Free to be You and Me. As Long as I Like the You that You Are.
My friend Matt over at Inside the Nice Guy posted a link to an interesting article a couple of days ago. Interesting, because it’s written by a man for a women’s magazine (aptly named Woman’s Day) and claims to debunk the 10 biggest myths [women believe] about men.
Now, you know me. I don’t tend to delve into relationship issues too often on this blog, for the main reason that I have no clue what I’m doing most of the time. And really, who am I to dispense with the unfounded wisdom? I tried it once, when I went on some extra caffeinated-induced rant about an article about romantic comedies. And it didn’t really make me feel better.
But now I’m trying again. Because apparently I can’t learn my lesson. But before you get all crazy on me, keep in mind this is all in fun. We all have our flaws – it’s just more fun analyzing the flaws of others.
Initially, there was something about this man myth article that rubbed me the wrong way. Maybe it’s the unspoken implication that women must think men are mindless, emotionless, inhuman robots, and thank god for articles like this that remind us that men are, in fact, people too. Or maybe it’s the way the author follows every explanation with a note of what women can do to play into these special male personality quirks like it’s our job to pull men out of their protective, emotionally unbalanced cocoons so they can emerge as the butterflies they were always meant to be.
Because women, why wouldn’t you always say yes to sex, even if you really do have a headache or a yeast infection or haven’t shaved your legs in 4 days?
And men, who doesn’t love a woman who continuously encourages you to reveal your true feelings because she understands that you’re not “fine” even though you say you are?
But eventually I got over my indignant self, and I came to understand the intent of the article. The author, Brendan Tapley, really is just trying to get women to understand why we [women] might have certain misconceptions about what’s going on inside the heads of our sexy-yet-irritatingly-stubborn counterparts.
That didn’t, however, stop me from making just a few comments. Because I’m a girl. And that’s what we do. But bear with me, guys – I’m going to have a question for you at the end of this.
For example – myth #2, sex is what matters the most. Tapley thinks this myth exists because men rely on sex to achieve a “bonded feeling” of solidarity with their partners. In other words, sex makes the relationship real. It means we’re on the same team. The problem? Women usually need to be at least somewhat emotionally invested to get the most pleasure out of sex. And even if the emotion wasn’t there before the sex, it definitely tends to creep in after. In fact, some studies show that this is a physiological probability. We can’t help it.
So I’m not really buying Tapley’s argument. I mean, if sex made men feel bonded too, then it would be nearly impossible for them to have “meaningless” sex. And I’ve known enough women who never received the promised post-sex phone call to be fairly certain that many times to men, sex is just sex. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. That’s just how it is.
“But honey, sex makes me feel like we’re truly bonded!”
The first man myth addressed by the article is the myth that men are not emotional. Tapley counters this by explaining that not only are men emotional, but they might even be more emotional than women! Now this I believe. Ladies, how many of you have said something you thought was completely innocuous to a guy and he just completely shut down? Turns out (at least according to Tapley) that this shutting down doesn’t reflect a lack of emotion as we lead ourselves to believe, but instead a complete emotion overload. But because he doesn’t know how to deal with said emotion, he just shuts off. Huh.
So maybe this explains the sex thing. He’s so overwrought with raw emotion after you have sex that he doesn’t know how to deal with it. And that’s why he doesn’t call.
I think this ties in nicely with myth #6: guys don’t communicate. Well. Tapley doesn’t really have a good argument for this. He says that men do like to talk, but they often censor themselves from talking about anything deep or meaningful because they’re worried women might find them less masculine. Sooo… this really doesn’t debunk the myth. Men really don’t communicate.
And we all knows what happens now. A woman says something that ticks a man off. He experiences an emotional overload and shuts down, refusing to tell her what’s chapping his ass because doesn’t want to look like a crybaby pussy. So the woman gets frustrated because she’s a “fixer” and can’t fix a problem when she doesn’t know what’s wrong, so she ends up going into crazy bitch mode, constantly writing or calling or texting because she’s sure that if she just does what Tapley says and encourages the man to be open about his feelings, all will be right with the world.
So you can see that this is where I disagree with Tapley. And this is where I have a question for the men:
What’s a girl to do?? If we pester you about what’s wrong, we end up in crazy bitch mode. But if we back off and let you work it out yourself, we run the huge risk of you thinking we don’t care (which, I can assure you, we do), and worse, we never understand the heart of the problem and risk a repeat of the situation – something neither of us wants.
Unless you’re into the suspense and the drama and the (usually) fantastic make-up sex.
But that can’t be healthy on a regular basis.
Or can it?
I liked your crack at relationship analysis! (And love your blog- such a cute name and idea, and the banana bread pictures made me hungry)
It seems like the author of the article is trying to convince women to gently coax men away from the script of traditional masculinity that (I guess) they all follow, but don’t actually WANT to follow? Yikes, seems like kind of a hefty order….
Hey, thanks! And I definitely love your blog name. So many of ’em just dance around the single topic, but your is just OUT there. :) And I think you’re right on with your assessment – so because they know how they’re supposed to act but can’t quite bring themselves to do it, it’s now our responsibility to show them the light…? Yeah. We’ll see how THAT goes. ;)
You know this is the kind of stuff I love to comment about…. ;-)
I was going to wait until I had some time to give you a good answer, but I’m so freaking busy this week, this will have to suffice:
To me, the moral of the story is, everyone is different. Some guys are gonna be communicative, some are not. Some guys are gonna get attached, some are not.
So, the secret isn’t figuring out the “rules” that govern all guys. The secret is to figure out which rule any given guy is governed by.
And that’s my two pence.
Awww. That’s such a cop-out answer. Of course every guy is different. But that won’t stop us from trying to pile you all into one convenient bubble, you know? Work with me here.
And are two pence worth more than two cents? If that’s the case, I feel honored. ;)
Well, it’s definitely worth more than two Canadian cents….
Heeyy I acatually like this article as well…. but I actually agree with Dennis for the most part and just for the record women are just as guitly of the “im fine” and nothing wrong as men are. Face it we both suck at communication at times lol
here is another article you may enjoy on the subject.
That is very true. Until we can all just be honest with each other without the fear of extreme judgment, I’m afraid we’re all just screwed. :)
[…] days my very good friend Katie, over at Domestiphobia.net, was stricken with inspiration to write a response to the article to give her ‘two […]