All Articles Tagged "men and women"
For two years women have made up the majority of the country’s workforce. Women also hold most managerial positions. Chaka Khan’s girl power lyrics may be in need of an update. We are every woman (and man); it’s all in us. But where does all this empowerment leave our men? What happens to relationships when men are underperforming women in the prized role of breadwinner?
We’re not talking about deadbeat dads, or lazy mama’s boys who refuse to get a job (we don’t want them anyway). We’re talking about good men who are trying their best, but can’t catch a break in this economy. In 2012, men’s workforce participation rate – working age men who are either working or looking for work – fell to its lowest point on record (since 1948).
The Value of Work In Relationships
Relationship consultant and author Robert E. Hall writes for The Huffington Post:
Relationships are often the first major casualty for the unemployed or even the underemployed. We underestimate the value of work when we view it just in economic terms. Work is much more than the value customers receive or the pay workers collect for producing products and services…Work contributes to essential relationships that yield crucial psychic income. And as the structure of work changes, so do our relationships and our society.
While women’s place in society has progressed, many hold on to traditional views of men and relationships. Picking up the check is liberating at first, but the privilege wears off after a couple of months. Coming home from work to find your man sitting on the couch can elicit resentful feelings, regardless of how many jobs he applied for while you were out. We demand that men change how they view us, but women also need to change how they view men including the value his paycheck adds to his worth.
Beyonce Was Right…
Kathryn Edin, a sociologist who spent five years talking with low-income mothers in Philadelphia, believes the family dynamics of low-income neighborhoods ruled by matriarchies will spread to the whole country. Men, unable to provide steady income or meet women’s expectations, are at risk of becoming obsolete in the lives of women who make all the decisions for their family.
The future of business with its emphasis on relationships and transformative coaching managerial style seems geared toward women. In 2010, for every two men who got a college degree, three women did the same.
Men who are having trouble finding employment, or an income that matches their partner’s are a symptom of a quickly approaching future. It’s a relationship dynamic women will need to learn to deal with as well. Couples counselors, as well as couples who have successfully weathered unemployment, offer these tips:
Keep an open mind. Your partner securing a 9-to-5 position with a salary that matches your own may not be the answer to your relationship woes, or even feasible for your partner. Encourage (and celebrate) them finding temporary and alternative sources of employment, or looking for a position in another area.
Know where you stand financially and adjust your lifestyle accordingly. Once your partner is out of work, there’s no use in wishing for that two-income relationship life or pressuring your significant other to keep up with that lifestyle. Deal with reality. Identify what expenses can be cut and make boosting your savings and paying off debt a priority.
Communicate, but don’t interrogate. Talking is the best way to deal with any issue in your relationship. Be cognizant of the right time and type of communication your partner prefers. Instead of forcing your mate to give a daily recount of every job they apply to, set aside regular meetings where your partner can share their progress and you can brainstorm ideas together.
Don’t forget to have fun and count your blessings. Put the focus on what is right in your relationship. Keep the romance alive with low and no-cost date nights. Boost your partner’s morale by reminding them what their strengths and accomplishments are. Research shows a spouse’s attitude towards job hunting strongly influences the mental state of the unemployed mate.
C. Cleveland covers professional development topics and entrepreneurial rebels who blaze their own career paths. She explores these stories and more on The Red Read, Twitter (@CleveInTheCity) and Facebook (/MyReadIsRed).
You can try to categorize some behaviors as female and others as male, but really, it all depends on whose perspective you’re viewing it from. When it comes down to it, we’re all human,we tend to be driven by the same things, and we have the same insecurities, frustrations and desires. The difference is we express them in more “male” or “female” ways, but often we are guilty of the exact same behavior we criticize, we just don’t notice it because it looks different. In all of these ways, most couples are hypocritical and do not practice what they preach.
A man and woman are sitting to dinner on their first date. He’s chosen a gorgeous restaurant and has an amazing smile. She looks absolutely fly in her new little black dress and he’s told her so once or twice already. SCORE! Flirtatious small talk has ranged from his athleticism to her impossibly deep dimples. Surface stuff? Yes. But it’s setting a cool, comfortable atmosphere and both parties are feeling each other.
Then comes the “Kiss of Death” question which SHOULD allow both people to assess where the friendship/relationship has the potential to go (or not) but more often than not it leads to even thicker masks being painted on.
“So… what do you look for/like in a man/woman?”
Time after time this one seemingly harmless question changes a person’s demeanor and behavior unbeknownst to them.
He says he enjoys women who have a good head on their shoulders, give great conversation, have eclectic taste in music, work out and are into football. As he speaks she’s working her way down her self-check list, mentally checking things off with a smile until the “works out” and “is into football” leaves his lips.
What the what? She’s naturally petite, doesn’t do much more than Pilates and rarely watches football, aside from movies that have something to do with the sport. She hates football. But she doesn’t want to lose this awesome guy. Quick! What does she say?
“I’m really getting into football lately! Go Steelers!” Then she pulls any and every football tidbit she’s ever heard her brothers talk about and tries to arrange them all in a semi-literate way, praying he doesn’t ask too many questions until she can get home and Google everything she can on the sport.
Or the other way around, he asks what she looks for in a man and she gushes about men who enjoy traveling and know their way around the kitchen. He freaks. What can he cook? A bowl of cereal. But what does he say, mesmerized by the gorgeous smile of this woman sitting before him?
“Yeah, I enjoy watching the Food Network to get ideas for new recipes.”
“Oh, you cook?” She asks him with eyes bright.
“I’m somethin’ like a black Emeril Lagasse,” he brags, as he frantically makes a mental note to ask his sister for cooking advice.
We have all done it at some point. So focused on maintaining the interest of the person in front of us that we throw complete honesty out the window. We want to impress. We want to be wanted because, well, we want them; Feigning interest in things we could really care less about and pretending to be pros with things we are total failures at or have never even tried. Then, IF a relationship materializes, we wonder why things start to unravel sooner than later.
I don’t suggest baring your soul from the first conversation, but it is important to remember who you are and to be honest about it from the jump. We forget that some aspects of what we find attractive in others often morph and grow and change as we grow and experience life.
You would be surprised at how often my open disdain for things has created a larger air of interest on behalf of the guy. Instead of shying away because we didn’t share one or two of the same interests, it was now his opportunity to teach me something which could turn itself into a successful second or third date, and who knows after that?
Nowadays I try to avoid asking such a cornered question as “What do you like in a man/woman?” Instead, I just engage. I engage in conversation about any range of topics. I engage in small silly behaviors like singing off-key to a favorite song. I engage in being me in front of him and honestly, even if a relationship never materializes, more often than not, I’ve had some great dates and secured awesome friends. I would rather be my random self than to try to stuff myself into an uncomfortable mold. Because, let’s be honest, many men have no real clue what they “like” until they meet her. Forget what he “likes.” Be you. Whether a relationship materializes or not, he’ll respect it and you’ll know that you’re being appreciated for what YOU actually bring to the table.
La Truly is a late-blooming Aries whose writing is powered by a lifetime of anecdotal proof that awkward can transform to awesome and fear can cast its crown before courage. La seeks to encourage thought, discussion and change among young women. Her blog: www.hersoulinc.com and Twitter: @AshleyLaTruly.
Men are always saying women talk too much. They don’t really mean it: they love us. When it comes to the basics—our career, our feelings, our wellbeing—the good guys do want to know. So where does the notion that women talk too much come from? This.
“Should you defend your woman’s honor?” Yes.
The question is simple; the answer is complex, which is why it comes up all the time. Many of us have had friends, male and female, ask for advice on some variation of the following story, “X disrespectful man did Y and my man failed to do 1,2,3. How should I feel about that? Am I with someone who can’t or won’t defend me?”
Honestly, half the problem is that men and women don’t define disrespect in the same way. If they did, at least 75 percent of these discussions would be null and void. Let’s be clear, if someone disrespects your woman, they are disrespecting you too because you should feel that you are an extended representation of each other. But, if I’m walking down the street with you and some random guy yells, “You have a nice A$$!” Is that a compliment or a diss? Is he being disrespectful or simultaneously complementing her nice A$$ and my taste in nice-A$$ having women? In some major cities, there might even be a bit of confusion around if he is talking about your A$$ or mine. But, I digress.
It is no secret that, generally speaking, men are more disrespectful towards women than ever. Increasingly, the level of disrespect is tolerated, which encourages more disrespect and creates ever-greater disrespectful men. At what point does the disrespect cross the line and need to be addressed?
Is it a comment on Facebook? An off-hand remark on Twitter? Should you attack the first man or woman that, as you perceive it, disrespects your woman as Swizz Beats did last week on Instagram? Whether you agree or disagree with his methods, there is no doubt that Swizz tried to defend his woman’s honor. However, he was negatively judged for doing so by many online observers. Despite the fact that more women wish men would defend their honor, many did not agree with the way Swizz went about defending his. What did he do wrong?
Is disrespect ‘OK’ as long as it is limited to the confines of the Internet? What happens when these people leave the safety found in e-anonymity and take their disrespect into the real world? Are you only responsible for defending your woman’s honor as opposed to all women’s honor?
By Sheena Bryant
Can We Reverse The Sexual Revolution? Please.
As the first quarter of 2012 wraps up, I find myself reflecting on the yearʼs progress thus far and I am reminded of the bizarre way this year started for me. While at a friendʼs house ringing in this new year with other young professionals, I had a rather disturbing encounter with one of the other partygoers. He was obviously enjoying the libations a bit more than perhaps he should have. Heʼd ventured too far into my personal space on a couple of occasions already that night and he continued to throw glances my way that hinted at the fact that he was not directing wholesome thoughts toward me.
After some time, he walked over calmly and said simply, “I really want to f**k you.” Without hesitation, he proceeded to pull money out of his pocket and asked, “Will this interest you?” When I told him that it certainly would not, he decided the best course of action would be to up the ante, and to do so again until he figured heʼd reach an amount that would yield a yes. He went as high as the money in his pocket would allow and assured that what wasn’t in his pocket, was definitely in the bank. I remained calm as I told him that his actions were extremely disrespectful and that he should stop talking, immediately, and walk away, swiftly.
Men say crazy things to me all of the time, but what struck me most about the encounter with this man is how comfortable he was with treating me like a prostitute. There was no awkwardness or embarrassment present in his speech; he spoke with ease. We live in a society where sex is everywhere. It is in the images we view on television; itʼs in the lyrics of the music we consume daily; itʼs plastered throughout advertisements for the food we eat to the products we buy. Sex is no longer this intimate thing secretly confined in the boudoirs of lovers. It is so prevalent that men deem it appropriate to proposition women in small gatherings of friends apparently.
It is clear that few people continue to revere sex as something sacred to be shared between two people who love or at least really care for each other. It is completely permissible to engage in casual sex with people who aren’t quite lovers and are quite nary friends. Itʼs totally fine to discuss oneʼs sexcapades in public. Itʼs common behavior to laud men for their perceived sexual prowess and to applaud women who are in control of their sexuality and are liberated in the bedroom. It is certain; we no longer live in a sexually repressed society, and this progress can be looked at in both a good and bad way. The way men and women handle each other these days suggests that all we are to each other is cu**s and co**s.
There are undoubtedly some great things that have come from the liberation that the sexual revolution brought about. But since then, weʼve gone too far left of right. When Iʼm treated like a hooker at a friendʼs house, I canʼt help but ponder—in an age when it is so acceptable to publicly reduce men and women to objects of sexual pleasure (by both men and women alike)—how do we work our way back to something more decent?
While everybody seems to be in the business of selling sex, perhaps we should be having more candid conversations about its return policy. I’m just saying.
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My best friend likes this guy that she works with but she can’t manage to muster up the courage to even say hello to him. Meanwhile, another man, who she’s totally not feeling is all up in her face but she has no problems cordially communicating with him.
Aarggh! So frustrating, right? This one story represents so many situations. When it comes to men, we have no problem talking to the one we can’t stand but struggle to mutter a simple greeting to the ones we’d really like to get to know.
If you’re a woman like this, check out these tips and tricks to learning how to talk to men at Your Tango.com.
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From Your Tango.com.
Men tell us what they love about women (and it includes our jiggly parts!).
So what do men love about women, really? We asked a handful of men what elicits lust, love and everything in between. What we received was an eclectic mixture of womanly charms—some we knew, some we didn’t—that cause even the most rugged of men to utter “I Love You.”
Find out why they love us. Some of these may surprise you. Check it out at Your Tango.com.
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As much as men say they can’t read women and we’re so hard to understand, I often find myself feeling the same way about them. Case in point: a really nice guy who I just met, a new friend of my family, and probably twice my age, asked for my number. And while some might be flattered, I have no interest in this guy like that whatsoever. He’s damn near my uncle’s age and well…like I said, I have no interest in the guy like that. Ever since that incident, I’ve literally been ducking and dodging him, as the things he says to me and ways he gazes at me (since he’s around a lot now) gives me the hee-bee jebees.
Seriously, if there was ever any proof that this is a man’s world, it would be the lack of display of full frontal male nudity we see in movies. Women have been appearing without their clothes in film practically since film was invented. In fact, these days it’s easier to keep track of the actresses that don’t get butt-naked than the ones who do. Whether female characters are running away from monsters in the woods, jet-setting around the world as tough, A$$-kicking spies, or canoodling with a leading man, there is always a reason – even if it is illogical – for a woman to bare it all in modern cinema. But with exception of a few films – mostly on the foreign front, the male version of T&A rarely makes it into movies. Be it another indication of our sexually repressed culture or a reflection on the fact that most directors in Hollywood are men, when it comes to full frontal nudity in movies, we have no love for the slong.
And I am not the only one who has taken notice of this gender-specific phenomenon. Recently Shadow and Act reviewed Steve McQueen’s’ sex-laden drama Shame, which received a NC-17 rating from the Motion Picture Association of America. They offered their own theory about why the film received such a harsh rating: “…But after watching Shame earlier today, fully expecting to be thrown into some kind of a tizzy over the shock and awe perversity on display, I walked out wondering what the hell the hullabaloo was all about. And then it hit me; of course… we see penis; that pleasure/pain external male organ sometimes used in copulation, to transfer semen to the female; and other times use to expel urine from the body.”
I haven’t seen the film yet so I can’t say for sure if this is the reason however it wouldn’t surprise me. According to IMDB, the list of Best Female Frontal Nudity in Film and Television completely dwarfs the numbers of the Best Male Frontal Nudity in Film and Television. And not surprisingly, most of those films featuring full frontal male nudity are from foreign directors, where full frontal nudity is rather mundane and natural (i.e. people changing clothes, getting out of the shower, or both men and women not covering their bodies after sex.). In French cinema, the human form in all its bare glory is so common that it has becomes nothing special, which is basically the whole point.
However American cinema is a different, more abnormal beast all together. In fact, it wasn’t until a naked Jan-Michael Vincent bared it all in the 1974 film “Buster and Billie” that Americans got a glimpse of a phallic in a mainstream movie. But in the three decades since then, scenes with full-frontal male nudity in American mainstream films usually appear in brief glimpses including the scene of Richard Gere in American Gigolo (1980), Bruce Willis in “Color of Night,(1984)” Kevin Bacon in 1998’s “Wild Things” and Geoffrey Rush in 2000’s “Quills.” In short, if you blink, you might miss it. The only other time a penis has gotten significant amounts of air time is when the penis is part of a gag in films like Bruno, the Hangover and Forgetting Sarah Marshall.
The easy answer is that this is still a male-dominated business, and men, who consider themselves heterosexual or at least appealing to an assumed largely male heterosexual audience, are more likely to show female nudity. Likewise, because we live in a homophobic and sexist society, no man wants to be accused of being gay for looking at another man’s penis. However there may be some less obvious explanations for why a penis in films is such a cultural taboo.
In general, men have a hard time accepting their penises, as demonstrated in the intriguing 2007 televised UK documentary, My Penis and Everyone Else’s. Despite the outward boasting and joking nature that many men engage in when discussing the male phallic, secretly there are millions, if not billions of men, all across this globe, who are right now worrying about what they have dangling between their legs. Is it long enough? Is it wide enough? Does it hang too far to the left? In short, many fear they don’t measure up. How else would you explain the rather fruitful penis enlargement industry and the success of Magnum condoms, when many men should trade down? Their secret insecurity is often fueled by the obsession we women have with large penises. Hello, we even have songs, which ridicule men, who can’t quite measure up to our anaconda expectations.
The prevalence of Adult Videos, which is usually targeted to men, too has also played a part in the creation of this anxiety as many men, who may compare their own members through a completely distorted lens. Of course, the average penis size in the U.S. falls anywhere between 5 to is 5.9 inches. However America is a melting pot. And in our global places of origins, the penis size falls in various ranges from 3.8 inches in South Korea to all the way up to an enormous 7.1 inches in the Congo. Lord. Have. Mercy. But because of this anxiety, they feel the need to hide the viewing of penises so that women – and of course other men for whom they feel competitiveness with – wouldn’t have anything to compare and contrast.
The thing about sexism is that its victims are not necessarily gender specific. In a male dominated culture in which the value of a man is reduced to two things: his wallet and his member, you could sort of understand how if penises just started appearing just as regularly female body parts and vagina on screen, men may develop a level of body image neurosis women have experienced. However, it might not be such a bad thing to lower the flag pole, pun intended, and have man be reduced to the position that women have always been reduced to. How else can we expect to bring about equality if we still shun and cover our eyes from the last remaining symbol of patriarchy? Plus, I just want to see Idris Elba naked.