We asked guest blogger, Vinny, to divulge his thoughts. Here’s what he has to say:
What do I think of women? Rachel, you are going to get me assassinated. Well here goes.
First, I want to start off by saying that any views I have of women or womankind in general are exactly that. General. This general view is limited and solely based on women with whom I have relations and on what I have seen and heard from the media. This however does not reduce from the authenticity of what I am about to say.
Let’s start on a positive. What it means to be a woman is something that is conditioned into females from the start. Societal norms tells us how we are to enact our gender roles and we are to obey so as to be accepted and not stand out. One such contrast in which females benefit from this, psychologically at least, is on the matter of emotions. Toxic masculinity is one of the ways in which patriarchy is harmful to men: it is taught that man must be unemotional and reserve any displays of weakness, inferiority or vulnerability.
Women, however, are encouraged to be far more expressive and this is one of the main reasons why I love women so much! If you know me, you’ll know that I’m very emotionally expressive. With friends, when I talk through a subject matter, there will be an emphasis on how this makes me feel and I find that the women in my life are far more receptive to this. Sometimes a woman will be taken aback by seeing me cry as such a big man, but ultimately there comes a realisation that ‘emotion is the spice of life.’ It’s what makes us human, what separates us from beasts who act on instinct alone. This emotional understanding, intimacy and proximity is what really develops love between me and my friends.
The second reason why I love women so much is: suffering.
Mankind is a creature of suffering but even more so is womankind. Early on in a woman’s life she must face hard truths whilst boys are still chasing each other with boogers. Menstruation for example. The average age of menarche is 12 years old. Whilst this is a biological phenomenon, it has psychological effects. A girl must now be responsible to carry sanitary products with her, keep record of her cycle, endure physical pain and learn how to control emotional shifts.
This maturity in suffering shapes women. If I am suffering deep physical pain, I go to my women friends! They get it! If I am going through my own hormonal shifts suffering a loss of control over emotional wellbeing, they get it! This identifying with suffering is paramount again to emotional intimacy through shared experience. Not something men must all immediately grasp since the age of 12.
Men often assert their dominance through the typical ways – I’m sure I don’t have to make a list. Women, however, I have seen them commonly attempt to grasp power and dominance in a situation through gossip. I don’t know why but I feel that a good old-fashioned bitch is something that builds ties between women and helps them feel safe. I’m sure this is the case for men also but I have seen this more prominently in women.
On the note of women being socialised to be more emotionally expressive…
Sometimes this goes too far. Women I find can be (no one in specific, calm down) far too emotionally sensitive. Mate, I have some banter with a lad, it’s fine, dish out some banter to a woman, say the wrong phrase, take my word out of context. Boom, I’ve got an armada coming at me asking why I upset her.
Which leads me to my most sexist point: women can be so dramatic.
Now this is rich coming from me. I’m the Phantom of the freaking Opera. But I believe romcoms often instill in a woman this right to be dramatic, in tandem with oversensitivity. What a thing to behold.
In sum, I’m sorry if I offended anyone through sexism or generalisation. Keep in mind that this is a few fleeting thoughts. I adore womankind. Thank you, Rachel & Savvy.
-Vinny, guest blogger