Stop being a pussy: Defending Manhood

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It’s Friday night. Instead of going out to the club, this week you and your man decide to watch a movie together. Last movie night, he complied when you picked out a chick flick, so this time, you’ve begrudgingly agreed to watch the latest suspense thriller he’s been raving about.

You’re lounging on the couch next to each other in the dark. The movie’s about halfway through.  The screen darkens. You know something intense is coming. You’re hoping they don’t kill the one, cute actor who’s been this movie’s saving grace. Your heart is thumping. Silence fills the air. Then you feel something run across your feet. You and your guy both scream, and as you jump up onto the couch, you see a lizard running toward the TV, and up the wall. As your heart rate returns to normal, you laugh it off, and get down from the couch. Then you say, “But wait nah! Is scream you scream?”

In our culture, men are supposed to be macho, protectors of the cave and its dwellers, providers, and the backbone to society. Decade after decade, they made the major decisions that then impacted women’s lives. There was no time for showing emotion when there was a society to run. Besides, what would their peers think?

Your man not supposed to ‘fraid a lizard! But why not? Isn’t he human too? If you could scream because a lizard runs across your feet, why can’t he do the same? It’s our culture’s belief that if a man shows fear, a sensitive side, or isn’t stoic and macho 24/7, he’s weak.

 

“Woman doh like soft man.”

If a girl shares with her friends that she and her boyfriend had a cry-fest over Lion King (granted, Mufasa’s death should make everyone cry), their likely reaction would be, “What next? Alyuh going to do each other’s toes tonight and watch Sex and the City reruns?”

That’s where the line blurs between a man’s masculinity and society’s definition of femininity. Additionally, with a society as homophobic as ours, crossing that boundary will bring into question a man’s sexual orientation. And no heterosexual Trini male wants that. Oh, no siree! Most Trini men firmly ascribe to the late Penguin’s anthem, “Women doh like soft man”, and as Penguin rightly states, “women does always treat with scorn a man they emasculate”. Clearly, there is a difference between a ‘chupidee’ man, and a man who, like any human being, has a few fears here, and a few weaknesses there.

 

“Women does always treat with scorn a man they emasculate.”

It’s interesting that the title of this article would call on men to stop being pussies. As the distinguishing anatomical feature of women, it demands that men be men, and act their role. It also implies that women are the opposite of men. Where men are strong, are women weak? Where men are brave, are women cowards? I’m sure if I walked the length and breadth of Frederick Street, asking every woman I met if they’d gladly accept the title of Cowardly Candice or Weak Wanda, I’ll quickly become the least liked person in Port of Spain.

Society still has us walking the tightrope, where our roles are concerned.

Personally, I have no problem with my partner being vulnerable. To me, it makes him human. Men, just like women, were born with an emotional side. They experienced the full range of human emotion, until they were sat down by society and given the lecture about what it means to be a man. Where I will draw the line is if I end up being the one to take over full reign in the relationship. I have no problems killing a cockroach here and there (as I spray the pesky bugger from the safety of the nearest sturdy table), but I don’t expect to be the one holding the can of spray while mister man is over in the corner cowering in fear.

Even if my partner were to engage in some stereotypical woman’s practice, I won’t necessarily make a big deal out of it. If I am browsing the celebrity gossip websites, is my partner really being a pussy for gossiping about Will and Jada with me? No. But, if I am going out with my girls and notice my favourite pair of undies is missing that’s a problem, and symptomatic of other issues. Plus that’s just way too much for even me to handle.

It’s definitely easier to deal with a man who is in touch with his emotions, or isn’t afraid to admit his fears. As Ralph Tresvant sang, “you need a man with sensitivity”, and you want your man to be comfortable enough to do macho and ‘unmacho-like’ things around you.

While I don’t mind a man who taps into his emotions, at the same time, I am a woman who expects to find strength and security in her partner. As much as I like to wear the pants sometimes, I do not ignore the fact that he is the man, and he has his role, as I have mine. So, the next time you and your partner jump out of the way of a scurrying household intruder, why not laugh it off, and not judge him by society’s standards?

 

Author bio: Traci S. Williams is completing a doctorate in clinical psychology and hence, enjoys the wacky side of a story. Her passions include children and literature, which she combines into her blog about the psychology of childhood, Child Space.

 

Image courtesy – iStockphoto.com; -ilkeryuksel-

 

Traci S. Williams

Traci S. Williams is completing a doctorate in clinical psychology and hence, enjoys the wacky side of a story. Her passions include children and literature, which she combines into her blog about the psychology of childhood, Child Space.

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  1. Pingback: Men need to stop acting like girls | Survival 5×5 – Five Dimensions of Survival Preparations

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