Adults Only, But Men Are Welcome

Neva at poetry workshopby Neva Bodin

I may have mentioned before that I am entertained frequently by articles in the newspaper. Barring all the stories of what horrible things people do to each other of course.

Today (October 1, 2015 in the Casper Star Tribune, Casper, WY) there was encouragement for writers in Garfield’s cartoon. “The best books are the ones you write yourself,” he said. A beat-up Dennis the Menace tells his mom, “He asked me what I thought of him, and I told him. The truth hurts!” Great thoughts to ponder!

A serious article about an upcoming event on page A6 advertises it is for adults only, “but men are more than welcome.” That brought back thoughts I’ve had on occasion about how our society now thinks about men.

A century ago, men were expected to open doors for women, help them exit carriages, lay their coats down over puddles for women to walk on as legend says Sir Walter Raleigh did for Queen Elizabeth.  Men were the leaders, in charge, the defenders.

Yes, there were outlaws, renegades, and attacks against women that happened. But culturally, women were thought to be “delicate” and to be shielded from roughness. Women and men for the most part each had their place in society and life.

A pioneer woman’s diary I read told of how polite all the cowpokes on her husband’s ranch always were to her.

There certainly was a negative side as well as a positive, as in all things. In the past men were to be the decision makers and be in control. The little woman was to be kept “barefoot and pregnant.” Women had to fight to vote, hold offices, and do many things they are good at, besides nurturing and feeding their families.

The World Wars were catalysts for much of this change I believe. Remember “Rosie the Riveter?” And of course we learn of the many women doctors from Doris.

But did we lose something in the feminist movement? And, just as important, did men lose something as well?

There is a website titled: http://www.avoiceformen.com/feminism/how-feminists-define-gender-traits/, which writes, “The ever so common feminist mantra in our misandric society is‘men bad, women good.’ To put it another way: men are inherently bad by nature, and women are inherently good by nature.” I don’t agree with this statement.

In a line uttered by a slightly inebriated Anne Hathaway in the movie “The Intern” after she inadvertently addresses several of the men who work with her as boys and apologizes, she asks (and I hope I remember it the way she said it) what happened in our society that “girls became women and men became boys?” Trailer at https://youtu.be/ZU3Xban0Y6A

Although I still see articles about wage inequality, we can all see the many ways women and men stand alongside each other. I applaud the fact that women can be more than secretaries, nurses or teachers, which seemed to be the main professions for women available when I was young. Anything is possible for women now.

I don’t think the aforementioned article adding as an afterthought that men are welcome also to an “adults-only” event meant to do that, but it reminded me of a lot of “men jokes” and other innuendos that go around that might lessen the importance of men and perhaps question their masculinity.

So many times society goes too far in making a point. Each gender is designed a bit different, and building on and applauding those differences are just as important as recognizing the sameness.

So, vive la men, and let’s accept that we each have strengths and personality traits that enhance each other’s existence, and sometimes make life very interesting!

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26 Responses to Adults Only, But Men Are Welcome

  1. Wranglers says:

    Great Blog. It’s perfect in every way. I enjoyed it. I’m kind of sheltered. I’ve mostly lived in small cities, the men are polite. I taught my grandson’s when they were little to open doors for me, to put women first. My husband is very attentive, he always opens doors, has me to order first at restaurants, puts me on the inside when we walk down the street, sleeps on the side of the bed closest to the door. I could go on and on. He’s a gentleman. My son, and grandsons are too, but not as much as he was. Women threw a lot of this away. they took equality too far. My youngest grandson and his wife are both soldiers, and she’s very capable to do most anything, but he takes care of her, doing all the little things he saw his Grandpa do. Loved the Dennis the Meanace cartoon. Cher’ley

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    • Neva bodin says:

      Thanks Cher’ley. I dated my hubby’s friend prior to dating my husband and both were courteous like that, walking on the outside, opening doors and making me feel cared for. Yet respectful of what I knew etc. I like that respect and see myself as part of a team when working with or managing men. I think not enough young men/boys are taught to respect the women/girls like your family is obviously doing. That respect bolsters esteem and self respect for both genders I think. Your hubby sounds like a gem.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wranglers says:

    Hi Send Sunshine, thanks for your like. Cher’ley

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  3. Doris says:

    Neva,
    Many people call me a ‘feminist’, which I don’t mind. To me a ‘feminist’ is one who accepts the differences as strengths, that each person has something to contribute, and no one is any less or more than the other. I was always taught that I may be better at something than someone else, but there will always be someone better than me. Life equals out when the playing field is leveled. (Hence my bringing the story of the women doctors to light, to show life is not black and white but amazing shades of gray.) Okay I’ll get off my soapbox now. Great post. Doris

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    • Neva bodin says:

      Yes, I think feminist could be interpreted in different ways and not be negative. I certainly agree that we all have different strengths and should honor those talents and strengths. I like feeling feminine and protected and cared for by my man but also allowed to use my strengths and talents and return the respect. He has more brawn and sometimes I have additional information with my brain. And sometimes vice versa. Good soapbox! Thanks for commenting.

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    • Wranglers says:

      I feel that way too Doris, I think women are strong in many ways, as I do men, and we have mutual respect. My husband is so proud of my books, and my art, as I’m pround of his endeavers. But, I enjoy being treated like a lady. Cher’ley

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  4. Anonymous says:

    It’s interesting how cartoons can reflect life. Good post.

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  5. It’s interesting how cartoons can reflect real life. Good post.

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  6. Great point is made here, each gender is definitely different in its own way and each has its very strong points as well as weak. I once upon a time use to bash men too for their childish ways, but I have learned to see them as equal beings who just have more of a temper tantrum, and just like to be in control. There is nothing wrong with a macho man. They are actually sexy in their own sense.

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  7. Neva bodin says:

    Yes, I love cartoons and what talent most of them show! To illustrate something most can relate to and find humor in in a few frames is quite a feat, and then to do it daily even! Thanks for the comment.

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  8. Your post is very entertaining as well as thought-provoking. I never thought of myself as a feminist, yet I bristle at the idea that a woman can’t do something just as well as a man. For me, it’s just about “who is best at the job” and if it’s a man or a woman, it doesn’t matter to me. I guess I’m gender neutral. However, I do get frustrated at times that hard-boiled noir crime fiction is such a “boy’s club” with very few female authors. I hope to change that but then does that make me a feminist? I have no idea. Great post, Neva!

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    • Neva Bodin says:

      Could it be that the lack of female authors of crime is due to interest by the writer rather than gender acceptance by publishers? It would be interesting to know if that is a factor. I applaud the different interests and similar ones by each gender. Sounds like you have the talent and drive to use your talents alongside whomever, never mind the gender. And I agree, it’s about “who is best at the job” in life.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Very thought provoking post Neva. Could it be that we want our cake and eat it too? Possibly. However does the “feminist” movement make the male gender feel less adequate?
    Spurring resentment? Does fear play a factor? Are we sacrificing equality for chivalry? I think all of these things come into play. Women can accomplish and stand toe to toe with men, but men will never be able to carry a life to term and bring it fourth into the world. Of course they are trying to clone life, and so the game takes another turn. :o)

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    • Neva Bodin says:

      I think you are right in your questions and comments. I have them too. It’s a delicate balance sometimes–each gender seeking confirmation and validation on so many levels, maybe feeling threatened at times. I think we were created for some uniqueness in each gender, and should respect that. That doesn’t mean we can’t share and be equal at some tasks. Thanks for the thoughtful comments.

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  10. Joe Stephens says:

    I love this! As a man, I struggle with my place in the world. We need to find better ways to embrace and enjoy the different gifts each sex brings without making one more or less.

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    • Wranglers says:

      That’s true Joe, and my husband does it perfectly, as do my son, and grandsons. Cher’ley

      Like

    • Neva Bodin says:

      I think you captured my point with one sentence! Because of all the different personalities, backgrounds, experiences, etc. in each person’s life, there will always be some struggling with “who’s best” by some people I believe. We are all best at something. Thanks for the great comments.

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    • Neva Bodin says:

      You captured my thoughts in one sentence. We are all best in something. And each person has a unique part in life to balance the other person’s part. I do think some of those strengths are gender related due to the ways the brain processes things. I don’t think we can ignore hormones and the part they play in our lives. I do think we, as females, in bringing forth strengths that have been repressed in past cultures, have confused males and their part in balancing us out. Thanks for the affirmation of my topic. I think highschool classes helping each gender understand the other might be worthwhile. Appreciate your insight.

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  11. Wranglers says:

    Neva, I didn’t realize this was such a hot topic for me. Cher’ley

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  12. Donna says:

    Great blog Neva and Joe and Cher’ley nailed it with their comments.

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  13. Mike Staton says:

    The post got me to thinking. I’ve known women who were sexually abused as children and teenagers. I’ve also known women who have been in abusive relationships, both physical and mental abuse. When married, a close friend of mine had a husband who worked to destroy her self-esteem, calling her fat and unattractive, isolating her from her family, etc. Are these kinds of cases more prevalent in the modern age than in the past? A male friend of mine who did counseling once told me that this sort of thing is more prevalent than people realize. Just a few days ago a disturbed guy shot all those people at the community college in Oregon. I repeat… a guy; it’s rare that a mass killing is committed by a woman. Obviously, most men are decent, loving, caring dudes. But the crazies are doing more heinous acts nowadays compared to the past, or more of them are doing the brutal stuff. I admit… I’ve read of mass killings done in the 19th century. But nowadays they’re happening every few weeks — in schools, theaters, shopping malls, government offices, work places. And almost always by men.

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  14. katewyland says:

    My husband, a very gracious, respectful man, has been irritated for years by the way men are discounted and put down nowadays. In the past it was “father knows best.” Now it’s “woman knows everything” and he finds it upsetting. Of course I’ve experienced the opposite, with men snubbing “the little woman.”

    Obviously, the current negative attitude towards men is a reaction to the past treatment of women. It sure would be nice if we could get beyond that and simply see each other as equals with different strengths and weaknesses.

    Good post.

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  15. Nancy Jardine says:

    Thoughtful post, Neva. I hold doors open for men and like it if they do it for me, but that’s not for any feminist need on my part- it’s purely being curteous to anyone near. I think that more common decency between male and female, old and young, is needed in society and that a lot of it has been ‘lost’ or ‘sidelined’ over the last decades, almost as though a sensible habit has been allowed to slide. I do agree with Mike that it appears more of the really nasty stuff is perpetrated by men and I abhor the denouement that more women are committing atrocities, suicide bombing etc. because they maybe think they have to prove something about their capabilities.

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  16. S J Brown says:

    Neva, I think over the decades men have managed to retain a bit of childishness. I refer to my husband as my 5 year old. Although he is a responsible adult that works full time, and does repairs and improvements around the house he also is the first one to throw someone in the pool , or play a prank.

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  17. I miss having doors held open for me — not many men seem to do that anymore. It would be nice to be treated like a lady more often and yet still be accepted for the strong qualities I, and other women, possess. Wish there was a happy medium. Good post, Neva!

    Like

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