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Why Real Men Don't Care What Women Want

Cassy Fiano has written a piece about the need, in her opinion, for men to "MAN UP".

I respectfully disagree. Enough so that I think a full rebuttal is needed. While some of Cassy's points are valid, her article makes what I see as mistakes in several areas, and these need to be addressed, if the gender behavior question is to be better understood and resolved.

The first thing to say in any gender discussion, is the obvious fact that men and women are different. Physically, mentally, emotionally, and in how Society treats the gender. Look at crime, for instance. In my book, an adult teacher who molests a student is a particularly slimy felon, one who should be put away for a very, very long time. Yet over and over, we see that female teachers who have sex with their students do not receive even half the length of sentence commonly issued to male teachers who do the same thing. Sexual harassment is supposed to apply to equally to men and women, but here again we see that women suing for sexual harassment are far more successful in court than men who do the same thing, as a proportion of damages awarded to cases filed. Granted, this is an offense where male perpetrators far outnumber female offenders, yet this also is skewed, because even in today's world, a male employee who complains of unwanted sexual advances by a female superior will be mocked and ridiculed in the public, in a way no female complaintant in the United States needs to fear.

A significant portion of the article addresses the decision by women either to work outside the home or to stay at home. The article never mentions that in many families, the man stays home while the woman works, not in some hillbilly paradise where the guy slacks around, but because the woman may be better suited to working in a corporation while the man has better domestic skills. It may come as a shock, but some men are better at cooking, cleaning, and child care, and some women are better in monetary skills. If a couple or family finds themselves in the fortunate situation where one paycheck is sufficient, it's nobody else's business how they decide to sort out the various responsibilities of the house.

- continued -

The article also appears to take a swipe at two-career parents, quoting Mellisa Clothier's rather stupid assertion that many men "no longer work as hard because they just don't have to. On the one hand, they don't have the financial pressure of their father's generation, but they also don't have the self-respect, work-ethic and noble purpose of their father's generation either."

What utter bilge! No serious thought could possibly have produced that statement, which reflects some long-disproven assumptions about the modern generation and a more than slightly elitist arrogance. I will use my own experience to illustrate:

My father worked as the sole breadwinner for his family when he was young. This is because at 8 years old during the Depression, he still had an easier time finding a job than his mother or sister could, and so even before Middle School, my father was helping support his family. That mindset, to do what the family needed at any cost, became something of a lifelong mission for my father. In the performance of that mission, he worked long hours, took countless assignments in other countries because they paid more, and sacrificed an untold number of personal luxuries and goals for his wife and kids. He spent what little "free time" he had with us kids and with the church as a Bible Study teacher. The 'payoff' for his work? Four heart attacks, a stroke, he was laid off seven times during his career, his commitment to the job hurt his marriage, we had to move four times to find work that met the family's needs, and the stress and wear from so much travel and effort left him a physical wreck, so that the last nine years of his life he could barely walk, leaving his bed only for minutes at a time. This was not doctor Clouthier's mythical "self-respect", "work-ethic", or "noble purpose" - such terms lose their meaning when the man is destroyed just trying to take care of his family, and people like Clouthier do not begin to understand the forces at work which challenge a family to survive, let alone succeed.

Then there is my wife, Mikki. Her first husband was a big believer in the stay-at-home wife, he would have applauded Ms. Clouthier. He treated his wife like a possession, like a prize to be kept under lock and key and always under his control. Of course, his freedom to work while she stayed home also helped him have an affair, which destroyed the marriage as such things often do. Mikki was left alone to fend for herself, and she was grimly pleased to do see she could manage her affairs without some husband to do it for her. When she and I married, we both understood that she intended to work full time, for several reasons but which included the fact that she would never allow herself to be kept in a box, whether it be a house or apartment or assumption. If Ms. Clouthier and Ms. Fiano wish to stay at home and have the means to do so, good for them, but that in no way means anyone else is obliged to do the same, nor are they irresponsible if they choose that path. Further, I am no less a man for respecting my wife's wishes and being aware of her history and needs, and if Ms. Clouthier and company cannot fathom that, it is their flaw, and not my own.

I also have to speak up about this "man up" command from on High. In the comments to Cassy's article, reader Aries said "Men have seen women in action. Whiners, complainers, misandric and endlessly focused on themselves only. Women threw men away." Blunt but true, that. Many men are just sick and tired of women telling us half a hundred different things they expect us to do. Nothing is ever good enough, and while I agree with equality, my definition of that word never included my surrender to women and their countless chaos of neurotic demands. Women chase after drunks and liars, ignore and mock the nice guys, then complain because they can't find a good man. Women demand equal pay and opportunity in the workplace, but also want special rules and preferential treatment from HR and the business practices. Women demand to be treated as equals and receive respect, but as a rule treat men either as the enemy or simply as not worthy of their regard, much less respect. Women despise being treated as sexual objects - rightfully - but see no hypocrisy in ranking men according to their physical attributes. I have personally known hundreds of men who put their wives first, who constantly try to find ways to show they love and appreciate their wives, but I have only found a handful of women who do the same for their husbands (Mikki is one). Oh, I am sure there are more out there, but the overwhelming fact is that men are dogs and women are cats. Men, like dogs, are sloppy and careless and spill and break things, but most are utterly dependable and full of love and fun. They are heroic and serious about family. Women, like cats, are full of themselves and tend to hate dogs as a group. If you take loving care of a dog for even a few minutes, you will have a friend for life, and a lot of men are the same way. If you take loving care of a cat for years, catering to its every need and whim, you will be rewarded with the privilege of cleaning out its litterbox, and the presentation of an occasional hairball or shredded shirt, and a lot of women are the same way.

In closing, I admit my posted opinions are a broad brush posting, and there are many good women out there, just as there are some men who are utterly useless. But the stereotypes presented by Ms. Fiano needed a counterweight. There is hope for gender relationships, if only for one great truth: Men love and need women, and women also love and need other women.


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Comments (15)

No need to over all of this... (Below threshold)

No need to over all of this again, experienced stay at home dad that I've been and am at the moment.
It's nice to see this issue addressed without any rigid stereotyping.
Our boy, and our little family, feel very fulfilled without benefit of a "manned up" approach to paternalism.

Thank you DJ. I am so frigg... (Below threshold)
D-Hoggs:

Thank you DJ. I am so friggin sick of Cassy's "Men" posts. Just let it effing be already!! Why was she brought on here in the first place? I have a hard time believing that Kevin wanted regular commentary on man/woman relations.

One, of the many, things th... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

One, of the many, things that's glossed over in rants such as Cassey's is that the need for a full-time 'housewife' has been greatly diminished due to technological advances. My grandparents grew up in a family that before the family could eat someone need to, for instance, kill and clean a chicken, the corn needed to be de-husked, peas shelled, etc. The dishes were washed and dried by hand not put into some machine that already has hot water and a built in dryer. Washing clothes was a time consuming chore that involved filling the wash basin, scrubbing with the wash board, hanging the clothes on the line, and gathering the clothes from the line. Now, we throw the clothes in the washer, the water is just there, and when clothes washer finishes we throw them in the clothes dryer.

The modern 'career' of housewife is nothing compared to what actual career of housewife was a few generations back. It's time for females, such as Cassy, to 'woman up' and realize that, unless they're staying home to school their children, housewife is no longer a career choice worth the esteem it once was. It's a choice for the lazy that no longer help shoulder the family's burden as they should.

What a load of rubbish. Th... (Below threshold)
Kenny:

What a load of rubbish. This whole gender battle is a bunch of rubbish. Really, men are like dogs... slobby but loyal forever, and women are like cats, who destroy your stuff and make you clean their shit for a lifetime? Give me a friggin' break. I feel very sorry for you, and with attitudes like these, don't expect these "gender roles" as you see them to change at all.

Having been married to the ... (Below threshold)
irongrampa:

Having been married to the same sweet lady for 40 years, I don't think she has any doubts about me being a man. Here's a clue for you challenged ones--we celebrate EACH OTHER as what we are--a REAL man and a REAL woman, both committed to each other.

I <a href="http://www.etern... (Below threshold)
This article is so true of ... (Below threshold)
josh:

This article is so true of many of todays women. A friend of mine was asking my advice as he is about to get married, and I told him to prepare to never be right again in his life. Or even if he is right, is must have been luck, because many women think that if you dont agree with them, then you are wrong, no matter what the "right" and "wrong" answer is. Agreement= peace. having your own mind= never getting any peace.
The joke goes like this:
God made the earth, then rested
Go made man, then rested
Then God made women
Since then, neither Gor, nor man has rested.
I rest my case

This should be almost as mu... (Below threshold)

This should be almost as much fun as reading the comments at Huffpo or MyDD recently.

What ?I'm sorry, I... (Below threshold)
Jeff:

What ?

I'm sorry, I wasn't listening ...

In my professional life I h... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

In my professional life I have found that many women are deceptive with men. When some women need help or cooperation from a man they turn on the charm afterburners, but as soon as they get what they need the charm ends to the point where they won't even say hi when passing in the hallway.

To counter the charm weapon, I've learned to turn on the grumpy afterburners. It can be fun to watch because that's not what women expect when then turn on the charm. Over time, however, women who come to my office have learned to be "real" and professional, which frees me to be "real" and professional in return.

Good post, DJ!I'd ... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

Good post, DJ!

I'd just like to add that my wife and I live in a city where owning a home definitely requires dual incomes, so she can't stay at home after her maternity leave ends this summer--as much as both of us would like her to, it's simply not a reality.

The unfortunate thing here,... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

The unfortunate thing here, DJ, is that Cassy's post stemmed from a vent by another blogger based on personal experience.

I've known guys that bitch about their wives even though they both work and take care of the kids. It really depends on what kind of relationship they have to begin with. The most mature I have encountered may have a complaint every now and then, but usually in a joking manner. There is no doubt that they love and respect each other.

I am from Texas, where men ... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

I am from Texas, where men are men and the sheep are afraid.
Real men are still here. The media and some women choose not to acknowlege our existenct. ww

I realise this is a respons... (Below threshold)
Baggi:

I realise this is a response and all but seriously, do we men really care?

Women want to talk about relationships between men and women endlessly. Do men really want to talk about it?

Maybe I don't really care because i'm happily married. I work and provide for my wife and my children. My wife keeps the home. That means, she buys the groceries, she teaches the children and she keeps it clean.

I go to work.

Somehow, we're happy doing that.

What need for all this endless analysis of men and women?

Funny...as I pondered a lif... (Below threshold)
JMo:

Funny...as I pondered a life where I am completely selfish, making as much money as I can and spending every red nickel on myself, as well as every one of my precious seconds on this earth, it occurred to me that I would probably have so many women falling over themselves to get with me that I would save a lot of that money I otherwise would have spent on hot prostitutes.

I already feel sorry for the person I used to be, wondering why women weren't into me and why I couldn't find a mate. I have fully realized I only need and want women for one thing anyway! I can get the rest from within.




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