Men are bumbling idiots.
Hollywood agrees and the average family depicts likewise.
"I have three children: A preschooler, middle-schooler, and him." (accompanied by a thumb jerk in her husband's direction and an eye roll)*
"Oh, you think that's bad?!? Have I got a humdinger to tell you!"
We belittle their hobbies: "He's off doing his little _________ (hunting/fishing/golfing/wood carving/book writing/music/painting/whatever) thing." (another well-placed eye roll)
We mock their aspirations: "You'll never guess what he wants to do (or get) now!"
We flaunt their weaknesses: "I'll call the plumber before you make things any worse." or "Most men can handle a barbecue, but not my husband. He doesn't even know how to turn the thing on!"
We use our bodies as rewards for good behavior: "A, B and C need doing. I'll make it worth your while." (wink, wink)**
He is not a pet, a child or a one-track minded being. We all know men think about sex more often than women. Somewhere along the line this translated into being a neanderthal. Hollywood picked up the mantle and ran full steam ahead with the idea. Husbands, fathers and even boyfriends are constantly and consistently regarded as befuddled, detached, simple-minded and akin to a dog that needs to be neutered and trained à la Pavlov.
What is the average male supposed to do but begin the transformation into this new image? Psych 101 tells us as much. Husbands get berated for not leading the family (we won't let them, because we know how to do it better). They pull ridiculous stunts (that earn them fame on America's Funniest Videos). They play video games for hours on end (despite our huffing and nagging).
Here's a newsflash: Men are NOT more simple than women. Their complexities are different, not non-existent. Somehow women have latched onto the notion that since we can multi-task, we are therefore superior. Has it crossed anyone's mind that a man's ability to focus in on a task allows them greater depth into said task?
You hear that? Shhhhhh. Listen.
It's the sound of a creaking table being turned.
Ladies, we have formed this new man and we need to unform*** him. Since we helped create this mess, we definitely need to be on the front lines of the clean-up crew. And it all boils down to one word: Respect. We can mop up a lot of this gunk with a simple shift in thinking (and acting on it). Men crave respect. It's the way they are wired by their Creator. Why do you think they play with fire, defeat video games, hunt, put in long hours at work? If they manage to conquer their foe, they earn respect. Just not yours.
I understand that we women don't "get it". I have no interest in jumping over a 6 foot tall bonfire or trying to bounce a basketball off a moving target onto the roof and through the hoop. But can we at least begin showing respect to our men? Start with the small things and keep working up to the big things? He needs to know that you are behind him when he promotes his idea to the boss. He needs to know that (even if you don't "get it"), you still get him. That you will stand by his hobbies, encourage him to be the best at what we does and let go of the things in which he's unskilled. And, as a bonus, if hubby knows you respect him, the bedroom is going to be loads more meaningful for the both of you.****
P.S. Check out http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/255699/what-do-men-want-dennis-prager# for a great article on this subject.
*This one is a MAJOR pet peeve of mine. Considered yourself forewarned.
**Ladies, we are shamefully skilled in subtle (and blatant) manipulation.
***Yes, I know it's not a word.
****I also understand that some of you are married to low-down, dirty, rotten, scummy men. I'm sorry. I can't pretend to know what that's like. I still say respect is worth a shot, but some serious, quality counseling is probably in order.