November 19, 2013

Why Men Aren’t Dogs.

I recently read an article on The Huffington Post that discusses the issue with labeling women crazy.

Feel free to read the article for yourself, as I think the topic discussed is well-thought and promotes healthy cognitive function.

If I can take a moment to restate Harris O’Malley’s thesis and wrap my own perspective around it, it’s this: labeling women crazy is good for no one, and in particular, it is not good for men. Straight men. Because ultimately, straight men decide to have relationships with women, and if the core belief is that women are crazy, well then, good luck spending your life with someone you consider crazy. I wish you well on that endeavor.

I try to live with awareness in mind. In other words, I like to know why I think the things I think, feel the things I feel and do the things I do. I like to work on internal alignment of thought, word and action, and promote peace by aligning myself with things that just straight-up feel good.

This means that I’ve had to let go of a lot of strongly held beliefs regarding genders (plural).

As a woman, I have been on the receiving end of being called crazy. I’ve also called women crazy. And I’d like to talk about that for maybe five seconds, but then I would like to talk about something else.

In the past several years, I’ve let go of calling women crazy, boring, un-funny, stupid, ditzy, etc. And I’ve let go of calling men dogs, unfeeling, lazy, disengaged, useless.

I’ve let go of calling people this because when I think about people in those terms, it feels like shit. It feels like, why would I even bother having men or women in my life if I have to talk myself out of thinking of them as huge disappointments?

And as a woman, I think we often feel like we can call men whatever we want to call them, and it’s completely justified under the umbrella of liberation.

But I don’t think liberation is proving that we are better than men. I think liberation is simply learning how to cooperate and find peace.

And so, I think it’s time for us—collectively—to embrace love instead of judgment. Judgment, to me, is simply our unwillingness to get curious about things we don’t understand.

This is what I would really like to talk about:

I was raised to believe that all men are dogs.

They are sloppy and lazy and can’t take care of themselves, and given the opportunity, they will fuck anything around them. Cheating is not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when, and the only way to accept a man into your life is to accept those tacitly implied terms and conditions of the relationship: he will cheat, and you will have to deal with it.

This is something I no longer believe in.

It’s not necessarily that I was proven wrong. It’s not like a whole bunch of Mr. Charming’s walked in and said, Hey, Doll, don’t worry about a thing, I will be loyal and attentive and tend to you like the scintillating garden you are.

No. I’ve been cheated on. I’ve been lied to. I’ve been ignored. But I’ve also done some cheating, some lying and some ignoring.

And I no longer believe that men are dogs because I do not want to. That belief doesn’t make me feel good.

In fact, that belief keeps me pissed off and disenchanted and looking around feeling like I will forever be alone and misunderstood.

Consequently, I attract guys who energetically bring me one of two things: either, a) a reinforcement of that belief, or b) a reinforcement of my sadness. In other words, I run into men who either display those doggish characteristics in their behavior or men who are incredibly depressed.

The only reason why that happens is because I am choosing a belief system that keeps me unhappy.

Every time I choose to believe in the thought that men are dogs, I choose to believe that the quality of my internal life is not important—because that thought is not kind. It’s not that it’s unkind to men, it’s unkind to me.

In fact, gender labeling—actually, labeling of any kind—makes me unhappy, because when I label something, I say, hey, this thing is outside of me, it is not a part of me, I am going to name what I think it is, and then I will decide whether I want it around me or not. If I want it around me, then I will fight for it, if I don’t want it around me, I will create obvious conflict surrounding it and push it away from me.

This is what I would like to do instead: meet a human being, either male or female or something in-between (it doesn’t matter), who is living in an entirely different universe than I am—with a completely different history and set of wants and needs—and look into their eyes and listen to how they feel and talk to them about what makes them feel love and fear and joy and grief. I would like to pay attention to myself during this time and watch how I react to them expressing themselves. I would like to shake their hands and when I leave, I would like to think, “Wow, I just met Emily, who likes to paint and makes mosaic coasters for all her friends on their birthdays, that’s so awesome.”

When I am stuck in my gender belief systems, I don’t show up to people that way. I show up to people locked inside my head, trying to figure out how these people fit into the gender molds I have created for them. And then I will try to figure out what roles these people could potentially play in my life.

Do some women display crazy behavior during some times? Sure. But men do, too. Likewise, do some men display doggish behavior some times? Sure. But so do women (we just have a different name for it [women be bitches, yo]).

We’re all just human beings being human beings. That’s it.

It’s up to me if I’m going to call something you do crazy or doggish. And since neither of those labels feel particularly good to me, I’m not going to call you that.

Instead, I will know that you are simply doing the best you can at any given moment. And I will align myself with the folks in this world that reinforce my capacity to love and thank and grow.

Once we get rid of the labels, we can be anything.

If I get to choose between being a label or being anything, I choose anything.


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Ed: Bryonie Wise

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