Let Men Be Men
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man•ly (adjective): having or denoting those good qualities traditionally associated with men, such as courage and strength.
As far as feminism goes, I certainly fall on the conservative side. Yes I believe women are capable of, and entitled to, certain equal rights politically, socially, and economically. But my old fashioned views on a “woman’s place” might get me martyred, and is scarcely the intended topic for today. So let me just summarize it by saying that I believe a lot changed when Adam and Eve sinned in the garden many, many years ago. From that moment forward we began to live in way that wasn’t a part of the original design. And I believe it is universally acknowledged that the Artists’ original intention is supremely important and not to be disregarded.
With that being said, I always knew I would marry a “manly man.” To me that meant the tough, rugged, bold type that stands up for what he believes in, no matter the cost. Someone with hair on his chest and maybe even a beard. Now that is not at all to say that is everyone’s definition of a manly man; but that is my subjective definition. Perhaps I watched Gladiator one too many times, but there is just something admirable about a man who stands up for justice and liberty and what is true. (I do have a picture of my man in a kilt and dressed as William Wallace, but I a regret to say that I could not locate it for you.)
Wives, girlfriends, sisters, and mothers – it is remarkably momentous to let our men be men. Let them take chances, exhibit courage, and find strength. Let them do foolish things from time to time, build things with their hands, and go on an adventure. Give them space to grow into the men we always knew they could be. Typically they “mature” at a different pace than their female counterparts anyways, so give them time.
Despite my craving for an adrenaline rush from time to time, I am generally much more cautious and calculated. My husband is not. I find cleanliness to be of the utmost importance. My husband does not. I don’t want to change him; I want to figure out a way to coexist under the same roof with him. Our differences are what make us a complementary pair. Have you ever seen one of those Sour Patch Kids commercials? “First they’re sour. Then they’re sweet.” My husband and I argue over who is sour and who is sweet, though in reality we are both, but fortunately at different times.
I love hearing my husband recount the day, oh about four years ago, when after sharing a vehicle for a year we began looking into getting a second one. I remember we were driving east on Camp Bowie Boulevard when I suggested maybe he should get a motorcycle. I think the same silly grin appeared on his face that was present when he saw me walking down the aisle on our wedding day. But then I had to go and be a woman and lay down two stipulations: first, he had to promise to always wear a helmet; and second, it must be a Harley Davidson. Though I’d say those weren’t too harsh.
Perhaps I just understand the wild horse theory, wanting to be free and unpredictable. And as much as I want the right to be a woman, I want my man to be a man. Being married to myself would be rather boring, I should think. Yes, there are days when my man drives me crazy and I’m thankful I have a job to go to. Days when we just cannot seem to see eye to eye. Days when I really wish he’d put his laundry away. Days when I don’t understand his busy-body nature. Days when he’s a complete mess. Though as he endearingly reminds me, “But I’m your mess.”
I suppose the purpose of this post was just to remind myself of these realities. But my heart grieves when I hear society crying out for gender equality without acknowledging that the two genders were created different for a reason. We aren’t supposed to look the same. And that acknowledgement isn’t admitting one to be better than the other. Since when must “difference” be defined as “unequal” anyhow? My heart also grieves when I see wives putting their husbands on some invisible leash. They aren’t your trainable companions; they are your life’s confidant, your knight in shining armor. Be his princess, but let him be your prince.