I Should Know How to Do That

If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bull. © hetemell.com

Do you feel your husband lives by the motto above? (If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bull. ~ W.C Fields)

Let me share a secret with you – women are not the only ones haunted by rigid gender expectations. Men are expected to know how to do a great many things for no other reason than their gonads are outside their body. We should be able to fix anything mechanical. We are supposed to be good with animals (including killing bugs). We should be able to take any words thrown at us without having our feeling hurts, and we are supposed to be ready and able to have sex anytime, anywhere. I could go on, but you get the idea.

What does a man do when he thinks he is expected to know how to do something, or deal with something, and he does not? He can either admit he is a total failure as a man, or he make things up, pretend, or ignore the situation. 

I realise there is a third, better alternative. What I want you to realise is some men honestly do not see any other choices. Perhaps this explains some of what your husband does. Or does not do.

Have you bought into any of the things men are supposed to know or be? Might you unintentionally be making the situation worse for your husband?

~ Paul – I’m XY, and I am learning to say “I don’t know how to do that.”

Can you help? Bonny over at Pearl’s OysterBed has a survey for low libido women. It would be a big help to her, and the women she serves, if you took a few minutes to complete the survey – if you qualify. Thanks!

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8 Comments on “I Should Know How to Do That

  1. Ok, I’m apologizing in advance for not really.staying on topic with this post, but gendereexpectations of men and differences in how men and women in general think gave me a bit of an epiphany and I wondered if you would agree with this:

    Women think: If he loved me and chose me he wouldn’t want to have sex with/lust after/look at other women.

    Men think: BECAUSE I love her and chose her, I say no to sex with other women/lusting after other women/leering at other women.

    • I think the woman’s though you give is logical and no doubt very common.

      The men may be a bit less universal. Yes, some men think that way. Others are more as women expect. In part there is an expectation men want sex with any woman who is willing. If you are a real man, your interested in all women. You then choose to limit yourself to one woman because you are such a great guy. Or something like that. I suspect some men who do not think that way pretend they do to look right to their friends.

      When it comes to women and sex, there is a male group think, and anyone who openly thinks differently may get harassed. When I was a teenager it was assume all men liked big breasts. If a playboy centre fold got passed around and one guy said “I prefer smaller breasts” his masculinity and sexuality would have been called into question. So he learned to pretend he liked what all the other guys likes, just to avoid problems. I think this kind of posturing and pretending is still rather common among men.
      Paul Byerly recently posted…I See BoxesMy Profile

      • I appreciate your response. Thank you!

        While the plight of women is very real, I think what men go through is pretty traumatizing, too. They are just told to “man up.” Both genders have molds they feel they need to fit in to.

  2. I wonder if the expectations you mention come from the woman in a man’s life or from his peers. Maybe both? Or maybe he places these expectations on himself?
    I would find it easier to respect a man who can say, “I don’t know how to do that” than one who pretends. Pretending shows insecurity. Admitting he does not know shows confidence and courage. It also shows trust in our partnership.
    I will tell my husband how much I admire this quality in him. :-)

    • I’d say all of the above.

      Yes pretending shows insecurity, which is exactly what he is feeling!

      I think we also buy into the lie enough we will try things we should not. A man who has never changed a tire will give it a go without reading whatever instructions may be on the jack or the spare because he is a man and doing this is supposed to be in his genes. Besides, he would rather risk getting hurt than admit he can’t change a tire.

      Ideally we live long enough to grow up and become confident enough to say “I don’t know”.
      Paul Byerly recently posted…I See BoxesMy Profile

      • I suspect a man’s need to take risks and protect and provide are intertwined with this also. Still, if he wishes to be known for his confidence and courage, and admitting he doesn’t know how to do something would demonstrate his confidence and courage, it seems counterproductive to behave otherwise. It is as if he is controlled by a need to be the one on whom others depend.

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