Recently, a comment swayed my thinking about love and sex towards a different direction. “I don’t have bad men stories to tell,” was the comment I made, which might be defined as “I don’t have man-hate.” For sure I do have some really bad stories to tell that have involved a man. I have been that one in four statistics often quoted; it was a relative and I was a mere three when it began. In my younger years it did shape some perceptions of trust but bad things happen to all of us. It really is what we do with the bad that truly shapes us.
When I began my research on men and love I discovered (it was easy) that many of us hate men. Really hate men; and we love to hate men. Sure, we find one here and there we exempt from the man-hate rule. We brand them different, exceptional or worthy for some reason. “He’s not like the rest of them,” I heard my girlfriend tell me.
Man bashing is a sport. I have spent a lot of time around women and a lot of time they get on the male bashing rant. I remember many years ago the conversation in college that turned to the bad sex we had experienced with men and dialogue went on to the about the strangeness, uniqueness of their body parts or techniques. This poor guy Rob was discussed by two of the women. He was my Physics study partner and every time I looked at him in the face I could only think about the fact his penis turned to the left and he had one testicle. Okay- that might be funny but here is the real point- How often do men get together and degrade vaginas? Tell me if you are a guy out there and you and your buddies have sat around degrading and discussing the bad sex you’ve had. And it’s not all about sex. I’ve been privy to all the faults of men for my 25 year history as a therapist. In couples therapy I hear it all, what a louse he is, his sexual follies, fetishes, hygiene habits but when I meet this guy he only mutters “I don’t know what is going on.” Nothing about fat ass that say in my chair the hour before. Men have a really difficult time ranting about us. And God forbid they do- I cannot image a male college professor entering a class and talking about women and the power tactics they use.
But we are entitled to do this. Yes! Somehow our enslavement has given us a sort of permission to sling the mud right back and in a way, we are set up for us to do this. We can hate men politically and historically for enslaving us and taking away our freedoms. Show me a time in history where women were on equal footing, when double standards did not exist—yes there are a handful of examples out there, but it’s child-sized. I’ve had women heckle me—yell out in lecture centers, “ female circumcision…rape…divorce laws….” Yes I agree. They also kill us! Murder us! I have a theory about why men have done this, why some men do this and why society and social forces were culpable. It might be a strange idea but I believe that men love women far more than women may realize. Controlling women is the cultural or societal method to do so- bind them in marriages they can’t leave, sew their vagina’s shut, stone them for adultery. What religion is not guilty of setting up rules to make women obey men? Yeah, I know we’ve come a long way. But really, women are second class citizens in most of the faith realms.
Aside for culture, religion and history, on a personal level men will go to great lengths for their love objects; they take the physically most demanding jobs, they take the riskiest jobs, they die on the job ten times more than women do, and engage in the most dangerous activities to support their families or women in their lives. And they die much earlier than we do. My poor father-in-law built his own house out of wood crates, worked 60 hours a week as a meat cutter to support his 10 children and dropped dead days after he retired. Yes, my poor mother-in-law was delegated to her role of cooking, cleaning, making him happy and reading her bible which told her to never complain.
I know I’m getting philosophical on you. but I want you to think of all the things we have come to associated with mans’ hate and control a little differently—It is driven by fear of abandonment or the fear of losing the object of love. Men might love us so much they enslave us, and sometimes themselves in the process. And there is evidence in the brain and the neurochemical make up- but that will have to wait.
What do you think?