<HONEA EXPRESS: That Whole Mars/Venus Thing (Again)

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Friday, November 04, 2005

That Whole Mars/Venus Thing (Again)

I’m sure that all of you out there have said something, even in jest or passing, along the lines of "all _____ are ______", such as "all women are psycho". At the very least you have surely heard someone lump a group with a defining attribute- be it gender, ethnicity or nationality, into one stereotypical state of mind. It happens. I’m not defending it or knocking it. I will however, go on record stating that I don’t care for political correctness for the sake of political correctness, but I don’t believe that ignorance is as bliss as they claim it to be either.

Case in point, there are some very important women in my life currently being mistreated by the men that they love(d), and the men are displaying remarkably similar patterns of callousness and flight. The women though, to their credit, have not made such sweeping notions as you would expect about all men being jackasses and the like. Perhaps they consider it a given.

What I see, standing outside as I do, is that the men are acting like they are 22 and haven’t a care in the world, when that isn’t, or at least shouldn’t, be the case. I am a man, and as such, I am probably considered a jackass by association, and even more so by people that actually know me. Fair enough. So I live in a glass house and I like to throw rocks. Sue me.

The point is, I’m a little embarrassed. I’m embarrassed on behalf of men and that we do the things we do. Yes, I mean we, I’ve had my share of aloofness and apathy with the hearts of others. Am I proud of it? Of course not. And that’s probably the issue, we (speaking on behalf of all men here, it’s okay, there was a vote) generally don’t tend to think about things as fragile as feelings, let alone those of the person we are hurting. Sure, when we see someone cry and we know it is our fault, we feel bad, but two hours later we are out shooting pool and drinking beer while she’s still at home with mascara running down her face.

I’ll throw in a disclaimer right here before I step on toes. I know that anybody, man or woman, is more than capable of breaking hearts, being cold, getting hurt or crying themselves to sleep. We’re human. I’m just looking at it from the only side I can.

So what does it all mean? Much smarter people than I have given it a lot more thought without so much as a clue, and I have no illusions of earth-breaking revelations. All I know is that "all men are jackasses" is not the farthest fetching idea I’ve ever heard. We’ve all hurt someone and we’ve all been hurt by someone. Newsflash: it sucks.

What really sucks though is watching people I care about get hurt and seeing myself in the things that are bringing them pain. That is what embarrasses me.

The silver lining here, and it’s a bright one, is that the women in this story are fantastic and will soon find that they are gaining much more than they are losing. Someday soon they will realize that these guys opened a door when they left, and they didn’t shut it. Mr. Opportunity is out there, and while he may have been a jackass once, now he’s just a pretty good guy.

He’ll knock.