Friday, July 30, 2010
Since when was it cool to make fun of men?
I'm at the gym with my friend Alison yesterday morning, not quite awake, and we have the 'slightly strange lady' running our spin class. Thankfully she is only filling in for a few weeks, but I had to leave the Monday class because I couldn't cope with her endless talking throughout the class. She has a few 'issues' (nice way of putting it).
Anyway (back to my story), in the middle of the class she starts going on (and on) about how the next track described the "men, husbands, boyfriends, brothers in our lives who all make promises and then don't keep them". The song was a love song by a guy singing that his girlfriend didn't have anything to worry about because he would look after her.
I think she assumed that we would all go, "Yeah, that's right - all men are bastards - you are such a funny lady". No-one did (thankfully).
My guess is that she's a lady who has been hurt by a man (or men). I do feel quite sad for her. And she's not alone. A lot of women have been hurt by men and continue to be daily disappointed by men who they are close to.
But that's not to say that women are somehow perfect. I know plenty of people who are struggling with the aftermath of difficult relationships with women.
The unspoken social rules tell us (rightly) that we can't make fun of someone who has different coloured skin or wears a headscarf or is Buddhist, or is a woman or is Aboriginal, yet with the sub-culture of 'men' we can just go for it - oh, let's have a laugh about the silliness of men together. (As an aside, Christians fit into the 'safe to have a laugh about' category too - personally experienced in a preschool committee meeting this week).
Yesterday morning it just made me sad. Sad that this woman wanted me to mock the men in my life - my husband, my brother, brothers-in-law, my Dad, my father-in-law, my male friends.
And if I want to have boys who grow up to be wonderful men, I so don't want them to grow up hearing the message that men are hopeless. Before they've even started on the journey to being an adult. What hope do they have?