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Questions for Men: Polarity in Man/Woman Relationships

 
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Hi there,

We'll find out if this is the right place for such a post. I'm not intending for this to be a dating post, but a conversation about men and women, masculinity and femininity, and what it means for a man, in his masculinity, to lead a man/woman relationship. Not everyone is going to like this conversation, and that's quite alright with me.

As we all know, women and men have different biological roles to fulfill in life/in relationship to one another. In my view, the system--over generations and through many means--has intentionally feminized men and masculinized women, thereby causing much confusion, separation, conflict, and pain, essentially keeping us all in victim mode at the most fundamental biological level.

My new understanding of our biological roles is that women need to be loved, to be protected, and to be provided for. And men's biological needs are to love, to protect, and to provide. When a woman is being a woman and a man is being a man, they perfectly compliment each other.

This wasn't always my view. In fact, this is very much a 180 degree turn from what I used to think was a 'healthy' relationship. I now view a man's rightful place in a man/woman relationship as leader. As a woman, my place is to... well, we can use different language here... but I'll say, willingly support him in leading.

For the first time I am exploring how to consciously cultivate polarity within a committed, conscious monogamous, man/woman relationship. As part of creating polarity, I have desired a partner who is masculine and interested in/capable of leading such a relationship. As I explore this, I am deep in my own process of de-conditioning myself. And I have many questions.

I've now accumulated some helpful resources on these topics, but there's no substitute for talking to men about this directly.

So, men, I would love to hear your views. I also invite any women into this conversation who have wisdom to share, or who also want to learn along with me. But I am directing these questions to men.

If you feel so inclined, please answer any or all of the questions I've included. This is not an exhaustive list; that would be overwhelming. So I also invite men to simply respond with anything you think would be helpful for women to hear about what it is like to be a man, especially as it relates to men and women relating well to each other.

***I'd love to keep this conversation constructive and solutions-oriented!***

Thank you so much for reading!

Much Gratitude,
Megan


Questions:

What do you need from your woman in order to thrive in life?

What do you need from your woman in order to feel successful in leading your relationship?

What do you need from your woman in order to feel loved and supported?

What does it mean to you, as a man, to lead a relationship? If you had it all your way, what would that look like?

What qualities/characteristics/ behaviors do you find masculine? Feminine?

What is it like for you to communicate your emotions?

When it comes to anger, what is a natural masculine expression of it, rather than an inability to regulate it?

How would you help your daughter (or other beloved female relative) discern what is masculine behavior and unresolved trauma? To put it another way, how would you help your daughter choose the right man?

What would you love for women to understand about you that we don't seem to?
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Megan Helen,
I resonate with your thoughts & feelings.
Those are great questions, and imo, our narcissistic societies/cultures have created conflict, confusion and divide between men/woman's relationships.
I hope that one day we can figure it out, heal and work together, bringing our best gifts we can offer to our relationships...
 
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I'll take a crack at it for you, I might not be a 'traditional' response but I'm curious to see where this conversation might go!


What do you need from your woman in order to thrive in life?

Acceptance is the first word that comes to mind. As amazing and awesome as I am, I am flawed. I believe that every person to some degree can resonate with this notion. I'm going to be able to move mountains some days, and other days I will be crushed by life. This is of course dramatic, but in essence the feeling. I need someone who I care for to see the real me and encourage that person.

What do you need from your woman in order to feel successful in leading your relationship?

Real input. A lot of time people view leading as a lonely path marked by one person dictating what is to be done but it could not be farther from the truth. It is a partnership with valid opinions and experiences from both sides. When times are hard and decisions need to be made, all the stakeholders must have a say and should have something to say. A relationship is two people coming together and making a commitment. This isn't two people coming together for one to dictate everything. I think that is very important.

What do you need from your woman in order to feel loved and supported?

Feedback is important, a lot of men won't admit it but they yearn for some kind of acknowledgement or at least confirmation that they are doing something right. It doesn't always have to be good feedback, but knowing that the course that was set is at least collectively supported or perhaps further discussion is needed to mend everyone's mind.

What does it mean to you, as a man, to lead a relationship? If you had it all your way, what would that look like?

To lead a relationship is to be 'the face' of a relationship. I do not lead in my relationship and neither does my fiancé. We work off of each other's strengths and will allow each other to take point when it makes the most sense. I'm a big financial nerd and can keep our household on track while she is incredibly personable and forms local relationships incredibly well.

What qualities/characteristics/ behaviors do you find masculine? Feminine?

I am non-traditional to this point and don't tend to view things in the lens of masculine/feminine the same way as your 'average' onlooker would. Emotional Health is incredibly important for men and to be able to communicate that in a healthy way is masculine to me. Other people would view the classic emotionless stone-face men of our past to be masculine.

What is it like for you to communicate your emotions?

Open and frank. Sometimes they are tough conversations but they are needed. Sometimes life sucks and you need to commiserate. Sometimes you talk yourself into a spiral and in reality things are just ducky. You can't navigate that without a discussion where two people are earnest and in the moment.

When it comes to anger, what is a natural masculine expression of it, rather than an inability to regulate it?

I'm not sure how to answer this question.

How would you help your daughter (or other beloved female relative) discern what is masculine behavior and unresolved trauma? To put it another way, how would you help your daughter choose the right man?

Another where I am not sure how to answer but I do believe that setting an example is really the only way. People will do what people will do, but a positive example will at least set a healthy bar.

What would you love for women to understand about you that we don't seem to?

We, as men, desire compliments. We will take those memories to the grave.
 
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Hi Megan,

I think this is one of the better and more mature postings I have seen on this forum. Kudos.

By way of background, I am 49 and grew up in a southern military family with traditional gender roles. And some of the strongest dang women I have ever known. There was and is a gendered division of labor, which is true of the vast majority of traditional human cultures (I am also a cultural anthropologist so have studied and taught about gender relations cross-culturally and particularly in Indigenous societies).

I had an interesting experience when I dated a feminist for a little while in college (I had never heard of a feminism before college). I opened a door for her. She read me the riot act. 'What, you think I'm not capable of opening the door!!!' I had no idea how to reply. When I was a boy, my grandmother and mother insisted that I always open the door for them or any other woman present. As a sign of respect. They indeed were dignified women and worthy of it. One time I forgot and walked in a door in front of them. You couldn't have even counted 5 seconds on your fingers before a wooden spoon whipped out of one of the purses and up against my backside. That thing hurt; I was just a little boy. I didn't make that mistake again. Indeed, I always got a lot of enjoyment out of opening doors for women. I think evolutionarily this probably makes sense when they are carrying babies or other household items. The feminist and I ended up holding open doors for each other, although this felt weird to me. It was ok, but the relationship never really went anywhere. I often tell this story to illustrate its sometimes 'darned if you don't, darned if you do' for men. Different women of different ages or generations or cultures or just mindsets have different expectations of men and can be quite judgmental and irate about it. This is obviously very true for expectations regarding women as well (and perhaps talked about more in this day and age since men are traditionally expected to keep their emotions buttoned up). It's hard being human. Period.

I think in cultures with traditional gender roles men take leadership roles among men and women take leadership roles amongst women. In Hopi society, and this is true among several Indigenous Asian societies as well, men and women have dialects that are mutually unintelligible. I literally learned this when visiting Hopi elders and I asked one what the women were talking about. He said, 'I don't know, they speak a different dialect when talking among themselves.' Ha! I have so many stories about working among Indigenous peoples and gender roles. In my family, it would be ludicrous to think the men would order the women around the kitchen, or childrearing, or planning the holidays. Any man who hung around my grandmother's kitchen too long was ejected summarily.  

Our society, unfortunately, is built around power, money, and selfishness so traditional gender roles are de-valued. Everyone is basically expected to fend for themselves and 'do you.' Women, who are traditionally more communally oriented, have fallen prey to this as well. Some of my worst bosses have been women. They can be bigger a-holes than men, which I had to learn to get used to, since I thought they were the fairer and more reasonable sex growing up (my mom was, at least, compared to my dad).

This has been a bit long winded. I think it's really about yin-yang balance. (I'm a Daoist). Traditionally men are more yang and women are more yin. This is simple biology and hormones. But in our society, everyone is expected to be more yang and more aggressive. Over time I think this has led to some reversed gender roles, especially in younger generations, and a lot of sort of genderless androgyny. I'm not going to hate on any individual for this, but I do think it makes humans less interesting if we all try to be the same or reverse what we were born into. In some sense, I think it tends more toward an AI reality. I hope we can retain some degree of humanness moving forward. That being said, there are also different leadership styles among men, women, and all humans, and this is ok too. I prefer traditional gender roles, but I think it's up to the individuals involved to figure out exactly how it works for them. We all have a yin-yang balance, and that can shift over time. I think men who aren't in touch with their feminine side aren't much more than beasts. This doesn't mean they need to reject their masculinity. I like a feminine woman to have a little grit in her too. This comes in handy during times of crisis. To paraphrase a Gary Snyder poem: 'a man should be in touch with the woman inside of himself and a woman should be in touch with the woman inside the man inside of herself.' Ha!




 
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Hi Megan,
You are truly ahead of so many of the population of the US, simply by saying that men and women are different :)

A couple of points before I answer your questions.

In a perfect world, you would find someone to marry, who you agree with 100% of the time. Reality, however, shows us that we are not going to agree 100% of the time. This means, that in order for a relationship, and in particular a marriage, to move forward, someone has to be the tie-breaker when you don't agree. It would be like trying to fight a war with 2 generals in charge of the same area. If they had equal rank and authority, things would be chaos when they disagreed and gave conflicting orders. The question then becomes, who should be the tie-breaker?

Also, people seem to think that filling a role makes them less important. A saw and a tape measure might be equally important to the carpenter, but they are not equal at the same kind of work. And one trying to be the other will result in a less useful tool. In the same way, I would suggest that a man, trying to be a woman, will be less useful as a man, and that a woman, who tries to be a man, will be less useful as a woman.

Lastly, as a Christian who believes in God and the Bible, I would say that the Bible lays things out clearly, that the woman was made to be a helpmeet for the man. The woman is going to want the man's position. And the man is meant to lead, using the example of Christ leading the church. If one follows the Bible, it makes things simple... not easy, but simple. For those who do not believe in the Bible, then you have only biology and culture to decide these things. And that can make it much more complicated. I'll do my best to answer generically, but the way you look at the world will affect everything.

To your questions:
What do you need from your woman in order to thrive in life?
I need a woman :), while Feminists say they do not need men, and the MGTOW movement says they don't need women... I have to come back to the Bible, which says "it is not good for man to be alone". People need relationships. For me to thrive, I need a supportive, submissive, loyal, peaceful woman. They say, behind every good man, there is a good woman. I believe a single man could still be successful, but without a woman to support and inspire... it is hollow.

What do you need from your woman in order to feel successful in leading your relationship?
She has to let the man lead. Not arguing, not nagging, and certainly not ignore his decisions. I cannot lead if she will not follow. Encouragement and trust are critical. A woman can be a tremendous help in solidifying his leadership, or she could be constantly fighting, arguing, and undermining his authority. I think of that scene in Peter Pan where the father gets angry about something, and the mother tells the children their father loves them very much. In todays age, the mother would undermine the father by saying he shouldn't have been angry, and don't listen to him, and whatnot. One supports his role as leader, while the other is undermining his authority. I do not say that you should support bad behavior, but it should be confronted it in private. Not complained about to your family, your children, your friends, and certainly not the Internet.

What do you need from your woman in order to feel loved and supported?
Respect and obedience. I know people don't like that obedience one, but most men will feel loved and supported if she respects and obeys him. Most men value being respected more than they value feeling loved.

What does it mean to you, as a man, to lead a relationship? If you had it all your way, what would that look like?
What does it mean to be the manager of a store? What does it mean to be the general of an army? I decide the direction things are going in, and I have loyal people to help get me there. Don't run off if we fail. Stay loyal without criticism, and allow us to correct the failure.

What qualities/characteristics/ behaviors do you find masculine? Feminine?
I'll admit that this one I have not thought about much. Here are some on-the-spot thoughts without much deliberation.
Masculine - Agressive (I mean this in the manner of being energetically forward and persistent, NOT the idea of being violent for no reason), strong, decisive, logical
Feminine - Proverbs 31 (the whole chapter lays out an ideal wife/mother). Peaceful, demure, loving

What is it like for you to communicate your emotions?
This is a little vague. A lot of the time we don't communicate them beyond what shows with our actions. Would you prefer a general who sits you down and tells you how bad of a day it has been, and how his dog died, and his teenager hates him, and how people have been talking bad about him... perhaps even cry a bit? Or would you prefer a general who continue to lead to the best of his ability, regardless of how he feels? It has been said on the internet (which we all know is so accurate) that women will lose respect for a man, if he cries in front of them. I think there is a lot of truth there, but I also think there is a difference between crying because someone said something mean to him, versus crying when his father dies. I think for many men, this question is weird because we are not thinking about our emotions. And if we are not thinking about it, why would we be communicating about them? Is the smile not enough for you to know we are happy? Is the scowl not enough for you to know we are angry? Guy's emotions are very simple compared to women's.

When it comes to anger, what is a natural masculine expression of it, rather than an inability to regulate it?
Probably a raised voice? So many people seem to have the idea that all expressions of anger are wrong, and that not showing anger is the only way to control it. I disagree with this. I believe there is a time and a place to be angry. If someone is messing with my kids, I am going to be angry, and I am going to raise my voice to make sure the bad person knows it, and if they are messing with them physically, I am going to raise more than my voice. I am sure there are some wrong expressions of anger, but I think more often, it is a wrong reason to be angry. Perhaps a better question would be "What are things men should get angry about?"

How would you help your daughter (or other beloved female relative) discern what is masculine behavior and unresolved trauma? To put it another way, how would you help your daughter choose the right man?
No idea what you mean by the "unresolved trauma" piece. I am going to be the best example of a man that I can be so my daughter knows what to look for. I am going to be a part of my daughter's life so that the creeps know there is a dangerous protector around. I am going to tell my daughters that I love them, so that they are not drawn in by a piece of trash sweet talker. I am going to give them hugs, so that they are not blinded by the touch of some scumbag who want to put his arm around my daughter at the movie. I am going to teach my daughters about health (including weight), to increase their self esteem and lessen the chances of mental issues. I am going to teach them how to be the best woman they can be, so that they can attract the best kind of man. All of this will be done from a Biblical point of view, and she will be taught to look for a Biblical sort of man.

What would you love for women to understand about you that we don't seem to?
You think you want a man to act more like women... you don't.
Secondly, women need attention and men need sex. If a man goes outside the marriage to get that need fulfilled he is wrong and cheating. If a woman goes outside the marriage to fulfill her need (instagram, tiktok, partying, etc), it is just as much wrong and cheating.
 
Megan Helen
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Timothy, thank you for your thoughtful reply. You provided a lot of value with your answers and I really appreciate your willingness to share all that you did. Your answer to the first question, in particular, about acceptance is causing me to think a lot about past relationships and consider how I could have been more accepting and what that could have done for the man and the relationship.

Timothy Norton wrote:I'll take a crack at it for you, I might not be a 'traditional' response but I'm curious to see where this conversation might go!


What do you need from your woman in order to thrive in life?

Acceptance is the first word that comes to mind. As amazing and awesome as I am, I am flawed. I believe that every person to some degree can resonate with this notion. I'm going to be able to move mountains some days, and other days I will be crushed by life. This is of course dramatic, but in essence the feeling. I need someone who I care for to see the real me and encourage that person.

What do you need from your woman in order to feel successful in leading your relationship?

Real input. A lot of time people view leading as a lonely path marked by one person dictating what is to be done but it could not be farther from the truth. It is a partnership with valid opinions and experiences from both sides. When times are hard and decisions need to be made, all the stakeholders must have a say and should have something to say. A relationship is two people coming together and making a commitment. This isn't two people coming together for one to dictate everything. I think that is very important.

What do you need from your woman in order to feel loved and supported?

Feedback is important, a lot of men won't admit it but they yearn for some kind of acknowledgement or at least confirmation that they are doing something right. It doesn't always have to be good feedback, but knowing that the course that was set is at least collectively supported or perhaps further discussion is needed to mend everyone's mind.

What does it mean to you, as a man, to lead a relationship? If you had it all your way, what would that look like?

To lead a relationship is to be 'the face' of a relationship. I do not lead in my relationship and neither does my fiancé. We work off of each other's strengths and will allow each other to take point when it makes the most sense. I'm a big financial nerd and can keep our household on track while she is incredibly personable and forms local relationships incredibly well.

What qualities/characteristics/ behaviors do you find masculine? Feminine?

I am non-traditional to this point and don't tend to view things in the lens of masculine/feminine the same way as your 'average' onlooker would. Emotional Health is incredibly important for men and to be able to communicate that in a healthy way is masculine to me. Other people would view the classic emotionless stone-face men of our past to be masculine.

What is it like for you to communicate your emotions?

Open and frank. Sometimes they are tough conversations but they are needed. Sometimes life sucks and you need to commiserate. Sometimes you talk yourself into a spiral and in reality things are just ducky. You can't navigate that without a discussion where two people are earnest and in the moment.

When it comes to anger, what is a natural masculine expression of it, rather than an inability to regulate it?

I'm not sure how to answer this question.

How would you help your daughter (or other beloved female relative) discern what is masculine behavior and unresolved trauma? To put it another way, how would you help your daughter choose the right man?

Another where I am not sure how to answer but I do believe that setting an example is really the only way. People will do what people will do, but a positive example will at least set a healthy bar.

What would you love for women to understand about you that we don't seem to?

We, as men, desire compliments. We will take those memories to the grave.

 
Megan Helen
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Jim, thanks for writing such a fun and interesting reply! You added a lot to this conversation. I appreciate your stories about your upbringing and your experience with the feminist woman, as well as your experience in cultural anthropology.

And what you wrote about yin and yang really resonates with me. As a woman, I have felt pressured to be much more yang than I feel or want to be. I think that's why, as you said, women in "boss" roles can be worse a-holes than men, because they're trying to be more masculine than they are and that's a stressful and tiring role to be in.

Yes, life is challenging for all of us. :)



Jim Veteto wrote:Hi Megan,

I think this is one of the better and more mature postings I have seen on this forum. Kudos.

By way of background, I am 49 and grew up in a southern military family with traditional gender roles. And some of the strongest dang women I have ever known. There was and is a gendered division of labor, which is true of the vast majority of traditional human cultures (I am also a cultural anthropologist so have studied and taught about gender relations cross-culturally and particularly in Indigenous societies).

I had an interesting experience when I dated a feminist for a little while in college (I had never heard of a feminism before college). I opened a door for her. She read me the riot act. 'What, you think I'm not capable of opening the door!!!' I had no idea how to reply. When I was a boy, my grandmother and mother insisted that I always open the door for them or any other woman present. As a sign of respect. They indeed were dignified women and worthy of it. One time I forgot and walked in a door in front of them. You couldn't have even counted 5 seconds on your fingers before a wooden spoon whipped out of one of the purses and up against my backside. That thing hurt; I was just a little boy. I didn't make that mistake again. Indeed, I always got a lot of enjoyment out of opening doors for women. I think evolutionarily this probably makes sense when they are carrying babies or other household items. The feminist and I ended up holding open doors for each other, although this felt weird to me. It was ok, but the relationship never really went anywhere. I often tell this story to illustrate its sometimes 'darned if you don't, darned if you do' for men. Different women of different ages or generations or cultures or just mindsets have different expectations of men and can be quite judgmental and irate about it. This is obviously very true for expectations regarding women as well (and perhaps talked about more in this day and age since men are traditionally expected to keep their emotions buttoned up). It's hard being human. Period.

I think in cultures with traditional gender roles men take leadership roles among men and women take leadership roles amongst women. In Hopi society, and this is true among several Indigenous Asian societies as well, men and women have dialects that are mutually unintelligible. I literally learned this when visiting Hopi elders and I asked one what the women were talking about. He said, 'I don't know, they speak a different dialect when talking among themselves.' Ha! I have so many stories about working among Indigenous peoples and gender roles. In my family, it would be ludicrous to think the men would order the women around the kitchen, or childrearing, or planning the holidays. Any man who hung around my grandmother's kitchen too long was ejected summarily.  

Our society, unfortunately, is built around power, money, and selfishness so traditional gender roles are de-valued. Everyone is basically expected to fend for themselves and 'do you.' Women, who are traditionally more communally oriented, have fallen prey to this as well. Some of my worst bosses have been women. They can be bigger a-holes than men, which I had to learn to get used to, since I thought they were the fairer and more reasonable sex growing up (my mom was, at least, compared to my dad).

This has been a bit long winded. I think it's really about yin-yang balance. (I'm a Daoist). Traditionally men are more yang and women are more yin. This is simple biology and hormones. But in our society, everyone is expected to be more yang and more aggressive. Over time I think this has led to some reversed gender roles, especially in younger generations, and a lot of sort of genderless androgyny. I'm not going to hate on any individual for this, but I do think it makes humans less interesting if we all try to be the same or reverse what we were born into. In some sense, I think it tends more toward an AI reality. I hope we can retain some degree of humanness moving forward. That being said, there are also different leadership styles among men, women, and all humans, and this is ok too. I prefer traditional gender roles, but I think it's up to the individuals involved to figure out exactly how it works for them. We all have a yin-yang balance, and that can shift over time. I think men who aren't in touch with their feminine side aren't much more than beasts. This doesn't mean they need to reject their masculinity. I like a feminine woman to have a little grit in her too. This comes in handy during times of crisis. To paraphrase a Gary Snyder poem: 'a man should be in touch with the woman inside of himself and a woman should be in touch with the woman inside the man inside of herself.' Ha!




 
Megan Helen
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Matt, thanks so much for providing your perspective. Though my most recent developing perspective on relationships (as I wrote above) has not come directly from the Bible, there is much alignment in those perspectives.

I like your tool analogies; they're simple, and true. And I especially enjoyed your answers to my questions about emotions. I like to ask men about emotions, admittedly in part because of the entertainment value, but also because the ways in which men and women communicate about emotions has genuinely puzzled me for a long time. I have done quite a bit of damage in past relationships, wanting and expecting men to communicate more like women about emotions. But, you're right, I don't truly want them to.

Yes, the words obedient and submissive are, indeed, tough ones to read. I have spent time recently considering the word submissive. Obedience feels even more challenging. That's one for me to sit with for a while.


Matt McSpadden wrote:Hi Megan,
You are truly ahead of so many of the population of the US, simply by saying that men and women are different :)

A couple of points before I answer your questions.

In a perfect world, you would find someone to marry, who you agree with 100% of the time. Reality, however, shows us that we are not going to agree 100% of the time. This means, that in order for a relationship, and in particular a marriage, to move forward, someone has to be the tie-breaker when you don't agree. It would be like trying to fight a war with 2 generals in charge of the same area. If they had equal rank and authority, things would be chaos when they disagreed and gave conflicting orders. The question then becomes, who should be the tie-breaker?

Also, people seem to think that filling a role makes them less important. A saw and a tape measure might be equally important to the carpenter, but they are not equal at the same kind of work. And one trying to be the other will result in a less useful tool. In the same way, I would suggest that a man, trying to be a woman, will be less useful as a man, and that a woman, who tries to be a man, will be less useful as a woman.

Lastly, as a Christian who believes in God and the Bible, I would say that the Bible lays things out clearly, that the woman was made to be a helpmeet for the man. The woman is going to want the man's position. And the man is meant to lead, using the example of Christ leading the church. If one follows the Bible, it makes things simple... not easy, but simple. For those who do not believe in the Bible, then you have only biology and culture to decide these things. And that can make it much more complicated. I'll do my best to answer generically, but the way you look at the world will affect everything.

To your questions:
What do you need from your woman in order to thrive in life?
I need a woman :), while Feminists say they do not need men, and the MGTOW movement says they don't need women... I have to come back to the Bible, which says "it is not good for man to be alone". People need relationships. For me to thrive, I need a supportive, submissive, loyal, peaceful woman. They say, behind every good man, there is a good woman. I believe a single man could still be successful, but without a woman to support and inspire... it is hollow.

What do you need from your woman in order to feel successful in leading your relationship?
She has to let the man lead. Not arguing, not nagging, and certainly not ignore his decisions. I cannot lead if she will not follow. Encouragement and trust are critical. A woman can be a tremendous help in solidifying his leadership, or she could be constantly fighting, arguing, and undermining his authority. I think of that scene in Peter Pan where the father gets angry about something, and the mother tells the children their father loves them very much. In todays age, the mother would undermine the father by saying he shouldn't have been angry, and don't listen to him, and whatnot. One supports his role as leader, while the other is undermining his authority. I do not say that you should support bad behavior, but it should be confronted it in private. Not complained about to your family, your children, your friends, and certainly not the Internet.

What do you need from your woman in order to feel loved and supported?
Respect and obedience. I know people don't like that obedience one, but most men will feel loved and supported if she respects and obeys him. Most men value being respected more than they value feeling loved.

What does it mean to you, as a man, to lead a relationship? If you had it all your way, what would that look like?
What does it mean to be the manager of a store? What does it mean to be the general of an army? I decide the direction things are going in, and I have loyal people to help get me there. Don't run off if we fail. Stay loyal without criticism, and allow us to correct the failure.

What qualities/characteristics/ behaviors do you find masculine? Feminine?
I'll admit that this one I have not thought about much. Here are some on-the-spot thoughts without much deliberation.
Masculine - Agressive (I mean this in the manner of being energetically forward and persistent, NOT the idea of being violent for no reason), strong, decisive, logical
Feminine - Proverbs 31 (the whole chapter lays out an ideal wife/mother). Peaceful, demure, loving

What is it like for you to communicate your emotions?
This is a little vague. A lot of the time we don't communicate them beyond what shows with our actions. Would you prefer a general who sits you down and tells you how bad of a day it has been, and how his dog died, and his teenager hates him, and how people have been talking bad about him... perhaps even cry a bit? Or would you prefer a general who continue to lead to the best of his ability, regardless of how he feels? It has been said on the internet (which we all know is so accurate) that women will lose respect for a man, if he cries in front of them. I think there is a lot of truth there, but I also think there is a difference between crying because someone said something mean to him, versus crying when his father dies. I think for many men, this question is weird because we are not thinking about our emotions. And if we are not thinking about it, why would we be communicating about them? Is the smile not enough for you to know we are happy? Is the scowl not enough for you to know we are angry? Guy's emotions are very simple compared to women's.

When it comes to anger, what is a natural masculine expression of it, rather than an inability to regulate it?
Probably a raised voice? So many people seem to have the idea that all expressions of anger are wrong, and that not showing anger is the only way to control it. I disagree with this. I believe there is a time and a place to be angry. If someone is messing with my kids, I am going to be angry, and I am going to raise my voice to make sure the bad person knows it, and if they are messing with them physically, I am going to raise more than my voice. I am sure there are some wrong expressions of anger, but I think more often, it is a wrong reason to be angry. Perhaps a better question would be "What are things men should get angry about?"

How would you help your daughter (or other beloved female relative) discern what is masculine behavior and unresolved trauma? To put it another way, how would you help your daughter choose the right man?
No idea what you mean by the "unresolved trauma" piece. I am going to be the best example of a man that I can be so my daughter knows what to look for. I am going to be a part of my daughter's life so that the creeps know there is a dangerous protector around. I am going to tell my daughters that I love them, so that they are not drawn in by a piece of trash sweet talker. I am going to give them hugs, so that they are not blinded by the touch of some scumbag who want to put his arm around my daughter at the movie. I am going to teach my daughters about health (including weight), to increase their self esteem and lessen the chances of mental issues. I am going to teach them how to be the best woman they can be, so that they can attract the best kind of man. All of this will be done from a Biblical point of view, and she will be taught to look for a Biblical sort of man.

What would you love for women to understand about you that we don't seem to?
You think you want a man to act more like women... you don't.
Secondly, women need attention and men need sex. If a man goes outside the marriage to get that need fulfilled he is wrong and cheating. If a woman goes outside the marriage to fulfill her need (instagram, tiktok, partying, etc), it is just as much wrong and cheating.

 
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Wow, I’m inspired and grateful to see so many well stated answers.

I will just add; we take turns leading with our strengths & working together with and through our weaknesses.

Beyond this, being the man means I can crush any danger that comes my family’s way with intense violence if necessary. But being a father also means never showing this (if possible) while maintaining the most nurturing, compassionate, and respectful position ALWAYS.

This lead by example is how I’m confident my daughters will find upstanding men. Because they see, exactly, how I treat them and their mother; they know their value.
 
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Timothy Norton wrote:
[i]To lead a relationship is to be 'the face' of a relationship. I do not lead in my relationship and neither does my fiancé. We work off of each other's strengths and will allow each other to take point when it makes the most sense.


^ This.

My partner of 26 years and I have sort of a rule: only one partner may crater at a time; and the other partner will step up and carry the load.

This is a system that works, writ large and small. It respects the strengths of all involved, and we know the other half of the act has our back.

All the "traditional"  relationships I've seen are based on mutual success -- despite the sparks and friction and notions of Tarzan chest pounding. Tarzan needs a helpmate, not a be-atch. Sometimes it takes Tarzan a while to get his head around this.
 
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Hello,
I'd like to answer your questionary before reading others, so to not be influenced. Here goes.

What do you need from your woman in order to thrive in life?
Economically, I need her to be proficient in skills I am lacking, and lacking in skills I am proficient.
Emotionally, I need her to cope with things I am not usually aware.

What do you need from your woman in order to feel successful in leading your relationship?
I don't think a relationship has to be led by anyone. If you've studied polarity, you will know that there is energy and form. One must provide the form, the other must provide the energy. When the form is filled with energy, the spirit becomes alive. So I need her to provide energy for my projects, and provide ideas for my energies. Man is not 100% masculine force.

What do you need from your woman in order to feel loved and supported?
First, constructive criticism. If I am doing something wrong, tell me how I can do better. Next, listen to me as if it matters to you.

What does it mean to you, as a man, to lead a relationship? If you had it all your way, what would that look like?
A hierarchical relationship means that one alone decides what to do, the other follows. If you don't want it to be a despotic relationship, the leader must decide according to the desires of both, and that requires a little bit of perception and a lot of open talk.
But as I said, you don't need to lead. You can propose a goal sometimes, I can propose others.

What qualities/characteristics/ behaviors do you find masculine? Feminine?
Let's start saying that a man and a woman are not completeline masculine nor feminine. A man is not less a man because he likes doing something that is inherentely feminine.
Then, there are male and female behaviours. Those are related to biology, not to culture. A female can become pregnant, a male cannot. Men have, supposedly, a better ability detecting motion, while women have a better ability finding things. But this is like the tendency of male being taller or stronger: there are women that are much taller and stronger than me.
Finally, the masculine and feminine roles are primarily cultural. Each society decides their own, based on success. The roles in our western society that are geared towards the caring are considered feminine, while those geared towards technology (the inert materia) are considered masculine. In this regard, gardening is a rare beast, because it is not completely feminine, even though women are more attracted to it.

What is it like for you to communicate your emotions?
I don't talk about what it feels for me. I talk about what happened that matters to me, and let you decide how much it has affected me.

When it comes to anger, what is a natural masculine expression of it, rather than an inability to regulate it?
Without regulation, anger becomes violence. Usually verbal violence. This is not a desired outcome.
With regulation, it is an adrenaline boost that may be used for physical work, or maybe for seeking justice when the consequences are bearable.

How would you help your daughter (or other beloved female relative) discern what is masculine behavior and unresolved trauma? To put it another way, how would you help your daughter choose the right man?
Wow, I don't even know if I am with the right woman. How could I know?
I could teach her how to meditate and make some introspection so she is able to find the answer for herself.

What would you love for women to understand about you that we don't seem to?
When she talks about something that she needs to say, I listen, because that's what she wants. And then I offer counsel, because that's what I want. She doesn't want me to offer counsel, she just wants the listening part, but she must understand that one goes with the other. If she wants to be listened and not be offered a counsel, then talk to another woman.
That is to say, if I can accept that you are a woman, then accept that I am a man and I do things differently.
 
Megan Helen
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Hi Chris, I'm also feeling inspired by and grateful for the men willing to share their time and energy to have this conversation. I'm impressed by the high quality answers I've read so far. Thanks for contributing! I love what you wrote here about leading by example and being capable of intense violence if necessary, but otherwise always choosing to be compassionate and respectful. That's a really important distinction.

Chris Vee wrote:Wow, I’m inspired and grateful to see so many well stated answers.

I will just add; we take turns leading with our strengths & working together with and through our weaknesses.

Beyond this, being the man means I can crush any danger that comes my family’s way with intense violence if necessary. But being a father also means never showing this (if possible) while maintaining the most nurturing, compassionate, and respectful position ALWAYS.

This lead by example is how I’m confident my daughters will find upstanding men. Because they see, exactly, how I treat them and their mother; they know their value.

 
Jim Veteto
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Hi Megan,

"As a woman, I have felt pressured to be much more yang than I feel or want to be. I think that's why, as you said, women in "boss" roles can be worse a-holes than men, because they're trying to be more masculine than they are and that's a stressful and tiring role to be in."

I think you really hit the nail upon the head there with what I was talking about. In addition, with the two female bosses I had, I think it's very sad to see women cut themselves off from their feelings. I think this happens a lot in modern society. Even with women who aren't in leadership roles in the capitalist economy. I see women willing to talk about their emotions on a surface level, but not on a deep level, at least not with men. So maybe that's a radical idea for you:  from my experience, women aren't very good at sharing their emotions either, generally speaking in today's world. Perhaps we're all bottled up. I'm going to share something that may be controversial here but let me preface by saying there are always exceptions and exceptional people in every generation. Since I was a university professor for 11 years, taught middle school, and take interns on my farm, and raised a son, I have a lot of experience with the two generations below my own (millennials and Gen Z). I am Gen X, which is the last generation that weren't digital natives, half-raised by computers, and my grandparents were just off the farm in the World World II generation, so I was deeply influenced by people who were raised without electricity. Additionally, I have spent a lot of time with Appalachian and Native American elders in the WWII generation, nearly all of whom have passed on. I can say the baby boomers (my parents generation) don't match up to them. Largely because of widespread capitalist materialism following WWII (some anthropologists call this 'the great acceleration'). My generation (X) is on the cusp of the digital revolution. Millennials and Gen Z are mostly raised my machines. This is huge. I can say this, from my perspective: millennial men are not the same as previous generations. It's tough to have a traditional male perspective with a sedentary lifestyle in front of a computer and always fidgeting with the cellphone. The women still seem like women to me (if you can catch their attention from their cellphones) but are often complaining to me about the lack of vigor in the males. I have had a fair amount of millennial male friends and every single one of them has let me down. And I have given a lot of second, third, and fourth chances. Most of it has to do with lack of clear decision-making, lack of attention span, and lack of ability to follow through on tasks until the end. I'm sure there are exceptions to this, but it has been a prevalent pattern in my life.

My dad once said something to me that I thought was insightful. He said:  'When men left the farm to work in the factory, that was the beginning of the destruction of the American family. When women joined the industrial workforce, that finished it off.' Now we have over 50% divorce rate and male-female relations are in chaos, as you pointed out at the beginning of this post. Did I mention I'm largely a Luddite? I don't have a cellphone and am not on social media, heat by wood, and grow most of my own food. Occasional internet use is about it. As John Trudell once said, "The old ways are hard.' But so are the new. Maybe there's still something there in the old ways. Including traditional gender roles. This doesn't have to mean obedience and servitude. In any sense, in my opinion. If you subjugate women and don't listen to them, you are cutting off 50% of your chances of survival in an increasingly hostile world. We are all humans, and humans are frail and flawed. I'm interested in engaging women as women, not as proto- or quasi- males. As such, women often have different insights than men, and those insights can prove valuable in nearly countless ways. The yin can complement the yang and that can make a harmonious relationship.

One more story from an experience in a Native American community. In the 90s I was at an Indigenous environmental gathering on a reservation. The women were in a big tarped area preparing deer for the gathering that the men had traditionally hunted. Since I had somewhat recently dated a feminist and we had shared the washing of dishes, I decided to offer my services to the Native women to wash the dishes for them. As soon as I entered the kitchen area, I was escorted out immediately by a Native woman friend. She said: 'Jim, I know what you're doing here and appreciate it. But us traditional Native women don't go in for the white woman's feminism. We derive our power from this space. Our men hunted these deer, and it is our role to prepare it for the community. We take pride from this and get a lot of meaning out of it. How we prepare the food helps influence how people act. It is very important for human survival. Sorry, no men are allowed in this sovereign and sacred women's space.' 'Nuff said. It made perfect sense to me; it reminded me of my grandma kicking the men out of her kitchen when I was growing up.

I think a huge mistake people in the modern world make is the assumption that women's roles and 'women's work' are not powerful. From where I'm sitting, I think it's equally important to the role of men in the healthy survival of human communities. What could be more powerful than that?



 
Megan Helen
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Hi Abraham, thank you so much for your answer! It's all really helpful, especially what you've added to the conversation about polarity. I'm so glad you went there.

My original post became longer than I had intended, so I left out what I'm learning about polarity and made my discussion of polarity within a relationship overly simplistic. Yes, you're right that we all have these polar opposites within us. As you say, "Man is not 100% masculine force." Absolutely. I am early in my study of polarity so there's much that I have yet to understand, but I view these polar opposites to which polarity refers as being quite fluid within, between, and around us.

And thanks for sharing a bit about your experience of emotions. Answers to this question are especially enlightening for me.


Abraham Palma wrote:Hello,
I'd like to answer your questionary before reading others, so to not be influenced. Here goes.

What do you need from your woman in order to thrive in life?
Economically, I need her to be proficient in skills I am lacking, and lacking in skills I am proficient.
Emotionally, I need her to cope with things I am not usually aware.

What do you need from your woman in order to feel successful in leading your relationship?
I don't think a relationship has to be led by anyone. If you've studied polarity, you will know that there is energy and form. One must provide the form, the other must provide the energy. When the form is filled with energy, the spirit becomes alive. So I need her to provide energy for my projects, and provide ideas for my energies. Man is not 100% masculine force.

What do you need from your woman in order to feel loved and supported?
First, constructive criticism. If I am doing something wrong, tell me how I can do better. Next, listen to me as if it matters to you.

What does it mean to you, as a man, to lead a relationship? If you had it all your way, what would that look like?
A hierarchical relationship means that one alone decides what to do, the other follows. If you don't want it to be a despotic relationship, the leader must decide according to the desires of both, and that requires a little bit of perception and a lot of open talk.
But as I said, you don't need to lead. You can propose a goal sometimes, I can propose others.

What qualities/characteristics/ behaviors do you find masculine? Feminine?
Let's start saying that a man and a woman are not completeline masculine nor feminine. A man is not less a man because he likes doing something that is inherentely feminine.
Then, there are male and female behaviours. Those are related to biology, not to culture. A female can become pregnant, a male cannot. Men have, supposedly, a better ability detecting motion, while women have a better ability finding things. But this is like the tendency of male being taller or stronger: there are women that are much taller and stronger than me.
Finally, the masculine and feminine roles are primarily cultural. Each society decides their own, based on success. The roles in our western society that are geared towards the caring are considered feminine, while those geared towards technology (the inert materia) are considered masculine. In this regard, gardening is a rare beast, because it is not completely feminine, even though women are more attracted to it.

What is it like for you to communicate your emotions?
I don't talk about what it feels for me. I talk about what happened that matters to me, and let you decide how much it has affected me.

When it comes to anger, what is a natural masculine expression of it, rather than an inability to regulate it?
Without regulation, anger becomes violence. Usually verbal violence. This is not a desired outcome.
With regulation, it is an adrenaline boost that may be used for physical work, or maybe for seeking justice when the consequences are bearable.

How would you help your daughter (or other beloved female relative) discern what is masculine behavior and unresolved trauma? To put it another way, how would you help your daughter choose the right man?
Wow, I don't even know if I am with the right woman. How could I know?
I could teach her how to meditate and make some introspection so she is able to find the answer for herself.

What would you love for women to understand about you that we don't seem to?
When she talks about something that she needs to say, I listen, because that's what she wants. And then I offer counsel, because that's what I want. She doesn't want me to offer counsel, she just wants the listening part, but she must understand that one goes with the other. If she wants to be listened and not be offered a counsel, then talk to another woman.
That is to say, if I can accept that you are a woman, then accept that I am a man and I do things differently.

 
Timothy Norton
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Douglas Alpenstock wrote:
My partner of 26 years and I have sort of a rule: only one partner may crater at a time; and the other partner will step up and carry the load.



I love this, we have our own version of this that is playfully only one person is allowed to have a bad day at a time.

Nobody hands out an instruction manual on how to have a good relationship, but hearing things that other couples have done is reassuring that we might be on the right path! Congrats on 26 years and hopefully many more!
 
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What do you need from your woman in order to thrive in life?

What do you need from your woman in order to feel successful in leading your relationship?

The core piece is respect.  You can only have one primary leader if she wants me to lead then she needs to respectfully choose to follow most of the time.  Now I also need her thought and input but delivered in the right way.  There are going to be times when we disagree, times when I am wrong etc.  She need to still choose to follow most of the time.  There will be times when she should simply say no and go her own way.  But they should be rare.

What do you need from your woman in order to feel loved and supported?

Respect and she should be my most reliable cheerleader.



What does it mean to you, as a man, to lead a relationship? If you had it all your way, what would that look like?  
It means making the final selection on goals.(her input darn well better count in my thinking on this)  It means my acting as the spark plug to action more of the time.  Funny thing here is I do not want it all my way.  I want a balance with my sort of having my thumb on the scales.  I want her to have her own dreams and goals.  I want her always learning and bringing some of that back to me.  At times I should be pushing so the balance falls her way and at times so it falls my way.

What qualities/characteristics/ behaviors do you find masculine? Feminine?
Masculine is to protect and to sacrifice first to protect.  It is an attitude and a way of thinking.  Feminine is a type of respect and service.

What is it like for you to communicate your emotions? Mostly I have learned not to.  And in one way this is emotionally unhealthy and in another way it is necessary.  Women say they want communication but then they turn around 2 different ways and try to stop it from happening.  It is a rare woman how when given the guy's emotions does not turn around and use it as a weapon for the rest of his life.  So they block this way.  But more importantly most if the guy shows certain kinds of weakness the lose respect for him and begin to cancel him and look for another guy

When it comes to anger, what is a natural masculine expression of it, rather than an inability to regulate it? I am not sure I understand the question here.  As a guy my job is to regulate it

How would you help your daughter (or other beloved female relative) discern what is masculine behavior and unresolved trauma? To put it another way, how would you help your daughter choose the right man?
1.  Look for a guy who serves quietly without fanfare even when he thinks no one is watching.  2.  Look for a guy who steps up and leads when necessary but who can follow too.  3. Avoid guys who show jealousy.  4.  Look for guys who respect everyone even when they disagree.  5.  Look for guys who can take a stand when necessary.  6.  Look for guys who truly protect.  So many women end up looking for the showy bravado confidence thinking that equates to protecting without understanding they are unrelated.

What would you love for women to understand about you that we don't seem to?
Men are mostly simply for the right kind of respect, a type of cheerleader and for peace.  If they can truly find those many of the other things don't really matter.
 
Douglas Alpenstock
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Timothy Norton wrote:Nobody hands out an instruction manual on how to have a good relationship, but hearing things that other couples have done is reassuring that we might be on the right path!


Another small thing that is big is for couples to say "thank you" to each other for the small things. It's so simple. Thanks for making morning coffee, thanks for making supper, thanks for watering the garden today, thanks for taking the dog to the vet, thanks for fixing stuff and making jam and doing life stuff while the other partner is doing other life stuff that also advances our common cause.
 
Megan Helen
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Thank you for sharing all that you did here.

Would you be willing to answer a another question? You said, "Now I also need her thought and input but delivered in the right way." Can you/will you tell me what the right way is?


C. Letellier wrote:What do you need from your woman in order to thrive in life?

What do you need from your woman in order to feel successful in leading your relationship?

The core piece is respect.  You can only have one primary leader if she wants me to lead then she needs to respectfully choose to follow most of the time.  Now I also need her thought and input but delivered in the right way.  There are going to be times when we disagree, times when I am wrong etc.  She need to still choose to follow most of the time.  There will be times when she should simply say no and go her own way.  But they should be rare.

 
Megan Helen
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There's a lot here that I'd like to respond to.

I agree that, in general, both sexes seem to be cut off from their emotions, so to speak. And I think a big part of that is that the vast majority of us never learned how to understand and regulate our emotions, so most of us are afraid of our emotions and do everything we can to distract ourselves from them, and society offers endless options through which to do this. I'm still learning to do this foot myself. We can all learn to do this as adults if we choose.

I want to respond to what you wrote here about Millennial and Gen Z men but I hesitate to do that because I want to follow my own request about keeping this thread constructive and I feel what I might write at the moment would sound a lot like criticism. So I'll put more thought into a possible response.

Lastly, I agree that traditional gender roles allow women and men to be powerful in their own ways, and powerful together. To further emphasize that I'll mention that one of the books I recently read on this topic discusses some of the ways in which men's and women's brains function differently. For example, it's said that men have single focus, which allows you to focus all of your attention on doing a project well until it's done (or tracking and hunting a large animal). It's said that men's brains screen out anything that's not pertinent to their current project/mission. That sounds amazing. And women have diffuse awareness, which allows us to keep track of numerous things in our environment, to multitask, and to connect and communicate with many others. As you said, they're all equally important.

Thanks again for contributing to this conversation.





Jim Veteto wrote:Hi Megan,

"As a woman, I have felt pressured to be much more yang than I feel or want to be. I think that's why, as you said, women in "boss" roles can be worse a-holes than men, because they're trying to be more masculine than they are and that's a stressful and tiring role to be in."

I think you really hit the nail upon the head there with what I was talking about. In addition, with the two female bosses I had, I think it's very sad to see women cut themselves off from their feelings. I think this happens a lot in modern society. Even with women who aren't in leadership roles in the capitalist economy. I see women willing to talk about their emotions on a surface level, but not on a deep level, at least not with men. So maybe that's a radical idea for you:  from my experience, women aren't very good at sharing their emotions either, generally speaking in today's world. Perhaps we're all bottled up. I'm going to share something that may be controversial here but let me preface by saying there are always exceptions and exceptional people in every generation. Since I was a university professor for 11 years, taught middle school, and take interns on my farm, and raised a son, I have a lot of experience with the two generations below my own (millennials and Gen Z). I am Gen X, which is the last generation that weren't digital natives, half-raised by computers, and my grandparents were just off the farm in the World World II generation, so I was deeply influenced by people who were raised without electricity. Additionally, I have spent a lot of time with Appalachian and Native American elders in the WWII generation, nearly all of whom have passed on. I can say the baby boomers (my parents generation) don't match up to them. Largely because of widespread capitalist materialism following WWII (some anthropologists call this 'the great acceleration'). My generation (X) is on the cusp of the digital revolution. Millennials and Gen Z are mostly raised my machines. This is huge. I can say this, from my perspective: millennial men are not the same as previous generations. It's tough to have a traditional male perspective with a sedentary lifestyle in front of a computer and always fidgeting with the cellphone. The women still seem like women to me (if you can catch their attention from their cellphones) but are often complaining to me about the lack of vigor in the males. I have had a fair amount of millennial male friends and every single one of them has let me down. And I have given a lot of second, third, and fourth chances. Most of it has to do with lack of clear decision-making, lack of attention span, and lack of ability to follow through on tasks until the end. I'm sure there are exceptions to this, but it has been a prevalent pattern in my life.

My dad once said something to me that I thought was insightful. He said:  'When men left the farm to work in the factory, that was the beginning of the destruction of the American family. When women joined the industrial workforce, that finished it off.' Now we have over 50% divorce rate and male-female relations are in chaos, as you pointed out at the beginning of this post. Did I mention I'm largely a Luddite? I don't have a cellphone and am not on social media, heat by wood, and grow most of my own food. Occasional internet use is about it. As John Trudell once said, "The old ways are hard.' But so are the new. Maybe there's still something there in the old ways. Including traditional gender roles. This doesn't have to mean obedience and servitude. In any sense, in my opinion. If you subjugate women and don't listen to them, you are cutting off 50% of your chances of survival in an increasingly hostile world. We are all humans, and humans are frail and flawed. I'm interested in engaging women as women, not as proto- or quasi- males. As such, women often have different insights than men, and those insights can prove valuable in nearly countless ways. The yin can complement the yang and that can make a harmonious relationship.

One more story from an experience in a Native American community. In the 90s I was at an Indigenous environmental gathering on a reservation. The women were in a big tarped area preparing deer for the gathering that the men had traditionally hunted. Since I had somewhat recently dated a feminist and we had shared the washing of dishes, I decided to offer my services to the Native women to wash the dishes for them. As soon as I entered the kitchen area, I was escorted out immediately by a Native woman friend. She said: 'Jim, I know what you're doing here and appreciate it. But us traditional Native women don't go in for the white woman's feminism. We derive our power from this space. Our men hunted these deer, and it is our role to prepare it for the community. We take pride from this and get a lot of meaning out of it. How we prepare the food helps influence how people act. It is very important for human survival. Sorry, no men are allowed in this sovereign and sacred women's space.' 'Nuff said. It made perfect sense to me; it reminded me of my grandma kicking the men out of her kitchen when I was growing up.

I think a huge mistake people in the modern world make is the assumption that women's roles and 'women's work' are not powerful. From where I'm sitting, I think it's equally important to the role of men in the healthy survival of human communities. What could be more powerful than that?



 
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It's been quite some time since I've considered questions like these (seems like I'm overdue, personally). I'm grateful for the opportunity to ruminate on this kind of thing.
Haven't ready through any other responses, so maybe some of my answers are way off-base. Apologies in advance, I suppose.

What do you need from your woman in order to thrive in life?
I appreciate a sense of teamwork. An understanding that we don't have to agree on everything, however if we are facing a problem or need to address some kind of conflict, that we'll both come to the table first, willing to find a solution. Intuitively knowing that, at the end of the day, we have each others' back.

What do you need from your woman in order to feel successful in leading your relationship?
Feedback, guidance, and again a reinforcement of teamwork.

Personally, I tend to shy away from the concept of sole leadership when it comes to a personal, intimate relationship because I would prefer to approach it in terms of collaboration. When it's a collaboration, all members of the group take turns leading and following, playing to their strengths. The leader makes carefully-considered decisions and acts decisively, and otherwise provides insight and support when they're not "running point."

What do you need from your woman in order to feel loved and supported?
In terms of Love Languages, it seems like I appreciate Acts of Service the most. Even something like making coffee for the two of us to share is perfect at the right moment.

What does it mean to you, as a man, to lead a relationship? If you had it all your way, what would that look like?
I'd appreciate a woman who is fearless in sharing her opinion, knowing that I'm considering it seriously. On the flip side, when she's running the show she ought to be receptive to mine.

Seems like I just don't subscribe to the notion that the man ought to always be the leader in the relationship.

What qualities/characteristics/ behaviors do you find masculine? Feminine?
Masculine: assertiveness, clarity in decision-making, clear communication, a kind of stubbornness that indicates a choice has been made and one will follow-through with it.
Feminine: "reading the room" and intuiting the emotional overtones of a situation, cutting to the "heart of the matter" so that true motives and meanings can be discerned.

What is it like for you to communicate your emotions?
I don't do this very often. In particular, I tend to keep my displeasure with a situation to myself. I have read - and agree - that life should be approached as a wrestler, not as a dancer. Emotions are natural expressions, but they aren't really necessary. Of course, if I care about someone (for example), I will let them know directly, and show them how much I care as much as possible. I'm not expecting them to flawlessly interpret my emotional state or make assumptions about my feelings towards them or about some shared matter. That doesn't seem very fair to me.

When it comes to anger, what is a natural masculine expression of it, rather than an inability to regulate it?
Seeking solitude, if possible. Doing physical labor.

I like chopping wood on shitty days. I mean, doesn't everyone?

How would you help your daughter (or other beloved female relative) discern what is masculine behavior and unresolved trauma? To put it another way, how would you help your daughter choose the right man?
Remind her that she should be as picky as possible. Also remind her that men - just like all other human beings - are complex and weak, in wildly different ways. I would ask her pointed, incisive questions about why she feels like it's a good time to involve herself in a relationship at all, let alone with some particular person.

What would you love for women to understand about you that we don't seem to?
I don't have anything to hide, so I really can't think of a worthwhile answer to this question. Sorry!

I hope that at least some of the above was useful. Thanks again for putting these questions out there.
 
Megan Helen
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I feel heartened by all of the responses I've received so far. Thank you all so much for being so thoughtful and generous in your replies. I am learning more than I had anticipated.  

I think the way I described a man/woman relationship is unclear to many, and I see why. In an attempt to keep my original post as short as possible, I had left out a detailed explanation of this. I don't want to edit my original post so I'll attempt to clarify what I mean here.

When I say that the man leads and the woman supports him, I don't mean that only the man leads 100% of the time and the woman only follows 100% of the time. As a woman, I would never sign up for that. Polarity of the masculine and feminine is fluid within us as well as between us.

What I mean is that, based on what I'm learning in my current man studies, biologically, men are natural leaders, providers, and protectors. Men's and women's brains work differently and thus we perceive the world differently. The way men can focus intensely and--I don't know the right word to use here--suppress(?) their emotions often allows them to think quite clearly, recognize patterns easily, and take action quickly. It seems men naturally focus their attention outwardly, so their natural abilities seem to be well suited to the kind of assertive navigation this world seems to require.

A woman, with more diffuse awareness, much of which is generally focused on relating with and caring for others, and in some ways focusing on the fine details of life, has her own way of leading. To me, the feminine way of leading seems subtler and gentler when compared to that of a man, but that is not to say that it is any less powerful. It's simply different and it's focus is more inward.

When a man and a woman are in relationship together, the polarity they can create between them supports the man in living more authentically from his masculine energy and the woman living more authentically from her feminine energy, if they choose. As I'm currently viewing it, a woman choosing to embody her feminine energy more, supports/leads the man to more fully embody his masculine energy. This, in theory, can help us feel more attuned to one another and to Nature.

I've never communicated this in writing; it's simply been swirling around in my head. You all are helping me to better understand men and how to communicate these ideas. Thank you!
 
Megan Helen
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Stephen, thank you for sharing your thoughts. There are definitely no wrong answers here! I'm enjoying reading every response, and I'm learning many things from every one. I'm confident others will, too. This is all valuable to me in a way that words cannot express.

And I agree that chopping wood is pretty damn cathartic. Though my favorite might be screaming when no one else is around.

Stephen B. Thomas wrote:It's been quite some time since I've considered questions like these (seems like I'm overdue, personally). I'm grateful for the opportunity to ruminate on this kind of thing.
Haven't ready through any other responses, so maybe some of my answers are way off-base. Apologies in advance, I suppose.

What do you need from your woman in order to thrive in life?
I appreciate a sense of teamwork. An understanding that we don't have to agree on everything, however if we are facing a problem or need to address some kind of conflict, that we'll both come to the table first, willing to find a solution. Intuitively knowing that, at the end of the day, we have each others' back.

What do you need from your woman in order to feel successful in leading your relationship?
Feedback, guidance, and again a reinforcement of teamwork.

Personally, I tend to shy away from the concept of sole leadership when it comes to a personal, intimate relationship because I would prefer to approach it in terms of collaboration. When it's a collaboration, all members of the group take turns leading and following, playing to their strengths. The leader makes carefully-considered decisions and acts decisively, and otherwise provides insight and support when they're not "running point."

What do you need from your woman in order to feel loved and supported?
In terms of Love Languages, it seems like I appreciate Acts of Service the most. Even something like making coffee for the two of us to share is perfect at the right moment.

What does it mean to you, as a man, to lead a relationship? If you had it all your way, what would that look like?
I'd appreciate a woman who is fearless in sharing her opinion, knowing that I'm considering it seriously. On the flip side, when she's running the show she ought to be receptive to mine.

Seems like I just don't subscribe to the notion that the man ought to always be the leader in the relationship.

What qualities/characteristics/ behaviors do you find masculine? Feminine?
Masculine: assertiveness, clarity in decision-making, clear communication, a kind of stubbornness that indicates a choice has been made and one will follow-through with it.
Feminine: "reading the room" and intuiting the emotional overtones of a situation, cutting to the "heart of the matter" so that true motives and meanings can be discerned.

What is it like for you to communicate your emotions?
I don't do this very often. In particular, I tend to keep my displeasure with a situation to myself. I have read - and agree - that life should be approached as a wrestler, not as a dancer. Emotions are natural expressions, but they aren't really necessary. Of course, if I care about someone (for example), I will let them know directly, and show them how much I care as much as possible. I'm not expecting them to flawlessly interpret my emotional state or make assumptions about my feelings towards them or about some shared matter. That doesn't seem very fair to me.

When it comes to anger, what is a natural masculine expression of it, rather than an inability to regulate it?
Seeking solitude, if possible. Doing physical labor.

I like chopping wood on shitty days. I mean, doesn't everyone?

How would you help your daughter (or other beloved female relative) discern what is masculine behavior and unresolved trauma? To put it another way, how would you help your daughter choose the right man?
Remind her that she should be as picky as possible. Also remind her that men - just like all other human beings - are complex and weak, in wildly different ways. I would ask her pointed, incisive questions about why she feels like it's a good time to involve herself in a relationship at all, let alone with some particular person.

What would you love for women to understand about you that we don't seem to?
I don't have anything to hide, so I really can't think of a worthwhile answer to this question. Sorry!

I hope that at least some of the above was useful. Thanks again for putting these questions out there.

 
Abraham Palma
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Would you be willing to answer a another question? You said, "Now I also need her thought and input but delivered in the right way." Can you/will you tell me what the right way is?



I can answer that.

It's the same that I claimed as 'constructive criticism'.

Let's say I've placed a horrendous picture in the hall, because I felt like it. I asked permission and my wife granted it, but now that she is seeing that sick piece of art, she dislikes it. That is, after I took the work of putting the picture there.
She should not shut up for being afraid of bothering me, since this will be annoying her every time she goes to the hall. So, how can she communicate that she has changed her mind and doesn't want the picture there?
I am going to be pissed by the extra (unnecessary) work, but if she becomes annoyed, that would be even more detrimental.
Know that I am going to be pissed.

If she communicates it in a criptic way, like 'I don't know if this is the right place for the picture.' then I would not be sure if she hates it or is just making up her mind. When in doubt, I pick the option with less work. If she says 'Take that sheet out of my sight!', then it will become clear that she doesn't want it, but it will be unconsiderated, and I will feel hurt.
We are usually (with exceptions) pretty straighforward. We need her to say things explicitly. Something like 'I am sorry to say this, I know I said it was fine to have this picture here, but now that I see it, I cannot stand it being here. Please, remove it. Maybe in the corridor?'
Or if she is an expert with facial expression, she can say all the above with a hand touch (I am sorry) and a glance (but the picture must go away).

Neither bossy or ambiguous. Straight and considerated.


Also, by 'constructive criticism' I mean that, if I am learning to bake bread, instead of telling me that my bread is no good, that I should leave baking for bakers, tell me what went wrong and help me make it better next time.
 
Jim Veteto
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"I agree that, in general, both sexes seem to be cut off from their emotions, so to speak. And I think a big part of that is that the vast majority of us never learned how to understand and regulate our emotions, so most of us are afraid of our emotions and do everything we can to distract ourselves from them, and society offers endless options through which to do this. I'm still learning to do this foot myself. We can all learn to do this as adults if we choose."  -- very well said, pretty much exactly what I was talking about.

"I agree that traditional gender roles allow women and men to be powerful in their own ways, and powerful together. To further emphasize that I'll mention that one of the books I recently read on this topic discusses some of the ways in which men's and women's brains function differently. For example, it's said that men have single focus, which allows you to focus all of your attention on doing a project well until it's done (or tracking and hunting a large animal). It's said that men's brains screen out anything that's not pertinent to their current project/mission. That sounds amazing. And women have diffuse awareness, which allows us to keep track of numerous things in our environment, to multitask, and to connect and communicate with many others. As you said, they're all equally important."

Some lines of theorizing in evolutionary anthropology explain this in the following way. I've always thought it was insightful. Current anthropological thinking has the human species as existing for about 200,000 years. Up until 5000 years ago, our primary mode of organization was in band-level or tribal societies. That's about 98.5% of our history as a species. Much of this experience has been as mobile foragers in small bands of around 30-50 individuals. Imagine you are a woman in such a band with several children and you need to move camps to a new foraging site that is several miles or tens or even a hundred miles away. Let's say those children are babies of less than three years old and you are also pregnant. You have two babies feeding off your body and one growing within it. This is going to make the journey difficult in a different way than say, your male partner, who is a strapping 20 something tribal male. It's very much more likely that he and other males are going to be scouting ahead, focusing on the path and the trail, hunting if needed. Making sure the way is safe for the women. There are likely other small foraging bands all around you, and some may be hostile. if there are climatic stresses, resources may be scarce, which may be why you are moving. The women will likely band together to help each other and the children and there will be a lot of multi-tasking to pack up the household and get the children moving, taking care of their needs, perhaps foraging medicinal herbs and small foodstuffs around the way. The female gaze will likely be on the immediacy of their environment, taking care of children and elders. The male gaze will be focused intently on the horizon and making sure the whole band gets from point A to point B alive and healthy. This does lead to different ways of thinking over time in an evolutionary sense, and our bodies back that up with different biological functions and chemical makeups.

Another insight from anthropology is if we have evolved for 98.5% of our human experience as band and tribal-level foragers, horticulturalists, and herders; the last 5000 years of civilization and especially the past 200 years since the onset of the Industrial Revolution has, from an evolutionary perspective, not allowed us enough time to adapt. We are evolutionary hard-wired in a certain way and modern development and technology has moved far too quickly for evolution of the species to catch up. This creates all sorts of problems. I can't speak for women, but for men, all the contrivances and distractions of modern life can really confuse our hardwiring for, as you say, focusing attention and screening out anything not pertinent to current projects. This can lead to a lot of malaise and apathy, lack of focus and concentration. In effect, because of the distractions of modernity, men start to think and behave more like women have traditionally, more diffuse and taking in more information (or having it fed to us by the digital overlords) from artificial environmental stimuli. This can lead toward tendencies of reversal of gender roles, as women try to take on more traditional male gender roles to balance things out. The problem is, our minds and bodies are not hardwired for this gender-role reversal and the result is much chaos.  
 
Megan Helen
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This is really helpful. Thank you for breaking that down for me. I can see where in the past there were times when my communication was direct, but the criticism wasn't necessarily considerate or especially constructive. But I think mostly what I've not understood is that sometimes a man is just going to feel angry about a situation, no matter how well I communicate. I can see how I've taken that personally and sought ways to prevent his anger, thereby attempting to control his emotions.

Thank you so much, Abraham!

Abraham Palma wrote:

Would you be willing to answer a another question? You said, "Now I also need her thought and input but delivered in the right way." Can you/will you tell me what the right way is?



I can answer that.

It's the same that I claimed as 'constructive criticism'.

Let's say I've placed a horrendous picture in the hall, because I felt like it. I asked permission and my wife granted it, but now that she is seeing that sick piece of art, she dislikes it. That is, after I took the work of putting the picture there.
She should not shut up for being afraid of bothering me, since this will be annoying her every time she goes to the hall. So, how can she communicate that she has changed her mind and doesn't want the picture there?
I am going to be pissed by the extra (unnecessary) work, but if she becomes annoyed, that would be even more detrimental.
Know that I am going to be pissed.

If she communicates it in a criptic way, like 'I don't know if this is the right place for the picture.' then I would not be sure if she hates it or is just making up her mind. When in doubt, I pick the option with less work. If she says 'Take that sheet out of my sight!', then it will become clear that she doesn't want it, but it will be unconsiderated, and I will feel hurt.
We are usually (with exceptions) pretty straighforward. We need her to say things explicitly. Something like 'I am sorry to say this, I know I said it was fine to have this picture here, but now that I see it, I cannot stand it being here. Please, remove it. Maybe in the corridor?'
Or if she is an expert with facial expression, she can say all the above with a hand touch (I am sorry) and a glance (but the picture must go away).

Neither bossy or ambiguous. Straight and considerated.


Also, by 'constructive criticism' I mean that, if I am learning to bake bread, instead of telling me that my bread is no good, that I should leave baking for bakers, tell me what went wrong and help me make it better next time.

 
C. Letellier
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Megan Helen wrote:Thank you for sharing all that you did here.

Would you be willing to answer a another question? You said, "Now I also need her thought and input but delivered in the right way." Can you/will you tell me what the right way is?


C. Letellier wrote:What do you need from your woman in order to thrive in life?

What do you need from your woman in order to feel successful in leading your relationship?

The core piece is respect.  You can only have one primary leader if she wants me to lead then she needs to respectfully choose to follow most of the time.  Now I also need her thought and input but delivered in the right way.  There are going to be times when we disagree, times when I am wrong etc.  She need to still choose to follow most of the time.  There will be times when she should simply say no and go her own way.  But they should be rare.



Maybe I worded that a bit wrong for explaining.  How about saying not delivered right but saying not delivered wrong.  Yelling, bossy, obnoxious, unkind etc are not good delivery methods.  Kind patient thoughtful delivery on the other hand will have better results.  Hit the guy with disrespect and likely he will get his back up and fight back instinctively.

 
C. Letellier
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quote above is not working right and I don't see why.

So here is the post.

Maybe I worded that a bit wrong for explaining.  How about saying not delivered right but saying not delivered wrong.  Yelling, bossy, obnoxious, unkind etc are not good delivery methods.  Kind patient thoughtful delivery on the other hand will have better results.  Hit the guy with disrespect and likely he will get his back up and fight back instinctively.
 
Megan Helen
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Thanks for painting such a vivid picture. It really came alive in my mind as I read your description. What you wrote makes a lot of sense. (As an aside, I question how long humans have actually existed and I think it's possible we've existed much longer than we're told, but that's a different conversation.)

I felt sad as I read your second paragraph. It does indeed feel to me like chaos. It's helpful for me to remind myself of my locus of control. I don't get decide in what direction society goes. But I can keep de-conditioning myself, choosing to be embrace my femininity, and improving my relations with men. :)






Jim Veteto wrote: Some lines of theorizing in evolutionary anthropology explain this in the following way. I've always thought it was insightful. Current anthropological thinking has the human species as existing for about 200,000 years. Up until 5000 years ago, our primary mode of organization was in band-level or tribal societies. That's about 98.5% of our history as a species. Much of this experience has been as mobile foragers in small bands of around 30-50 individuals. Imagine you are a woman in such a band with several children and you need to move camps to a new foraging site that is several miles or tens or even a hundred miles away. Let's say those children are babies of less than three years old and you are also pregnant. You have two babies feeding off your body and one growing within it. This is going to make the journey difficult in a different way than say, your male partner, who is a strapping 20 something tribal male. It's very much more likely that he and other males are going to be scouting ahead, focusing on the path and the trail, hunting if needed. Making sure the way is safe for the women. There are likely other small foraging bands all around you, and some may be hostile. if there are climatic stresses, resources may be scarce, which may be why you are moving. The women will likely band together to help each other and the children and there will be a lot of multi-tasking to pack up the household and get the children moving, taking care of their needs, perhaps foraging medicinal herbs and small foodstuffs around the way. The female gaze will likely be on the immediacy of their environment, taking care of children and elders. The male gaze will be focused intently on the horizon and making sure the whole band gets from point A to point B alive and healthy. This does lead to different ways of thinking over time in an evolutionary sense, and our bodies back that up with different biological functions and chemical makeups.

Another insight from anthropology is if we have evolved for 98.5% of our human experience as band and tribal-level foragers, horticulturalists, and herders; the last 5000 years of civilization and especially the past 200 years since the onset of the Industrial Revolution has, from an evolutionary perspective, not allowed us enough time to adapt. We are evolutionary hard-wired in a certain way and modern development and technology has moved far too quickly for evolution of the species to catch up. This creates all sorts of problems. I can't speak for women, but for men, all the contrivances and distractions of modern life can really confuse our hardwiring for, as you say, focusing attention and screening out anything not pertinent to current projects. This can lead to a lot of malaise and apathy, lack of focus and concentration. In effect, because of the distractions of modernity, men start to think and behave more like women have traditionally, more diffuse and taking in more information (or having it fed to us by the digital overlords) from artificial environmental stimuli. This can lead toward tendencies of reversal of gender roles, as women try to take on more traditional male gender roles to balance things out. The problem is, our minds and bodies are not hardwired for this gender-role reversal and the result is much chaos.  

 
Megan Helen
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C., thank you for elaborating. I don't think you worded anything wrong; I simply wanted further explanation.

I'm learning the hard way over and over again that when I'm likely to say something disrespectful, even just a little bit, it's best if I keep quiet and speak later. Practice makes better, and some day I'll be really good at that.

C. Letellier wrote:quote above is not working right and I don't see why.

So here is the post.

Maybe I worded that a bit wrong for explaining.  How about saying not delivered right but saying not delivered wrong.  Yelling, bossy, obnoxious, unkind etc are not good delivery methods.  Kind patient thoughtful delivery on the other hand will have better results.  Hit the guy with disrespect and likely he will get his back up and fight back instinctively.

 
Jim Veteto
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"It's helpful for me to remind myself of my locus of control. I don't get decide in what direction society goes. But I can keep de-conditioning myself, choosing to be embrace my femininity, and improving my relations with men. :)"

Yeah, I think that's about all we can do. Society as a whole has headed in a negative direction but as individuals we can resist and try to decondition ourselves and be better people with more old-timey values and gender roles that have been mostly devalued and discarded.

I'll share one thing that has been immensely frustrating to me as a man, as women have become more forward and aggressive in our society and exhibit more behaviors traditionally associated with men (although good men try to avoid these types of behavior as well, particularly as they mature in life). As women's behaviors have become more male-like, they lack the proper training to understand the rules. Men (at least of my generation and culture) have certain unwritten rules to avoid violent confrontations. You have to have a certain type of courteous neutrality in dealing with other males. You have to give them their space (unless you want to end up in fisticuffs), both physically and verbally. In the south, this is often achieved either through humor or silence. Lighten the mood by cutting up, or just button your lip and keep to yourself. Do not come off as arrogant or insulting. A lot of modern women don't seem to understand these rules whatsoever. Which makes sense, since that are not men. I think one of the most disheartening things I have ever experienced in life is when women I have dated have rudely undercut me in public in front of other people. This had abruptly ended two relationships for me. For some reason, the male psyche (or at least mine) can't handle this very well. If you are having a problem with me, feel free to bring it up in personal conversation later, but do not confront me about issues you are having with me in front of other people in public. It makes me feel abandoned and betrayed and all trust is gone. And it's not like I'm a very insecure person either. It just doesn't work for me. And I don't do it to women I am dating either. If I'm treating you like a queen, don't throw me out to the dogs. I think perhaps 'modern' and younger women are more prone to this, but I don't claim to properly know what is going on with that. On the flip side, I will say this to men who are prone to angry outbursts: avoid alcohol at all costs. Drink more tea.

 
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Megan,

This thread is pretty amazing...and that is coming from a 73 year old woman who will next year be married a wonderful, adventurous and happy 50 years .
Although our long term 'success' was due to only a few of the views expressed here I am always glad to read and learn.

Thank you for approaching a sensitive subject so calmly and methodically.
 
Megan Helen
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I'm grateful for your honesty about women's behaviors that you've found frustrating, and that have caused you pain.

I think the reasons why 'modern' women emasculate men is complex. My basic understanding is that women are being conditioned from every direction to be more masculine. That's combined with a lack of female role models who know how to behave as queens and treat their men like kings. And it's reinforced by their interactions with 'modern' men, many of whom who are as you described in your previous reply.

Now that I have apparently reached my emotional pain threshold for relationships, I am learning from books how to respect men and co-create more loving, respectful relationships. And from men online who are willing to have these conversations. :)

I have never called myself a feminist and I have never disliked men but I have been ignorant of the 'rules' you mentioned. And even though I am not aware of ever having egregiously violated the rules, such as spontaneously emasculating a man in public, I am now aware that there are many seemingly small ways to emasculate men, which over time cut them down and make them small, slowly eroding the relationship, and ultimately harming myself as well. Women cannot weaken men without also weakening themselves.

Jim Veteto wrote: I'll share one thing that has been immensely frustrating to me as a man, as women have become more forward and aggressive in our society and exhibit more behaviors traditionally associated with men (although good men try to avoid these types of behavior as well, particularly as they mature in life). As women's behaviors have become more male-like, they lack the proper training to understand the rules. Men (at least of my generation and culture) have certain unwritten rules to avoid violent confrontations. You have to have a certain type of courteous neutrality in dealing with other males. You have to give them their space (unless you want to end up in fisticuffs), both physically and verbally. In the south, this is often achieved either through humor or silence. Lighten the mood by cutting up, or just button your lip and keep to yourself. Do not come off as arrogant or insulting. A lot of modern women don't seem to understand these rules whatsoever. Which makes sense, since that are not men. I think one of the most disheartening things I have ever experienced in life is when women I have dated have rudely undercut me in public in front of other people. This had abruptly ended two relationships for me. For some reason, the male psyche (or at least mine) can't handle this very well. If you are having a problem with me, feel free to bring it up in personal conversation later, but do not confront me about issues you are having with me in front of other people in public. It makes me feel abandoned and betrayed and all trust is gone. And it's not like I'm a very insecure person either. It just doesn't work for me. And I don't do it to women I am dating either. If I'm treating you like a queen, don't throw me out to the dogs. I think perhaps 'modern' and younger women are more prone to this, but I don't claim to properly know what is going on with that. On the flip side, I will say this to men who are prone to angry outbursts: avoid alcohol at all costs. Drink more tea.

 
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Judith, thank you for kind words! I'm finding this thread quite amazing, too. I feel astounded by the answers men are providing. I felt more than a little embarrassed posting my thoughts and questions here, but I knew I wouldn't be the only one who found value in this conversation.

I imagine you have much wisdom from your experience of having been married for 50 years. If you feel inspired to share any of it here, I would love to read it.

Judith Browning wrote:Megan,

This thread is pretty amazing...and that is coming from a 73 year old woman who will next year be married a wonderful, adventurous and happy 50 years .
Although our long term 'success' was due to only a few of the views expressed here I am always glad to read and learn.

Thank you for approaching a sensitive subject so calmly and methodically.

 
C. Letellier
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Jim has done a nice job of starting the conversation on respect.  Guys give a lot of ground to avoid fights.  Why?  Because the consequences are so bad.  Kill or be killed possibly.  Women are afraid more of the time and historically have given ground differently because of the size differential.  The modern masculine woman is sort of trying to have her cake and eat it too.  For well raised guys beating her is off the table and as long as she doesn't raise the consequences to being worth terminating her she can throw her weight around without consequences that even the normal guys would face interacting with other guys.  Well most guys are going to object being put in that sort of situation where they can't socially fight back(because their tool kit doesn't include the tools women learned), can't physically fight back as the male answer.  A well raised guy just doesn't do certain things.  And the modern feminist is taking advantage of that to get her way often.  Well do you really think the guy is going to want that?

Historically and what the guy is looking for is for the lady to at least publicly be his biggest supporter most of the time and in private to at least fight fair.  There is more to it than that but I would sum it up as a feminine respect.  And the lady doesn't have to behave against the grain very often for the guy to lose the ability to trust her and begin taking action to protect himself.   Most women fail to recognize that most guys only truly have respect and love for what they do.  Women are given inherent value for just existing but guys only get that value by earning it.  So when the woman is "stealing" that she is basically saying he is worthless.  Is the guy going to want to be there?

And it is other small things too.  Lets take one of mine from the last couple months.  About 2 months ago we got a new family at church.  Another guy and I stopped to check on them and visit one Sunday after they moved in.  The lady was intelligent, wide ranging interests and very friendly.  Enjoyed the visit.  Now one of the things learned from her because she flat out said it was she had no filter.  Advance a few weeks and we are doing a broadcast out at the church and I am in charge of setting maintaining the equipment for that.  First day the lady is in with her kids because the TV stuff isn't set up at home yet.  Second day a gal from the other section of the church we share the building with and non member friend show up for the broadcast.  The first gal comes in late and hearing her kids coming in I go out to see what is going on.  She asks who else is there and I tell her about the gal and her friend.  Problem is that suddenly I can't think of the gal's name.  So I embarrassed tell her that.  So she proceeds to go in and introduce herself using the fact that I couldn't remember the gals name as her opening.  Now that is a public embarrassment for me.(minor I will admit)  But that means I know the fact that the gal has no filter means I will NEVER trust her with similar information again.  If this were in dating that just raised a road block because I know I have to filter everything I say to her.(it isn't dating because she is married)  But it is a small disrespect of me.  Instead of protecting me she chose to minorly embarrass me thus indirectly saying I have no value.  She could just as easily just said "Hi, my name is ...." without using me as her social lever for introductions.    It is thru these small actions showing the guy that the lady honors him and values him.  

Now another piece of this is all the women talking about EQ(emotional quotient) and wanting guys to share.  The trouble is while women say this is what they want very few women can handle this properly.  Many will use the guy's weaknesses as a weapon.  And most of the rest will lose respect for the guy.   Here is short Brene Brown video that explains it well.  [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/shorts/RC1919tTab0[/youtube].

A different video provided a nice alternate answer on vulnerability.  Their argument was that women were asking for this sharing but explained why they didn't deal with it well.  The conclusion the speakers for this video gave was that what women were looking for was totally guaranteed emotional support of themselves and thought reciprocity on this issue would give it to them.  But it goes against their natural instinct.  Women want the guy who is strong because if they are trust the guy they want the guy with no weaknesses.  So by the guy sharing the guy showing weakness is showing he can't be trusted to always be strong so then she can't submit safely.
 
Jim Veteto
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"I think the reasons why 'modern' women emasculate men is complex. My basic understanding is that women are being conditioned from every direction to be more masculine. That's combined with a lack of female role models who know how to behave as queens and treat their men like kings. And it's reinforced by their interactions with 'modern' men, many of whom who are as you described in your previous reply."

Thank you once again Megan for listening. I agree with what you are saying here and think it is very insightful.

"The modern masculine woman is sort of trying to have her cake and eat it too.  For well raised guys beating her is off the table and as long as she doesn't raise the consequences to being worth terminating her she can throw her weight around without consequences that even the normal guys would face interacting with other guys"

What C. Letellier is saying here is absolutely correct from my perspective. Cake and eating it too indeed. I had come to this conclusion myself previously but forgot to mention it in the post. If you are a decent man, the woman knows you aren't going to strike her. She takes advantage of this and & acts with impunity in ways that would get a dude's you-know-what kicked. This is a very unfortunate dynamic that was less likely to occur in the past. There is no chance for positive male-female dynamics with this sort of interaction going on unless the guy is totally passive, which usually ends up not being what the woman really wants anyway. As C pointed out, the basic issue is respect, and that's a street that has to run both ways.



 
Judith Browning
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Megan Helen wrote:Judith, thank you for kind words! I'm finding this thread quite amazing, too. I feel astounded by the answers men are providing. I felt more than a little embarrassed posting my thoughts and questions here, but I knew I wouldn't be the only one who found value in this conversation.

I imagine you have much wisdom from your experience of having been married for 50 years. If you feel inspired to share any of it here, I would love to read it.

Judith Browning wrote:Megan,

This thread is pretty amazing...and that is coming from a 73 year old woman who will next year be married a wonderful, adventurous and happy 50 years .
Although our long term 'success' was due to only a few of the views expressed here I am always glad to read and learn.

Thank you for approaching a sensitive subject so calmly and methodically.



Megan, no profound wisdom from me other than stay flexible and broad thinking and don't get hung up with expectations...reassess often and don't fear a change in direction.

Love each other...that really is the answer....if words and actions come out of love all else falls into place.

And I'm curious how the high expectations I'm hearing from several here are working in long term relationships?

Edit to add that I think there is someone for everyone...of any gender combination.

I'm not hearing much mention of love as a basis for a relationship in this conversation?
 
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I don't think leadership is a quality that is either masculine, nor feminine.

Some people of either gend3r or sex are disorganized, indecisive, not realistic in their approach or strategies to life, and more self centered than others, thus don't make the best natural leaders.

My grandma was raised in London at a school where girls were taught to be proper British ladies; etiquette and lady like behaviorisms were part of the curriculum in her schooling because the goal was to raise girls to be the at the pinnacle of civilized femininity.

Yet this in a country that has spent  centuries honoring queens as rulers of the nation.

To anyone who knew my grandparents it was clear that my grandma was in charge of everything, and was the decision maker and leader in the home.

My grandfather was a decorated war hero who was shot by Nazis on more than one occasion. He would get patched up by the.medic, and go right back to fighting on the front lines of WW2 Italy with his special military regiment called the Highlander Brigade. He was from Scotland and was a champion boxer, as well as the bread winner as a professional golfer.l, yet my grandma worked as well as an phone operator.

Pretty much the picture of masculinity, yet he gave full control to my grandma. He died and she married a doctor who was successful, yet she was obviously the leader in their relationship as well.

The fact of the matter is that designating leadership roles based on gender or sex alone, regardless of qualifications, (at least in favor to the male counter part which is all weve seen in our lives growing up) if looked at through the lens of the nuclear family as like a single cell, or a nucleus of/in the body of a culture or or society youd have to admit that the construct is an utter failure as far as relationship success goes, and because it ends up having the effect of creating more and more disharmony among the basic way males &  females view each other and their interactive dynamic it seems to be adding somewhat of a disease like nuance effect when looking at the collective as something as a singular body made up of the people within it.

 
Megan Helen
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Ah, I understand why some people might feel confused about this post. I started this post for my own edification, as I intentionally learn about and experiment with the co-creatiom of a particular kind of dynamic in a man/woman relationship, involving traditional gender roles.

I specifically focus on a man/woman relationship simply because that's what I'm interested in. I have started studying the man/woman relationship from a mostly biological perspective, which is why I used much of the language I did in my original post.

I have intended this post to be quite narrow in scope, which supports depth. I have not intended it to broadly cover relationships or love in general, or to be "inclusive".

I can say that as a woman, love is important to me in an intimate relationship, but I view love as one of many necessarycomponents. I've been learning about the biological differences in men and women (mentioned in my original post and in some comments throughout the thread) that are helping me understand that men and women think and feel and perceive life quite differently. So I chose to ask men for their thoughts. It's incredibly valuable to me to learn about their needs and experiences directly from them. One thing I'm hearing from some of them is that they want/need to feel respected more than loved, and what respect does/does not look/feel like to them.

It seems to me that men and women are speaking different languages, and this post is all about understanding those differences. The men are leading the direction of this thread with their responses, and that is precisely what I was hoping for.


Judith Browning wrote: Megan, no profound wisdom from me other than stay flexible and broad thinking and don't get hung up with expectations...reassess often and don't fear a change in direction.

Love each other...that really is the answer....if words and actions come out of love all else falls into place.

And I'm curious how the high expectations I'm hearing from several here are working in long term relationships?

Edit to add that I think there is someone for everyone...of any gender combination.

I'm not hearing much mention of love as a basis for a relationship in this conversation?

 
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