"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment" -Ralph Waldo Emerson
14 March 2008
A plea from a Man's Woman...
"You're a man's woman. You hate women and they hate you." - Kramer to Elaine on Seinfeld
Okay - so maybe "hate" is too strong of a word. I don't hate women. I don't think they actually "hate" me either - more like "tolerate" me... Men are just so much easier to hang out with. They are usually more relaxed, and less concerned about how fat my ass looks in a pair of jeans or what I must have said to myself to make me think my hair looks okay on a day when clearly it looks like hell. I have always found it easier to be my genuine self in the company of men. Women generally find me too crass, too outspoken. I usually feel like I have to walk on eggshells in the company of women. I suspect most men feel that way too. It isn't relaxing and it damn sure isn't "fun".
As women we could learn a lot from men, if we could just put aside our smug sense of self-satisfaction long enough to really watch how they interact. You will never, for instance, hear a man hang up the phone after talking to a friend say "I wonder what he meant by that?". Guess why? Because his friend probably said something like "Hey. You wanna give me hand with some drywall on Saturday" to which he probably said "sure" and that was the end of that conversation. Nothing to read into other than the unspoken agreement that beer would follow said drywall manipulation.
As women, we KNOW that women usually have something else on their mind. Some hidden agenda. They want something else of us, expect it and heaven help us if we don't figure out what it is. Who has time for that? This is just one example of why it is easier to spend time with men. (Unless of course you expect them to read into what you are saying.) There are different rules in the man-universe. If you want to hang there, you have to follow them and understand that they are operating under the same assumption. Here are the rules... are you ready? 1) Say what you mean. 2) Mean what you say. That's it.
I have a few female friends. They are a rare breed. They are not demanding. They "get" me. They don't expect me to be sweet and demure. They understand that I have a tendency to put my foot in my mouth. They seem to understand that I am not a very good girlfriend. Sure - I like girl things. I like a pedicure just like any other red-blooded American girl. I like to shop - a little - probably less than the average woman. I care about how I look. But at the end of the day, I would rather hang out with the guys, relaxing, shooting the shit and not afraid of a good dirty joke now and then and yes, I still find fart noises mildly amusing.
So what? You may ask. Who cares? In truth, no one should. But some have a problem with the idea that men and women can be friends. Usually it is wives or girlfriends of the men with whom I am friendly. Now look... Here is the thing. I HAVE a man. I actually have a pretty damn fantastic man - what in the name of heaven would I want with YOURS??? You would think that grown women would be secure enough in themselves to not fret about their husband having a woman friend... maybe they think it can't be done - perhaps they have seen "When Harry Met Sally" too many times and actually buy into that antiquated crap about men and women not being able to be friends...
WAKE UP SISTAHS!!!!
Our friends at Psychology Today tell us ""The belief that men and women can't be friends comes from another era in which women were at home and men were in the workplace, and the only way they could get together was for romance," explained Linda Sapadin, a psychologist in Valley Stream, New York. "Now they work together and share sports interests and socialize together." This cultural shift has encouraged psychologists, sociologists and communications experts to put forth a new message: Though it may be tricky, men and women can successfully become close friends. What's more, there are good reasons for them to do so."
I write this on behalf of all man's-woman women (MW Women). Everyone has to ease up about this whole issue. Some of us just enjoy the company of men. That is never going to change. Does it mean we are out to accumulate a collection like you might collect plates? No. It most certainly does not.
Most of us already have a man. We don't want (or need) another. One is plenty. Some of us may not have one, that sure doesn't mean we want yours either. We just like to hang with the guys. We want to talk about cars or sports at the party, not spend our time whispering catty back-stabbing nuggets of gossip about the other gals or exchanging corn-bread recipes. Relax. And remember: MW Women are NOT out to get your man. We are just friends. Got it? Good. Now - let's move on...