Guest Author James E. Perryman Jr.
I’m a Man. Raised by women, but still…ALL MAN. In my life I’ve had to teach myself how to become this man. And as I get older, I realized not many are taught to deal with their emotions. I’ve had to deal with many of mine alone, not because I had no one to turn to, but because I thought that was what a man had to do.
So when a female friend of mine said ‘You have women issues’, meaning, I have issues in relationships and friendships with women (not that I have monthly pains, or want to wear their skin) I agreed. It was true and I didn’t know why. Despite the fact that I’ve been around women all my life, I do not understand them, and I never will, but I love them. However, the thing that really has me perplexed is that numerous times over the past year I’ve been told that I was acting like a girl..by a girl.
Each time this was said to me, whether in jest or as advice to ‘man up’, my initial reaction was to take EXTREME Offense! I was raised by my four older sisters and my mom, so I have an aversion to appearing feminine in any way. (I’M A MAN!! You’re the stupid little Girl!!)But after the anger subsided, I saw what they meant. No matter what, we all expect men to be men. Good or Bad, men should be Strong, Brave, and Unaffected by anything less than a bullet or sharp weapon (and sometimes thats no excuse). So if we men fall short of this, we must be reminded, that we are infact acting like a girl.
-Men aren’t allowed to cry unless their mother dies, and that must only be a single tear quickly wiped away.
-Men must never seem like they are not in control of the situation. (If you ask for directions, it means you have failed your rugged ancestors and you no longer possess the navigation gene)
-Men must be able to fix whatever mechanical, financial, or technical problem that may arise.
-Men must be a rock, not letting their emotions get the best of them. (You don’t care if she returns your call, you’re busy fixing your carburetor, or killing some beast with your hands)
-Men satisfy their women in every way possible.(Whenever a woman leaves you for another man, it is a sign of your complete deficiency as either a provider, lover, or protector, and therefore you have NO BALLS)
Though absurd, these are the exaggerated truths of society. While my mom did a fine job with my sisters, I notice that its different for girls today. Most of the women I know have been raised to think for themselves and believe in their abilities. They are to provide for themselves and not depend on any man or woman (as I was told by my sister ‘women are competitive, sometimes for NO reason’).
So why would the most common form of advice that I get from women be to ‘stop being a girl’? Aren’t they girls?…not anymore… women don’t want to be girls! They are women, they are grown, and they want MEN who are their equal(an equal that realizes that the WOMAN sets the scale). While every aspect of the male persona may confuse, aggravate and irritate women, they realize that we as men are capable of greatness, when we are not distracted by petty or futile things. Petty things like cleavage and futile things like trying to win an arguement with a woman. We are not equipped to battle in the mind of a woman. As men we try to think logically and be problem solvers. Unfortunately we are also problem causers, in that we dont always take into account the ‘unseen’. Women are experts in the UNSEEN.
-A woman knows when another woman has given her ‘a look’…and what that look meant.
-A woman knows when you are lying, whether she chooses to believe you or not she knows.
-A woman knows that you haven’t noticed all the 1,000,000 things she has done just so you, as a man, can be comfortable, encouraged, and not immasculated.
-A woman thinks of 10 possible outcomes to a situation, all before that situation has even occurred..and worries about them all accordingly.
-A woman will be friends with a woman she doesn’t even like, just to keep an eye on her.
Now…thats alot of stuff to have on your mind, and its not even the half of it.
Women have the amazing ability to tell a man, he is acting irrational like them, and not discredit themselves in the process. When I went through a break up with my girlfriend I spent alot of time talking to my mom, the most amazing woman on earth. (Yes i’m a reformed mama’s boy). And her counsel to me changed my life. She told me that I have been dominated by women all my life and it was time for me to make decisions for myself. Be lead by God to become the Man that I was meant to be. I couldn’t torture myself trying to be the perfect man for my ex, (whom had already moved on). I had to focus on the path before me. I couldn’t sit around talking to every soul about her, regretting everything I’d done, wondering what she was doing, thinking, and feeling. I had to concern myself with things I could control.
From watching my sistes grow up, I can imagine being a girl is torturous.Through dealing with society’s demands and guidelines for their lives and bodies,it must be exhausting. They must protect their heart, soul, and Goodie parts from attackers, every moment of the day. I’ve seen girls spend their day questioning everything from their own motivations and decisions, to whom they can trust with their feelings and sometimes their lives. As a man, I can’t identify with that 100%, but I do admire every woman I know who has endured her plight in life and still has the strength to admit she is going through the baggage she carries with her.
So the advice to ‘stop acting like a girl’, while still an insult, is now more of a wake up call to me, as a very sensitive guy (I’m also a cancer) to stop living inside my head and take responsibility for whatever I’ve done and control of what I have control over…which usually feels like just the remote, but hey its a start. At least I know that I have a long way to go, and I’m appreciative of all the women in my life who have helped me( either by advising me or breaking my heart) develop into the man I am to be. Now if ONLY they could take their own advice!
~James E. Perryman Jr.