There are a lot of people out there that defend woman and our rights. I am one of them. I think woman can be treated awful and looked at in the wrong ways, and it makes me sick. My friend wrote in her blog a statistic that women in Swaziland are more likely to be raped than to learn how to read. I hate hearing those things....but....
I have realized that I am a huge advocate for men. When I look at the way men are talked about I hear some really negative things. So many facebook statuses by girls put down guys. We call them jerks and put flat out there that there are no good ones out there. But Ive come to realize that often we become what we are told we are, and men are told some pretty awful things about themselves.
Michael and I were talking about sitcoms the other day and how we hate the way men are portrayed. The husbands are always the stupid, lazy beer drinkers that can't do anything right and only care about football and woman. I think this actually puts a poor identity to men and they actually start to believe that is the way they are wired and that is how it is supposed to be. So many times I hear wives put down their husbands and talk so poorly of them, and I just can't stand it.
Another thing that my husband really learned to break through from being on the world race was being able to be vulnerable and have some emotion, say what is hurting inside and deal with it. Here is a great quote from a speaker I heard the other day. "The messages and expectations that fuel shame are gender related. There is one expectation on men, at which I would argue is suffocating men. And that is, "do not be seen as weak." Men have to be emotionally stoic. We set men up in the worst way possible." When my husband finally felt comfortable enough to be allowed to open up and maybe shed some tears, he was able to deal with some deep hurts he didn't know he had. I saw the men around me on the world race allow themselves to go through the same thing, and it was amazing the men they became once they felt comfortable with each other to get vulnerable and allow to show that they hurt inside. I am telling you, THAT is manly. Very manly. Once the men around us realized they were allowed to break down when they needed to, they became more confident in themselves on the inside, not just on the outside like most men pretend to be.
The speaker I was listening to said that a man once told her, "my wife and kids would rather me die on a white horse then have me fall off of it." That is so sad to me. Men should be allowed to not always be the strong ones and make mistakes. Men should be allowed to deal with their deep hurts and not get crap about it.
So women, we need to affirm our men. Tell them they are great and maybe they can believe it and that they are made for more than what the media is telling them. They are made for more than the couch and a beer. Every man wants to believe that, but they are just not told that.
Men, you are amazing. Even the strongest of woman who aren't willing to say it, deep down know that we need you. We need you as fathers, friends, husbands, and brothers. Ones that love us deeply. Men, allow yourselves to open up. I think it is often other men that put it on men to be "strong", at least on the outside. But it is way more manly to be real. You are living in a lie if you are holding it all in. We don't want fake, we want real men, who can be vulnerable even when it may seem like you are being weak. But being vulnerable and honest about what really is going on inside, is actually probably the most strong, courageous, and manly thing you can do. So be real, because you are GREAT men, some of you are just are locked up on the inside.