Self-Sufficiency Series

Saturday, February 12, 2011

In praise of men

A reader left a comment on my blog post Marriage and Rush-Hour Traffic as follows:

I'm just to the right of conservative and tend to adhere to traditional labels and values, but I have to admit I bristle at being called "simple" while women are considered to be "complex." And "simple" usually means "sex, food, and admiration." I'm sure a hundred books have been written on the subject and it's an issue far more "complex" than can be discussed here; however, I think men are a lot more complex than they are given credit for. Indeed the very character or the very nature of a man tends to result in an outward display of "simplicity". There's a lot going on below that surface that women don't know about or choose not to explore because it makes them uncomfortable or because they simply don't want to deal with it. It doesn't help that men are labeled "simple" because it predisposes women and wives to believe there's not complex worth discovering. All I'm saying is that there's probably a vast treasure trove of complex ideas, behaviors, and (dare I say it?) emotions lurking below the surface within your husbands that'll likely remain locked up forever because of current labels and gender expectations in our society.

I thought now would be a good time to clarify my position on the simple/complex issue because I don’t want any misunderstandings about my attitude and philosophy toward men.

If you’ve read many of my WND columns or if you’ve been following my blog for any length of time, you’ll know I’m a huge fan of men. So when I refer to men as “simple creatures” I do NOT mean it as an insult. Far from it! “Simple” can be extraordinarily profound.

When people say women are complicated, it’s not a compliment. To me, the adjective “complicated” denotes a weary acknowledgment that women are moody, emotional, hormone-laden creatures whose moods cannot always be anticipated or soothed, and who are triggered by a bewildering array of stimuli that “set them off.” And since it is not usually in a man’s nature to tune in to whatever subtle (and changing – always changing) cues his woman is giving off and expected to read, then women are described as “complicated” because it’s the most apt description out there.

I have a deep appreciation for the simple things in life. So deep, in fact, that I wrote a book about it. The essence of simplicity is making good, sound, intelligent choices. When a man embodies the manly qualities I admire (read this to see what I mean), then those choices make life easier for those around him. Some might consider it a "simple" thing when a man works to provide for his family – rather than cluttering up his decision with emotional baggage as women tend to do – but his dedication simplifies life for his family. Ain’t it cool?

And men are simple to please. They really are. Please don’t misinterpret this to mean I believe men have no depth or complexity to them. Of course they do! Instead I think it’s a blessing that for all the hard, nasty, dirty, ugly work men do, all they ask in return is for us women to appreciate and love them. I find that incredible.


I find men are straightforward; they don’t expect those around them to be mind readers (as women often do). Their yes means yes and their no means no.

To a man (I don’t mean a “male” but a true man), their word is their bond and their sense of honor is strong. Those are simple and profound qualities. Can you imagine how much worse off we would be in this world if men didn’t have the qualities they have? Men are the ones who make the simple decision: defend their country and/or their loved ones, or die trying. Men are the ones who make the simple decision: work hard or let my family (and my honor) suffer. Men are the ones who spend their entire lives making simple, profound, honorable choices that ease the burdens of those around them. Is it any wonder I love men?

The person who left this comment wrote, “There's a lot going on below that surface that women don't know about or choose not to explore because it makes them uncomfortable or because they simply don't want to deal with it.”

He’s right, of course. Because men don’t verbally “angst” all the time like women do, women often forget men have feelings and emotions. But men suck it up. Men don’t complain. Men deal with it. Men don’t burden those around them with an endless stream of petty woes as women frequently do. You’ve heard two women talking for hours and hashing and re-hashing and RE-hashing and RE-HASHING the same ol’ same ol’. But men don’t do that. They are creatures of action, of results. Their instinct is to fix a problem, not to dwell on it endlessly.

Of course, sometimes “fixing” a problem can have devastating consequences. Post-traumatic stress disorder is a very real affliction and comes from witnessing and dealing with horrors. But men throughout history have fought wars to protect family and homelands. Without their ability to “suck it up” until such time as they can “let it go” and deal with the emotional aftermath, history would be very different. (And we’d probably all be speaking German.)

And what helps a man heal is the love of his wife and children: the respect they give him in the home and the praise and admiration he receives from those he loves. Throughout history, women have helped their men heal because the men had the strength and bravery to tackle the problem, and women had the compassion and gentleness to help heal the hurt.

That’s why men and women complement each other. Feminists would like us to believe there are no differences between the genders except for physical attributes. They are wrong. Men need the gentle nurturing qualities of women. Women need the strong protective qualities of men.

Unless they’ve been emasculated by a domineering and/or feminist woman (wife or mother), or unless boys are raised in a culture which denigrates their genetic predisposition to respect women, work hard, and provide for their families, then most men rise to the occasion. Most men are wonderful creatures whose strength and protective instincts we take for granted until those qualities are needed - or worse, gone.  If our society continues to emasculate men, if the boyish instincts are not guided into appropriate channels, then our society will lose an enormous part of what made our country great.

And that’s why I love men.

12 comments:

  1. I love men too. I wish women were "simple creatures". I might get along with them better.
    Sigh.

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  2. That was an awesome post, well thought and well said. My bride and were have a discussion, once, about a certain book. In response to something she said I replied that "women are from Venus and men are from inside their heads and that is the final frontier".

    I don't where that thought came from and I don't know if it's true, but I still mull it from time to time in some confusion.

    We truly are complex beings!

    Thank you for your blog.

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  3. Thank you Patrice. May I always endeavor to strive towards that simplicity. Humility be my greatest teacher. Respect and compassion my greeting to all.

    henry

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  4. Well said. I now wish more would read and act upon these concepts.

    Steve

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  5. Men and women are nothing without Jesus Christ in the heart according to Scripture!

    But I would have you know, that the head of EVERY man is Christ; and the head of THE woman is THE man; and the head of Christ is God.
    ICorinthians 11:3
    Emphasis mine.

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  6. Amen!! Patrice and Amen again!
    I have four wonderful men in my life and it is richer and calmer for it. I wish I could say the same for them, they have me and everything that goes with that to contend with. And I must say they handle it like men. Praise God how blessed I am!!!!!!1

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  7. The Bridge Builder
    An old man, going a lone highway,
    Came, at the evening, cold and gray,
    To a chasm, vast, and deep, and wide,
    Through which was flowing a sullen tide.
    The old man crossed in the twilight dim;
    The sullen stream had no fear for him;
    But he turned, when safe on the other side,
    And built a bridge to span the tide.
    “Old man,” said a fellow pilgrim, near,
    “You are wasting strength with building here;
    Your journey will end with the ending day;
    You never again will pass this way;
    You’ve crossed the chasm, deep and wide-
    Why build you this bridge at the evening tide?”
    The builder lifted his old gray head:
    “Good friend, in the path I have come,” he said,
    “There followeth after me today,
    A youth, whose feet must pass this way.
    This chasm, that has been naught to me,
    To that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be.
    He, too, must cross in the twilight dim;
    Good friend, I am building this bridge for him.”
    By Will Allen Dromgoole
    What will your legacy be?


    Read more: http://artofmanliness.com/2011/01/22/manvotional-the-bridge-builder/#ixzz1DuAQQWpG

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  8. As with pretty much everything, your comments about men are spot on and very much appreciated.
    'Cause I are one. ;)

    Jeff

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  9. That hidden layer of complexity? I think I've found it: ("Okay, she frowned. Last time she frowned, it was because I hadn't told her I love her that evening. But this is the afternoon, so that can't be the reason. Maybe it's because she's constipated. But if I ask her, she might get offended. Good Lord, is there a football game on?")

    Douglas J. Bender
    (Elkhart, IN)

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  10. By the way, I am a man, and many people have confirmed your opinions about men in my own life, many times saying that I am simple-minded. My response has been to hold my head up proudly and say, "Yes; yes I am." ;)

    Douglas J. Bender

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  11. Thank you Patrice. Of course, it couldn't be that there is an intentional attempt to undermine masculinity to stop our country from being great, could there? Re; the link between socialism and feminism

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