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Sunday, August 14, 2011

On Men

As I continue to forge down a path of alienating my sisters, I wanted to write about men. At my church this morning several male members spoke and it got me thinking.

The thing is, I really like men. I like that they're different from women. They think differently, they respond differently, and that is what is so great. It doesn't mean it's without its challenges, but the differences are what make life interesting and rich. Who wants to be with someone just like them?

When I listen to women complain about men - think they're clueless, privileged, unfeeling, thoughtless... whatever the complaint may be, a part of me understands, but another part thinks you can't put everyone - male, female, gay, straight, black, white into a neat little box. All men and all women are not the same.

When I was married I was very much a woman's woman. Having married young, I quickly assumed the traditional role of wife, and soon thereafter, mother, and identified most with women. Now, having been single for many years I have found how much I love spending time talking to men. I love my women friends, but I really enjoy guys.

I have two sons who are young men, and an older brother I'm ridiculously close to. I'm privileged to have wonderful men in my life whom I love and adore. When I talk to them I get a different point of view than I do from other women. I am also given the opportunity to see how they struggle just like women do, but in different ways.

I am glad I am a woman because no one ever told me not to cry, not to feel and to just buck up and "be a man." As a woman I have the privilege of being able to be real and not feel judged for any perceived emotional weaknesses. I am very happy being a woman and would not want the pressures men must feel. Of course, as women we have our own pressures, but we're schooled in sharing, opening up and unburdening ourselves with each other. Men are schooled in keeping it together at all costs, probably part of the reason they have shorter lifespans than women.

Each gender has its own perks and challenges to endure and enjoy. I am betting for the most part most of us would not change teams. The good news is the chasm does seem to be lessening, more and more men are being encouraged to open up and hopefully, women are encouraging and supportive of that. Yes, we're different, but that difference is something I hope we can embrace and relish in, because it's the differences that give life its richness.

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