When I began thinking about writing this post I turned to my fiancé and asked him the following question. “Do you think women are mean to men?” “YES!” he said without hesitation. Ouch. Why I asked? “Because you guys are mean to each other”. Double ouch. But that’s true. And it starts young, doesn’t it ladies. I remember that day in elementary school when I realized that I could not count on some friends to ever be real friends because at any given day they would decide that I had done something wrong and would not talk to me for weeks.
Also, remember when the movie Steel Magnolias came out and tons of people fell in love with it (and Julia Roberts hair)? My father however, did not fall in love with the movie. He said that he didn’t like the way the women spoke about the men that he found it to be degrading to men in general. At the time I didn’t understand what he meant. Now I look back on it and can see what he was talking about.
When my fiancé made that statement, my father’s observation of that movie came back to me. I had seen plenty of times in my life where women were mean to men and talked down to them. A fine example of this was when I was living in Orlando and took a day trip with a then friend of mine and her boyfriend to the beach. Our destination was a sunny spot where other friends and cute boys would be hanging out and drinking beer for the day. What could be wrong with that? Plenty. My friend (who we will call Janet) was a woman who was mean to her boyfriend. It was well known that Janet really really really wanted to get married and somehow her boyfriend (who we will call Chris) was pissing her off – for not asking her I suppose or not living up to some ideal she had scripted for him. Chris was perfectly nice if a bit young – aren’t we all at some point? Janet took many opportunities to belittle Chris in front of me and others, yelling at him for his “Piss Poor Planning” (the gas light on the car came on), raising her finger at him and reminding him that he needed to take one step at a time (when cuddling her and asking her if she wanted a house at the beach one day) and generally being not so nice. Riding in the car in the dark on the way home was a bit uncomfortable for me because I sincerely didn’t think Chris deserved any of this talk and HELLO! I was in the car with them. Now I didn’t know the ins and outs of their relationship but sometimes it doesn’t take much information to know a relationship isn’t going to work out and sure enough, this one ended.
Marianne Williamson is a teacher and lecturer on the metaphysical text A Course in Miracles and she often touches upon romantic relationships. While she does address the way men relate to women she often speaks about the opposite – how we as women tend to relate to and treat men. Our words she says, are to men what men’s fists are to women. Women hurt with their words and have a tendency to say such cutting things in the name of fighting to be “right”. I see plenty of examples today through social media, where women write or post pictures and sayings about ex-husbands, men who wronged them. I often hear men referred to as idiots or stupid. I am all for people venting their anger and see it as a necessary process in life. But there are times when we can be WAAAAY too indulgent in our feelings and we can seriously hurt loved ones.
One of the many man name-calling items I found online.
There is a time in women’s lives according to Marianne, where women are in our princess phase. Our emotions are high and we are learning how to grasp the unique privilege that is being a woman. Voicing our thoughts and ideas strongly and powerfully in a world where our ideas and thoughts are not often taken seriously, is an important undertaking. Let me be clear here – there are definitely times when being true to yourself does mean yelling and does mean being loud and angry. I’m all for the emotional flip out. But if turning in a frenzy on a loved one or anyone is your most frequent or only method of communication in any of your relationships then its time to learn how to communicate more effectively. Because let me tell you, if any woman wants to be treated like a Queen in her life, it’s time she stop acting like a Princess.
Earlier in the year I was experiencing much anxiety about our fall wedding. I sat at my computer and began seething about dates that had gone by, deadlines that were not met, important starting points not decided. And I began to get angry, mostly at my fiancé for whatever reason. He was nearbyI suppose? I was ready to start a big temper tantrum about why we hadn’t done this and that and the other. But then I stopped myself. Because that would have been the easy way out. What did I really want to get out of our interaction? Did I want to make him feel bad about it? Did I want to tell him it was his fault? Most of all, did I want him to listen to me? Because starting a hissy fit would have been a sure way to confuse the poor guy and accomplish nothing. I thought about how I would feel at the end of that scenario and decided that was not the route I wanted to take. So I went to his desk, sat down next to him and asked him if he had time to talk. When he said yes, I began to talk about how worried I was about everything that was pending and what needed to be done and how overwhelmed I felt. We talked for a while and afterwards I felt better. I even told him how before I sat down with him, I had considered starting a hissy fit and he laughed at that. The outcome was better, I felt better and I felt like I had chosen the approach that really benefitted the both of us.
Be nice to your men ladies. It’s not easy to be a man today. Their dynamic in the world is changing and times are hard for them. While women are rising up many men are trying to figure out how they fit in the changing arena. Give them a break. Be nice to them! Say nice things to them! Compliment them! Whats the big deal? Whats wrong with treating them in a way we want to be treated? They need our respect. Drop the Princess act and start finding the Queen inside of you that you deserve to be.
“A queen is wise. She has earned her serenity, not having had it bestowed on her but having passed her tests. She has suffered and grown more beautiful because of it. She has proven that she can hold her kingdom together. She has become it’s vision. She cares deeply about something bigger than herself. She rules with authentic power.”
– Marianne Williamson