In my 30 years of life experiencing the paradigm shift of society’s progress in dealing with the gender issue, as well as hearing from friends of their experiences in dealing with the gender issue, I have come to one definite conclusion; that for the most part of this day and age we live in, being a man totally sucks.
I say this based on some stories I have heard, as well as my own recent venture in married life. A friend of mine once related to me how he was in a hospital delivery room bearing witness to the beautiful event of his wife giving birth to their son, only to have his deepest impression of that day be the look of utter hatred he received from his wife as she struggled to squeeze the little tike from herself, seemingly to say to her husband, “What the fuck have you gotten me into? …your stupid bright idea to have a kid – AAAAAUUUUUUUGH!”
Another of my friends, while not in the throes of such marital bliss yet, is contemplating singlehood suicide soon. The problems he’s had to deal with are wide-ranging and far-reaching; from deciding which church to marry them with, to dealing with marriage counselling sessions that sound more like assisted breakup sessions, to realising a few weeks ago that he never thought to ask if the woman he was about to marry actually liked him.
And while he’s been sorting his issues out on his camp, I’ve had to sort out some issues of my own. My lovely wife has recently been in dispute with me over turning off the TV and fan when she went to the shower and I went to bed, while leaving her computer and living room light on.
And I hear a slight “huh?” Don’t worry, it gets complicated.
My idea was that she didn’t have the habit of sleeping early (it was about 11pm), so I decided no one was going to be in the room while she showered and I was going to sleep, so save a bit of electricity and she can turn everything back on when she came out. Her interpretation of that idea was that I was a selfish bastard for turning off the TV and fan without helping her turn off the laptop and light, and not even considering that she couldn’t go to sleep that night because she was having tummy pains and I never even thought to help her massage the pain away when she was complaining about it all day, selfish bastard.
Of course, both our arguments have merits. I was looking out for our utilities bill for 10 minutes, and she was wondering if she was going to have to suffer her labour pains on her own as evidenced by an uncaring, unsupportive husband who was going to sleep without her. To bastardise a quote from George Orwell, all are right, but some are more right than others.
It’s all part of a progression, you see. For all the millenia of patriarchy, we are finally seeing the effects of our sins as the modernity of mindset and culture turns the tables on the men of this world. It began with bra burning in the 60’s, followed by women’s lib in the 80’s, Sensitive New Age Guys and the emergence/acceptance of the woman who would be successful in both career and home in the 90’s, and then suddenly at the turn of the century, men all over the world find themselves paying their dues for the long history of suffering they brought upon their women, their father’s women, their forefather’s women, and just about every living thing that could be gender-categorised as female. Oh karma, how heavy your hand.
I can’t speak for all men, but I do live in fear of scorning my wife in any way, hence my avoidance of adultery at all costs (a secondary principle of mine relating to this has always been, you’ve already got your hands full with one, why add another complication?). But things like this I really find mind-boggling. I mean, I’ve been accused just this morning of not thinking most of the time, and I do admit after seeing what she had to say about it that I am guilty of being a selfish bastard to a certain extent, but who would think that turning off the TV and fan and going to bed would get me an earful of grief and a 24-hour cold shoulder? Who would think that even planning to get married could be such a complicated process? Who would think that having a child would earn you a look from your wife during childbirth that could be compared to a look from someone who thought you killed her entire family?