On Being Men: It Ain't Easy!
Being a man is not so easy. As much one would like one to believe. Being a man is tough. And like the cliché goes, tough get going when the going gets tough!
Often it is made out that men are macho and can do tough stuff that women can't do.
For example, men can be soldiers and women can't, and have not been. Forget Rani Jhansi, Rani Rudrama, or whoever. They are far and few in between. Actually, they WERE.
Firstly, why the need for being and feeling macho?
It is called compensatory behavior. We normally seek what we do not have. Don't we?
Men feel small. Check for it. Most of them at the least. At least at some point in time. Where does that smallness come from? From the toilets where one starts to compare. Or their equivalents. Who is big? Statistically not everyone can have it big. Just like height Mother nature seems to have learnt the normal distribution early on.
Men feel small, especially with women. Often they feel out of depth. Or constantly wonder if they ever measure up to it. Could be real or imaginary. Depths not easy to fathom. Lengths can normally be measured. Jungle saying. Even very tall edifices can be measured - given some light and shadow. Hence the feeling of being very exposed, and vulnerable. Unfair world.
I do not want to go to lengths on this issue here. But I would like to go a little more into the depths of this phenomenon of smallness.
Most men get over it. Either they get understanding companions, who make them feel better, unique and special. Or, wherever, the companion does not understand this dynamic - it could be a problem. Three possible phenomena might happen. Implosion or Explosion. Or they would have understood the meaning of the basic stats they learnt early on in life and learn to live with it. And build a sense of adequacy.
Self doubt, feeling of worthlessness etc., are probable. I leave it to one's imagination as to the possible compensatory behaviors.
I do not deal with explosions and explosives. I leave it to the experts.
'Tough and risky' jobs such as uniformed jobs, typically satisfy the need for compensatory behavior. At some point or other most boys would fantasize about them. At least I did. Just check the popularity of the gun-games on the computer or other gaming equipment. Rarely do we see girls loving or enjoying them.
Check all the tools men like to handle. Going about their job. Most of the projectiles should stand as good substitutes for projection (I am talking about psychological) and dealing with inadequacy. Check the shape of bullets, missiles, rockets, torpedoes etc., (inspiration George Carlin).
The raison d'être of all projectiles is to project into someone-else's business. I guess docs call it invasive procedures.
Prakritim yaanti bhootani ... says the Gita. Every organism behaves according to its nature.
Symbolisms, language, etc.
Peace is sissy. Check this out. A dove symbolizes peace. And dove is a bird. Birds are also called chicks. Hence, chickening out is not a man thing.
More often than not it is men who ride bikes. All the bike reviews talk about how 'beautiful' she is. And 'ain't she sexy?, etc., etc. So far, I have read hundreds of reviews. I haven't seen any one saying how handsome he is. I had a great ride on him, etc., etc. Get the point?
Cars are no different. I have yet to see when a reviewer writes - 'he is awesome, I got into him, and lord, was he responsive? Just a touch of my foot - and did he gallop and take me to dizzying speeds?' and 'his pulsating power I felt when I held the knob, and the chunky wheel, it fills my hands, and so nice to hold' etc., etc.
Projections of a different kind?
How come? Do not ask me.
A good fight is a perfect validation of overcoming the existential dilemma. Even a mock one is alright.
Hence, men like fights.
Dog fights, symbolize men fighting. That's what air force pilots call them. Don't they?
Cat fights, are left to girls. Feline and feminine go together? Some how. Purring, soft and cuddly, meowing, sound less threatening and menacing I guess. Menacing is macho. Still do not know why men like dogs (normally) and women cats (generally again).
Moms and Men
Often men get caught in the fantasy of the first woman that they know and adore. The mother. And hence here is the basis for the 'mother sentiment' films.
What do you have? I have Ma.
Mothers, being wonderful people they are, do not prepare the male children for reality. At least most of them.
Hence, the second/third or whichever woman that a man gets to know and invites into his life is benchmarked with the first woman he ever knew. Obviously the new girl cannot match up to it. For mothers give un-conditional love. For them one is always the 'li'l one', and always right. Always on the look out if the kid is hungry, angry, depressed etc., etc. They do not demand any reciprocity from the kid. Coz' they know that they need to pick on someone their size.
But the girl also is a 'li'l one' to her mother. But she is expected to live up to the 'first' woman's benchmark. That beats the men. They do not understand why this girl can't be as unconditional in giving as the first woman they knew. They do not understand that this 'li'l' one is as fragile and as 'wishing to be taken care of' just like the other 'li'l' one. And demands. And at that equal rights. That's difficult to digest. That takes us to food.
Food and Men:
I have heard, men, even those who are in their 70s, complain to their wives with whom they would have spent significantly more time than with their mothers, and therefore would have eaten more meals than they ever ate with their wives - 'whatever you say dear, you can never cook like my mom." His taste buds were tuned early on by mom's cooking, is something the man does not learn!
I have met men, who consider themselves to be 'sensitive'. I used to wonder what it means to be sensitive. I used to think probably they are sensitive to others and the world. But I figured it out after a while. They are sensitive to themselves, and in other words are saying - handle me with care, I am fragile. While I do not have enough empirical data, however, about the 'sensitive' types that I know, I learned that they are not very sensitive to their spouses. In two cases that I know, led to divorces. And no one would believe that they could 'gently' torture the second woman in their life. They look so tender and gentle, they evoke - brotherly, fatherly, motherly and sisterly instincts - depending on your gender and age.
So, when I feel small, I posture. When I feel inadequate I take it out on others. I will stick to momma. I will not grow up. But expect others to grow up. That's our tragedy - of being men.
Did I not say it was not easy to be men?
On Being Men: It Ain't Easy!
- » Published on June 22, 2006
- » Type: Satire
- » Filed under: