I heard the familiar ding of a text message.
I picked up my phone and glanced at it nonchalantly. I continued stirring the ground beef for the lasagna I was making for dinner.
It was my friend Jeremy. He had been through a really bad breakup and I had spent a lot of time talking to him and helping him through it. I hadn’t heard from him for a while and I assumed that things were better in his world now, and that he had found his emotional sea legs.
Jeremy: Hey! How are you?
Me: I’m awesome. How are things in your world?
Jeremy: Well, the other day a girl laughed at the size of my penis.
Me: WTF? That’s horrible! I am so sorry. Some women are so vicious that I’m ashamed to share
the same gender with them. I assume you are seeing a new girl and this isn’t the old girlfriend?
Jeremy: Yeah, I was seeing a new girl, lol.
Me: Good riddance to that one!
A few more minutes of small talk ensued and then:
Jeremy: Hey, I need your opinion on something.
The minute I pressed the send button, little alarm bells started going off in my head. What exactly had I just agreed to give my opinion on?
Jeremy: I really need to know…
Oh boy, here it comes. I removed the ground beef from the burner because I was no longer paying attention to it and with my luck, I’d burn my house down.
Me: Wait. Are you asking me to tell you if I think your penis is small or average or huge?
Jeremy: Yes. I trust you.
My mind went completely blank as I started to panic. I stared at the screen and wondered what to do when three words caught my attention, “I trust you.”
This sweet gentle man certainly had no reason to trust a woman. In the time I had known him, his interactions with women had repeatedly shown him that women were not to be trusted. Putting his trust in me was a leap of faith and I couldn’t throw his courage back in his face. I gave myself a pull-yourself-together mental shake and messaged him back.
Me: I am a medical professional. You could ask me to look at your haemorrhoid and I wouldn’t bat an eyelid. But this is a bit different. Are you sure you want to go there?
Jeremy: Yes. As a friend, I trust you to tell me the truth.
Me: I can do it as a friend if that is what you really want. But at the end of the day, this is more about you recognizing your value as a person and being confident about who you are, inside and out. When you really love yourself, you will find a woman who loves everything about you and penis size won’t matter to her.
Jeremy: I can agree with that, but I really just need to know.
Jeremy: So should I just send a picture now?
My palms started to sweat, so I put my phone down on the kitchen counter. “It’s just a penis,” I remind myself. “I’ll think of it like a picture in a textbook, except there won’t be any pathology to note—hopefully. But this isn’t just any penis, this is my friend’s penis. The worst part is, I’m a terrible liar. What if it’s one of those one inch penises that women whisper about?
I seriously hate that voice in my head. She’s such a pain in the ass.
My mental battle was interrupted by the ding of my phone. I glanced down at the offending electronic device as if it was to blame for my predicament.
It was time to pull up my big girl panties. I picked up my phone and slid my finger across the screen to view the message.
And there it was.
My first unsolicited cock shot.
Ok, time for an objective opinion. I pushed my hair out of my eyes and looked at the penis on my screen. It was not a porn star penis but it wasn’t a micropenis either. This was not a penis that women were going to talk about over drinks because it didn’t fall at either end of the measuring tape. If a woman loved this man, she could love this penis.
Thank you Joseph, Mary and sweet baby Jesus!
Me: You have nothing to worry about my friend.
Me: Yes, absolutely. You do not have a teeny tiny. Now, you and your penis need to go find a good woman who will love you both unconditionally!
I chatted with Jeremy for a bit longer and then I went back to making lasagna and hopefully he went back to his day feeling happier and more confident.
As I layered the noodles in the bottom of the pan, I deliberated what had just happened.
How could a woman who had taken the time to get to know a man and, deciding that she liked him enough to move their relationship to the next level, then cruelly and heartlessly mock him?
Is it just me or are women becoming increasingly cruel and vicious?
Before you bring out your pitchforks and tie me to a burning stake for calling women cruel and vicious, let me say that as I am woman, I feel that I am within my right to call out my own gender on their shitty behavior.
And in a lot of ways, it has become quite shitty.
Here’s a good man who stepped up to the plate and raised his son from infancy when the mother took off. He opened up his heart and family to a woman, and when he was at his most vulnerable, she mocked the very source of his manhood—the size of his penis.
I constantly hear women complaining that there are no good men left anymore. Maybe that’s because women are ruining them?
I cannot say for certain that my friend will not be permanently damaged by this woman. Her cruel and hurtful mocking will definitely have a deleterious effect on him, but to what extent, I do not know. She may well have ruined him for the next lady lucky enough to meet him.
When are we going to start realizing that hurting someone’s self esteem is like sneezing on them when you have a cold—it spreads. When someone’s self esteem has been damaged, they will often hurt other people in an effort to protect themselves by not allowing anyone to see their vulnerable places.
Worse yet, if you do not love yourself, which is what low self esteem is all about, then you cannot be vulnerable to another person—you cannot truly love someone.
So there you have it: Cruelty prevents love and that’s why it spreads like a virus when it touches people.
Historically, women have often been the victims of abuse and control due to our diminished size and strength in comparison to a man. However, when we won the right to vote, we did not win the right to turn the tables of abuse and become the abusers. The empowerment of women was not intended to turn us into cold, cruel, heartless bitches. Being a feminist does not mean that we have to be man haters.
I often see memes proclaiming the female poster to be a strong woman who doesn’t care if people think she’s a bitch. Ladies, how we have gotten this so wrong?
Being a strong, independent woman does not mean you have to be a bitch. While the ruthless business woman, who claws her way to the top and destroys anyone who stands in her path, has somehow become the poster child for what a strong women should be, she is actually the complete antithesis.
Strong women are intelligent, empathetic, informed, capable, and they have resolve and gumption and above all, they are kind. That’s right, kind.
Kindness is a strength, not a weakness.
So if you are a good woman who understands this and you’re living the life of a truly strong woman, I applaud you. However, if you happen to be one of those self- proclaimed, tough-as-nails, man-eating bitches, who is taking down good men like the plague, it’s time for you to check yourself at the door.
There are far better ways of proving you are a strong woman than destroying someone.
And remember—karma is watching.
Author: Jennifer Lemky
Photo: Gregorio Puga Bailón/Flickr
Editor: Lieselle Davidson