I couldn’t disagree more with the saying that women are the weaker sex. Looking at the evidence, it seems clear to me that men are superiorly weaker. We are better at being weaker. Yeh Men!
But before I go too far toward the voiding of my man card I must put forward some disclaimers. I am a man. A happily married man. Speaking of married, my wife, Tamara posted a similar entry on her blog. I am not copying her entry. This is something we’ve been discussing for awhile, she just posted on it first. You are welcome to read her post first since its more entertaining. Plus that way when you read mine you’ll … well, you’ll see another side. Less Shi Tzu action. Still have a hard time getting that image out of my mind. Very disturbing, but funny.
While I think that women are undervalued and under-appreciated, I also believe that the weakness that is the modern man can be corrected.
So the evidence. Simply put men are sexist, sex-crazed, lazy, uncouth, poor fathers, arrogant, violent, greedy, and lack follow through.
It is common knowledge that most of the bad things in the world come through the action of men. Be it wars, rapes, genocides, serial killers, murders, thievery, arson, vagrancy, social stratification, illegitimate children, orphans, pornography, and disaster movies.
I could post actual evidence to support each of these claims, but I don’t feel like it, don’t need it and some other reason which I’ve forgotten.
I used to think that “Guys were Jerks.” As a high schooler, who didn’t do casual dating, my impression of other guys my age was that they were all sex crazed brutes. Now I realize that my impression of the American Teenage male was as much propaganda as anything. The media and society tells young men that they should be sex crazed and can’t control their passions. A popular song when I was a teenage had this lie/manifesto in its chorus “You and me baby ain’t nothing but mammals, so let’s do it like they do on the Discovery Channel.” Many buy into this lie, but many have not, or are yearning for something better to buy into. I refused to act like a mammal, I’m a child of God and as a teenager took the challenge to behave as such.
On this note, I was told and challenged by my parents and teachers (school, children and youth leaders) that men could control their passions. In fact, the Bible commands men to keep it in their pants and wait until marriage to have sex. Our society laughs at this and says no guy can remain pure. Correction: I did. I was a virgin when I married at the age of 23. I was no saint, but our schools curfew policy plus my girlfriend (now wife) and I wanted to wait until marriage so we somehow made it through 3 years of dating and were virgins on our wedding night. The next day not so much. There is definitely a counter current to the mainstream. If you’re reading this, then maybe you can become part of this standard, lighthouse. Going with the flow is a sure fire way to drown.
I have seen too many articles, papers, newsclips and “experts” saying that waiting until marriage is passe and impossible. That young people should wait until they are serious and then practice “safe sex.” Bull shit. There is no such thing as “safe sex” and men CAN be strong and keep themselves pure until marriage.
The way I see it is that women are stable. God has made women to nurture, train, support, strengthen, nourish and encourage their husbands… and children. Men need women. Men are less stable. In fact, I would argue that men are obsessive and God made them this way.
The problem that our society has found is that men’s obsessions are not properly focused.
Historically men had to be obsessed. Their livelihood depended upon their ability to: grow crops in erratic weather, protect flocks, kill predators and hunt prey, develop cities, irrigation, architecture, engineering, natural obstacles, exploration, science, medicine, literature and grammatically incorrect sentences.
Men are obsessive but that can and should be a huge blessing. Steve Jobs was obsessed with computers, phones and mp3 players. George Washington was obsessed with independence and a new nation. George Washington Carver was obsessed with peanuts. Archimedes with engineering. Plato with philosophy. Alexander with world domination (as well as a million other men … can’t recall a female with such violent ambition). Robin Hood with social justice (yes, to my conservative friends I just cussed). Martin Luther King Jr. with civil rights. Abraham Lincoln with national unity. Louis Pasteur with invisible little soldiers (viruses). Orville and Wilbur with flight. Later Orville would become obsessed with popcorn and Wilbur with spiders. The list could and does go. Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, Bill Gates, Henry Ford, Teddy Roosevelt (conservation), Cal Ripken, Dirk Nowitzki (had to include my man and his obsession with putting a spherical orb through a 360 degree loop in front of 30,000 crazies cheering the cause of converging circles).
I read once, and made this argument in my social studies class, that the only force powerful enough to defeat the Vikings was … women. The Vikings raided across Europe with abandon until they started to take local European women as their brides (and other less noble relationships). But once the Vikings had wives and children to protect (only a Viking man knows what other Viking men are thinking) they couldn’t leave their new home on their reckless raids. One thing led to another and the Vikings assimilated into European society. The same pattern of raiders assimilating into the local population has occurred a thousand times over throughout history thanks to women.
My daugher, Abby, wonders why women aren’t more famous. I’ve thought about that a lot. Having three daughters makes me consider our world’s obsession with the obsessed. We tend to forget the billions of women whose stability has created the environment where these obsessed men could create such marvelous things. Our world is not a vacuum. In fact I’d argue that women are the petri dish upon which men’s obsessions can properly grow and develop. When a man succeeds there is little doubt the role his mother, sisters, wife and daughters played in his success. Not to mention his teachers, early crushes, female friends and fans. Men like it when women appreciate them. There is nothing so gratifying and encouraging as appropriate female appreciation. Men laughing at my jokes doesn’t do much for me, I’m just saying.
But instead of appreciating their influence our world portrays women as simply sexual objects and labels wives as “my old lady” or “ball and chain.” If men are like ships heading head long on some great adventure then the ball and chain metaphor may actually work. Women are the anchor. Anchors don’t get the accolades that they deserve. We know about the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria. We know about the Mayflower. The importance of their anchors has been lost (BTW ironically they were Jose, Fernando, Santos Marcos and June Bug). But just ask King Philip II’s Armada about the importance of a safe harbor, and ability to anchor and weather a storm. (FYI 1/3 of his ships were sunk off Ireland because they didn’t have a safe harbor to retreat to after being beaten by Queen Elizabeth’s Navy.)
In our world we’ve tried to “free” men from their social responsibilities (monogamy, fatherhood, family fidelity) and the fruits of our emancipation has been a nation full of men enslaved to pornography, pleasure, video games, self advancement and sports. And I wish that last item was a joke – more on this in a future entry.
My wife put it quite well in her article: are men really that weak? I am not. I am obsessed, but not by the things the world tells me I should be obsessed with.
Its about time men stopped abdicating their responsibilities and changed a diaper (yes, you’d be surprised by how many men never or rarely changed their baby’s diaper). Men need to tuck their children in, read and pray with them. Teach their sons how to treat women. How to defend their sisters. (Physically men are stronger, but strength is so much more than muscle mass).
This challenge is for me, but you can read it if you want. Imagine a Stuart Smalley face to face in the mirror. “Philip, you’re good enough to stay focused on what God has called you to do. You’re smart enough to avoid distractions and remain obsessed with the things worthy of such focus. And gosh darn it Philip, people would like you more if you stopped talking to yourself in the mirror.”