Men don’t have it as easy as you may think

Sarah Baldwin

I was quite surprised to find my last column incited some rage (presumably among jerks whose toes were pinched by my observations), so since tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, I will give their tender feelings a break and rhapsodize about the male population.

Men — there’s so many things to say. I suppose I should start by telling you that, for a large part of my life, I’ve disliked them. In fact, some people would have described me as a man-hater. I’m not sure they would have been completely inaccurate. I held these negative beliefs for a long time, but then I grew up.

Somewhere along the lines, I finally grasped the idea that life is rough on all of us, and being a creep isn’t exclusive to the male gender. I first realized this when one of my guy friends was having a hard time finding a job after graduation. Being unemployed ate away at him, and he saw himself as a failure. One night, after contemplating his tough situation, I turned on the TV, and I kid you not, every single show I flipped to was a slam on men.

First, there were the unoriginal sitcoms that involve the premise of the stupid, ugly husband who does everything wrong, except bring home the bacon and pay for everyone vs. the smart, cute wife who incessantly complains/criticizes/does everything right.

Then I turned to one of those home improvement shows, and one of the poor dudes was getting yelled at for fluffing a pillow incorrectly, or something like that.

Another guy was becoming an ex-boyfriend on a music video channel, and finally, an insect was becoming his mate’s supper on one of those nature programs.

The message came through loud and clear to me, and I felt annoyed, angry and, yes — ashamed.

I was embarrassed because, until then, I’d thought the “men are stupid and deserve the worst” message was right, even justified. Men had it easier in life, and on top of that, they were unfaithful cads.

However, now it was crystal clear I’d been wrong. The men I loved and respected did not deserve the disdain I had been showing — they needed some understanding. My jobless buddy was not a loser — he was intelligent and kind. My funny, insightful dad went to his office every day so my family could have nice things. Heck, even my brother had some good qualities.

Yet, for a long time I couldn’t see this because I was blinded by the “men are inferior” rhetoric so common in our society.

So guys, here’s my Valentine’s Day message to you: From now on, I will approach our interactions without a bad attitude and low expectations. I will respect (and love) you for the fact that you may be better at adeptly fixing my computer in two minutes than dissecting and analyzing the two-minute conversation I just had with my ex-best friend. I will accept you the way God made you, and I will not expect you to be more like me.

After all, most of the guys I know would make some really ugly women.

Sarah Baldwin is a graduate student in public relations and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].