Go into any bookstore, better yet, just look on Instagram or Facebook, and I can pretty much guarantee that you will come across information on how to act more like a lady, and what you need to do to find, get, and keep a man. As was pointed out yesterday, a lot of this sage wisdom typically comes from men. We are part of a generation where a good half of the relationship books are written by men. Hallowed manuals on how to be a great catch that become bestsellers. Why? Because we have a penchant for consuming the thoughts, ideas and directives of men.
Granted, one could argue that who better than a man to give us women some guidance as it pertains to dating men? But I happen to have a very big issue with this.
We live in a world where women are consistently being told what to do, how to be and live by men, and I for one am not a fan. In doing some research, I’ve been hard-pressed to find pointed books or advice columns on being a better man, written by men. I often ask my friends in relationships with good guys why their men don’t drop some knowledge for the rest of the guys out here. I truly don’t believe that men talk to one another and counsel one another unless one has found himself in a bad situation. So why is it that you’re able to watch your friend mistreat his partner and not say anything? Your friend could be engaged in an extramarital affair, yet you don’t admonish him? How do you sit back and comfortably watch someone hurt someone else?
I asked a few friends about this, some married, engaged, and single. Even a single father. The general consensus among most of them was that “You can’t tell another man what to do.” But my response was “Why not?” Who better than your fellow man to counsel you on how to behave better or carry yourself in a more positive way?
For instance, I asked my married friend about hypothetically calling out a friend who was having an affair. He felt that unless he was asked for advice, he should say nothing.
MN: Is this a man code thing?
Married Friend: “I guess, but then if you’re religious or something, you may say something. But most men would let that grown a– man make grown a– decisions.”
I deferred to two friends who are engaged and the response was pretty consistent. Something along the lines of the aforementioned “You can’t tell another adult man what to do.” Losing a bit of hope, I asked a single friend and his feelings on the matter were quite different. When asked about a hypothetical situation, say, another man crudely hollering at a woman in public, he said he’d step in, especially if it was overt harassment and he felt like the woman couldn’t handle herself.
MN: Even if she could handle herself, you wouldn’t step in?
Single Friend: “There is no bro code on a guy being crude. Courtesy matters most, for me. I can’t speak for other guys, but I know I see and handle things differently than most.”
MN: What about the argument that you cant tell a grown man how to act?
Single Friend: “No, you can. Honestly, to me its just an excuse guys use to avoid confrontation and also to shirk responsibility for bad behavior around them.”
I get it. I’m realistic about the fact that you cannot be Captain Valiant in every situation, more so with strangers. But I do question why men don’t counsel the friends they hold dear. Why is there this aversion to calling out bad behavior, not publicly, but even just privately? If at least every good guy counseled another on behaving and doing better, specifically when it comes to the things they put the women in their life through, it would probably go a long way.
But what do I know? I’m just a woman who needs to be told by men what I need to be doing to make my relationship last–like I’m the only person in it…
How do you guys feel? Should guys talk more to one another about being better for us? Are you a man who speaks honestly to your friends? If you don’t, why not?