Women and Men…probably part one.

Posted: November 6, 2009 in Humans

You know, there is often talk out in the world out there about what quantifies being a real man or a real woman. I’ve heard plenty of it, from “real women are built like…(usually not me) to “real men don’t…” (cry, complain, whatever)….and sometimes I just shake my head at a lot of it.  I have my preferences in peoples behavior, but you know- men or women- I just tend to respect that sort of stuff out of humans and hate other kinds of stuff out of humans.  I have had a few of my female friends say that I am hard to be friends with because whilst they are spilling their guts about their life problems, often crying with tissue in hand and everything- I am listening, but in that stoic just listening way- not in a “oh I hear you sister, I know just how that is!” Kind of way.  This is a quality that is seen as weird in women by some, and very admirable in men by some.  Shrug- it’s just the way I tend to roll in such scenarios.  Sure, I can rant with the best of them, but 99% of the time if someone asks me how my day was, even if my day was shit I say “fine”, because I am not real big on dumping my shit on other people.  And true enough, I do like men who act like…well…men.  Call it too much Steve McQueen as a kid, but I like “manly men”- Not so much into the overly metrosexual or sensitive dudes.  If I wanted people who would cry along with me or help me drown my sorrows in chocolate and wine and give me fashion tips-  I would be around more women.  Then again, I do not cry that much or like chocolate that much anyway.  I have one- exactly one- male friend who is very emotional and pretty much every negative stereotype people associate with women: needy, emotive, dramatic, physically delicate, overly concerned with his weight and fashion and appearance, touchy feekie…he drives me nuts.  If I take someone out on their birthday to steak house and they order a side salad and a diet coke, especially a man someone, this is likely to make me think lesser of them- I don’t know why, it just does.  (unless they are a vegan or something- then they should get the big salad, dammit.)

But yeah, there are things I like in people- male or female- qualities I admire.  And yes, I do think men and women ARE different.  Its not about equal or unequal, but I do think men and women are different- the majority anyway.  Different parts, different hormone things going on…they are different.  However, there are just qualities I admire:

Strength- and I don’t mean physical strength here although that does not hurt.  I mean people who have seen some shit, face their fair (or more) of adversity and do not crack- or if they do, it is a very temporary thing.  I deal so much better with angry about something than broken. Give me a hard stance, a defiant set of shoulders and attitude and a yell to in the corner weeping any day of the week.  And granted, women are told they are not supposed to be this way- but somehow there are those who manage to be anyway- and this is a quality I admire. And this is not to say people have to be rocks all the time- but it is nice to know when shit does get insane, there are people you can lean on until you get your own granite back…and it is nice to know that if and when the time comes, you can do the same for them or others.  Sometimes being the stoic person who just listens is not a goddamn flaw, for men or women. 

Loyalty; Oh gods this is a big, big one with me.  If one is lucky in life, they find a few people whom they have an “I will go to the gates of hell with or for you” kind of bond.  It transcends almost everything- personal differences, political differences, biological differences, good and bad deed, good and bad times.  I do not take those kinds of bonds lightly.  I loathe fair weather friends and backstabbers.  I have serious trust issues with other humans, so when I feel that sense of loyalty with another person- I take it very, very seriously.  “Real” humans do not sell each other out.

Honesty;  Pretty basic. I do not like people who lie to me. 

But as for women and men, together, in that het sort of way…I am not so sure I buy into “roles”.  I think people playing to one anothers strengths and helping on their  weaknesses is good. I don’t care who makes more money.  I don’t think men have any more responsibility to get shit done than women do.  I think getting shit done should be a focus- not matter what the shit is- for both parties.  If that means he pulls double shifts and she does all the laundry and such, so be it.  If it means she pulls double shifts and he does all the laundry, so be it.  However that works best for any given couple.  At the same time though, I think a lot of men expect that they are the ones who have to be strong all the time- and while I can respect that as a personal choice or belief- I don’t work that way.  If I am gonna sit on someones couch and drink their beer and rant about the injustice of it all (or on rare occasions, cry on their shoulder)…I feel they should get the same consideration from me. 

But I will also add, for right now anyway (this is gonna be an on going free flowing sort of thing), I see nothing wrong with and hold no ill will towards people who look at the whole deal from a traditional stance- that there are defined roles for men and women and are happy in that arangement- so long as they do not shove that on anyone else, I have ZERO problem with that.  If it works for them and they are happy, its none of my concern or business and I am in no place to judge.  I know women who are in such arrangements and are happy as can be- same goes for their men folk.  And if they are happy- I say good for them. 

More later, maybe. 

Oh, and I totally have no issue whatsoever with a man holding a door open for a woman. 


  1. rootietoot says:

    There’s the matter of how we (as men and women) cope. In a crisis, I knuckle under and deal with it, until it’s over. Then I fall apart and go all girlish. My husband deals with it, then retreats with bourbon and a cigar, and some electronic escapism. I have to live the crisis over and over until I’m bored, he has to just leave it behind. I don’t know if it’s a gender thing or simply a personal thing.

    Strength has so many forms. It can be Strong and Silent, or it can be knowing what the other person needs in the form of chocolate and tissues. I think where so many people make mistakes is in forgetting there’s a spectrum of behavior, and we all fall somewhere on that. There’s not a right/wrong dichotomy…it just is what it is. It’s easy for me to forget sometimes that someone doesn’t always need tissues (like I do).

    I like roles, because I like things clearly defined. I live a role, because I want to. I also enjoy relating to people who defy roles…it’s like salt on my food. What really pisses me off is when people get their nose in my role, and start calling me names…you know how *that* feels!

    • Ren says:

      True that, Rootie.

      If there is one thing that pisses me off, it is when “homemaker” is derided. I am sorry, but anyone who keeps a house, does all that goes with it, and takes care of kids and does all that stuff….It Is Work. More importantly, it is Important work, and not enough credit is given to the people who do it. The world has enough lawyers…good moms and the like are far more rare.

  2. rootietoot says:

    oh and if you want to see me pissed off…be a man and *don’t* hold the door open.

  3. Roy Kay says:

    >And this is not to say people have to be rocks all the time- but it is nice to know when shit does get insane, there are people you can lean on until you get your own granite back…and it is nice to know that if and when the time comes, you can do the same for them or others.

    This is to my POV one of the finest, and in it’s own way tenderest, sentiments I’ve seen you express. Aid anchored in respect and not pity. I wish this was the norm everywhere.

  4. hmm that “too much steve mcqueen as a kid” comment seems familiar ;p

  5. I also think you are a lot like me Ren, where you hold your life to a certain principle and in turn you expect people who take advantage of that principle to return it regardless of sex/gender/hatever

    unfortunately, most don’t do they?

  6. sybil disobedience says:

    Weird. Where I live most of the women I know are like this. We aren’t delicate little creatures, we watch sports, we drink beer and hang with dudes when we feel like it. No one finds us weird, or strange or odd for being female and having “male” traits, we’re just normal women. In my neck of the woods at least, you and women like you aren’t considered rare. Just average.

  7. sybil disobedience says:

    * you and women like us I should ammend. We’re just average women. Nothing unique or exceptional about it.

  8. Lisa KS says:

    Hmm…the door dynamic. It can actually turn into a really tricky pain in the ass if you are female and you work, say, on a construction site or on a manufacturing floor. Like so:

    A large number of the men who work in these milieus come from solidly blue-collar backgrounds, and were frequently raised with the imperative of opening doors and/or lifting large heavy objects for any female around. However, when the female’s job is to open the doors or lift the large heavy objects–ie, she is getting paid specificallly to do these things (among others, of course, but they are explicitly part of her job) both the men and she are thrown into a conundrum, especially if they like her. Because one way that men from this background are comfortable expressing to women that they like her (in a nice, positive, comradely way) is to practice traditional chivalric behaviors at her. But she is well aware that she is being paid to open doors and lift heavy objects and if she shirks this, even though it is being shirked without her volition, she feels like she is unfairly getting over and possibly also tarnishing the image of women working in these kinds of manual jobs in general. However, she is ALSO aware of the stereotype of the Angry Don’tYouDareOpenThatDoor/LiftThatHeavyObject Hairyleggedfeministyeti and does not want to fulfill that either–and ALSO, she likes these men in a comradely fashion as well and wants to let them express their liking in a way that is comfortable for them too.

    So basically, I always try to sneak through the door without anyone looking and run for the heavy object, lift it and put it where it goes before anyone notices. When this fails, I profusely thank whoever it is doing the opening and lifting and actively look for an opportunity to do the same for him in a situation where he can’t stop me–though I have to be careful with the lifting for him part, it must be done in such a way as to make it clear I am IN NO WAY IMPUGNING his ability to lift heavy objects….

    Such complications. 😀

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