This post is for men. I know you are tired. I can tell you are fed up with constant discussions around what women want. I hear you saying, “What else could women possibly want that they don’t already have?”
Women can vote and go to college, we have the same rights as men, we can have babies or not, marry or not, be independent or not. We can rise through the ranks and even become leaders of our countries if we so chose.
It is very confusing and aggravating for men to watch the many discussions women are having lately, including the ones I personally instigate.
After the feedback I received for my last couple of articles, I decided it is time to take a look at the male point of view. What follows is based on my observations and my conversations with men.
A man’s point of view can look something like this:
How can it be a man’s fault when a woman chooses to fork her own path and runs into obstacles? There is certainly nobody giving handouts to a man making his way through life. A man lives under a traditional responsibility of being a good provider to his family. It means he can’t give up or show signs of weakness. He must push ahead, protect his family, put a roof over their heads, and provide.
And for the most part, he doesn’t complain about being the provider. It’s just the way it is. In return, all he wants is a little bit of appreciation for busting his chops, and a little bit of love and understanding. Physical attention, a gesture, a sweet look here and there, and he is good to go again. A man also needs time to regroup, recharge, release, and unwind. This he often accomplishes with his buddies and through sports.
A man will ask for help when absolutely necessary—and only when absolutely necessary. He knows his brother’s time is valuable and he doesn’t want to be appear weak. If it can be figured out alone, he’ll figure it out.
Men don’t need much to find their balance; they are more straightforward than women. They avoid complicated issues whenever possible. And when they encounter one, they find a solution through logic and reason, quickly and swiftly.
A former boyfriend said to me that a man’s role is to provide all things non-emotional, and a woman’s role is to provide all things emotional. Simple enough, right? So why can’t we just to follow our innate preferences and everyone be happy?
Men are puzzled as to what women want.
Believe me, I know most men truly and deeply love their women and want them to be happy. That’s why we hear point blank: “What do you want? How can I make you happy?”
Often the vague response women give is: “I don’t know, just not this.” See the problem?
If we women don’t know what makes us happy and can’t articulate our needs clearly to our men, can we even justify our surprise when they become fed up with catering to an ever-evolving set of needs?
We keep asking for more, and many times we get it. So when does a woman’s need for more end? Does she have to turn into one of those masculine women? Will she make man’s life hell on earth throughout the entire pursuit of her happiness?
Men are confused about what to give, how to give, how to act, what to say. They wonder, “Why is this so difficult?” They look for something to blame; something that poisons our minds and thoughts and makes it impossible for women to be content in the ways men are content. So, since it’s beginning they set their sights on feminism because it sounds like trouble. In fact, feminism has been so successfully subverted that even many women believe it is about hating men. Even men who have supported equality in the past are showing signs of feminism fatigue.
If that’s you, please do your research. Feminism simply means gender equality. Without it, very few women would be in the positions we are currently. Let’s not throw our trailblazers under the bus—we should be thanking them. Their fight happened in a different time before we got what we take for granted today. Their fight was equality, ours is balance.
Many men believe that women who talk about equality or leadership balance at home or at work must be man-haters. They think we are poisoning the minds of other women. The worst insult to men is that feminists don’t even think once about how our actions make men feel. In the words of a previous commenter on my article “women want to emasculate men!
I hear you.
Let me give you a few ideas that might help both sides feel less frustrated. Again, let’s be clear that I can’t speak for each and every one of you. There are numerous factors and variations. Not all women feel this way, not all men do either. Here we go (bracing for comment storm again):
- Men are uncertain what women want from them. They want clear communication from women so they can provide us with exactly what we want.
- Women are simply overwhelmed with the demands of the double shift. We don’t know how to communicate what we need because we don’t know. We can’t know. We’ll find out in retrospect what was needed, and we are taught to be independent. Many of us don’t know how to ask for support.
- For generations (and far beyond that), men have grown up with a clearly-defined men’s code and numerous role models to tell them what a man does.
- Women had no Women’s Code (until now!) and there are very few successful role models in our midst who share their know-how. That makes sense once you consider feminism only began 50 years ago.
- Men want to be included in the conversation. Their families, their daughters, and their sons are affected by all these discussions. It only seems logical men should have a say.
- Women want to have our own conversations. We don’t want men to fiddle with issues that are entirely our own. We are smart, we’ll figure it out as we go, and we form an opinion as we go.
Today I am asking you for three things: patience, compassion and permission.
Patience for both sides as we all embark on this journey through waters unknown. Let’s explore together and make it work. It may not be perfect but it doesn’t need to be hostile.
- Compassion for each other as we navigate through the emotionally-charged process of our evolving roles in society. As women’s gender roles change, so do men’s. We are shifting our focus from traditional roles to individual preferences. This is fantastic news.
- Permission for ourselves to not have it all figured out quite yet. We are not defined by our wins, but by how we get up after our falls. Our failures, trials, and tribulations are what help define the roles we want for ourselves.
Let me know what you think of my take on the male perspective and why men are fed up with feminism. Did I hit any nails on the head here?