The other day on the way home from work I heard a radio program that featured a woman who had written some book or another- the details escaped me because I only caught the tail end of the program, but the gist of the interview she was giving can be summed up in a few short points:
- Men are exhausted trying to fulfill the image of ‘manliness’ that society forces upon us.
- Men are lonely because we feel we aren’t allowed to emote.
- The manly image constructed by society obviously doesn’t work because if it did, the world wouldn’t be in the shape that it is in today.
Basically, I had this lady tell me that I’m lonely, exhausted, and essentially what is wrong with the world.
I found this interview frustrating and irritating. First of all, it painted an acceptance for a double standard that confounded me. Stick a man in an interview and have him tell the world that women are too emotional, not strong enough, and what is wrong with the world, and I’ll show you an ICU patient. He’d be excoriated beyond recognition. However, this lady had men all figured out, and it was no-problemo.
Secondly, the idea that the concept of ‘manliness’ is universal and deplorable is ludicrous. Some people might take it to the extreme (however they view the concept) and it could be harmful, but there’s no way to lump everyone’s idea of what being a man is into a neat bundle, and slap a negative label on it. That’s pretty insulting.
I REALLY got the feeling from this woman that her overall idea was that “Men should be more like us.” – and I think her tone really managed to insult women as well, because she again managed to make a sweeping generality about women that may be unfair to many of her gender. I really think she managed to climb up high on a pedestal, and insult everyone around her, regardless of what chromosome set they’re packing.
I don’t know exactly what this woman pictures ‘manliness’ to be that its so terrible, but my ability to change the brakes on my car, field dress game, build things with my hands, take care of my family, or grow a beard has never made me feel lonely or exhausted. In fact, it often makes me feel closer to the people I love, and accomplished when something I built doesn’t collapse in shambles when I’m cone.
…and since my being able to do so is apparently wrong with the world, she can open her own goddamn pickle jars from now on.