Peter Thomas and Why Men Should Stay Out Of Women’s Business

March 25, 2014  |  

Bravo

 

I’m all in favor of breaking barriers and gender norms for the sake of a more free, just and egalitarian society. However, if I am allowed to preserve one single gender-specific standard, it is the time honored tradition of men staying out of Women’s Business.

And yes, I’m talking about Peter Thomas from the “Real Housewives of Atlanta,” who, according to much of the show’s fanbase and many of his fellow cast members, has become the first male to rise in the ranks. Peter has gone from the purse-holder, who stands with the rest of the family in the background during the show’s opening theme song, to a front and center peach-holder. This is a historic moment for several reasons; however most notably, is that Thomas’ rise has managed to eclipse even the most obvious choices of male peach holders including Miss Lawrence and Derek J. However, true fans of the show will dully note that unlike the other hopefuls of coveted peach, Thomas has been grinding tirelessly to bring drama more than any other man or woman, gay or straight, in the history of the franchise.

According to Reality Tea, it is an achievement, which Thomas is very proud of. He tweeted to his followers:

The fact is that now the men on the show have a voice, one million more people watching the show than last year,that equal $$$$$ #holdontothat.”

But not everyone is happy about this momentous occasion. NeNe Leakes, the matriarch of the series, and her househusband Triple Dawg OG Greg, had to check the sassy-mouthed Lady Lupeetah about involving himself, once again, in the middle of Housewife business. (Ahem… the business of the actual check-getting cast members.) After Greg confronted Peter about checking NeNe for her inappropriate behavior, Leakes decided  it was time to bite Thomas’ peach and send him packing, back to the background of opening theme sequence.

Leakes tells him in part: “You need to stay out of women business. You are causing problems. You are the only husband…who gets involved in women’s business…You need to stop trying to roll with the women. You need to stay outta women’s business. You need to stop trying to be a damn b!tch.”

Calling Thomas the b-word is pretty harsh; however the frustration behind having to defend yourself against a man, who likes to interject himself into every nook and cranny of “women’s business,” is well understood. It’s like dealing with my dad, who during my teen years used to try to chide me for having menstrual cramps. According to dear ole’ Dad, cramps weren’t due to contractions in the uterus, but rather the result of eating cheese. More specifically, the piece of pizza I was eating at the time I was complaining about having cramps. That was his entire theory. I love my dad to death but even he must be directed to cop a squat in a chair somewhere away from me, from time to time.

Or the time, not too long ago, when I had to deflect some male ear-hustling while at an event with one of my girlfriends. I just happened to be in the middle of talking sh*t about a personal matter that was getting under my skin, when I heard an awfully throaty and masculine giggle. I turned my head and saw this paperboy-cap wearing dude, staring and smiling. My girlfriend and I smiled awkwardly but politely at his intrusion and turned our backs towards him, hoping that he would take a casual hint to beat it. However, this women’s business prying man, walked in between us and started offering unsolicited advice about how I should handle this personal matter.

Now, some folks might think all of this is the harmless prodding of a somewhat helpful stranger however it happens enough that it gets annoying. Not to mention that among some people, it can also be a red flag that someone might have some control issues. Take for instance, Thomas, who in addition to to being the nosiest of househusbands, he is also one of the most demanding, especially in terms of his wife Cynthia. If it’s not the uncompromising beef and relationships with her family, then he is ragging on Cynthia about her weight and asking for an apartment on the side. While Thomas might not be outright abusive, it is certainly clear that not much gets said and done around that household without Peter’s once-over and expressed consent first.

Even more dangerously is the much discussed War on Women, which has produced legislative and rhetorical attacks on women and women’s rights in this country. In addition to attacking old favorites like contraception and funding for abortion and Planned Parenthood, these “women’s business”-prying fellas have also enacted medically unnecessary procedures like ultrasounds to discourage abortions and have tried to redefine rape and sexual assault to make it – as some might argue – more favorable to the perpetrators of said crimes

What should be clear by the extremes, which some fellas have gone to, is that we are not yet in the egalitarian society, which allows for the free expression of everyone’s rights and autonomy. As such, those who are denied those rights should be allowed to shape their affairs without the unwelcome input of the privileged – whether it be the important issue of woman’s reproductive rights or the petty ratchet television “housewife” drama too. As such, sometimes – hell most times –  it becomes perfectly reasonable to tell men to stay out of women’s business.

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