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On Living In A Man’s World

September 2, 2011

Being one of the guys involves many adventures, usually beginning and ending with food, beer and bad jokes. The part that quickly wears is how bad the jokes get.

“Why does a woman wear white when she gets married? So the dishwasher matches the fridge.”
“Why are women’s feet so small? So they can stand closer to the stove.”
“How is a woman like a hardwood floor? Lay them right the first time and you can walk all over them for years.”
“Why did the woman cross the  road? Who cares?! Who let her out of the kitchen and where did she get those shoes?!”

The above is just a sampling of the jokes that fly.  They get worse, more degrading, more sexual, more crass, more disrespectful. They’re absolutely appalling to listen to. The worst part is who tells them. It isn’t just the single, bitter, jaded frat boys that most people would assume would be cackling at the sexist bashing session. No, the hardest part about hearing these jokes is them coming from men who I personally know to be sweet, kind, wonderful, loving and treat their women like goddesses. The idiot frat boys I expect it from, but from these other generally awesome men the words leave scars.

Guys, let me make this exceptionally clear: no matter how strong or confident or ballsy a woman you’re hanging out with, no matter how well she’s become one of the guys, no matter if she throws these same jokes around; the jokes hurt to hear and they are absolutely not funny.

Males honestly don’t seem to get how easy it is to be male. Jokes like these don’t fly around making men into objects and kitchen appliances. You don’t expect or tolerate having to listen to your woman talk about the male stripper or movie star or bartender or whoever who was so damn hot she wants to take him home and do bad things to him. Yet here ya’ll sit and talk about how nice some other woman’s tits are when the woman your with doesn’t really have any. You talk about how beautiful another woman is and turn and criticize your wife for her flaws. You maintain as friends throngs of beautiful, funny, smart women and wonder why we get insecure and neurotic.

I honestly don’t get it. Some of it could come from the men who’ve been burned and are jaded. Some of it likely comes from the tendency to revert to the locker room mentality when you stick a bunch of males together. Some of it may just be that they’re not actively thinking about how what they’re saying might be hurtful. And some of it, well, some of it is because girls can be just as mean and hurtful as boys can.

This is an issue that is very difficult to address, especially in the military community. Being one of the guys is essential, as I’ve mentioned before. The jokes come with the territory. Hell, I’ve perpetuated them. But it doesn’t mean that every time they start happening I’m not trying to figure out how quickest to abandon the group and go hide in a corner. Is this what you think about women? Is all we’re good for to have sex with, have children with and to make you a goddamn sandwich? “Many a truth is found in jest.” Or as the sometimes brilliant sexest Sigmund Freud put it “There are no jokes. We mean everything we say in a humorous manner.”

In the end, I could sit here and complain about it or I can address it. “Do unto others” means that if I wouldn’t want the same treatment coming back to me, I’m not allowed to give it. Maybe if I stop calling my lover a fatty just because he calls himself that and maintain my stance on complimenting and building up, he’ll get the idea and apply it to his own behavior. This world may be a man’s world and easier for him, but there’s a reason you always hear about a good woman being behind every man. Character takes courage and we could all use a little more of both these days.

Until Next Time,
~Rose

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