Monday, February 25, 2013

رفقاً بالقوارير...والقدور

I think one of the strangest phenomena we encounter on a daily basis is just how differently men and women see things. It isn't the first time I discuss this, nor will it be the last. We function differently (here are the numbers to prove it!), and for that reason sometimes have difficulty communicating. Both have unspoken expectations of the other and that are just lost in space somewhere. The message never quite gets across the way you want it to. Many a time relationships have dwindled for having such expectations but never communicating them. And even when you say one thing and mean another, you expect the other person to understand what you mean, not what you say, then get upset when they haven't...! Even worse is when you say nothing at all and expect it to just be known. Things like pride get in the way.

Men, I feel, sometimes forget how fragile women are. Yes, we can be seen as 'vulnerable' sometimes, though not to be confused for weakness. A woman can be the epitome of strength and independence, but she is still a woman. She might not even admit she's fragile and would resist ever exposing that side, but you need to look beyond it. I wish more men would take the time to try and understand just how much a woman endures just for being a woman. It may seem that there's not much to it but that certainly is not the case. Especially nowadays when more women are proving capable of doing exactly what it is men are supposedly built to do - sometimes better - despite the constant opposition from all sides, both male and female, trying to get her to just sit down, shut up and look pretty. Meeting the high standards of being 'pretty' alone is exhausting. Kicking ass and looking fabulous doing it is no easy feat, and I must insist men start giving women credit for that alone.

What breaks my heart even more are those women who have yet to realize just how capable they can be. For some reason they have been suppressed - by others or even by themselves - and left to think they will never be better than they already are. They are left believing they are exactly where they should be and don't deserve any better. The woman who obsesses over how she looks, spending hours grooming herself believing she is not pretty enough to face the world without it, or has nothing more to offer besides aesthetics.  The woman who is on a chronic 'diet' or a succession of diets that never seem to end. Even worse is the woman who spends no time taking care of herself whatsoever, feeling she is a lost cause. I can't help but wonder what it is that makes them feel so defeated? I ask you, dear reader, the same question.

A woman, in addition to the many known qualities, has this ability for compassion that has no bounds, but having to fight against stereotypes constantly has more or less forced her to strip herself of that compassion, or at least mask it, in order to appear a worthy opponent to her male counterpart or even to just appear worthy in the eyes of her male counterpart. She must rid herself of what comes naturally to her; what should be seen as an asset, is made out to be a liability. Worst of all is the opposition from her fellow females; spiteful women who are either complacent or merely jealous that she had the courage to do what they themselves know they can also do but don't. There are women that do, and women that don't, and they all hate on each other because they secretly know women can do and should do. But I digress.

All things considered, yes, there will be mood swings. Yes, there will be inexplicable rants and fits of rage. Yes, oh yes, there will be many tears. This is our coping mechanism. You don't have to like it, you may never understand it, but with all the shit a woman has to put up with we may reach a point where we just implode. After a couple implosions you may get an explosion which may seem like it came out of nowhere, but believe me it came from everywhere. When this happens, don't go telling her she's overreacting. Don't go wide-eyed and panic at the sight of her. It comes with being female so don't fault her for being one. Then again don't just stand on the sidelines and watch her crash and burn. Even some women out there may not comprehend what it is I mean, but I'm sure most can relate.

Tread carefully though, because here's where it gets tricky. Different girls want different things. They do that thing where they say one thing and mean another, or say a lot of contradicting things because they just don't know how to properly get the message across. It is something we are all guilty of but in such cases it's really hard to verbalize what is going on inside. Some like to be left alone to cool down while others want as much attention and coddling as humanly possible. Sometimes the same girl would want both but for different situations. I'll leave that down to your sound, wise judgement. It will require trying different methods, testing the waters before reacting appropriately. At times, doing the wrong thing just might be better than doing nothing at all.

It is also these situations that would make a woman feel like she is with someone who understands, or at least tries to. At least she feels she is with someone who sees her. If she doesn't have your attention, believe me she will have someone else's. Be careful not to push her into someone else's arms, and then wonder why it happened (that does go both ways). It's the small things that count. You may shower her with gifts and take her all around the world, but you're too busy to spend a whole 5 minutes with her. You may be working your ass of to provide or continue providing a home for her and taking care of the children, but you spend your free time with 'the guys'. You may challenge her intellectually on a level only known to few but don't make the effort to call her back. You may feel you are flipping backwards and forwards for her, in a way most women would envy, but you may just be doing the wrong thing to try to please the right girl.

If you have been doing the same thing with the last X number of girls you've been with; giving the same compliments, telling the same stories, buying the same type of gifts for the same type of occasions even in the same price range and packaging, taking her to the same restaurants and same trips, maybe even feeling the same know something is up. The same sweet gestures and the same surprises and the same pattern in general with X different women...? No wonder they all ended. Stop thinking about what it is girls want and focus on what this girl wants.

Women, on the other hand, tend to forget how proud men can be. I know it may be hard to believe, but men like to be men. Who would've thought?! So let him be one. Yes, we know women are highly capable, and you don't need to be a downright bimbo, just let him do his thing...humor him! They want to be the muscle around the house; they want to open jars and kill spiders, and I don't necessarily mean that literally (although I personally believe that is a rather important male role). They want to be able to take care of their own, and that includes their family. In return they want to be treated as head of the household.

Downside, some men want to be treated as such but don't deserve to be. So when you encounter that sort of proud man, I say bruise his ego every chance you get. He doesn't deserve such consideration and respect and sadly will never own up to his incompetence as a man and a human and will continue to punish everyone around him for it. Worst of all, men don't talk. Men have this annoying tendency to bottle things up. I've encountered men who are happy to walk away from a conversation having made their own interpretation of what was said rather than actually discussing it. Others who do the opposite, try to create an alternative interpretation of what has actually been said, one that is more to their liking. All this happens in their head though. Their actions reflect it, but we have no way of knowing where it came from. It's like they made an executive decision to behave a certain way and expect us feeble women to accept this change in behavior, no questions asked. Why? Because men always know better, right?

I know a lot of what I say about men is contradicting, but I must say you men are a contradicting bunch! And I know I shouldn't be generalizing here but there is no denying; just as women have this immense capacity to empathize, men have an equally immense capacity to be assholes. Demanding respect and consideration and offering nothing in return renders you more or less useless in my eyes. And I'm not talking in a materialistic sense, I am referring to the duty of a man towards his kin in general. Some men are just assholes to the world and are a disgrace to the human race. Men are capable of asshole-osity in ways that far exceed what women could ever dream of being capable of. I refuse to believe women would have allowed some of the atrocities in the world today to have ever been conceived as an idea let alone actually happened. Perhaps I'm giving women too much credit, perhaps not. But I have never seen such a lack of compassion in women as I have seen so in men, even throughout history. But I digress.