Steve Harvey. Think Like a Man. Ok. We’ll bite. Let’s explore by way of seeing why men and women don’t suck, and why not sucking is so important, and why while poking satirical fun at men and women’s behavior in his new film, Steve Harvey may be poking the wrong direction. We even give you some relevant research and perspective on the subject to aptly provide a glimpse of the quagmire we’ve created in pursuit of understanding whether or not either sex has gotten a raw deal, or just the part of the deal they’re entitled to as different, but equal.
Given how confusing and challenging life is, both men and women can hardly afford to keep hurling verbal and tactical assaults against the other’s fairer gender values. They need to square their excrement away, so that arguments that the media have been churning through lately about the ‘war against women’ or the new men’s movement (the backlash from men) don’t overshadow critical human interests in this next election cycle in the United States.
by Tracy Saville
It goes something like this. She doesn’t get you, she refuses to accept you for who you were when you fell in love, and she has changed into a creature that has a bigger gluteus than you remember. She can’t seem to keep from trying to change you every second of every day, even when you’re asleep. Bet you’d like to avoid driving a seven-inch long steal spike through your forehead the next time she wants to talk about your relationship at 2 o’clock in the morning.
He doesn’t like to be told what’s wrong with him or face his demons any more than you do, especially after 11 o’clock at night. And yet this is a human characteristic we share, a bond: understanding that to chase people late at night into corners is counter-productive. Common sense.
Yet our egos are strong, independent creatures that according to Eckhart Tolle, who wrote one of the quintessential books on “present living” and consciousness (Living in the Now), fight hard to keep the mental stories that we make up about each other in place. We fight and blame and point fingers because it’s easier than checking our own stuff at the door.
Ever give a man a self-help book to better understand who he is? His eyes glaze over and his dyslexia flares up. Ever try and explain to women that men really don’t see the garbage?
The truth is neither sex sucks, and that’s good news. But how do we get to gender peace and respect our differences while also honoring the spirit and intent of equality as human beings?
Let’s start by agreeing that to accept that one person who comes to know and accept him self or her self for who they are, is therefore able to accept others in the same way, will improve the lives of people they touch as a result. This is a good thing for human progress; like a pebble in a pond, the ripple effect of you in the negative drives negative outcomes, therefore, a positive ripple might reap great things upon others who will in turn reap great things into the world.
Men and women need each other. And that is a truth that cannot be changed. People need each other. We are not dependent, but inter-dependent; our lives and society function more efficiently and with higher levels of satisfaction when people work in concert, like using the seven iron club at just the right moment, given to you by your wing man, or knowing precisely when to flop the sirloin for the perfect pink result because someone once taught you how to do that; stuff works when men and women are in harmony and that happens when you accept what is. Some things just are.
Women can choose to work to make their testosterone relationships function at top speed and quality, or they can choose to deny that men are human counter-parts to their functioning lives and end up with a limited existence. Men could choose to continue to believe that women should be driven in intimacy by the same things they are. But there isn’t much merit in chasing things that aren’t true.
Women need to accept that whatever it is they seek from men, they can’t get it unless they fess up to what is unchangeable about you. And you need to do the same for women. Denying what can’t be changed stands in the way of solving other mysteries about each other and bigger problems than your own.
Yes, there are still things about men that mystify us. You still hurt us sometimes and occasionally, downright make us want to wring your necks, or commit other, egregious sins involving knives and your manhood. However, whining about your inherent traits or what you think is lacking in us isn’t going to bring clarity either. Lord knows; we get on your last good nerve from time to time, too.
And I have no idea why some women cling to the hope that by breaking you down, they will unlock the mysteries of your programming, as if by sheer force we can make you give us equal pay or respect, or love as any more than you already do. For starters, we never needed your permission to become rocket scientists or your affirmation that our intellect and relevance is equal to your own. And you don’t need us to bash us over the head with how much you are relevant or needed.
The women I know don’t seek a wealthy husband or complain about breaking a glass ceiling; they seek what men seek – peaceful détente and authentic joy with as little conflict or pain as possible. They want to know how to live and work side-by-side with you because their own wealth and power is at equal risk. They remain confused by what they feel, but they are never confused by what they want, though this changes faster than their hair color.
And as far as glass ceilings are concerned, the winds have changed. Both men and women have access to rocks, glass houses, and law in equal measures, and are impacted equally by the new economy rules of ambiguity, volatility, and chaos at the same rate and intensity.
Changing the Goal
Men and women, in every sphere where they congregate or co-exist, need to take responsibility for what and who they are instead of pointing fingers of blame at each other for what they genetically lack the capacity to become. Studies like the one mentioned below give context for what is common sense if we wake up to that common sense, but really we don’t need research to prove what we each already inherently know to be true: we are different and thank God for that. But respecting and embracing difference doesn’t have to equal inequality.
Believe it or not, women are more like you than you like to admit. We sometimes want our sex and politics down and dirty and get graduate degrees in subjects that we hate and rob of us of our creativity and joy as much as you do. In all things we just prefer a little foreplay before we get down to it.
Because women have a propensity to lie to themselves about their real needs, wants, and desires, just like you, we have a human challenge to solve in getting beyond a culture that relies on irrelevant gender roles to one that relies on human inter-dependence. We have to move beyond the penis, vagina and political party affiliations to get there.
That you have a penis and we have vaginas are important details. But there is so much more to our interaction. When you strip away our skin and masks and look beyond our self-made, societal boundaries, we were made to co-exist. It all can’t be a great cosmic ruse that we are supposed to arrive at peaceful détente.
A powerful woman takes every job she has as seriously as the next guy and hates to be the recording secretaries of her own board of directors as much as they do. It’s only a matter of time before women begin demanding the professional men in their life start meeting them at day spas and learn how to feel powerful when getting a pedicure. It’s hard to make a power play when you can’t hit a golf ball regardless of your gender.
To you guys in between Generation Whatever and your fathers, I know you’re growing up and getting in touch with your inner-child. I also know you need to kick the crap out of that little @$!#% from time to time because you’re sick and tired of all those feelings. You know you can’t actually be responsible for everything, but you do have to clean a toilet or the metaphorical equivalent in your relationships and not act like spoiled little boys when you don’t get what you want in order to get what you want. We are not big on ultimatums, like telling us what to do with our bodies, or else. Then again, neither are you.
Which brings me to our origins; for starters, men are not from Mars. This is such a silly analogy, and one concocted to appeal to somebody’s belief that men can’t handle the truth. You come from the vagina. Everyone knows that. You come from our womb, and we come from your homeland, too. We come from each other. This is sometimes confusing, and yet gives us the fuel to accept how we can achieve gender peace.
We want to give you the comfort you seek because that is our nurturing nature, but we also want you to accept the fact we are not your mothers. We have more than our own vaginas talking in our ears. We don’t always know which one to listen to; the one between our legs or the one living across town who desperately wants us to spend all our waking time over there, playing cards and watching soap operas. Just like you with your fathers.
The truth is you do not hold us back or keep us down; we limit ourselves by listening to the same people in society as you, sometimes, to the men in our lives who have not yet evolved to understand or accept us for our limitations and uniqueness, or who haven’t been given a fair shake because we’ve kept our true selves from you from the start.
So men remember this: women are both the road map to your salvation and the path to your destruction if you choose to reject who they are as they come to you. Women: men are your greatest companion accessories for a more interesting and deeply realized life, but will continue to be your greatest challenge if you can’t see through to giving them the true, authentic you. You are for each other a mirror and a magnifying lens. You are different and equal.
The maps you choose to read and the paths you choose to travel are entirely up to you. If we’re lucky, we’ll find ourselves sharing the road from time to time.
The right shoes make the man. The right man makes life interesting. The right truths can make sanity and joy possible. It isn’t rocket science. It’s human science. We don’t have to kill each other or denigrate each other in the media to make the other wrong in order for each of us to be right.
For more perspective: