"If chivalry is dead, women killed it."
I almost spit all the soda I was drinking out of my mouth onto the TV screen I was so mortified and outraged. I felt robbed. I'd been saying that for years!
Now, I know at this point in my article, many sisters may be doing a double take, rereading the above lines as they wonder how I could agree with what could be construed as a sexist comment, but I did agree, and whole-heartedly at that. Why? Because I fear that modern women have been sending men mixed signals for some time now:
- We tell the world we value our independence, some of us going so far as to scream at a guy for having the courtesy to hold a door open for us so it doesn't smash us in the face, and yet, when we get married, we expect to be taken care of financially, no matter how much money we ourselves personally make.
- In answer to the near domestic slavery of bygone eras, we have become hyper independent, with an I don't need no man attitude, that has started to make our valued partners feel like little more than a walking sex toy.
- We want equality, but the man has to pay for every date or he is looked down upon.
- We want to be put on pedestals, but frown on a woman who wants to do the same for her man.
- We want all our needs met, but when a man expresses a desire that is not feminine (because hey, they are men, not women) we scoff, demean them and make fun.
- The largest of all these offenses has to be that we, more often than not, place the value of a man in his wallet and not in his soul.
Real life example: Debra had quite the dilemma. Shed finally met her soul mate. The one! He was attractive, fun, kind and loving. On top of it all, he was a civic minded firefighter, beloved in his community, even liked kids and animals. She was falling and fast. The problem? He had a low paying job.
"He was attractive, fun, kind, & loving. The problem? He had a low paying job."
"I make eighty-thousand dollars a year, and I want a mate who makes at least that much," she sniffed. Debra dumped him, but they remained casual friends.
Some time passed and he got engaged. He invited Debra to the engagement party, and when she arrived at his home she was astonished to discover he lived in a mansion he was a millionaire and only volunteered as a fireman!
He had kept his wealth a secret so he would be assured that the woman he was with loved him for him and not his money. In the end, he found the woman who was perfect for him, the one who accepted him as a fireman. Talk about a karmic slap in the face!
Sadly, many American women do just this sort of thing they toss aside the garbage man with a heart a gold for a surgeon who yes, makes a 100 K a year, but odds are when doctor Stud muffin gets bored, he will cheat on you with that blond hottie down in Cardiology. Meanwhile, a good man slips by quietly unnoticed as we cry and moan about the fact that there are no good men.
Another problem is that our men appear to have to place their emotional wants and needs on the back burner in relationships, when we should be more understanding of those needs. A good example of this is how men have to have space. They do. It makes them feel independent and not chained--this is very important to the male psyche, however, when a man says this to us, what do we do? We get all freaked out, call our girlfriends and make him feel like a jerk for a very legitimate male need.
I've even been privy to occasions where a man will tell his woman, "Baby, I am going to go up the street and see so and so," and home girl exclaims, "No, hell you're not!
Okay. Let's back that up. Say you told your man, "Hey, I am going to the store with so and so and I'll be back in a minute." What would you do if he told you, "No, hell you're not!" The brother would be sleeping on the couch. How is that fair, again? Two grown people, who love and trust one another, should be able to make plans without constantly having to consult with their partner.
To be sure, no girl or guy should be out every night -- if that were the case, why be in a relationship? But, you should be able to have a guy or girls night out on occasion without having to check in. What if he cheats on me, you ask? If you married someone you cannot trust, whose fault is that? We tend to know very early on if the partner we have chosen is trustworthy. I know a woman who married a man even after learning he once had a drug problem and had cheated on his ex wife. Now that he is abusing drugs heavily again and sleeping around she is pissed -- but she shares part of the blame in her own fix. If you chose someone with whom you can give your whole heart and all your trust, they do not need a leash.
"Men appear to have to place their emotional wants & needs on the back burner in relationships, when we should be more understanding of those needs."Men value their independence just like we do, and they should have a healthy outlet to express it. Women often accuse men of double standards, and while this is true, we have a few of our own:
- We want our men to be there emotionally for us, but if let's say, our man is going through a mid life crisis, we poke fun, ridicule and withdraw our affections, telling them to get over it. If you were PMSing and your guy said, get over it well, the funeral would be lovely. But we have no room for empathy or sympathy for male chemical emotional cycles and fluctuations, which is essentially what a mid life crisis (it is both psychological and physiological).
- We are constantly wanting our men to reassure us that they love us, find us beautiful, attractive yet if a man reaches out for this same comfort, we tell him he is filled with testosterone, and wants his ego stroked. Who doesn't want their ego stroked once in a while? And yes, men are filled with testosterone, so what? This isn't an inherently bad thing. Yes ladies, our men's emotional needs matter too.
This is not to say that men are totally innocent in their portion of bad behaviors in the dating game (that's another article for another time), I am merely saying that women are not owning up to our portion of guilt in the ongoing battle of the sexes.
I made my personal realization a long time ago, after which, I was able to let down my guard and land an amazing man. My husband and are I are both very independent natured and he knows that I trust and love him. He is free to do what he likes, all I have to do is know so I don't worry, but it's not like he has to consult with me. I let him be him, and he lets me be me. Byproduct? We are inseparable. He knows he is free, but he chooses to be by my side -- and I by his side.
It feels good knowing that, if he had a choice, he chooses to be with me.
In time, our dynamic may change, and that's okay too--nothing is static, we all evolve and grow -- but I will accept him as he comes to me, faults and all, fears and all, needs in all, whether he has money or not.
Sisters, I am not even implying that we should run after jobless crack heads or wife beaters, I am talking about giving decent, blue collar working gentlemen a chance. You may find in him, a man who will love you like there is no tomorrow and treats you like a Queen, which is something all the money in the world wont buy.If we can accept that doctors and lawyers who look like Denzel Washington are not the only men worth marrying, maybe relations between the sexes will improve all around, but we have to come to the bargaining table willing to listen, willing to accept blame, and, in the end, willing to learn.