“The times they are a-changin,'” so says Bob Dylan and nearly every person that has a pulse.
Exhibit A: Almost no one has home phones anymore.
Exhibit B: The internet is no longer dial-up.
Exhibit C: Women are actually more confident than they were even 10 years ago.
You see, there are these things called illuminations that, when discovered, give people different perspectives about things. Why should I stand in a kitchen all day if I can travel the world? Why should I accept being a second class citizen in my home if I can own my own home through this thing called a career? Why should I marry and have four kids by 26 if I can explore myself and the world through whatever lens I please? And why, for mercy’s sake, should I accept a catcall or butt grab when I’m not in fact a groupie or a model in a Motley Crue video?
Nice evolved thinking, right? Well, not everyone’s gotten the memo unfortunately. Either that or the words turn Gaelic when touched by anyone with a Y chromosome. I, by the way, am a member of the Y chromosome and I, for the life of me, can’t figure out Y a lot of us still insist on practicing from a 60-year old textbook or getting angry because the chapters have been altered. So, we’re going to write a new book with all new chapters on being a real man in the 21st Century.
Chapter 1: Equality doesn’t mean you’ve lost yourself so don’t demean your wife or girlfriend like you have. Rob: “Jake, let’s grab drinks tonight”. Jake: “Let me ask the boss first”. You can replace boss with battleax or old lady and the slight would still be apparent. Say it with me–you have a partner not a dictator with eight heads and carving knives for arms. Yes, relationships require compromise and communication and you should respect these ideals without worrying that you’ve gone through an unannounced gender reassignment. Get over yourself!
Chapter 2: Women desiring equality doesn’t mean they don’t deserve courtship or chivalry. You won’t hold the door open or buy a grilled cheese sandwich because you’re taking the ‘treat me equal’ statement to new extremes. You also feel as though you’ve lost some of the upper hand that came from being the provider. Here’s the deal. Give and take works both ways and if your confidence is tied to where you fit in the pecking order, find the Deloreon and safe travels. People deserve equality and people deserve surprises, chivalry and courtship. They don’t need to be mutually exclusive. Get over yourself!
Chapter 3: Women are more expressive and confident, largely because, well, they’re people. Perhaps there was a time far, far away where how you dressed was in direct association with how society thought you should dress. And, perhaps, gender expectations and the ‘man of the house’ mentality had something to do with it. In this new chapter, we’re going to talk about how it’s okay that women dress or express themselves as they see fit without people making assumptions about her intentions or class. And before you go on a trip about how ‘they ask for it by how they dress’ or ‘she acts like a whore’ let me give you the whore truth and nothing but the truth in three easy to follow lessons.
Lesson 1: Asking for something means you must open your mouth and utter words describing that which you want. Whether we’re talking cat calls or butt grabs or being touched in any way, this much is true. If you don’t like the ‘confusion’ you think comes with the modern woman’s manner of expression, get over yourself.
Lesson 2: Each of us have the choice in wearing what we’re comfortable wearing. The fact that women’s bodies are desirable to men and/or may make men uncomfortable doesn’t make men the judge or jury. Unless of course we’re in a religiously fundamental society at which point I will make this article anonymous for fear of going to jail. While I’m crafting a ‘Shawshank’-like exit do me a favor and get over yourself.
Lesson 3: The whore truth and nothing but the truth is that women are seen as loose or whores or (insert other inappropriate adjective) for acting, dressing or expressing themselves the same way men do. What do we call men instead? Cool. Get over yourself.
Chapter 4: You still matter, regardless of the increase in confidence, independence and equality. Perhaps the grapes delivered in semi-nude white slips and having someone ‘there for you’ every time you’re lonely have gone the way of AOL and 3 Doors Down but that doesn’t mean you’re not desirable or that you’re less important. What it does mean is that you’re not the center of gravity and you should see that as a good thing. You talk about being confident and not smothering and having the ‘guy time’. Now relationships are becoming less smothering because women are more confident and you have your ‘guy time’. It just may not be according to your direct schedule or wants. To which I say, get over yourself.
I write this not as a man hater and, as noted earlier, I am a man. But what I know to be true after eight years of relationship coaching and 323 clients is that men are not fully comfortable with the evolution of equality, independent and confidence in women. Why? Because it means men don’t have the control they once had. We should not want to control anyone or any gender anymore than we want to be controlled.
To that I bid a fond farewell!
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