Wednesday, August 8, 2007

It's YOUR Fault!

Ladies, may I have your attention for just one moment? I just need to make a note of this, since every social gathering has one, every girl-to-girl heart-to-heart has one; whenever women get together, the conversation will inevitably contain at least one negative story about a some guy who was a superjerk.

I'm sick of it.

This is not to say that such ogres of society don't exist. It is not to say that I don't feel your pain. You know I am hardly free of the plague myself...but here is my point:

We are not helping anyone, OR ourselves, by recounting experiences to the point of feeling like there are no good men out there! Even in jest, it is a toxic mental state when we discredit or downplay the existance of men who are admirable, interesting, intelligent, funny, helpful, faithful, an in other ways inspiring. Your perception creates your reality. The more we allow one another to focus on the negative, the more we will see ourselves surrounded by the negative. You see how unproductive this behaviour is, right? Ultimately, your perception will tell you that all men are manipulative, untrustworthy, and cruel. Does that seem like a good way to view the world? I didn't think so.

Hence, my love of Hunk O'The Month.

You know why I love my man-friends? They show me that there ARE men who are kind, generous, thoughtful, and genuine. They prove to me that, while that last guy may have treated me with little regard, there are still men who respect and honour women for their integrity, virtue, and intelligence. They are human. They have feelings. They have fears and desires and goals. They love and appreciate women for who we are. Maybe we're not dating, but that doesn't mean we don't love and appreciate each other.
In acknowledging the good men in my life, I am inspired to know that the ones who weren't so good are not the norm; only a blip. A blip that made a mistake by not living up to the faith and trust I had in him. And as I see my good men-friends in their relationships and marriages, I know that one day I will find someone as genuinely wonderful as MY friends, and he will actually want to be more than just another shoulder to lean on.


chloe elizabeth said... I am recently, as you know, guilty of this. But let me counter your point just one moment. I agree wholeheartedly that there are great guys out there. Many of them. Most of the ones I'm related to are that way. And I agree that guy "bashing" is not ideal in any shape, even for comic relief.

But, I also know that there are women out there who get treated horribly and don't know that that is what's going on. They think it's the norm and that it's okay to be treated like crap. Sure, they've heard stories of great guys, but they don't believe they are worth that because, we, as females tend to be relatively hard on ourselves.

I'm not sure if you've ever been in an abusive relationship or know someone who has been, but I have firsthand experience, and my point in sharing some of the things I do is to help people see that certain behaviors are not okay.

Yes, the ideal would be to share the great stories of great guys who do great things. And I do. But when it comes to the problem of women feeling they're not worth that, those stories do little to help them (women who are not so confident as you appear to be...and I truly mean that in a good way) realize they do deserve that. What finally helped me realize how bad my situation was was when I heard a friend tell a story about a guy who was doing a lot of the same things my fiance was doing and heard her say, "And finally I realized, I didn't deserve that."

And I realized, I didn't deserve that either.

Consider yourself blessed to know that "not so good ones" are the blip. Lots of women out there have no such knowledge, and I know it's not for lack of good men, it's just the way life is.

Sorry, I'm on a little bit of a soap box. But I feel that there is a time and a place.

Having said all that, my recent post is not so noble. It really was because I was so angry that this guy had been such a jerk to my sister. And you have brought something to my attention that I fully intend to address in my own conversations.

Thanks for speaking your mind. I really do love your posts.

Dubious Brown said...

men are scum. except for me.

Rachel said...

Just this Sunday I overheard a conversation before Relief Society between a brand new sister and an old timer. The old timer said that most new girls stay in our ward because the RS is so great even if though there is no one to date. It just made me sad that the first thing the new girl learned was that guys here are not worth dating. I hate man bashing.

Sarita said...

Rachel that is sad. It may have been even me that said it. I'm pretty sure I have before. But I have heard it tons. In our ward probably more to do with number ratios and all. But regardless, it's easy to get stuck in a rut of male bashing and blaming all our dating/relationship, or lack thereof issues on the male gender. Some of it is warranted (as much as complaints of female tendencies would be)but shouldnt be the norm. said...

Three Thoughts:
Thom Carter great truth of Life:
"Guys are stupid, girls are mean"
In all seriousness, as someone who has also been in an abusive relationship, sitting around and talking about it with a bunch of people never did help me out. It was the quiet moments that turned my baggage into my past. I feel the more time we spend focusing on the negative atributes of people, the less time we spend healing or seeing what possibilities there are out there.

Bree wrote about this a week or so ago.
Maybe I should move from my family ward here in Jersey to Sarah and Rachel's Ward out there.

chloe elizabeth said...

Thom - I appreciate your sentiments on the matter and agree with you. I'm really not talking about sitting around and brining it up over and over and dwelling, I'm talking about sharing when appropriate. And I could be wrong about that.

The Dally Llama said...

Possibly my favorite movie quote of all time comes from Cast Away, and it seems relevant to to this thread:

Tomorrow the sun will rise. -And who knows what the tide may bring?

All getting stuck in a negative state of mind can do is lead to you to overlook opportunities when they present themselves to turn your life around, which they ALWAYS (eventually) do. -And let's not forget that how that whole "light cleaveth unto light" concept figures into the equation. Exude a crappy vibe if you must, but don't be surprised when your return is crappy.

Point being, no matter how crappy your experience has been, there is always great cause for optimism. Peoples' fortunes have a funny way of turning on a dime when people put themselves in the position for it to happen.

chloe elizabeth said...

I agree that things ALWAYS turn around, and so much faster when you have a positive attitude. And we all may just disagree about this, but I think there's great strength that comes when someone says, "Look, I've been through this and it was hard, but I made it and so will you." Aren't the scriptures full of stories of hardships and how people have overcome them? Why does talking about something automatically mean that I'm negative and pessimistic about it?

Gosh...I feel like I sound like I'm the most bitter and pessimistic person out there. Guess I won't be getting any dates out of this one.

caroline said...

chloe elizabeth, i can relate. a friend of mine and i share and ex that manipulated us and it helped to realize that we weren't crazy and that it was his issue and not ours. sharing when appropriate is not being negative or pessimistic and can be quite helpful. dwelling of course is bad, but i think we all know that and that doesn't really need to be said.

so boys and girls, stop being such jerks so we can all talk about more important things, like our favorite flavor of doritos. NACHO CHEESE.

Sarita said...

It's important to learn from our experiences good and bad. Other's can learn from them as well. It's when self pity, blame, bitterness, and blanket judgements coincide that it gets dangerous. It can be easy to indulge in that but I think the consensus here is that doesnt beget happiness. Life is not black and white.

Chloe, there is nothing wrong with sharing your strength in a bad situation with others. So many get stuck because they feel as if they should be happy with what they get rather than expecting what they deserve. There are balances to be had on every side. I know too many that have found themselves in bad and even tragic circumstances for that very reason, and yet, I still have faith in men.

chloe elizabeth said...

I have faith in them, too. Not only that, but I really like them.

And I'm a fan of the fire doritos myself.

And now I'm really done. I didn't mean to bring up such controversy, just offer another point of view.

Rachel said...

Cool Ranch.

Sarita said...

I'm allergic to Doritos.

f*bomb. said...

ummm...I kinda just wrote that so people would start thinking about nominees for Hunk O'The Month. (VOTE!) I don't see anywhere the suggestion that anyone (male OR female) should ever remain in an abusive or destructive relationship.
All I'm saying is that it's a sad commentary that we can so easily find the flaws and list 34 deal-breakers off the top of our heads, but struggle with embracing the deal-MAKERS in one another.
I think we'd all be a lot more satisfied if we opened our eyes and appreciated each other more for who we DO have in our lives.
And if we all had more Doritos. Regular or Ranch. They both give me breath that would kill a yak and I LOVE IT.

f*bomb. said...

And, PS- Chloe- your recent post was HILARIOUS. Don't you change a thing, lady.
As for Rachel and Sarita's ward...I was there. And I agree. Rachel's already dated anyone worth looking at twice. Of course, it seemed like a lot of people were out of town, so...But that doesn't mean we can't love them for their baking skills, sweet spirits, book collections, awesome taste in records, and so on.

What I'm saying, ladies- Nominate someone- ANYONE- worth recognizing for putting some GOOD into this world. Acknowledge that there ARE good men in the world, and tell us WHY he's good. Recognizing the goodness in one another makes YOU feel good (because you realize exactly why you love your friends) and it makes HIM realize that jerks DON'T impress us nearly as much as The Good Guy will.

Salt H2O said...

Along these lines- I heard one too many relief society lessons on "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and some day, some where some fabulous man is going to marry me..."

f*bomb. said...

Wait! So, what about the lesson on "all my troubles will be over, if only I got married!"?

brent said...

Wow. I love that clip of Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol in "Kuch Kuch Hota Hai"! The fact you put that here makes me believe pretty much anything you have to say.

f*bomb. said...

Brent, you should ALWAYS believe everything I say, as I am always right and am very, very serious.

I use Statistics and Science to back up my claims, so you KNOW it must be true.