2.13.2008

I want my men manly

Why do I see so many women treat men as their furry, cute pets to take home, to take care of, and to train?

A few years ago a few men I knew wanted to hop on the knitting trend. My respect for them dropped even as they boasted that they were getting in touch with their feminine side. I'm not sure knitting really achieves that.

I think some men actually believe they are winning brownie points with women when they show their "sensitive" side. The reality is though, you're making yourself into the sidekick friend who will stay just that... a friend. If the men want to stay just friends, that's fine with me. If you're interested in having a girlfriend that may become a future spouse however, cease and desist all such behavior. Just say no.

A few weeks ago I entered a fellowship party that seemed pretty happening when I arrived. Some women said, "Peggy! Look at the guys' nails!" Sure enough, some of the men had allowed themselves to get their nails painted. Some had cute designs, some had multi-colored nails. The ladies had fun doing this, but it reminds me of trying to get my dog to roll over. As the men showed me their nails, they seemed really proud of themselves as if they had pleased their master. The looks on their faces said look what I was able to do!

If you ask the ladies whether or not they imagine their future boyfriend or husbands having painted nails, the answer would be decidedly no. I don't know of any woman who dreams of their future marriage and imagines themselves sitting side by side with their husbands... knitting.

Bryan loves the movie Tears of the Sun with Bruce Willis. Once I came home to him watching it and he warned me that the best part was coming up. As I anticipated the "best" part, I enjoyed a 5 minute scene that involved everything being blown up. I looked over to Bryan and his face was filled with excitement as he exclaimed, "Yes! Yeah!"

I will never understand the thrill of watching things being blown up. I can't understand why men are fascinated with UFC. I may be compelled to "tame" my husband and make an argument about how violence is bad. But experience has taught me to accept that this is in his DNA and to sit with him as he is enthralled by loud explosions. I don't believe it's my responsibility to domesticate the men in my life. I am still learning when to let it go. Every time Bryan goes skiing I know in the back of my mind he's jumping off of 20 foot cliffs. But I know better than to prevent him from doing it and I trust that he knows how much risk he can take.

This month in InterVarsity we're examining what God makes of gender. Here is my shameless plug for you to come to large group! After a talk about women and a talk about men, I will be tackling what it means for each individual to be fully feminine/masculine.

Note to readers: I think it's perfectly okay for men to be artistic and to take interest in creative projects... even knitting if they want. This post is meant for those who engage in such activities at the bequest of their women friends.

7 comments:

anonyme said...

is it wrong for us to want our men to be manly? sometimes i think guys (or my boyfie) don't want that pressure...but it's like...being a man should come naturally to men, so why do they feel pressured to be men?!

pegpie said...

I think the way women encourage men to be manly often ends up being nagging. There's also a lot of opposing pressures in how to be a man... so it's confusing! I would be interested to see what he thinks about the man talk in a week!

pegpie said...

Other related blog posts.

male version of my post

mr. right or settling?

Melody said...

is the "male version of your post" supposed to be supporting your post? i hope not because the amount of racist, sexist, and macho bullshit was so thick i could cut it with a knife. playing cowboys and indians is supposed to be inherently healthy male/little boy behavior? i wonder what the "indians" would have to say about that. apparently to be manly to this guy is to be racist. it's also apparently manly to carry a gun around "to protect yourself," isn't this one of the primary problems in our society? our society believes that guns and violence are manly, you see it on TV, in the movies, hear it in pop music; it's accepted, what is his beef? apparently enough people aren't dying because of this manly value in our country. this guy is ignorant and ethnocentric.

as for your post: i don't get the comment about byran's penchant for things getting blown up/violence (UFC, etc) being in his "DNA." I don't think that's biological, that's cultural; if you showed those violent things to a man from a culture where those movies and activities aren't the norm, he wouldn't be so interested. a man from a war-torn country who's family has ripped apart by violence probably wouldn't be too excited about it either. i think we need to be really careful when we start talking about gender differences as inherent, or biological, when they're really cultural. it's the same thing as saying "racial" differences are biological, rather than cultural.

Bryce said...

Peggsto! So this is where you are! You never cease to surprise me!

soybeanlover said...

Hey Peg...it is Nicole =)

While a man should have a lot of qualities, strength of character, a good work ethic, a desire to provide for his family, etc. His hobbies do not dictate how manly he is. Yeah, so the nails are a little interesting, but be that as it may, if he still fulfills his role as a nuturing father, a strong head of the house, and loving husband, it shouldn't matter. You are right though, I don't want my husband painting his nails, and I don't think he ever will.

Here is what I base my definition of a man on.

and yeah...the male version of your post was racist and sexist.

Blogstad said...

you're post was the talk of the night, so I figured I had to check it out, and to give you some encouragement, I do agree with you mostly. While I do not think it is wrong or necessarily unmanly for a guy to paint his nails or knit, it can be a sign of his heart and what kind of guy he's trying to be, who he is trying to make happy. At the very least, it will make me think about my motives in events like this.