All Articles Tagged "men vs. women"
“You can’t wear the pants and the skirt too,” my guy friend said to me one day during one of our routine conversations. “Why?” I asked, half jokingly, half serious.
Most guys that I’ve dated have told me that I have a dominant personality. I am not afraid to speak up or stand up for myself and not too quick to back down either. This was something I was proud of and wore like a badge of honor, until recently.
I will admit, I am a borderline feminist and strongly believe in women being independent. We should be able to pay our own bills, travel alone if we have to, enjoy life and feel complete sans a man; but over the years I’ve realized that even the independent woman knows that at times it’s okay to not be so independent, especially in a relationship.
My guy friend often jokes with me. He says, “If a guy wants someone to wear the pants, he may as well date another man.” Maybe that holds some truth, maybe not (I’m still trying to decide if it even makes sense); but I don’t believe that any secure man wants a ‘yes-girl’, like Vanessa Bell Calloway’s character in Coming to America (whatever you like). So, where does the independent woman find the balance of not losing herself while still pleasing her man? As with any relationship it comes with compromise, something that a super-independent girl, like myself, finds somewhat difficult.
Submit. Wow. Six letters, one word, that seem to degrade all that an independent woman stands for. At least that’s how I used to feel; but as I’ve matured, the word doesn’t seem like a death sentence but surprisingly somewhat inviting. Maybe I’m tired of being so independent that I am secretly looking for an outlet or maybe I’ve learned that there is a level of independence in submitting. I would like to think it’s the latter.
It almost seems like a contradiction to use independence and submitting in the same sentence; but hear me out. To submit means to yield or surrender; it doesn’t suggest that you’re yielding or surrendering forever. And to yield doesn’t necessarily mean you’re compromising your morals or even your independence. I like to think that it means picking your battles wisely. In many ways, men submit to women as well. It only holds a negative connotation to some of us super-independent women when we’re asked to do so.
Maybe it’s the word submit that rubs many of us the wrong way; but I’d like to think of it as simply compromising. Let’s face it, men and women are different; and certain things that matter to men don’t matter as much to women and vice versa. While all men are different, in relationships many of them possess many of the same traits when it comes to ‘wearing the pants.’
No man, or really any person for that matter, wants to feel as if they have no say-so or control in a situation. And with men especially, it’s a big thing. So while I don’t ever think I’ll be able to constantly cater to a man’s ego, or feel that I should have to, I’m learning how to let a man ‘wear the pants’; and so far my relationships have been so much better.
I don’t think it’s my level of independence that caused trouble in many of my past relationships. In fact, I think most of the men were drawn to it. I’m convinced the issue was my inability or unwillingness to occasionally submit. I once thought that showing any sign of vulnerability or giving in to a man meant I was throwing away my independent-girl-card. Now, I’m happy to know that it doesn’t. And while it’s still a struggle to be the sometimes, submissive girl who remains self-sufficient, I’m realizing it can be done. I may not know exactly how to do it, but slowly but surely this independent girl is learning.
This is a man’s world!
James was wailing passionately. My dad, like most men with soul, is a James Brown fan. And he was putting me on to some of his classics this day during one of our many road trips. Immediately, my junior feminist radar kicked in. This is a man’s world?! Then as if James knew I didn’t hear him the firs time, he hollered it again.
This is a man’s world!
That was it! I bolted up in the backseat as I said, politely, yet with authority, “I don’t think I like this song.” My dad smiled, a knowing and prideful smile and said, “Keep listening baby.” And that’s when James brought it home.
“But it wouldn’t be nothing, without a woman or a girl.”
I know that’s right James! I nodded in acceptance and understanding as I sat back and settled into the groove.
From an early age, though society was hellbent on telling me otherwise, I always knew it was a great honor to be a girl and later a woman. While boys and men were constantly boasting about their physical strength and superior intelligence; I always had an inkling and then an assurance, that it was all a farce. That really, at the end of the day, men weren’t all that much better than women. In fact, they weren’t better at all.
Men may have been able to lift things and complete other physical tasks; but a woman’s strength was emotional, psychological and in many instances practical.
My sophomore year of college, a bill came back from my University saying that I owed some thousands of dollars. I showed the letter to my parents but they couldn’t help me. They didn’t have it. I’ll never forget the difference in the way my father handled the situation and the way my mother handled it. My dad, whether out of embarrassment or frustration, kind of shut down and pretended like it wasn’t happening. While my mom was the one who talked to me about how I should go about collecting financial aid from other places. That’s when I learned that what they say about men and their need to problem solve is true. My dad couldn’t provide the solution to my problem; and instead of directing me to someone or something that could, it was better for his pride to pretend like it wasn’t happening. That was the day my mother told me that while both of them would always be there to support me and do what they could; at the end of the day, there were certain things I just had to make happen for myself. There are certain things men cannot do for you, even if that man is your father.
All of our lives as girls and eventually women, we’re told to be seen and not heard. Keep your mouth shut. You talk too much. There’s always someone who wants to silence you, whether that person is in the world or in your own family, men and women alike. At around 10 years old, annoyed with me and my sister’s constant giggles, my grandfather told us, rather sternly, “Be quiet, you know you all laugh too much!” For a minute I thought to be embarrassed, ashamed or offended; but then I remembered my grandmother telling me that laughing was both good exercise and good medicine, so instead I just laughed at the ridiculousness of his comment and kept it moving. My sister followed suit. There’s no such thing as laughing too much.
And there’s no such thing as crying too much either. I’ll never understand why men, and subsequently women, get so freaked out by tears and the act of crying. Remember how Hillary’s tears made front page news in 2008? Instead of recognizing her tears as a sign of passion for her country, many took it to mean she was incapable of running it. Tears are not a sign of weakness. They’re physical evidence of a strength of feeling, conviction or passion.
So I’m talking to this guy and he’s in my ear, going on about “hey, you’re so beautiful” and “I really like you” and “Why are you laughing? I’m serious.”
Because I don’t believe you. You need more people.
I try not to think all men are dogs but deep down inside, I do think all men are dogs. Right now, I’m trying to decide if I should work on changing that perception or if I should just accept it as truth?
I know that is a big statement. Some may think it is ugly and self-defeatist. Some don’t even want to read anymore and have already gone to the comment section to express your contempt for a selfish writer – and all her grammatical errors. But this is the raw, uncut truth. And this is how I feel.
To clarify, when I say all men are dogs, I mean I don’t trust anything they say or do. As far as I am concerned, men lie. They also cheat and steal too. Some of them are cowards and some of them are sick abusers, who get off on the emotional manipulation and exploitation of women. The statistics in regards to sexual assault as well as spousal abuse and murder back that claim up. And if you are not careful, a man can drive you crazy.
Simply put, they certainly don’t deserve the platform we put – or once ever put – them on. Not enough to write books about them, seek out advice on how to get them, fight over and get all emotionally distraught about them. Generally speaking, men kind of suck and when you start to think about it, why do we even care about them at all?
Yes, I know, perhaps it is me that is in need of changing? I mean, if all men are dogs than what does that make you? Well, I like to think of myself as a realist. If I could clock the amount of time I’ve spent over the years “fixing” myself, I could claim it on my taxes as a full time job. I question myself and my choices daily. Evaluating and reevaluating myself, trying to find out exactly that one particular magic flaw about me that I could fix and make my relationships with men a lot easier. But even after all that work, all those changes you’ve gone through, it still don’t work. Men still act doggish. So then I began to think: Maybe it’s not just me; maybe it’s them too.
Okay, so this is just the jaded opinion of one woman. Everybody doesn’t have the same experience. That’s true. But it is not just my various situations, which I’ve have drawn my conclusion from. I’m talking about my mother, my grandmother, girlfriends, girl cousins, aunties and even perfect strangers. I have heard of some really awful tales of men doing some truly awful things to women. And there does seem to be a general consensus that on average, “Men ain’t –ish.” I mean, if it was just the experiences of others, I might be willing to brush it off, but we all can’t be wrong?
I tell myself not to feel these things. Think of the men in my own family, like my brothers, uncles and dad? They are not bad guys. True, but they also have their own stuff with them too. It is not just a matter of if they are good guys but also acknowledging that nobody is perfect – not even men. And since men are not perfect beings, then damn it, why would I stress myself about them?
I truly hope I am not coming off as bitter and mean but I don’t care about what men think or what they want or what they like. I don’t care what they do anymore. What has really caring what they thought got me before? Not much but hurt feelings and bruised egos. I’m over feeling that way. And I’m so over questioning myself. I’m over changing and rearranging. I’m just going to do what I think will make me happy.
Does that mean I have giving up on men? Heck No! I love men – despite all of their doggish ways. I love the way they look, I love the way they smell and I especially love the way they feel. It just means that I have no expectations. And as such, I am not taking anything they say seriously. And because I don’t take it serious, I’m not taking it personally. It’s not me, it’s them.
Who knows? Maybe this is just a bitter woman phase. Maybe I’ll recognize the error of my ways and I’ll feel differently in future. Maybe some good dude will come along and make me change my mind. Heck it could be that dude, who was spitting game at me. If it is, I’m not going to just take his word for it. For all I know, he could be telling me anything. He – and anybody else – is going to have to show me more than that to make me a believer.
Patrice: When does a man KNOW you are “the one”?
DY: I know Steve Harvey’s homespun saccharinness catches quite a bit a flack from people like me, and I’ve written jokingly critical things about him in the past. But, although I haven’t read either of his books, I came across a quote from one a few months ago that I happen to strongly agree with.
To paraphrase, if a man is in love, he proclaims (isn’t afraid to let everyone know), professes (tells her), and protects (is willing to do whatever is necessary to protect and provide for her). I’d add “does whatever he can to spend time around that person” to the list, and I honestly don’t think a man is truly in love unless he’s compelled to do each of those four things.
Angela: I have a friend that says black alpha males are not genetically built to be monogamous. What are your thoughts on this matter?
DY: Yes, monogamy may be unnatural. You know what else is? Wearing clothes. And inventing the internet. And driving a car. And using a microwave to heat your food. And drinking store bought lemonade. Point? We (humans) do a ton of “unnatural” Shyte because we have the ability to reason and create — qualities separating us from the rest of the animal kingdom. Now, if a man doesn’t believe that monogamy is for him, fine. Knock yourself out. But unless he doesn’t do any other unnatural Shyte, the “monogamy is unnatural so I do it” argument is a cop out.
Last night, inspired by the first crush story, I was talking to this guy about his first crush. He shared a cute story about being infatuated with some child actress before asking me about mine. I was too ready to share. My first crush was a boy named Alex. He was a fourth grader I’d spotted in the hallway one day. Though he was two years my senior, (I was a second grader at the time), it was infatuation at first sight. The boy was gorgeous. After weeks of practically breaking my neck to catch a glance at him, I decided to share my crush with one of my closest confidantes: my grandmother.
“Grandma, there’s this boy at school named Alex and he is sooo cute.”
Immediately, I could tell that she wasn’t going to share my excitement. She frowned, her lip curled, transforming her face into a mixture of concern and disgust. And that’s when I learned my first lesson about men…
Rochelle: Why do men entice games with women and when we don’t respond to it, get all mad?
D.Y: No one likes to be ignored. Well, no one outside of the woman who will eventually marry Tyler Perry
There is virtually no way you could have avoided all the promotion for the upcoming movie, “Magic Mike.” It’s everywhere. There was that performance where the movie’s star, Channing Tatum, twerked on Elton John, there are the online campaigns, the commercials and now, the day-time tv interviews. (Did you catch True Blood cutie, Joe Manganiello side humping NBC’s Ann Curry?) They really want you to check out these fine men taking off their clothes. But I have to wonder if the movie’s creators, producers etc., realize that male strippers aren’t always that appealing to the fairer sex? Discussing the movie this morning, one of my coworkers expressed her sincerest, most passionate disgust for male strippers. I agreed. Male strippers just don’t do it for me. But I had to ask myself why. Why can’t some women get into the waggling wang? I gave it some thought and here’s what I came up with…
As women, it seems like sometimes our lives are dictated by a set of rules that we just have to adhere to. There are some rules that people flake on (wearing white after Labor Day) or the ones that some women follow religiously (like the man should be the one to pay for everything on a date). Well, as times are a-changing. It’s my opinion (meaning that you can take this info or leave it) that some rules are meant to be broken… or at least amended.
P.S. Get ready to click, and don’t act like you don’t like it. We all know that you secretly do!
In 2012, I believe in gender roles. Yes that supposedly archaic sensibility that says in a relationship the man has his place and the woman has her place. A balance of power should be constructed because there is no such thing as the ‘50-50 relationship.’ There’s a rotating 40-60 sometimes swinging up to 25-75 rotation, but someone always has to take the lead. It’s more a matter of constructing personal gender roles, allowing the man to be the man and the woman to be the woman without diminishing the rights and character of the other.
Which leads to this. As part of my belief in gender roles, I don’t believe as a woman, in approaching men. I’ve done it and occasionally still do it. But I never do it with the anticipation that a genuine relationship will spring forth from this encounter. While other folks have discussed and may feel the contrary, I find that women approaching men skews the balance of the relationship and while there are exemptions to every rule, for the most part this just doesn’t work out. Living in New York City or any city with a large population of Kappas or metrosexual men, you will encounter the ‘come hither’ attitude where the men expect to be approached & chased after with an overflowing pool of educated career women to choose from, The men in turn have to do very little to court. The road to the panties, is a two step street where the second date equals a bang bang boogie. I’m not jumping into the chasing game where I’m always second guessing if a dude is really interested in me because I approached him first or wondering if he just thinks that this will be an easy ‘smash’ so he’s down for the ride.
Dating is a game. There’s no way to avoid the game. I have tried. In the context of a relationship, women oft have more to lose as we are the more emotionally vulnerable, susceptible to STDs/STIs, are expected to swallow, and have to deal with gestation + popping a whole human being out our nether region. The least a man can do is let you know that he is interested by approaching. Not just dealing with me cause I conveniently fell into his lap.
I have approached men with nothing more then “I just wanted to say hello,” y’all negroes don’t know what to do with yourselves 98% of the time when women do that. I already know your brain signals are screaming “DTF!” and other sexual pejoratives, but y’all need at least 10 seconds to get your faces together cause it’s written all over it. Approaching men, is a personal pet peeve of gender roles. So allow me to list a few others that need nearly not as much explanation. Things that as the woman, though I am totally capable of doing in the context of a relationship will be not being due. You can be the head and I’ll be the neck, let me control the movement.
2. Working the Grill.
I’ll prep and season all the meats in the world, but when it comes to working or “manning” the grill, I ain’t doing it. I definitely know how to light, work and clean a grill, but if there are men standing around, they need to get to it. There’s no intelligent justification to this other than it just is the way it is. And is one of the requirements for any man I marry, he needs to know how to properly work that grill. Daddy Jouelzy can put you on.
3. Defending the Household.
I’m a lover not a fighter with a very big and loud mouth. But when it comes down to it, the man should diffuse or defend the situation. That’s why it’s important not to wife birds, cause then you’ll be in constant trouble, having to defend them. But in all seriousness, this can be the ultimate demise of a relationship. Even if your wife/girlfriend isn’t right, you should have enough stature to step in and diffuse the situation. Ain’t nothing worst then being out with a man, someone accosts you or some irreverent ratchet *ish breaks out and he jumps & runs away without taking you with him. It’s called being a punk.
4. Walking on the outside
Cause it’s all cute and chivalrous. The small things…the small things.
5. Paying for the FIRST date.
Y’all knew it was it coming. Yes, I usually have the expectation that the first three dates are on him. And if I really like him, I’ll cover the tip. But that’s also something that can change depending on circumstances, however the first planned date should be on him. Even if it’s just going for margarita’s at Chipotle, cheap dates can be great dates if played right.
So now that we can all accept that on some level we all feed into gender roles, what are some that you abide by or expect your mate to abide by?
More on Madame Noire!
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When it comes to maintaining our sexual health, the odds are already stacked against us just for being female. STIs can cause a lot of complication in anyone’s life, but for women especially, STIs can cause complications and irreversible damage that simply just won’t occur in the lives of our male counterparts. Take a look at the list below for several facts that give women a disadvantage when it comes to practicing safe sex: