Gender Issues, Men

10 #manproblems

I asked some men what “men issues” are to them. I have narrowed it down to this list of 10. These are their items but my thoughts on the topic.

Temptation
Response: When boundaries seem old fashioned and constant access to people is the norm, impropriety can take over if you’re not careful. Simple texts turn into all day conversations between two people. With social media its easy to look at profiles and unlimited photos of other people. Its easy to plan out in your head just how easy it would be to take things to the next level with someone though you may already have a Someone. Though most people value fidelity, there’s always those that are on the bench ready to be put in the game. There are women that don’t mind playing second to the wife or girlfriend as long as they get to play. As a man, understand that a woman after you may not be after You. It may feel that way but she could be after you as an escape from her own problems, and you are just a pawn in the game shes playing. She’s looking to fill a hole in her heart. The flesh is weak and its more than just carnal desires. Your emotions, your spirit, your thought-life, your wisdom—its all weak. You may be lusting for sex, and she may be lusting for love, affection, and attention.

“To put it bluntly, your flesh is a weasel, a poser, and a selfish pig. And your flesh is not you.”
John Eldredge, Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secret of a Man’s Soul

Respect
Response: Men want to be respected. I’d like to think I respect men. I didn’t always. I have seen the negative effects of women Not respecting their husbands. Running them over with decision making, decisions for the home, decisions for the children and overall their relationship. Men want to know they are THE MAN! Like Maximus in Gladiator. Maximus has the respect of the Ceaser, the army, his family, and later the other slaves. He gains the respect of all who meet him. He has the respect of the Roman crowd. He does not fight for himself but always for others. It is plain to see and that is why he is respected. He values what is Right, and every move he makes shows that. He doesn’t shout Don’t You Know Who I Am?! He respects those around him no matter his circumstance. Women claim to want a man like that, but will not honor him in their average interactions with him.

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Leadership
Response: I hear often that men need to Step Up. Anytime something goes wrong, I’m sure there was a man somewhere sitting down. *sarcasm, kinda* We want men to step up but shut up. Do what I want you to do and don’t say anything while you do it. At one job, we acquired a new Lead. At first, there were mumblings that he was just what we needed, a Man. However, during the first week I heard something to the effect of Yeah, He was tellin everybody what to do. I kept my laughter inside. We wanted a strong male figure, but we don’t want to take directions from him. I almost made it a point to submit to his leadership, I wanted to be an example of a positive male (leader) to female (helper) relationship. There were many times when he had my back and came through for me. I didn’t require he do things my way. He also made it a point to say during my last week, “What will I do without you, Ms. Liana?” I don’t know what kind of praise and recognition others prefer. A simple statement like that proves to me my worth and value.

Failure
Response: Men are expected to perform. Just think, even sexually. If they cant perform in the moment with a woman its the ultimate fail. Even with the Independent Woman syndrome, a woman still holds high expectations for a man. After all a man needs to step up.Take care of his responsibilities.Provide for his family. Pay the bills, put food on the table. Make money. A lot of money. Be father of the year. Be my knight in shining armor. When a crisis arises, a woman looks at a man and says DO SOMETHING. Men are expected to pull money out of air, be Mr. Fix-It, solver of all problems and righter of all wrongs. We expect them to show up, but shut up until we need them. Until the boxes are too heavy, the tire is flat, or the bedroom grows cold.

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Being Enough
Response: Is he enough to make a woman happy? Probably not. I believe now only God can fulfill us. When we look to others to make us happy, they will fail us. I’ve spent many years waiting for a guy to make me happy.Thinking once I’m in a relationship, I’ll be happy. It seems as though when you hit one benchmark, another one surfaces, and another and another. The train to happiness keeps adding stops to the journey. Its seems we’ll never get where we’re trying to go. I can understand wanting your partner to be happy with the choice they made when they chose you. I get it, you don’t want them to regret that they chose you. We all want our partners to be proud to be with us. Not embarrassed.

Racism
Response: For those of us that are not-white, Race is all around us. You always know if there are other people of color in the room, or not. You always analyze the relationships between people and understand if issues of race/color are taking place underneath the surface. As a woman of color, I see how often men of color are effected by racism. Men of color are over-represented in all levels of the criminal justice system. They are under-represented in official roles of leadership. These two truths give way to stereotypes and miscommunication. Men of color are fighting against what the world thinks they are. The overriding messages of what black men are, Latino men are, etc. In Heaven and Hell, there will be no demographics. But the enemy wants us to believe we are forever different from one another. With perceived differences, come injustices, superiority, inferiority, hate crimes, genocide, and more. A man carries a heavy load and race is often times what breaks his back.
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Authenticity
Response: Googling “knowing who you are as a man” is quite disappointing. I decided on a quote:
“The man who views the world at fifty the same as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life.” -Muhammad Ali

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I had the privilege of visiting the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, KY. I learned more about him there than I had ever known. I learned that he took on some controversial views on race and women at one point in his life. He was steadfast in those beliefs at the time. Decades later, he admitted his beliefs had changed and that he hadn’t always treated women how he ought to have. Having gone through four marriages I would think he was the common denominator. Muhammed Ali, born Cassius Clay, was a boxing machine at the age of 12. As a teenage boy, he didn’t eat junk food. He set himself apart from the rest of the crowd early on. Muhammed Ali would not be the legend he is today, had he not decided who he was going to be. Every man must decide who he is going to be as a man. During this time in America, everything was black and white. Muhammed Ali gained respect, notoriety, and fame because he sold everyone on who he was. He was a force to be reckoned with.
“I’m young, I’m handsome, I’m fast, I’m pretty, and cant possible be beat!”
There was no doubt who he was and he didn’t waver even when others didn’t back him up. When his beliefs became too controversial, he stayed true to his beliefs until he decided to change. Even upon changing his beliefs, he was not regarded as fickle, but still a Man.

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A Woman’s Needs
Response: If women got together to write a list of what they need, I’m sure it would be never ending, and there would be constant revisions. As I mature, my list shortens but deepens. I need to know that whomever I choose to be with, will in fact, BE THERE. I need to know that when we approach a crossroads, he will CHOOSE to continue with* me* wherever we may go. That he wont decide I’m just too much trouble and this is where we end. I need to know that we are on the same TEAM, and you will not conspire against me. You will not make me look stupid. That if I’m pulling away, you will come closer, even its uncomfortable for you. That you can be strong enough to hear my doubts and my problems and HELP. I don’t know how well you can always give a woman what she needs, but trying is half the battle.

A Woman’s Perception
Response: Let me quote my friend, ” A woman may want a certain type of man, that she has in her head. And if a guy doesn’t meet that perception then something is wrong with him and he either has to change or he isn’t a “man.” When in fact he could be a good man for you.” I admit I have done this repeatedly in my life. I broke up with my first boyfriend because I realized he didn’t deserve me being disappointed in him all the time. He deserved for someone to love him all the way through; something I could not do or, was not willing to do. I hold the belief that a man should be who you want him to be when you meet him. If hes none of the things you are wanting then that most likely wont change once you get involved. A year later, you will be upset that he never changed. But it will be your fault that you continued against your own standards.

The Scumbag
Response: Why do women choose the scum bags? No girl plays dress up and says “I cant wait to grow up and be disrespected by a man!” I have heard other women’s stories and am amazed at the BS they put up with. He doesn’t have a job or car but he sits around your house all day? You buy him clothes and shoes? He cheats on you? He hits you? Hes rude, demeaning, and patronizing? But if they heard the BS I’ve put up with. We all have our stories so I try not to judge. Our “bottom lines” vary. I know that in the back of my mind, I like to be the Good one. The Good Influence. I may choose to spend time with a guy that is rough around the edges so that I can look good. The same reason I don’t care too much for a white collar man. He looks more important than me. He looks better than me. It is because of my own selfishness, my own self-centeredness that decides I need to look out for myself. That a man cant come through for me so why pretend that there is more out there for me? Its easier to put the blame on a man, then it is to CHANGE yourself.

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And, Scumbag Steve meme just for fun….

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Related Reading:

http://www.girldefined.com/call-manhood-part-2

http://winteryknight.wordpress.com/2010/10/02/why-do-some-women-prefer-jerks-for-boyfriends/

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History

God Made Girls

The CMAS (Country Music Awards) aired the other night and I was excited. I say today without embarrassment that I have a crush on the South and all that comes with it. I’m a devoted fan of the shows Nashville and Hart of Dixie. Darn you Netflix! And yes, country music. I recently was in Louisville (pronounced LooEL-Ville), Kentucky and was shamefully disappointed to not hear much of that Southern-drawl that I was expecting. I’m intrigued of Southern Belles and Cotillions. The rugged exterior of a hard working down to earth Country Man. From the outside, I see some values that could bring me joy. The South may get scoffed at for being down-home-back-woods-Confederate flag waving-Bible Belt wearing-losers of the Civil War by some but not me. I see a rich History, Tradition and Values. Something I have been wanting and didn’t even know it.

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BTW I love music and will reference it throughout my posts. “God Made Girls” is a song on the radio right now and its making a lot of noise. I love it. This song puts a smile on my face and I can’t help but sing along. Had I heard this about 10 years ago, I would have rolled my eyes and given you a blank stare. *blink*blink. I would have corrected you on your use of the word “girl.” What am I 12? Puh-leaze I’m 20! I am a Woman, get it right.

Somebody’s gotta wear a pretty skirt: Excuse me? Why do *I* have to wear a skirt? Because I’m female, I should wear a skirt to get a man’s attention? I’m just here to look good for a man?
Somebody’s gotta wanna hold his hand: Why do I have to hold his hand? Im….wait for it…..INDEPENDENT. I don’t need a man. I don’t need to hold a man’s hand. Anything I want, I can get it myself. I can do it myself.
Somebody’s gotta be the one to cry—Somebody’s gotta let him drive: Oh because I’m female, cry? Because I’m female, I can’t handle my emotions and cry about everything? And ‘gotta let him drive’? So he’s gotta be in control? He just ‘drives’ wherever and I have no say so?

Was this anyone’s inner dialogue while reading these lyrics or listening to the song?
Let’s explore some definitions.

Femininity: the Quality or Nature of the female sex; womanhood; womanliness; pertaining to a woman or girl; Qualities traditionally ascribed to women (sensitivity or gentleness)
Feminism: belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities; the doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men.

These are clearly very different definitions. Which do you prefer? Which sounds better to you? I’m sure you will choose the definition describing feminism and I know why. If you were born within the last 50- 60 years, your socialization since birth has been shaped by feminism. Perhaps, as an infant or toddler, your mother read “The Feminine Mystique” by Betty Friedan. Maybe you grew up hearing about “the pill.” It was illegal even for a married woman to have until 1965 (Griswold v. Connecticut). Seven years later in 1972 in Eisenstad v. Baird, the Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional to prohibit the sale of oral contraceptives to unmarried women. The infamous Roe v. Wade case of 1973 declared it was unconstitutional for states to ban abortion within the first trimester. If you were born in the 80s, 90s, and 2000s then Feminism is the culture. We are groomed to accept Feminism. If we do not support it we are given the same look as your office bigot. Its so politically correct to shout “Equality!” But many of you don’t even know that we are Equal, in the eyes of God. By believing you are not equal, you are subscribing to an agenda which seeks to demean you. Early Feminism meant, I have the Right to NOT be objectified. Now: I have the right to objectify myself because its my CHOICE. Do you see it may be the same words but put them in a different order and it changes our world.

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The First Wave of the Women’s Movement got us the right to vote in 1919. Our ForeMothers, knew they had a lot to offer the society in which they lived. They wanted a voice. A voice to build up a community, not to tear it down. A voice to be taken seriously within their own marriages. Not tear apart their own marriages. A voice to say I should be able to take up hobbies, interests, employment if I choose or if necessary. I can be trusted with responsibilities outside of the home. I respect myself, my family, my community and I asked the same respect from my country.

I look around and listen these days. The women that lived and died never seeing any results, would they be proud of us? Would they look at us in delight with what we have accomplished? We turn our backs on Femininity on our Womanhood. We have become aggressive and critical in our speech. We have become more violent as a demographic. We reject the level on relationship that God gifted us with. We long for a permanent connection yet reject marriage and use men for sex. We, in our own immaturity, have taken on all the traits of men that we deem abusive and undesirable. We model our behavior after men (whom are not perfect). Whom we reject, whom we say we don’t need, whom we call good-for-nothin, lame af and so many other awful labels. We get angry when they don’t stick around. When they “love us” and leave us within the late night hour. When we lay down with them and have their babies, and they still leave. We hate them, yet push and pull, cry and scream, plot and plan for them. This is a result of Feminism. Feminism grooms you from birth like a pedophile grooms a child. It makes you think it is something you want, something that will give you something you don’t already have. God’s Word has taught me the Truth.

Here is who God says I am:
She is worth far more than rubies.
She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
her arms are strong for her tasks.
She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
She is clothed with strength and dignity;
She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue. Proverbs 31:10-31

What about these qualities should I reject? I am worth more than any jewels on earth! I bring the men in my life and my community GOOD. My arms are STRONG for my tasks. I open my arms to the poor and needy. My clothing doesn’t have to be name brand because my clothing is STRENGTH and DIGNITY. I speak wisdom and life into others. What is wrong with this? God gave me gifts, talents, and traits that are of QUALITY and are my NATURE.

We ask men to get in “touch with their feminine side” to exercise sensitivity and gentleness towards us. Yet, we reject those traits in ourselves. To be sensitive and gentle equates weakness. We puff up our chests, and put on a masculine front. I’ve heard women say they have bigger balls than a man, or “suck my d***” or “my d*** is bigger than yours.” They may say these insults just as a manner of speaking but where does this need to posture and be aggressive towards a man come from? When you say these things, you are denying your strength as a woman, you are saying that you do not possess strength. You do not need to perform male adolescent antics and exhibit a skewed concept of masculinity to be validated.

The Kingdom is ours, when we accept Jesus into our hearts and lives. When we submit to Him and all His ways. You don’t need to fight a fight that’s already been won. We are equal. We are feminine and that is not an undesirable identity. It is not the lowest of the low, but is of the Highest. We fuel the War on Eve when we reject our inner workings. What message are we sending to our girls? That because you are a girl you must act like a boy to have worth but deny their hurts when they bury their femininity at the expense of the Feminist agenda that was meant to make them equal so they could be happy? If that was confusing, it is because it is CONFUSING. I prefer to function on logic and when things do not make sense I cannot stand behind them. I cannot vouch for Feminism anymore.

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Related Music: God Made Girls by RaeLynn, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tl1uv6gB4hE

http://en.gravatar.com/that1liana

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