Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Are we becoming the men we want to marry...

Tuesday evening my friend Alexis noticed a particularly interesting "thought" on her 'Deep Thoughts' daily calendar. She immediately emailed her closest friends a thought-provoking email with the deep thought du jour in the subject header. It was: “We are becoming the men we want to marry.”

A man? Moi? But I had little time to think about it as I was running late to boxing class. I picked up my sweaty 12 oz. gloves and felt my stomach to happily acknowledge the progress of my six pack. Hot—I was almost as tight at Matthew McConaughey. It never dawned on me to think of this as masculine. Can't muscles and dripping sweat be sexy on a woman in a Charlie’s Angels kind of way? Or did I resemble a testosterone infused beefcake?

Across town a much more femininely attired Mazz was debating restaurants. She was on date numero dos with Mac, and wanted to pick a place with the right ambiance and cuisine. It never occurred to her that HE should be the one picking the restaurant. In fact, given her Napa and Sonoma IQ, she expected the waiter to hand her the wine list as well. However, although Mazz was sure of her ordering savvy, she wasn’t sure what the new rules were for paying the bill. If we are assertive on the Syrah selection are we expected to be equally aggressive at grabbing the check? Are the days of females being romantically wined and dined coming to an end?

And somewhere between Mazz and myself, Eva was celebrating closing another big business deal that rivaled her husband’s. When they had children, would it make more sense for the family to have a stay-at-home dad or a stay-at-home mom?

I realized that somewhere the tables had turned-women were taking on roles traditionally reserved for men and doing a damn good job at them. Do we do this because we cannot find a man to do this for us? Or do we actually enjoy (the once deemed) masculine roles? And if we do, does this make us less feminine?

"I still want to be the girl," protested Mazz.

"And I can't help but act like a girl, even when it annoys me," responded Alexis. Indeed, I noted that even my most sure and powerful female friends still get girly and estrogen induced needy at times.

No matter how assertive we may be on selecting the venue for a date, we still turn into a quivering mass of pathetic-ness of the guy doesn’t call us the next day.

And no matter how strong our muscles are, we would be traumatized if they were larger than the those of the men we were dating. “I shouldn’t be able to beat up my boyfriend,” one girl commented, "he needs to protect me from the dangers of the world."

And although women like Eva gain glory from career success, they still are hesitant to take on the bread winner role in the family. “Is it wrong that I want to conquer the world yet still have someone take care of me?” another girl chimed in.

How do we balance our new-found Type A achiever goals with the pleasure of remaining feminine and nurturing? After all, romance is based upon deep sighs, wistful stares, and the feeling that we are beautiful and worth protecting. Romeo’s lines were NOT

“But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Juliet is the alpha female dominatrix
Arise, fair alpha, and kill the envious moon with your boxing and powerpoints….”

No no…..Romeo was inspired by a fair maiden with eyes like the stars….and deep down we all want to be that type of inspiration to a man… while conquering the world at the same time!


Anonymous said...

RE: Working Mothers: I would caution anybody thinking of becoming a dependent spouse, especially with the divorce rate.
My mom, aunties, grandma's were all school-teachers, Working Mom's. We all lived in small towns and saw what happens to stay-at-home Mommies with the high-divorce rate. My grandma's and Mom's generation both saw it. Welfare, financial devastation, kids acting out. Daddy running around with the new bimbo. Mom can't get a good job because she's been out of work so long.
Most of the school-teacher's kids I know, have done pretty well. Follow Suze Orman's advice, it's good, regarding working Mom's.


Anonymous said...

PS. The kids that acted out, it took many years for them to straighten out, and some still after 20 years have addiction problems. After my best friend's parents divorce, my friend, former girl-scout, was living on LSD, champagne, pizza, group sex for a couple years. Moved to a big gambling city, etc. her mom struggled to survive, with nothing. Just one example.


Anonymous said...

Is Romeo the actual man you want? Yes Romeo was madly in love with Juliet but he was also childish, impulsive and tended to over feel things. Ironically it was his relationship with Juliet which triggered much of the development of his character. That is fine when you are a teenager but doesn’t the modern day Juliet want a man who is already there ;)

I can understand wanting to be a modern day Juliet however as in all her innocence and beauty she was still a lot more grounded, thoughtful and sincere in her emotions. Ironically I think you look to much at actions rather than intent and this is even symbolized by romanticizing Romeo who’s actions while appearing to be the result of all encompassing love are still very much entwined with his own ego and his feelings versus sincere conscious love and what is best for Juliet. Versus Juliet who while stile as deeply in love is a lot more conscious.

Similarly I don’t think actions are Feminine or Masculine, maternal or paternal, rather it is the intent which is masculine or feminine and even then it depends on what your perception of the stereo type is. It is a little like the energy of Hilary Clinton is very masculine and if she was in power she would try and be more of a “man” than a man would versus Obama who almost has a maternal energy in his thoughfulness and calmness yet is a leader. An example is a lioness who is about to hunt for food or fight of a threat to her cubs – she is the most dangerous, powerful and aggressive of all animals and yet she isn’t expressing manliness but the ultimate of maternal instincts.

Why should a man letting a woman order wine be a gender taboo. Now from a woman’s perspective if it is because he is too scared and shy then that is a relationship issue which she would be concerned about because she wants a partner not a child, but if it is because he is sure of himself and wants her to be happy or even is secure in the knowledge that she knows more than him on wine then why not! The issue then is why do you think she is taking on the man’s roll and by deduction he is taking on the women’s roll? And by inference why do you think that the woman’s role should be subservient? Doesn’t that control dynamic set a relationship up to fail every time. Because unless he is as strong willed as you, willing to fight you on every point, dominate or control situations like a “a man”, doesn’t that infer you think he is weak and thus not worthy of a relationship? That sets up for a very volatile or exhausting environment which is doomed to fail.