ah, man

When it comes to the male race, I find myself caught between envy, resentment and admiration. God designed men to be strong leaders and assertive lovers. Culture has stripped men of their identity, value and significance. As a result, the number of males who grow into manhood is declining. There are millions of grown male bodies populating the Earth, but so many are simply shells. They look like men, while mentally, emotionally & spiritually some are often mere children.

disclaimer: This post is simply my personal opinion based on individual experience. I am not here to bash men. I am simply exploring my many complex thoughts and feelings concerning the opposite sex.

The envy

Male children are coddled and nurtured longer than females. Mommies tend to teach their daughters how to clean and nurture. They teach them to be kind and ladylike. As early as two years old, little girls are taught to take care of things around them and this only intensifies as they age. Little boys are told to be strong and go play. They’re encouraged to do just enough to get by. This includes school as well. Generally, male children aren’t expected to be super studious and are encouraged to be on sports teams instead. There’s this unspoken rule it seems that boys somehow need more affection and attention than women. As a result, especially in African American culture, there’s an entire generation of Mama’s boys who don’t know how to take care of themselves or anything else for that matter. This type of man is typically childish in thought and action. They seek affection and applause but rarely ever work to actually earn it. They’re used to Mama fixing every problem for them and they expect their spouses to do the same.

My envy is stirred up in this one thing concerning men. They were first to be formed by God. They are the ones considered the head… so why is it that women do everything? Sure, wives are helpmeets but women are people too. We need to be held and paid attention to. We need to be supported and applauded. We need to be more than just ‘doers’ who make life easy for the people around them. Women need help some times, too. I feel that men aren’t held responsible for much – even by women. Some women will fight for a child support check but they don’t require the man to actually show up and be a father. Some women will settle for weekly cash payments versus expecting a man to rise up to their standards and be an actual husband. As a young child, I was taught to accept whatever men brought my way. I was groomed on being a change agent. It seems that the woman has to become incredibly flexible so that she can maneuver her way back to safety and comfort when the male begins acting out. We fight with the other woman, but it’s the man who betrayed us. We are catty with other, but we’re sweet and flirty to them. We bite our tongues when the men folk are wrong, but chop each other to pieces over small things.

Why can’t Mother’s and sisters sit around all day playing video games and still have meals and clean laundry provided for them? Why can’t I, as a woman, be given special treatment on the job and at school? Where’s my bonus pay? Where’s my free golf trip? Why are the perks of life centered around the gender that seems to be the most stuck?

Not all men are this way. Some were taught properly. Some had horrible childhoods that drove them to becoming the best they could be. Some are present in their children’s lives. Some truly love and support their wives. Thank God for those men. This post isn’t about them.

Resentment began growing in me when I was real young. I watched my dad do so many horrible things to my mom, siblings, other people and even me. No matter what he did, mom always covered him. She always forgave. She always let him come back. She always saw the light at the end of the tunnel. 30 years later, I struggle to trust men. I struggle to respect them because I’ve been so oppressed and abused emotionally and mentally by them since birth. Sure, not every man is like my dad, but unfortunately I have a history of choosing men that are. That’s why I blog so much. I have to remind myself of patterns and traits that lead to pain so I can avoid the same traps. Healing is a process.

I don’t hate men. I understand their value and their purpose, but I do wish more of them did better. I wish my dad saw his errors and humbled himself long enough to apologize and do better. I wish male bosses were nicer and less perverted. I wish frat boys took pride in actually being gentlemen versus the opposite. The resentment I feel is rooted in my knowledge of what God had in mind when He formed Adam. He intended to leave his image on the Earth by making man in his likeness. Gods entire blueprint for man was that He would resemble God.

Where are the guys who 1. Reverence God. 2. Desire His will. 3. Actually want to be decent human beings?

Why is it all about keeping score and beating an invisible competitor? Women are soft, sensual, nurturing, giving, and understanding. We have vaginas. We cook. We’re nice to look at. As much as men need women, why aren’t more of them making a conscious effort to treat us better? Furthermore, why aren’t more fathers raising their sons to appreciate and respect women? Where are the fathers who love their daughters and provide a stable, good example of the type of man she deserves?

I resent the man who cheats, is forgiven and fails to change. I resent the man who uses people and discards them. I resent the father who uses the mother of his children for sex but doesn’t show up for her or the kids emotionally. I resent the man who takes and takes and takes, but never thinks to give. I resent the little boys who get homework done for them by girls who like them. I resent the athletes who are paired with cheerleaders who bring them gifts and snacks before each game. I resent the man who thinks women owe him something so he manipulates them for sex. I resent the men who let other men get away with abusing women. I resent the men who father baby girls and don’t hold them, speak sweetly to them or treat them with care. I resent the father who has never fixed his mouth to honestly support or compliment his wife. I resent the men who stick together in their wrongdoing. I resent the guy code and the entire idea that “bros come before hoes.”

First of all – hoes only exist because people got greedy. If men didn’t cheat, mistresses wouldn’t exist. If men didn’t have unquenchable sexual appetites, prostitution and escort services wouldn’t exist. If more men were honest, war, brutality and brokenness would be few. If more men dared to stand up and stand on their own feet, prisons would be empty. If more men had the mindset to work and use their gifts for good, the Earth would just be better.

I understand that women make mistakes too. I understand that not every man is the same, but I also understand that my unfortunate generalization of the male race is accurate more times than not. That hurts.

I have uncles, brothers, cousins, neighbors, friends and colleagues who became who they are because they had no other example. These same men are raising another generation of the same type of man. So who’s to blame?

Nobody, and everybody.

I admire men who wake up and Thank God for a brand new dawn. I admire the men who call their moms just to see how she’s feeling. I admire the man who constantly and consciously denies sexual advances from other women because he’s committed to his wife. I admire the father that wakes up at the crack of dawn to dress the kids and get them off to school. That father working overtime to reward his student of the year for her hard work has my admiration. The man who keeps pressing on although his wife is sick and vanishing before his eyes has my admiration. The man who simply refuses to settle for statistics and complacency deserves to be admired.

I am grateful that not every man is the same. I am grateful that men exist. I enjoy the company and friendship of men. I enjoy serving them and being help to them. The problem exists in the growing number of grown bodies with childish souls inside them that masquerade around as though they’re adult men when they’re not. My issue is with the fact that girls and boys are taught to like each other before they learn to like themselves. Girls are made girlfriends before we even know what purpose a wife serves. Men end up fathers simply because someone encouraged them to ‘jump off the porch’ and use their penis.

We are a growing population of consumed beings. We accept anything. We chase everything. Yet, we end up with nothing.

If it is true that a man who finds a wife finds a good thing, why don’t more men want said good thing?

Ladies, what can we do to adjust this stigma? How can we raise the bar and help our brothers reach it without losing ourselves? Is there even an answer?

I yearn to see men stand up and step up. I live for the moment when I can see fathers and husbands truly exemplify the likeness of God. It’s possible. I know it is.

I digress.

I am Eryka

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