Recently, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about backbones and the relationships between men and women. What does one have to do with the other...? Well lots if you're having some of the conversations I've been having lately with my girlfriends. Despite have a degree in Women’s Studies I still don’t seem any closer to figuring out the roles of men and women in society. First, the thing about backbones…I’ve been noticing, both through experiences of my own and those of others, that most of the guys I'm/we're meeting are seriously lacking in that department. Whether it is an unwillingness to get pens as NotCarrie called it or simply not being able to say/ask/demand what they want; in short men are starting to fail me. However, when I take a look at what pop culture has spewed out I realize that society, in general hasn’t helped.
Case in point, I was channel surfing, something that I rarely do, because I'm fed up with the drivel they serve up as tv, but on this particular day I had decided to make a concerted effort to find something different than what I normally watched. I landed oddly enough on one of my faves from about 7 - 10 years ago, "Boy Meets World". Unfortunately, it was at the point when the slow was doing its descent into hell because they had taken it beyond high school, into the college years, but I digress.
Cory and Topanga, were having dinner at some frou frou restaurant and trying to show, his best friend (can't remember, nor do I care about this kid's name) and his new wannabe girlfriend (could care less about her name) how happy they were as a couple. As with most sitcoms what they did was show how not to be a couple in love, with Topanga losing her temper with said milquetoast boyfriend because she can't even remember why they are at this restaurant. She proceeds to yell at him, then growl (grrr) at the head waiter when he timidly requests, (another milquetoast), that she keep her yelling to a dull roar. When she questions why Cory isn't getting angry at her because of she is yelling at him, what does he do? He lets out a roar that was befitting of his cowed status...(grrr). The longer I watched the more I started thinking about the life of this show...Topanga ruled over Cory...always. He didn't have any definite opinions (that I remember), or make any decisions. He went to her school because that's where she went, he did everything for her, totally devoted himself to her and in my opinion, lost the right to his man card, or rather gave it to her along with a strap-on to hit just the right spot as she screwed him...over and over. On the other side she never deferred to him for anything and had few if any apologies, in fact the only time I believe I saw her let him take the lead is when he proposed...and I think she even took that away somewhat by turning him down and then later proposing to him (I've considered looking at this series again, but have decided my mind couldn't take it).
This is one small example of what I'm trying to get across. Where do the roles that we would like to play out as men and women take a back seat to what society has told us we should be expecting? I'm not saying that women shouldn't expect to get equal treatment. I'm not saying that men shouldn't treat women like equals. What I am saying is when are we going to let each other off the hook for acting like a girl and a boy? For doing the things that, for lack of a better word, come instinctively? I have female friends who can't cook and are proud of it, but I love to cook and love having people eat my cooking...does that make me less of a strong woman because of that? Likewise, I have male friends who are handy with the tools, which I am not so and will gladly let them come repair anything I manage to break in my home. But, would they even think of pushing the envelope a little with me if they liked me...probably not, because they've been told that they can't just kiss a woman because they want to. Instead they have to do some sort of ritualistic dance of the dinner and movie variety before getting around some sort of bases and then one more sports metaphor and they're in...
Hell, we're always underestimating each other anyway.