Today, I came across this video on Facebook. Being my natural, curious self, I had to watch it and then follow it to the website, where I felt inspired enough to back this project. This is a documentary about gender stereotypes; i.e. the ones that are generally forced onto boys.
Over the years, I have discussed the topic of “real men” countless times with my girlfriends and therefore feel, I can speak for most women on this. What do most of us straight women want? We want our best friends with a penis! Yes, we really do! Why do we want that? Because most women bond on an emotional level. We share our pain, our sorrows, our joys, our happiness, our most silly thoughts and we talk for hours about how we feel and what we think. We truly do share anything, from our insecurities (geez, I think I’m too fat; crap, I’m getting wrinkles) to our greatest strengths. Yes, we compare boobs and yes, we share our souls with our best girls. We are not afraid to cry, we are not afraid to feel weak in front of them and we are not afraid to toot our own horn. The thing is, with our friends, we don’t use filters. I don’t ever wonder if my friend will love me less or judge me, because I am going through a low in my life, and I am cutting myself into pieces; enjoying my misery by being negative, weak and sniffly. Of course, my friends know that this is a phase and they know that this is not my default being. My friends know my heart!
When it comes to men, almost all of us women filter. We have learned over the years, that most of them do not take kindly to us when we show weakness. We have learned that their often fragile egos and emotional states make them unpredictable and quite often untrustworthy. We have learned that they cheat, cannot be faithful and need to spread their seed, because they need a constant boost to their ego and because evolution has made them such. We have learned that we become pretty useless, once we pass 40; because there is that ego thing again. We have been taught that men only do seem to have 4 emotions: Hungry, Thirsty, Horny, Sleepy. And therefore, we simply accepted the unspoken rule; you go to your friends with the real stuff and you share the shallow, not so deep stuff with your man (after all, he won’t get it anyway). We have been taught and we have learned things that are often not true at all!
I have met many men who are sensitive and could bond with me almost the same way a woman can. I also know plenty of men who are not cheaters, are super honest and love their wives/girlfriends dearly. Granted, these weren’t the norm and interestingly enough, most of them grew up with sisters, or were raised by a single mom, but they do exist; a lot of them were bullied. I learned that these guys will generally try to hide their sensitive sides. I have observed how often they are crushed by the weight society puts on them by telling them how to look, be and behave. And yes, I have observed women faulting them for not being a douche.
Personally, I spent a lot of time with gay men. When I was a teenager, pretty much all my male friends were gay. I got to spend time with incredibly sensitive and yet fun and good looking guys, who made me the center of their universe. With straight men, I usually had to compete for affection and attention, because they often couldn’t focus on just one person. Naturally, I started avoiding the stereotypical man and his macho attitude; and to this day, I can’t stand them.
Most of us women wished we’d have true partners in crime. We want men that are sensitive, caring and loving. Men who are emotionally available and open; not crippled. We want men who can truly listen (not pretend to do so as they are doing something completely different) and we want men who allow us to be weak, when the proverbial s*** hits the fan. We want men who are strong enough to “protect” us and have our backs, but are sensitive enough so simply hold us when we are sad. We don’t need to be fixed all the time and when we come to you, we don’t always need advice, or a lecture, or uncomfortable silence.
I wished more parents would raise their boys to be real men. Real men – with heart, soul, mind, integrity, honesty and decency, who are not afraid to feel with us. I think we need more projects like this documentary. I think the world needs more real men. And when I think of all the douche bags I did encounter, I can honestly say that they weren’t real men, but insecure, mean, heartless little boys with a inferiority complex. Just like the women, who treat sensitive men bad, manipulate them and cheat on them, are usually nothing more but insecure, spoiled and heartless girls.
I am glad to know quite a few real men!