Monday, July 14, 2014

Put Down, But Not Out

We all know that it's up to the male to continue the species, as women never want to make the first move. Well, unless the guy is rich or a rock star (okay, I do know of a few occasions when a woman asked a guy out—but she knew him from work. A female would never go up to a stranger like men would). However, it is always challenging for the male because all sorts of roadblocks are put in their way.

These range from young boys trying to navigate past protective fathers to men trying to find Miss Right in a singles bar where the usual male/female ratio is 10-1. One of the most nefarious roadblocks though is when we encounter or hear about put-downs flung at us by females.

Most men have encountered these for so long we just drive on like it's a speed bump, but for the less experienced, these can seem like major walls to the psyche.  Below are a few examples of put-downs that women toss out like so many hand grenades.

"Man up." Used when a male does something that might be considered feminine, such as crying or complaining about something a female thinks the male should not complain about. Always confusing for the male because the female is always asking him to be more expressive, or constantly chiding him for his lack of emotions.

Oh, just put on a dress.”  Similar to Man Up, but used as a very pointed commentary about a male not acting male enough. Oddity because women hate it when men say things like "you throw like a girl" etc.

He's gay.” Used often when a male doesn't show interest in a female. Mostly used by a female to other females, but invariably it comes back to haunt the male through back room whispers and pass along emails. This is one of the reasons straight males resist wearing pastels. Of course let me drop a line from Seinfeld: "not that's there anything wrong with that." However, this is a blog about the differences between men and women and for some reason, women believe this is a coherent put-down.

I can't believe you are not married.” A satirical jab after a male says something a female doesn't like. Oddly meant as a put down, although the female may not be married herself. Has completely different meaning if said by your aunt. The only appropriate way for a male to respond is straight forward, then roll the eyes when told she was being sarcastic.
Grow up.” Often used when a male does some physical act the female finds offensive, such as shoving a friend, farting to make a statement. In a way this is a odd put down as most of the time females will say they are attracted to a male's youthful attitude or exuberance.

My ex-boyfriend did it like this/different...” Often used to belittle a male when he does something the female doesn't like.  She can't just come out and say she doesn't like the behavior because it probably isn't something society would dislike, it's just not to her liking.
I can't believe you own that.” Usually more specific, like, a car, stereo. Usually in relation to the male saving money by buying something the female believes is cheap, used, old, worn, etc. For example, I remember my brother telling me about a women he dated—from his church no less—who said she was shocked he drove a 10-year old car (he was a young attorney). He wisely didn't want to be in debt, but she was only interested in image. Very Christian-like.
Are you going to wear/do that again?” Although it might seem like these are two distinct statements, they are actually the same in their scope and use. It's a put-down of something the male believes is acceptable, but the female finds distasteful. For example, if the guy is planning to wear his favorite Hawaiian shirt to a party or if he says he's going to shoot some hoops with his rowdy (and typically single) best friend. Two distinct acts but the female will respond in the same manner.

There are more and maybe we'll include them in the future, but as you see, there are quite a few bricks thrown in the male's windshield as he navigates the relationship highway. Women typically just say the guy needs to "man up" as these are just little harmless comments. However, since they are so fearful of rejection or get tearful at the slightest snide remark by the male it's surprising they don't see the irony.
The best thing for the male to do is just keep driving down that road and put these slights in the rear view. After all, the only alternative is to drive into the ditch and just give up. Or get a beer.
(Get a beer with a female, that is)

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