This Month's Topic:
That OTHER Gender...
Slightly different format this month...Kind of a He says/She says gig...
During prior years, I tried to believe that men and women really were not all that different. I had believed that we were players in huge misunderstandings caused by the different filters we are raised to see things through. And then there were times that I started to think that we were grossly incompatible but attracted one to another like birds are to pane glass windows. At first, fascinated by differences,and later, confused, angry, hurt, betrayed, and lonely. More puzzling to me was that men were just as bewildered (and worse), and that often we all had good intentions from beginning to end. Now I try to find the humor in it. It beats the alternatives.
Interesting... I really like Laura's analogy to birds and a plate glass windows. It's true that men and women thrive on the differences they find in each other. It's interesting. It's edgy. It makes them both feel as they're different sides of the same coin. That they complete each other. Until it starts to drive them both up the wall. Does this mean you should find a mate with the same interests? Probably so, in the long run. But in the heat of a new relationship that usually classifies as boring. Why do good cleancut guys like bad girls? Why do nice girls flush over dangerous guys?
Men on Recreation:
My opinion on killing animals for sport is irrelevant here. I suppose as children, boys and girls both have an element of blood-thirst. A boy is always in the lead of this, mind you, but I remember times spent salting snails and watching them melt, throwing a dead fish on a stick fire and watching the skin peel off, and pouring gasoline down a fire-ant hole and lighting it. I always felt sadness while participating in this. I feel sad, often, when I crush a harmless bug. This is enough to turn me off of the urge to kill something for entertainment's sake. I've got better things to do that don't fill me with regret. But guys never ever get enough of it! I know a 72 yr old man who sets up a bird-feeder and discriminates on which birds he'll allow to eat from it. He personally likes Cardinals, but he hates blackbirds and Blue Jays. That's the logic behind crouching behind a dark basement window and blowing their feathers off with a shotgun that could bring down a bear. WHY do guys hunt? I once watched my husband stake a dead squirrel to a tree, and cut its skin off in total darkness. I thought he had the wickedest gleam in his eye!
I really hate this type of generalization. I've never harmed a fellow animal. I don't see any point in doing so. Men who light cats on fire should be slapped and sterilized. Tossing 30-30 rounds at Bambi's mom is, to my way of thinking, an outlet. Some of these Bozos wind up hosing down the local Burger King with an assault rifle. I'd hate to get into the Freudian concept that men who hunt for sport are doing so to downplay a certain amount of latent homosexual tendencies. So I won't. I've also known a number of women who enjoyed blowing up frogs and turtles in their youth. This isn't necessarily a male trait here, people. Women are so uptight about generalizing their gender that we poor males have been under a microscope for the better part of this decade. Some women are enjoying this so much that they are actually worse than the patriarchal fools who kept them down for so many years. They seem to know that the way they were treated was inherently wrong. Can't they see that they're doing the same thing? You would think that after suffering that sort of abuse for so many years, as a gender, that they'd know better than to perpetuate this insanity by this insidious behaviour.
Also, why golf? What is with GOLF ON CABLE TV? You don't see women playing hours on the green! It is almost male exclusive! You sure as hell won't catch me watching it on TV! I've got another gripe: BASS FISHING ON CABLE TV? What's the point? These seem like sports where you have to be there to appreciate the action.
I understand Football, basketball, and baseball. I don't understand the DEGREE of obsession men have for it. I don't understand sitting passively in a chair for up to 12 hours a day, missing entire seasons. I think this is relevant to another issue, however. A man without a woman CANNOT sit passively in a chair for whole seasons. A man who HAS a woman is comfortable neglecting her indefinitely, though. The logic behind it is something that I'm not comfortable with. I'll leave it at that.
Watching Golf and Bass fishing on TV? I'd rather have a root canal with dull forceps and no anesthesia. This sort of brain damaged televiewing is similar to women who spend most of their lives watching QVC.
Sigh... Watching football, baseball, basketball and hockey on the tube and ignoring one's spouse. This is a pretty loaded little algorithm. Though things are changing quite quickly along these lines, men have always been involved in team sports. Women, by the way we've all been previously brought up, seldom have. My upbringing, as a male, forced me to become involved in team sports or become an outcast. Not that I minded team sports, mind you, for I actually sincerely enjoyed them. But... That not withstanding. Doesn't that make males a victim (God... I hate that word, since it's been used to death as a way for people to escape responsibility for their own actions. Especially in this decade of frivolous lawsuits and defenses of mass-murderers who weren't bought that pretty tricycle when they were young. See The Eagles song... "Get Over It.") of the late lamented patriarchal society as well? We were brought up to LIVE within the team concept. Within this team concept is the pre-defined need to worship the heroes that rose to the occasion within this team environment. We were taught to strive to BE that hero. To rise up within our group of peers and become that beacon that everyone would worship.
This ingrained behavior forces us to relate to the true professional teams. The true sports heroes thrill us to an extent that transcends logic. We become fixated. We stare into the boob box watching these passion plays unfold. Is there a female counterpart to this male peccadillo? How about soap operas?
Soap operas ARE to the female what team sports are to the male. It's also a function of how they were brought up. Men are brought up to appreciate the sexual attributes of women. We, in a certain sense, are the sexual predator. Women, on the other hand, are brought up to see the more romantic side of the male/female relationship. Soap operas are a passion play of a very different nature. How many men come home to a dirty house, no supper and few clean clothes to wear because their spouse has been sitting on the couch all day watching the soaps and going through a box of kleenex?
Disclaimer: Soap operas cause brain decay in either sex which watches them. If you allow your children to tune in, don't expect much potential in them. That's my womanly view on the subject. DO NOT be sucked in!!
Men on EATING:
Men eat incomprehensible amounts of food. Yet, by and large, in proportion to what they eat, they maintain a trimness that they don't deserve. Women can't help it that we were destined to have a whole extra LAYER of fat. It's there to make us look soft instead of wirey. It's there so our hip bones don't stab you. As a woman, I feel compelled to deprive myself. Because wirey is *IN*. I want to be wirey. I want to be waif-like. So I don't want you guys to get mad when I say "I don't want anything" at Burger King drive through and then eat half of YOUR dinner. You should know to order twice as much. How long have you known me? Then you should know that I don't get fed unless I rationalize and minimize this feeding frenzy in my mind. If you order it, and I rationalize eating a "bite or two" in my mind but eat half, you should be happy that my mind is at ease since half of your dinner doesn't count as calories in my book. You should be happy that I feel lithe and thin. You have more to gain from this, trust me.
You don't see any WOMAN eating anchovies. The smell knocks me OUT! No doubt a MAN invented fish pizza. I've been told that men who eat anchovies are better in bed. Don't even try this with me. Men, I FAIL to see any similarity between your sick anchovie habit and anything you'll do with a woman. Don't even compare any part of me to a fish. And ladies, if you smell like fish, go see a doctor. ICK! You guys are so f******* romantic. GEEZ. Sometimes you smell like bear piss, but I just leave the room instead of saying anything. It's called TACT.
Hold on a minute here!!!! Women are under a great deal of stress to emulate the anorexic look of models like Kate Moss. I won't even attempt to disagree with that. That just happens to be the female look de jour. In Reuben's time, a much more full-bodied woman was the ideal. Even going back to the fifties and viewing films of Marilyn Monroe, Jane Mansfield and Sophia Loren you'll see that the "perfect" woman was much more robust. We men aren't under pressure to have a "look"? That's an extremely naive statement. I don't know many men who can slam down five Big Macs and a case of beer without having to buy a new belt. Do women turn up their noses at men with a gut? Do they go out of their way to get to know men with thin shoulders? Are accountants getting it regularly? Let's get real here, people!!! I've heard allusions to men's "tight little asses" once too often to take this female lament seriously.
Anchovies? I'd rather drink bear piss... As far as allusions to the female organ smelling like fish... Some do... Some don't. And that's all I'll venture regarding that particular trite truism.
MEN on RELATIONSHIPS:
Men are terrific dates. I don't REMEMBER dating, but I hear it is great. With the right person, you connect, really connect. You get to talk about your hopes, ambitions, opinions, ex-boyfriends..... At this point, a man is smart enough to match you topic by topic. What you have is a friend. A warm cuddly male friend who admires your ass when you walk away. He tells you how smart you are and how he's never met anyone like you before. He talks about FEELINGS. He takes you out on weekends instead of sitting in a recliner watching TV or staring into a computer screen indefinitely. You MATTER to him.
If you move in with or marry this same man, what you have is a lump in the room. A person who says "uh huh" while you talk but doesn't hear you. An adult who doesn't remember how to feed himself or clean up after himself . A person who, no matter how long you know him, does not know when your birthday or anniversary are. A person who thinks his only contribution should be that he holds a job and that he can be ready for LOVE at the drop of a .....hat. To complain about the situation is NOT to say that you are unhappy with his work ethic or his MANLY readiness. But that is what a man is likely to think that you are dissatisfied with no matter WHAT words are used.
Not all men appear to be this insensitive and clueless. Some men DO remember birthdays and anniversaries. Some DO go out on weekends with their mates. The above example is the UNABRIDGED man. Given the choice, men do not perceive they have anything to gain by being thoughtful and will not go the extra mile for a good feeling. What feels good to a man is a chair, a beer, and a TV. The rest is fluff. Things they do to keep women from expressing messy emotions and confusing them about "needs", "companionship", and "feelings", all just words. Like "uh huh"...
I am passive aggressive. What this means is that when I am dissatisfied, I will not tell you what is wrong. I assume that what I am obviously missing (romance, companionship, pointless chatter) my man should be missing too. If he isn't missing my mindless chatter, my company at a movie or a restaurant, my obvious charm, then he is an asshole. Maybe he'll miss clean clothes and warm food. Surely he'll notice if all his underwear turns pink. Hmph! Take that!
This is, obviously, a two sided coin as well. Many women fall in love with a man for what he is, when they meet them. Then they spend the rest of their time in this relationship trying to change him to meet their "true" perception of what their mate should be. There are many things about myself that I've tried to change, to no avail. How much chance does a woman have of accomplishing that same goal? Zilch...
As far as having a man wine and dine a woman during courtship and then crashing on the couch when that courtship is over... That happens in the obverse as well. Many men WANT to go out and DO things. Their mates, now that the courtship has reached its fruition, would much rather stay home and knit. This particular scenario has absolutely nothing to do with gender. It has to do with a person's nature. There is NO WAY to court an individual of the opposite gender by sitting home and vegetating. Even though this might be one's nature, it's definitely not going to get you into a relationship. This is one of the reasons that engagements normally last for more than a year. During that time frame you should be able to actually get a glimmer of your proposed spouse's nature.
Men on WOMEN'S FRIENDSHIPS:
A popular misunderstanding that men have is about women and their friendships. Two women together will laugh and cry and hug. Girls who have been friends long enough will share wardrobes, change clothes in the same room, share makeup,brushes, food, drink out of the same glass. We tell secrets and emotions. Men would only do this with someone of opposing gender. Naturally they are apt to misunderstand when they see a pair of totally platonic girlfriends. GASP! Lesbians?
Ick. Picture this. A big guy with a backwards baseball cap on his head picks out a nice looking girl to ask out. He burps, scratches his nads, mumbles some obscenity under his breath. Struts up to her. Mmm, is that anchovies I smell? Surprise, she is not interested. He figures she must be a lesbian. Of course! Urp!
I think that men believe that all women have the capacity to be bisexual. This must be the hugest misconception of all. I realize that this is a socially acceptable alternative, but as a rule, it is a fantasy of men. All women are NOT bisexual. And it isn't because of inhibitions or prudishness that we are NOT. Heterosexual women are likely to be repulsed by the thought of being touched by another woman. Men, think about how you would react if it were the other way around.
A lot of women believe that it is possible to be platonic friends with a man. I am not sure about this. It SHOULD be okay. We'd like to BELIEVE it is okay. I know it is entirely possible to have a relationship with a man where both parties keep their hands to themselves. But pure friendship? Unless the woman is terribly UGLY, I doubt that a man doesn't think about sex with her or check her out when she's not looking. May be harmless. But do we call this a friendship? chuckle... Not any I've ever had. But hey, if you want to confuse your man, try having a platonic relationship with your ex-boyfriend.
I've never felt that because two women were very close that they'd wind up in bed together. If that were the case, I'd have the same concept of two men who truly enjoyed each other's company. Men, as well as women, need someone to bounce things off of. They need to be reassured that their relationships aren't thoroughly screwed up. I have very few close friends that I'm comfortable with discussing this sort of thing. But I still need their input on a visceral level. And they mine. I'm very close to these guys and there isn't much I wouldn't share with them. Does that make me gay? Bisexual? A wimp? Not at all. My friends and myself have been described in many ways, but the aforementioned aren't even in the running. It's normal. Natural. It's not a gender specific anomaly by any means.
I really have to laugh at the prospect of a dope with a backwards baseball cap making a pass at a woman. How about a multi-pierced, tatooed tramp approaching a man? YO! DEWD! You wanna dance? Dance? Sure... I'd rather dance at the end of a rope.
Regarding platonic friendships... I'm always drawn to that long auto ride with Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan. The ride where Billy says that he'd jump any of his female friends... even the ugly ones. It was hilarious. It was also absolutely wrong. I can say this adamantly and with ease. I have more than one female friend. Is there a certain amount of sexual tension involved in these relationships? Undoubtedly. Would either one of us ever truly envision jumping each other's bones? Not a chance... None at all. I think that a certain attraction was the cause of these relationships. That's just a normal pattern of life. The only way that a platonic male/female relationship can blossom and last is getting beyond that point. Do I watch some of these ladies walk away with a certain amount of admiration? You bet. Is there lust involved? Nope... not a tad.
I think that if anything regarding this rant stays with me, it'll be the fact that generalization of gender smacks of radicalism. I truly feel that people who believe too adamantly in any one aspect of an issue are the cause for most of the world's ills. As instances... The abortion issue, the death penalty, the one "true" God, partisan politics... etc. etc. ad nauseum. People who believe too strongly regarding ANY one side of an important issue lack depth. Much worse than that... when they group together they become extremely dangerous.
Let's hear your comments about this month's Rant. Be brutally honest, if you will.
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Read our previous Rants...
Are you a Slacker????
The Dangerous Internet
And so this is Christmas?