Our infatuation with bad guys is forcing the nice guys to rethink their strategy.
This article is a return to what I’m quite passionate about and that is the dynamics between male and female and our perceptions of the opposite sex. It’s an article that should explain the ramifications of using baseless statements to define an entire gender.
It was a classic RnB song. Released in 2000, it relays the story of two women who happen to share the same man. The conversation starts with woman A informing woman B that she has been servicing her husband. Woman A then adds that woman B’s husband wasn’t “man enough” for her and so she had to return him back to his rightful owner. A more elaborate synopsis of the song is irrelevant for the purposes of this article but 15 years after the classic was released, the statement still dumbfounds me.
Of recent I have been at pains with the perception of men in society. A while back, a girlfriend and I were discussing the extent to which manhood has been rewritten by women (this will most likely be explored thoroughly in another article) and she suggested that women have definitely had a hand in inverting what it means to be a man. I argued that men should stop placing their frustrations at women’s feet and take responsibility for not being able to maintain their integrity both in public and private spheres. However, statements like “he wasn’t man enough for me” do much to create tension and I have since altered my view slightly.
You hear it all the time. “I don’t like that he’s so nice. He’s just not man enough for me.” There are other variations like, “I want to be roughed up a little and all he does is shower me with love,” , “I just want him to take full control” and “I need a man to put me in my place”. I’ve probably uttered one or two of these statements in my younger years because inexperience tends to cloud your judgement but thankfully I’m far more conscious of the things that flow from my mouth.
“He wasn’t man enough for me” is a redundant declaration that does nothing but create a false distinction between “men “ and men. It’s a distinction that only exists in the minds of women. It’s a ludicrous statement and one that understandably arouses great controversy amongst the sexes. Men are adamant that manhood is being rewritten by women who have no knowledge of what it means to be a man and women are holding on to this hierarchy that separates “man enough” from “not man enough” , judging men by standards that are built on their emotions as opposed to fact.
I take offence to the statement “he wasn’t man enough for me” for many reasons. Firstly, the woman always sounds volatile. We all know the drill. When one woman is seen as volatile or crazy, the slating of all women worldwide generally follows. The crazy female stereotype is supported by statements like “he wasn’t man enough” as the paragraph shall show. “He wasn’t man enough for me” is synonymous with “I’m too much too handle” and every woman should avoid painting themselves in that light. The rhetoric is exhausting as well as dangerous. If your aim is to be with a man that will love you tenderly then please refrain from describing yourself as an animal that needs to be tamed. Lions, tigers and bears are too much to handle. Phobias are too much to handle but women are a delight. Without even knowing, the woman who utters the statement “he wasn’t man enough for me” does herself a disservice. Unbeknown to her, she has now projected herself as someone never satisfied, difficult, overbearing and critical. I resent stereotypes but more than that, I resent statements that feed stereotypes. “He wasn’t man enough for me” does more to tarnish a woman’s identity than it actual does a man’s.
I’m of the opinion that whatever we cannot explicitly define shouldn’t be used so frequently. How is it that we can make sweeping statements about men not being man enough when the characteristics we associate with manhood are off? How are we making the distinction between “man enough” and “not man enough”? By using aggression and overconfidence to measure manhood? We want a man to have back bone, to be overly assertive and put us in our place because that is the only measure by which we constantly judge manhood but it’s a wrong assessment. “Man enough” doesn’t consider that a male can be strong and vulnerable at the same time. I find it interesting that our assessment of men is often guided by our perceptions of strength and if a man loving you with great tenderness is a sign of weakness then we need to rethink our perceptions on strength. We find the man who showers us with compliments too soft and lacking back bone and the one who won’t even open a door for you , weirdly attractive. I find this quite bizarre.
With statements like “he wasn’t man enough for me”, what women actually want is unclear. Do you want a man or a beast is the question I like to pose to females. Nice guys end up confused, forcing them to rethink their strategy whilst the bad guys are spurred on by female attraction. Therein lies the problem. Statements like “ he wasn’t man enough for me” damage the male psyche to the extent that the brothers who really do want you for you are being overlooked because they don’t fit into the female notion of manhood.
Let’s be clear, using the statement “he wasn’t man enough for me” is not the same as “he isn’t good enough for me”. One statement condemns his manhood; the other condemns his moral standing. I would never be naïve enough as to say all men are wonderful because that would be insulting to the many women who have been hurt by not so nice men. I know there are always weeds amongst flowers but “he wasn’t man enough for me” is not the way to phrase it.
“He wasn’t many enough for me” and so many other statements of its kind are ruining what it means to be man.
My heart goes out to the nice guys the most. They never seem to get past the finish line because they are always playing catch up with the bad guys. Statements like “he wasn’t man enough for me” are tripping them up. Let’s make the race a little easier.
Love Cris x
P.s the most ironic thing about the song is that it was written by a man.
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