Posted in General

ALL men aren’t…

Photo credit: Ann Larie Valentine (Flickr)

Photo credit: Ann Larie Valentine (Flickr)

I’m sure you’ve heard these sorts of complaints (and have perhaps uttered them yourself): Men are lazy. Men are unable to find something that’s right under their noses. Men only “want one thing.” Men are babies when they’re sick. From this list, we could conclude that men are pretty dang awful. I don’t know about you, but I find that men are pretty dang great! Of course, my man is the greatest of all, but that might be another post.

First things first…to say “men are _________,” we’re, perhaps unintentionally, asserting that ALL men have that quality. Wow! That makes for some pretty broad statements. You might be tempted to say that these statements are relatively harmless. Ok then, let’s flip it around. Women are too emotional. Women are bad drivers. Women are not as bright as men. Women are weak. Ouch. Doesn’t seem as harmless now. Are SOME men so-called babies when they’re sick? Maybe. Are SOME women “bad” drivers? Perhaps.

Secondly, when we make those stereotypical statements, we paint a picture of men that is not only inaccurate, but harmful to our men because those attitudes can cause us to behave in such a way wherein we’re not valuing what our men bring to our lives and to society. It leads to a lack of appreciation for who they are, how hard they work and their unique perspective on things. To give an example, if I looked at Bob’s desire for sex (& his expression of that desire) as him “wanting only one thing,” it could leave me feeling as though I’m not much more than an object to be used when he wants that “thing.” In reality, he was created with that level of desire and HIS desire for sex with me is a compliment, leaving me feeling wanted and beautiful. He desires ME.

As women, let’s do our best to fight these stereotypes, especially when it comes to our own men. Let’s change the conversation. My man is hard-working. My man is NOT a baby when he’s sick. My man is one smart cookie. My man does a good job at making me feel wanted. Most men are great! Spread the word!

How do you talk about your husband, in public AND in private? In what other ways might you be contributing to the spread of stereotypes about men?

 

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About Lori Mitton

Lori Mitton is a licensed clinical psychotherapist (MA, LLP) specializing in marriage and family therapy. She is co-founder of Permanent Passionate Partnership.