Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Appreciating Men

Some yummy Spring looks: inspiration

In Sex and the City Carrie Bradshaw writes her finest articles when she is in a relationship. The entire universe (aka New York City) contributes to the very pinnacle of her weekly column; in some profound way, every little situation presents a lesson, all summing up her current experiences avec 'prince charming' - and sometimes prince-not-so-charming I might add. In my writing I have experienced this too except probably in the opposite light.. it's as if you need things to be going terribly wrong to have material. This is true with Carrie: her troublesome relationships bring her to significant realizations in every episode. When this doesn't exist (i.e she settles in complete content with Aiden and/ or when she is not in a relationship) she has a little less to work with. 

What I'm trying to say is that things have been going so lovely in the last little while that I don't have much to bitch about or figure out. Sad isn't it? Things have been going pretty damn well, to say the least. And so I commence - with some 'kinda sorta liking someone' thoughts.. aww



I find it shockingly funny to think about our appreciation of masculinity. It seems that the things to which we bestow the highest value are those that fit neatly into the little box that we understand as not feminine. We appreciate the men we are 'interested' in only when they prove to be manly men.  I remember receiving a late night text from a certain guy that simply said - hey, whats up - and considered it to be the sweetest, most thoughtful thing anyone could do. I mean... for a man to show he cares? Wow. On the opposite end of the scale, for a lovey-dovey, sentimental character to show up at my doorstep with a pink teddy bear and a box of chocolates playing Radiohead in the background, I would use just about anything to dig myself a nice deep hole. I think that we use masculinity to feel more feminine: more dainty, fragile. We want the perfect image of the perfect man and, even if he isn't even as wonderful as we had hoped, we will deal with just about anything to hold onto that fantasy. We want the manly man, not the emotional one - his affection is not appreciated, it's considered creepy. We want him as a friend, but never ever as a partner. The manly man is hard to get, this relationship thing is about the thrill of the hunt and us ladies like em' hot. 
 So if it is so bad that we do this (because according to bell hooks, we're hurting men too ~ raises eyebrow) why do we insist on participating?

Giving up my need for 'the perfect guy' is like sacrificing my religion. It's not easy. Tell me tall dark and handsome with a sincere obsession with good music and philosophical thought doesn't exist and I will be willing to challenge you with the word of godly-man-praise. 
Since the first time I managed to comprehend my surroundings, I have been conditioned to understand men in a particular way. I'm sure I've talked about this somewhere before...
I remember going to Blockbuster every weekend and renting the same movie: Father of the Bride. I remember anxiously awaiting my Dad's return home from a long day of work. I took pride in knowing that my father, dear old Dad, would be the one to walk me down the isle on my wedding day. I've been fucking brainwashed OKAY! Not to mention my lovely, wonderful, independent, extremely traditional mother is the proud owner of a jewellery store; one in which I have persistently dreamt of the day when that dazzling diamond engagement ring would be mine. It's not easy to drop the fundamental picture of your upbringing, those that have been reinforced as right. They are images that have been presented to me as deserving and someday achievable. 

You say, "It is the challenging of these images that will defeat masculinity and put an end to patriarchal thinking!" Yes.. but you tell that to an entire society and let me know where you get. 

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