Thursday, 22 April 2010

Equality and all that (men have feelings too)

I am a fair and reasonable person. Don't believe me? Well, I'll prove it to you then. I did a couple of posts recently with a feminist flavour, now I'm going to stab the sisters in the back and big up the fellas - who may or may not deserve my support. We'll see.

What I want to talk about is emotions. No, don't run away men. There will be no tests on how well you were listening at the end, I won't bring this chat up in 17 years time and throw it back in your face and I certainly won't try and cuddle you and ask you what you're thinking. My gripe is with the way that women claim a monopoly on feelings. They have an infuriating tendency to use men's reticence to open up as an opportunity to reduce him to a nought. And then, having created this amazing stroke of luck, they grab the chance to write a whole, convenient story of neglect/total devotion/heartlessness/adoration/irresponsibility/utter shitbagness onto him. I should know, I've done it. Well... the shitbag one. 

Unfortunately, neat little trick though it is, it's a short term gain one. You've misrepresented the truth, not recreated it and it'll get you nowhere. Where it gets all of us (women) is tarred with the same brush. I  don't think of women as any less logical than men, any less capable of reason and presence of mind. But in the face of one of these hysterical rants, it's hard not to feel embarrassed. It's just so manipulative.

I understand the pain of heartbreak. I understand how emotions pick you up by the scruff of the neck and toss you around the room until you're dazed and helpless. But I also know that, thankfully, reason will tap you on the shoulder at some point and have a reassuring word in your ear. Providing you'll listen of course. 

A favourite of women who've been dumped is, "Oh, he must really hate me." No. He Doesn't. If he hated you he'd be phoning you up 2o times an hour and screaming about smearing dog shit all over your car windscreen. In short, he'd be acting like you. The reality is, he doesn't care - and that's really hard to take and therefore easier to project. 

I can understand where the confusion comes from. When you feel such misery, you imagine there must have been a purpose, a plan to get at you and reduce you to this state. But while it's a nice stab at reasoning, it falls way short. You may have been cheated on, lied to or treated appallingly. Whatever the case, people do bad things to you without caring to make it personal. In a funny way, that's more heartening isn't it?  

But that's an extreme version. More commonly women use their emotions to manipulate men because they know they don't know how to deal with it, and even better, rarely meet like with like. It's a license to hold full dominion. One minute women want to know how men feel, then they're not happy because he feels all the 'wrong' things, then he's refusing to admit to feeling anything - at which point she unleashes her full arsenal of weepy weaponry upon him. 

If I'm painting men as an innocent party here, I don't mean to. He may well have acted like an absolute twazzock. Maybe both parties have. The point that I'm trying to make is that, while winning points for grand emotional displays may seem clever, it's not. Fine, let someone know you're angry and that you're justified in being so. But trying to constantly trump men on the feelings front achieves nothing but making us all look foolish. Dare I mention having a little self-control here?

So, hell hath no fury like a woman scorned*. True enough. But hell hath no boredom like the company of a man during the World Cup so it all evens out in the end. 

*I am aware that this is not a Shakespeare quote but in fact by William Congreve. And I am also aware that this is not even the correct version of the quote. So please leave me alone. 

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