Earlier this month I wrote Does Your Wife Want You to be a Woman? over on The Generous Husband. By email, I received the following comment on the post:
“As a woman reading this, I’m having a hard time getting your point. What, in your mind, constitutes “turning a man into a woman”? Asking him to sit down to pee? I’m sure everyone has their own preconceived set of gender stereotypes they’re pasting into this unwritten description; but, since they vary from person to person, and you don’t tell what yours are, it’s hard to see what “feminine characteristics” you deplore in men. … I’m always amused by the idea some people seem to have that all women are a monolithic whole.“
Interesting question. Men understood what I meant, but actually explaining it is rather difficult. In part, this is because of the truth neither men nor women are “a monolithic whole.”
What many men feel is a pressure to do less of what comes natural to them. Expecting them to sit down to pee is a silly but real example; it’s asking them to be like a woman for no good reason. (Assuming he doesn’t leave a mess, which I realise is not true for some men!)
I’ve talked a great deal about male/female differences on this blog. In general, men are more into adventure and less opposed to risk. We are generally less verbal and experience a desire to fix everything. We think and act differently. Different, not wrong, as Emerson Eggerichs says. When a woman tries to get her husband (or any other man) to behave more the way women behave, the man feels she is trying to turn him into a woman. She doesn’t accept and appreciate his God given masculinity, and he feels attacked.
Sometimes this comes down to not understanding. If a woman grew up without brothers, she may not have the experience to see the differences. Besides, dealing with differences is annoying and sometimes difficult. Getting everyone to think and act as I do would certainly make my life easier. If men acted like women, women would no doubt find it easier to get along with them. And visa-versa.
I do realise some differences cause problems, especially if they go too far. Every couple needs to work through these things and find a way to make it work for both of them. Accepting gender differences as right and acceptable is a great start.
~ Paul – I’m XY, and my wife supports my masculinity!