The other day while at the shops with my kids I bumped into one of the dads with his kids from school, I realised his daughter is in my daughters class and in Kindy so I asked him, “What days did *Sarah* go? I think they went on the same days?”.
He stared at me blankly for a moment before replying as if I’d said something stupid and said “I don’t know that stuff, I don’t know. That my wife’s thing, I work full time…”
Maybe they’re right these women, these men are a bunch of pains in the asses.
This has lead me to having to dig deep and re-assess many of my own ideals.
Some, I understand I might have to let go of because they no longer stand.
One of which is my stance on men and women and their roles in relationships, etc etc.
Because I really wanna know, Is society’s narrative around men accurate, and if so, why doesn’t it sit right with me?
And who’s dang fault is it? and who fixes it?
Are great men a myth?
It has become painfully, yes painfully… clear to me that I could be one of the “lucky” women who feels as though her partner does enough and sometimes more than his share. He can also openly discuss his emotions with me, and our friends and does so frequently. And for the most part, I can always know how he’s feeling, and not by guessing or mind reading but because I ask and he tells and visa versa.
We communicate efficiently. We understand how important this is in a relationship.
I thought many men did this. I thought a good fair amount of men were people like the ones I spend my time with, but then I forget, I don’t spend that much time with other men.
And Shaun forgot that too. So, maybe we’re left standing across from each other like:
“Eh? Whats happening everywhere?” and “Omg, theres some hardcore man-hatin’ goin’ online.”
And so based off of the stories I hear, like any fair human being I am starting to have to question my “non-bias” opinions.
I guess I thought men at our age generally were kind, communicative and empathetic humans despite what they have shown themselves to be.
There are some dark sides to the male gender I can not deny facts.
Every man I have loved, has hurt me. And sometimes it was even those I didn’t..
Even then, and now, I still have faith in men.
I look around me at the current narrative on man and masculinity in the world and I wonder; is Shaun just as rare as all my friends keep telling me he is, and do I live in this weird little bubble where man communicates well, wants to know how you’re feeling and is even able to reply.
And if so, why?
Why me, now?
Why after all this time with nothing but difficult male experiences, am I lucky enough to have this great-rarity of a man?
Especially while so many women struggle with not only the men in their lives but also ones they don’t know.
Am I just Lucky?
I don’t think so and I feel like that gives too much credit to something other than myself for all the work I’ve put in to my life so far, and the first parts of my life, we’re far from lucky.
So, then what is it?
Here are my ideas.
1. Shaun is a freak of nature. (But then he did a lot of work to get here.)
2. The voice of the great man is stifled by the voice of the bad man.
3. Is the reason I no longer have men in my life that treat me in ways that were undesirable and/or horrible is because I no longer allow them to?
Because I after all this time I actually believe I am worthy?
I know this might cause some readers to grimace at the victim shaming but personally, in my experience, this is true for me.
When I look back over the history of my life with men, even those within my family; the men who treated me badly for that period of time, only did so because I kept them around*.
Eventually, after much heart break I would tire of being the victim and remove myself.
When they were gone, so was their shit and the ones who deserved my time, worked for it and are still present in my life today (well done blokes).
It didn’t connect in my earlier years that the men treated me that way because I allowed it to be enough for me, I didn’t know there could be more.
Because the women before me allowed it.
My mother and her mother allowed it.
So I saw it, and knew no different, and allowed it.
And men would not seek to change it…
I had not seen my worth because the women before me, did not stand up for theirs.
If I had not made the realisations about my worth in this world, something I had to do all on my own, it could have been even more likely that my daughter would allow it too.
Generating a cycle for her future generations.
Heres the thing:
Mothers tend to raise well-loved-well-cared after boys, that they, the mother hands over to another woman to carry on raising. How often do we hear of women joking about how their husband is also a kid they care after?
Now that’s not our fault, we didn’t make that problem, but for whatever reason we took that problem on, not realising exactly what we were getting ourselves into.
“So how do we raise our boys to be these great men you speak of?”
I think when raising a good son, we need to look into ourselves first, and make sure we’re okay with who we are.
How do you like to be treated?
How do you demonstrate that behaviour to the other people in your life.
What parts of your own relationship(s) would you feel discomfort to see in your child’s future relationships?
Would you like your son one day to be able to communicate efficiently as an adult with his partner? Listen actively? Speak well? Be thoughtful?
If you would like those things, make sure that you’re able to do the same.
We can not expect our children to model behaviour to us that they aren’t seeing from us themselves.
But I could say the same thing for women.
*(This does not include those of us who were or are being sexually abused as a child etc etc, there are limitations to this idea.)