Today's topic resulted from just such an occasion. I'll have to be careful, because everything I am about to write is going to get not only potentially identifying (I am going to disguise it as best I can) but also more or less everything in this article is going to be... playfully offensive. If this is the first article you've ever read on our site, you may want to re-think that choice, because today is not a think piece. Still, I don't think you necessarily read this site as a self-help book and if you do, I am going to recommend you stop. Most of our content is a third grade reading level and third graders do not make good therapists.
Now that we've set the mood, let's discuss the epidemic to which I am referring. There are some people who might say the ladies I run with are a bunch of "Wild Whahinis", meaning, they are a little bit louder... and a whole lot wilder than other ladies you may encounter on your travels; however, I would beg to differ. Modern women are no wallflowers, we can't be, we're up against too much. Sit around waiting for someone to come rescue you, care for you, buy you flowers and sweep you off your feet and honey, you'll starve. Yet, with our manning up, may have come an un-intended consequence and that is the wimping down of the guys.
I started thinking about this when I was talking to a girlfriend who we will call The Raven Maven for now and who recently dumped her dude after she bought her first house. She was explaining to me that he had terrible credit and they were living in an apartment with only her name on the lease. She bought the house entirely in her name and before they moved, she explained to him that part of the deal was, he needed to start paying her his rent on time, without her asking for it every month and start cleaning up his credit. She wanted money for bills without begging for it and just generally wanted him to get his shit together. She told him they'd been together for three years and if they were ever going to get married, she wanted to equalize the playing field. Dude flipped out because that was too much pressure. Basically, he told her "no", that would never happen and she could fuck off for asking him. He told her that she'd belittled him in numerous ways for "chastising" him.
"What the fuck? It's like they want you to be the woman and the man." She confided. "They want you to take care of them, bring home the money and just allow them to basically be lazy slobs, yet you also need to be this delicate princess and how dare you pressure them to do anything! He acted like I was totally emasculating him for asking him to pay bills on time and bringing up marriage. Dude! I am responsible for everything! If you want to be treated like a man, then act like a fucking man!"
This set off my radar. She was right, it was everywhere. We were being forced to play both roles all the time. They were definitely making us toughen up... but, were they really getting wimpier? Maybe we were just butting heads because of the increased expectation for women to behave like men?
"YES! They are so much wimpier than they used to be!" screamed Pilar. "I blame their mothers."
"Their mothers baby the shit out of them and then they become completely incompetent. When they meet real women out in the real world, they are incapable of handling us or treating us well or taking care of themselves. Saraswati, these dudes are chicks. WE are more dudely than these dudes. We are more dudely in every way. We drink like dudes, we fuck like dudes, we swear like dudes, we work like dudes, we joke like dudes and the dudes don't do anything like dudes except have penises."
Hm. It got worse from there, but I'll spare you.
Ever since that conversation, I've taken note of the interactions between me and my girlfriends and I have to admit... we're a lot like dudes. I would say we are a lot like dudes but without the sports, except that I've noticed recently a lot of the chicks in my group are even into sports. I know several who had March Madness brackets this year. In fact... the more I paid attention, the more we started to look like dudes and the more the dudes started to look... kind of like chicks.
Recently, I spent some time with a single (guy) friend from out of town. When he was highly intoxicated, he confessed to me that he is in love with me and that he wanted to start a relationship. This surprised me very much. Now, I have known him for a long time and although I love him dearly (like a brother), this is not something I want. We were standing outside my very favorite "watering hole" and he was inebriated, but I was not. He was sitting on a low brick wall and I was standing in front of him. After his confession, I let him down as gently as I possibly could, but he still didn't take it well. By "didn't take it well" I mean he burst into tears. My girlfriends, who were also sitting on said wall, watched as I held and rocked him, while he wept in my arms. He swears he does not recall this happening, but I don't know if you can forget something like that.
Another friend was sleeping with a guy just for fun, who started sort of skirting her because he didn't feel "emotionally ready" to sleep with anyone. She explained she just wanted to have fun and wasn't looking for anything more. He explained that he likes her, but is still too hurt from the last girl who broke his heart.
Is there something in the water?
Yet another girlfriend just had her ex-boyfriend come crawling back after many months. She dreamt of this while they were apart but is now ambivalent. He is begging for another chance, but she's sort of turned off. Why? Because he's acting like a mess. I asked her why she wasn't certain about wanting him back. Her reply? "I did, until he started acting like such a chick."
I discussed this one evening with the Creole (see former articles). He's a dapper and polite young man and I trust his opinion.
"Women are just too aggressive these days," he opined. "They won't even allow a man to BE a man. I want to be able to feel like a man, you know? I want to feel like I have a chance to take care of the woman I am with."
"Okay, well what does that mean?" I asked. "Would you want to be with a woman who did not have an education? Or let me ask you this, would you want to be with a woman who stayed home and didn't work? Would you want to support a woman?"
"Well no. I would want her to work."
"Well, because I wouldn't want someone to just live off of me and not work, I would want them to contribute, I just wouldn't want them to make more than me or be more powerful than me."
Oh... right. So... it' our fault? For... being... good... at... things?
It reminds me of that Suicidal Tendencies song, "Institutionalized" with the lyrics, "Wait, what are you talking about, WE decided!? MY best interests?! How do you know what MY best interest is? How can you say what MY best interest is? What are you trying to say, I'M crazy? When I went to YOUR schools, I went to YOUR churches, I went to YOUR institutional learning facilities?! So how can you say I'M crazy?"
It's like telling us that to get by, we have to be more and more aggressive to compete on an equal playing field, but then telling us we've emasculated you by being overly aggressive and now you refuse to treat us with respect anyway. We went to your schools, we went to your churches, we tried to be more like you... but now we're crazy?
There is a guy I know from the business world, whose father I have known for many, many years. I think this guy is a total dip shit, but he follows me around at business shit like a puppy. He is another one of my "science experiments" because apparently, no matter how mean I am to him, he will still ask me out and pay attention to me. That is ridiculously stupid and he really needs a lesson in self respect, but I almost can't help but be icy to him just to see how he'll react. About five weeks or so ago, he was sending me drunk texts in the middle of the night. He wanted me to come over and "snuggle". I am not an idiot, I know what that meant and I know he intended to do more than "snuggle". A) Why he thought this was okay seeing as the only thing I have ever done is go out for one drink with him is BEYOND ME and if I see him again I will be sure to be extra mean to him, but B) What kind of man asks for a "booty call" (I hate that term) with the word "snuggle"?
Take my ex-husband for example. I am not about to bash him, because he reads this and we're friends now, but he is a moron. He manages a lot of people, but sometimes I wonder how he makes it to and from work every day without getting lost. When we moved out of our house, I moved out first and there was a lot of garbage between the two of us. He decided to just accumulate it on the front porch and throw it all away at once so he wouldn't have to make several trips. He started putting the regular garbage there too, including the kitchen garbage.. for like, two weeks. One night, skunks tore through all the garbage, scattered it everywhere, sprayed the whole front porch and peed everywhere. Now, we had an enormous pile of stinking skunk garbage, which he did not want to clean up. If you are all so goddamn brilliant... where was he on THAT ONE, may I ask?
These dudes are chicks, man. We are more dudely than these dudes.
There are more examples... even better examples, but all of those people read this site and there wasn't any way for me to adequately disguise the stories (believe me, I tried). I already got busted once, but it was by a relative stranger so I didn't care too much. In retrospect I wonder sometimes if I should have maintained more anonymity myself, so I could have shared more without inciting a lynch mob.
I guess I'll just have to save those stories for the book of short stories I've been working on. Awww, don't get upset at the thought of that; what's the matter guys, panties in a bunch?