Women face the stereotype of being emotionally-out-of-control, moody, too sappy at times, hormonal and bitchy if a smile isn’t firmly planted between her two cheekbones.
Guess what. All those descriptions can be pretty accurate for a woman. Not all the time, but some of the time. Heaven forbid your babe gets her monthly when you’re around – you might need to sport a Riddell helmet for when ish hits the fan.
Trust me. I’m an expert … I don’t get called a firecracker for nothing.
If emotions were noted by paint colors from one of my favorite sections at Home Depot, a woman’s color scheme might be like a blazing rainbow with lightning bolts coming out the bottom and flames shooting from the top with every dull and vibrant color between. But that baby would sparkle.
On the contrary, men face the stereotype of being out of tune with feelings, incapable of understanding emotion, unlikely to see beyond the surface and too rugged for gentle touch. Men are creatures capable of feeling the need for food and the desire for sex. They’re hungry and horny, and that’s it?
And guess what else. By this standard, today’s man stands a little more upright than his caveman predecessor did a bazillion, million or whatever years ago supposedly did. He’s a little more clean-shaven, educated, articulate and particular than the cave-dwelling hunter that preceded him, but he’s still only able to understand feelings related to his gut and his junk.
If the shoe fits, wear the damn thing. But I don’t believe it’s a perfect fit for all you guys. As strongly as I may stand for something I do believe in, I stand equally strong in not believing that most men fulfill this stereotype when it comes to emotion. And I don’t believe they should have to fit that mold.
Macho, macho man
Women have appetites for food and cravings to fulfill sexual desires, too; so men should be able to admit when they have unfulfilled needs for attention and not fear somebody will notice the teardrop that wells up during a movie.
Guys, I hate to break the news to you, but you’re not all lumberjacks, UFC fighters or those crazy dudes on The Deadliest Catch. In fact, most of you are the opposite of Brian Cushing, the Texans linebacker, who – without his helmet on – head-butted a helmet-wearing player and didn’t flinch as the blood trickled down his face. I don’t think you beat your chest (at least not in public). You probably don’t actually punch walls every time you’re mad (although that is a sign of emotion other than hunger and sexual desire).
No, you all are not actually as barbaric as you think. You’re human.
Sweet child of mine
My dear friend recently gave birth to her third child – her husband’s fourth daughter. After seeing her for the first time, my friend’s husband sobbed, cried tears as big as the newborn and repeatedly said: “She’s so beautiful. She’s just so beautiful.”
She is, in fact, a beautiful baby, and her daddy let his emotions rule the day when she was born.
I love my little godbaby. But I also love that little story, because he was human and balled like a little girl over an even tinier girl.
My sister Christa married Brian, a super stud fireman for Houston. After she discovered the message in the bottle lodged in the sand as they strolled along on the beach, a dry-eyed Brian went down to one knee, read the note, which was addressed to her, and asked for her hand in marriage. Through tear-filled eyes and with a smile across her face, little sis answered with an emotion-bursting “Yes!”
A few weeks later, Christa caught Brian sitting on the couch, looking toward the TV and crying because Notre Dame fans cheered Rudy onto the field near the end of the flick he’s seen a hundred times.
Now when that phrase “in touch with his feminine side” comes into play, THIS IS NOT WHAT THEY’RE TALKING ABOUT!
I understand that women’s emotions can be like the scariest, vomit-inducing roller coaster at a park – up and down all the time – and I’m sorry we’re built like that. We can be awful, and I’m truly very sorry about that. But trying to hold back that mood swing can like trying to stifle a five-alarm fire with a Gatorade. It just ain’t happening.
However you view emotion – as being good, bad, beautiful, disgusting or something else – remember that it’s part of being human. Girls, stop crying over missed shoe sales and spilled milk. And, guys, maybe you could try to be accepting of your own emotions. (We are hoping you will, so our own jerky emotions seem more normal.)