couple of them are psychotic ax murders who will kill you in your sleep. Maybe you has to pass over a few that weren’t a good fit before you found a keeper. But I think, generally, men deserve a break.

Let’s reconsider the qualities that society has deemed undesirable.

They’re not bumbling fools. They just still know how to have fun. Why do the kids go running to the door every night when Dad comes home? Because Dad will wrestle with them on the floor and tickle them until they’re delirious. Is there anyone besides your husband who makes you laugh more? Life would be pretty dull with out their sense of fun.

Sex-crazed no, but most men do put a higher priority on bedroom activities then most women. If it weren’t for his constant attempts to direct your attention to other things besides housework, career and children where would sex fall on the to-do list?  Somewhere on the bottom, between cleaning the ceiling fan and dusting the wood work probably.

I’m not going to say inequity in the work-place doesn’t exist. I’ve experienced it first hand. But you can’t blame every man in the world for a deeply ingrained, societal problem that’s much bigger than the individual.

It’s true, they don’t multi-task well. But they can focus on a project and complete it to perfection because they aren’t trying to do too many things at once. How many times have your burned dinner because you were blogging, watching Oprah, folding laundry and talking on the phone too?

Thank goodness men aren’t as open with they’re emotions as we are! When crisis strikes somebody has to keep it together. You can’t both dissolve into tears and hibernate on the couch with a package or Oreos. (Why did they come out with a re-sealable Oreo bag? As if they last long enough to be re-sealed.) If you ask gently and make it O.K. to be vulnerable, they open up eventually.

Guys use a lot more common sense and reasoning then we do. They don’t clean up because the mess isn’t a mess to them. If there’s still one clean plate in the cupboard, why wash the rest? If the clothes are dirty, why does it matter where you put them? That common sense goes well with being less emotional. They’re better at making unbiased, fact-based decisions.

Do you really want your husband to be less manly? Don’t you want someone brave and strong to carry out the dead mice? Would you want to share the bathroom with a guy who spent more time on his hair than you did? Be honest, aren’t you at least a little attracted to the swagger and bravado?

If you think that the stereotypes and bashing don’t bother the men you know, you’re wrong. It’s demoralizing, insulting and the reason why a lot of guys today are confused and disillusioned about the role they should play in the family. How can you do your job when all you get are mixed messages and criticism about how inadequate you are who you should be?

Find your husband, your brother, you son, and tell then how much you appreciate all the unique qualities they bring to the table. Let them know their unique skills and perspective bring balance. Most of all let then know you love them unconditionally for who they are, men!

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3 Responses to “Wednesdays for Wives: Let Men be Men”

  1. misty Says:

    this is a GREAT post… Just last night we were watching a movie where the main character was a major pervert who had no qualms with that characteristic. My initial response was “he’s a man. But the women shouldn’t tolerate it!” and then I caught myself… horrible. Wrong thinking…

    This is a great post!

  2. Lura Says:

    Excellent post!!

  3. mspennylane Says:

    I really like your post. I am constantly seeing on the news, in films, in books, images of men who are obsessed with objectifying women etc. and it makes me feel really badly about men. But then I think for a second, and my boyfriend is absolutely NONE of the bad things (except maybe for the cleaning up part!). We do need to look around and see that there are many amazing men out there!

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