By Marcus Osborne for GalTime.com
Sometimes I wonder if I’m just a masochist. Maybe I just like the pain. Honestly, the only protection I’m sporting against the pending avalanche of invectives from the majority of women who’ll read this article is a thicker skin than lesser men. I’m hoping, though, that after you’ve kicked your monitor, called me some unflattering names or requested that I perform an act upon myself guaranteed to garner the attention of yoga instructors and porn movie directors alike, you’ll at least take the time to catch your breath and consider my points.
My acknowledgement first. I’m not a woman, but I know that being a woman is often supremely difficult. Sexism sucks. Being objectified sucks. Being paid less to perform the same job sucks. Having some old codger drop a condescending, “Honey” or “Sweetie” on you is no doubt a pain in the butt. I’ll never know the misery of menstrual cramps or the pain of childbirth. And lord knows that sifting through the army of jerks, players, users, abusers and emotionally unavailable frogs to finally kiss that Prince Charming is hardly a picnic. Being. A woman. Is Hard. But you know what’s just as hard?
Being a guy.
Yep, I said it. Being a man is just as difficult as being a woman. Now don’t get it twisted. I’m not at all saying that there is gender equity in the tribulations they each face. I’m not saying that it’s the same; I’m saying being a man is just as hard.
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This is something that virtually every guy thinks. Most don’t complain about it openly. They know that this is just the way it is and they accept the rules of the game. Additionally, guys can’t really get away with admitting that the pressure of “being a man” weighs on him like a two-ton boulder. Why? Because a man openly acknowledging that the societal heat is getting to him is given the stink-eye.
Guys aren’t allowed to show any weakness. Don’t cry. Only wimps do that. Share your feelings? Pansy. Guys don’t see therapists. Studies show that men have a higher rate of suicide than women. Go figure. Now this isn’t a “poor us” rant. I mean, it is what it is, right? This is just me, a guy, stepping up for the fellas to say that this game is no walk in the park for us either.
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In the dating game, guys have to develop thick skins to deal with regular rejection. Women don’t. Men have to pay for dates, women don’t. Husbands have to be providers, women don’t. These seem like trivial things, but mind you, the inability to be anything less than great in any of these areas is akin to walking on nails for a guy. Just as men can never truly know the pressures of being a woman, a woman can never truly appreciate the pressures of being a man.
Again, I’m not trying to say men and women face the same problems, I’m saying they both face very, very real societal stressors that adversely affect them equally. And while the door is open for women to express whatever emotional impact those pressures kindle, guys do not typically enjoy the same open-door policy.
But what do you think? Am I wrong? Am I just being soft? Should guys just “man up” and just deal with it? Or do you think my perspective has any merit at all?