It is sad how many women who want to get married and have children actually don't like men.
I wrote an entire post on this subject, and it depressed me so much, I erased the whole thing.
But it is an important subject, so I will try again. I may have to resort to a list.
1. Not all men are the same. Some men grow up in toxic, anti-female cultures, and some do not.
2. Of the men who grow up in toxic, anti-female cultures, not all of them sign up for it. My youngest brother, for example, was dead sick of hearing locker room talk at his (notoriously anti-female) all-male high school by the time he graduated. He once told me he bragged to male colleagues at work about his smart, ambitious sisters.
3. Some men who grow up in female-positive cultures nevertheless become virulently anti-woman. They say things like, "A woman's place is in the kitchen, and if you find her in some other room, the chain is too long." What psychic wounds create an attitude like that I cannot even begin to imagine.
4. If you don't like the men around you, go away. Meet entirely different kinds of men.
5. Try to be kind to the men who are sincerely kind to you, to avoid the men who are rotten to you, and to cultivate the intelligence to distinguish between them.
6. Men in your favourite books are not like men in life for the following reasons:
a) those books were written before 1963
b) those books were written about a social class of men different from the you know best interacting with a social class of women different from the one you are in (and before 1963)
c) those books were very often written about men from a country different from the one you and the men you know were born in (and before 1963)
d) those books were written by professional liars for whom ordinary life (even before 1963) was so painful, they lost themselves in dreams.
Jane Austen never married. Louisa May Alcott never married. Lucy Maud Montgomery was miserable in her marriage and, we now know, committed suicide. About Georgette Heyer, we know precious little, as she was darned sure to keep it that way.
7. If you really do not like men as they are -- real live human beings beyond the control of your imagination -- as cranky, happy, silly, serious, imperfect, sinful and saintly as women are--then give up hoping to marry them and have their children. If you live in a country where women are considered less than dogs and horses, you have my abject sympathy and all I can do is suggest you try to emigrate somewhere else. But if you live in a country where you are pretty sure, in your heart of hearts, most or many men value women as companions, colleagues and fellow citizens, then put away your romance novels and get to know some, not as potential husbands, but as themselves.
I read an L. M. Montgomery bio a few years ago and it served as a (probably needed) corrective to some of the romanticism I'd acquired by reading and rereading her novels over the years. I still love (and read) her books, but I view them much differently now.(However, as I recall, it's not crystal clear she committed suicide--it's certainly possible, though.) Agatha Christie is another writer whose romanticism in her books is in contrast to her own personal life.ReplyDelete
Sigh. What does one do when one lives in a decent country, but one's own family creates their own little virulently anti-female culture in their own home? Out of whole cloth? And your brothers have no qualms about screaming in their mother's face and using ridiculous-sounding sexist slurs against their sisters?ReplyDelete
That's really messed up. I'm an imaginative person, but even I cannot imagine my father and brothers behaving that way. Well, I would say, A. move out ASAP, B. go to therapy if you find the past interfering with your present C. remember that this was a weird and wrong situation, not the norm.Delete
Thanks for no. 5, Seraphic. I wish I had followed that earlier. Also, I think "never" got left out, as Louisa May Alcott never married.ReplyDelete
Laika, sorry your family is like that. The best I can say with very little information is to study hard so you can get a good job and get away from that environment. It's not easy, but it can be done.
Quite right. I have fixed it.Delete
Laika, that sucks.ReplyDelete
I really like most of the men who I know. I know some...troubling ones, but they're easy to avoid.
These days women are definitely prone to using Hollywood as a mental blueprint for any sort of romantic relationship. Look at how many women love "The Notebook"! That film, to me, is seriously worrying. The only thing I can appreciate about it is the 1940s setting (cool clothes, cars and music.)