I’ve always been a “guy’s girl,” and never a “girly girl”. I’m a feminist, but I have a really hard time respecting women as a group. As a group, I find women can be catty, needy, manipulative, and tend to undermine their intelligence and their strength far too often. There are exceptions to this rule (Michelle Obama, Audrey Hepburn, My Mother, My editor, etc.), but as a whole, I’m not a huge fan of “women.” The reason I’m telling you this is because I’ve always been this way. Ever since I was a little girl I’ve found the women of my family to be silly and somewhat frivolous. I never wanted to go play hopscotch or have my hair braided with my girl cousins – I wanted to go in the living room and yell at the football game with my uncles.
Men, as a group, have always been logical, rational, pragmatic, and relatable to me. I love men. I love everything about them. The way they can be so aloof, the way they can be emotionless, the way people lean on them, the way the handle themselves. Nothing is sexier to me than Gregory Peck, Brando, Bogart, Jimmy Stewart, Hunter S. Thompson, and James Dean. Men that were real men, I just … I could get drunk off the subtle mannerisms and movements of men. But recently, that’s all changed.
I’m really disappointed in men, and angry. I think I’m really angry. I’ve done the leg work on this … I’m not just making a blanketed statement because I’m mad at my boyfriend or because some guy was rude to me. Men are disappointments. They’re lacking. They’re simple. They’re selfish. They’re predictable. They’re all the same. These are the facts of my interactions with men. I’m not blaming men for this; in fact, I think I’m mostly to blame for this. I have really low expectations of men and when they meet those expectations I become disappointed. But who’s to say I didn’t set them up to fail myself?
I was telling a “friend” that I thought I had made a mistake pitching this article. I told him that I didn’t want to write it because when I started to write it I was forced to deal with the real reasons I feel this way. He asked what those were and I dodged the answer and somehow got him to tell me what he thought the answer could be. This is his take on why, lately, I have issues with men, “You are not surrounding yourself with people that help you feel better about the things you dislike about yourself and appreciate the things you do like about yourself. I don’t know if that’s what you’re looking for in a man, but you’re not finding it, so you’re disappointed.” That’s one way to look at this. It’s probably an accurate way to look at this. When I think about what caused this new dislike of the male creature, it stems back to a horrible cliché moment in my life and I can’t believe I’m going to put this in writing and allow it to go on the Internet.
This anger and disappointment was born from the fact that I thought I had found the one guy, outside of my Dad, who is probably the most perfect male on the planet, who was going to be different—and he wasn’t. There’s the truth in black and white type.
When I was ten, my biological father broke my heart when he turned out to be a bad guy. At ten years old I had decided that men were not to be trusted, that they were princes when they wanted to be, but mostly were weak, evil, monsters out for themselves. When …
… my Dad (who’s technically my step-dad) came into my life at age twelve, he made me think that maybe … just maybe … I was wrong. So since the age of twelve, I have known that there are men like my Dad in the world. Men who stay when things get rough, men that will support you through your dreams, men that will let you go completely nuts and fall apart then tell you that you are strong and you will come out of this better and make you believe it and then do it. But I was resigned to the fact that I would never find one of them, and was comfortable with the fact that I was at least lucky enough to be raised by one of them.
I’m twenty-seven and I thought I had found a guy that wasn’t going to meet my expectations. I thought I found Gregory Peck … everything he did and said made me sure that this was different. I’m not a silly girl, and I’m not a girl who rushes into things. I’m not a girl who makes moves without having all the facts. So when I say I was sure this guy was different—I was sure. And I was wrong.
He didn’t exactly meet my expectations (lie, hurt, and leave) but he managed to fool me into thinking he was something extraordinary and he turned out to be perfectly ordinary. Just a dude. Nothing wrong with that, really … but he had presented himself as something—and one day I believe he will be this something—but right now he’s not.
When I think about it, it seems like he was the walking embodiment of hope. Maybe that’s where the anger comes from. The same “friend” that told me I do this to myself also told me I’m not “a faith-based person,” meaning I have no faith. This guy had the balls to give me faith in men only to take it away. He reminded me why I started on my feminist ways. Why I decided that men aren’t all that necessary. Why I decided that women are equal to (and sometimes better than) their male counterparts. So I guess I should thank him …and I would … except that he also reminded me that deep down, I’m hoping that I’m wrong. As cliché as it is, I realized that this happened because I’m waiting for a guy to prove me wrong. That’s where the anger and disappointment is coming from—that fact that no one has. The fact that I am starting over at square one at age twenty-seven what I first figured out at age ten.
For the first time in seventeen years I thought that a man was inherently good. I didn’t question his motives, try and look for a secret agenda; I didn’t pull my sword and steady my shield. I guess it’s a good thing to be reminded of why it is that I do those things. To remember what it is that makes me strong as a female—the fact that even though I know I need carry a sword and a shield—I know that sometimes I need to decide not to use them.