Monday, January 28, 2013

After all, he's just a man


I wrote this article ("Being Single: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb") two weeks ago. Normally I can shake off negative comments on the Internet and walk away. However, a comment was left on the article that has been eating at me ever since. I am the community moderator for the site and get to decide which comments get posted and which get deleted. For other writers I play it safe, and always delete the negative ones. (The rule is that you may disagree or be negative. However, if you insult the author or the article, you get deleted. And if you've been on the Interwebz for long, you know it is almost impossible for most people to disagree without lobbing insults.) But when it comes to my own articles, I usually don't care and will let the negative ones post, even if they insult me. I bank on other readers coming to my defense, and it has always paid off.But this time... well, I deleted a comment. I don't think it was meant to be insulting. Or maybe it was? In short, a man replied and said "No wonder no man wants to marry you. You spend too much time talking about yourself, and you are negative. No one wants a woman who is a downer. Grieving your fertility? Get a life!"
First, let me make this clear. I am pretty sure this guy doesn't get a lot of women. And I do accept that he doesn't know me and he's just a dumb Internet troll. And obviously doesn't grasp the concept that, yes, in a column I write about being single, and my own single/dating life, that I will be writing about myself.
So his insults don't hold a lot of water with me. Lame.
But lately it has been eating at me. I'm not a negative person. In fact, I strive to be a very positive person. I think some of my closest friends want to kick me because whenever they have troubles or want to be mad about something, I sit around playing "Pollyanna" and the dang "Glad Game." I can find a silver lining in the most absurd places.
Today I finally realized what it is I want to say to the Jerk Face who tried to leave the comment.
You are wrong.
You are wrong not only about me, but about all women. I have every right to feel the way I do. All women, and men, are entitled to their feelings. It is important to keep emotions well-tempered, but you have every right to feel whatever way you do. There is no right or wrong way to feel. (Just wrong reactions and outbursts to said feelings.)
Men and women have always been wired differently. We will always see and react to things in our own unique ways. This doesn't make either side right or wrong. It just makes us who we are.
A man may not be able to understand or be fully sympathetic to the concept of grieving one's fertility. But then, why should he? His reproductive system doesn't come with an expiration date. Men are not wired for compassion and sympathy in the same way that women are. And again, this isn't right or wrong, it just is.
And so, armed with this little tiny dawning or epiphany, I shall go forward this week, forgiving this man, glad to be a woman, and making a more concerted effort to accept the inherent differences between man and woman.
Not only will I make a more concerted effort to accept the differences between men and women, I will make a bigger effort to stop expecting one very specific man to behave in the way I think he should or could. I will stop judging his actions by my female expectations. I will try to remember that he is a man, and that he is always going to do and see things differently from me. And while it may drive me crazy that he just won't do the thing I want him to do, I will just accept what it is he does do at face value.
He's a good guy and he's doing the best he can. After all, he's just a man. (And will never understand women.)


(Don't read too much into the clip. It just seemed appropriate. And who can resist the Blues Brothers?)

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