I apologize if the title sounds insulting. But I promise you…what I’m about to reveal is a bunch of embarrassing insights that speaks more to our weaknesses as Men.
Couple of things to keep in mind. I don’t speak for ALL men. However, if you are proud of being strong and independent and you’re wondering why a certain kind of man isn’t going for you, perhaps this might explain why. And lastly…there are a lot of women who claim to be “strong and independent” the same way a lot of people claim to be “Christians”. If you’re not, you’re not. We’re going to be honest today.
Allow me to begin by suggesting there are different types of strengths and weaknesses. An example mentioned in other essays (and by a late Christian Apologetic): Men generally have greater physical strength, but a woman may have greater emotional strength. When you have a sick dying child, the father may need to get up and leave the room because his emotions are too much, while the mother will have the strength stay by the child’s side.
What prompted this essay, though the topic’s been on my mind for a while, was when a speaker suggested that a “Woman’s strength is in the façade of her weakness.” He used it to explain why a lot of men might not be as interested in marriage and long-term relationships as the men of prior generations. I thought it was weird and dismissed it at first…but lately, I’m beginning to understand.
More and more ladies are openly asking, “What’s the point of a man?” There’s a famous clip of Cher where she’s asked, “Do You Think Men Are Important?” She answers, “for what?”.
The thing is, I don’t blame women for having these questions. In today’s cultural climate it’s completely understandable for a young woman to question why it’s important to be committed to a man, especially if you were raised by a strong Single Mother. Outside of the “bedroom fun” and the sweet validation that comes from attention…what’s the point?
Even in Entertainment, we’re seeing the push for “strong female” characters, to encourage women to break free from all those “weaker” traits traditionally associated with women. Instead, they’re told to go out and compete with men. That’s why nearly every Marvel film has a strong female protagonist…who is essentially masculine, fights better than men, and doesn’t need to be saved by men.
Meanwhile, we got men directed to scream like this:
Let’s go back hundreds of years. Not too far. Let’s stick to early American history. The days of the pioneers, of the Wild West, and frontier life. Way back then, Men were tough and rugged. They had to be. We had to build our own houses, our own wagons. We had to tame horses, till the fields, and protect our livestock from wolves, bears, and other men. This required a great deal of courage, physical strength, and durability.
Women were capable of such feats as well. Alexis de Tocqueville sang their praises. But plainly put, the utilitarian nature of a Man’s physicality was much more needed and appreciated. Kind of like needing a lot of children if you were a farmer because it provided more hands for working the fields.
Fast forward to today…and technology has eliminated a lot of that need. Let’s go a step further…in my last couple of essays, I’ve remarked on how ladies are openly admitting that they’d rather just be mothers than wives. And honestly…if you don’t believe in living by Christ’s teachings, I can understand why you’d opt for that. Manosphere Highlights Daily brought up this clip from the 80s where it was clear that Single Mothers are perpetuating a cycle because they were never taught or saw the importance of being married to a man.
If you can get government assistance when it comes to food, shelter, paying for your medical bills, or if you’re working a high-profile job making lots of money in your career…do you really NEED a husband that traditionally provided all of that for you?
If you watched the above video, the lady says, “A real man isn’t intimidated by a woman that doesn’t need you.” She also lists qualities she says she wants in a man. Things like “love, kindness, loyalty, faithfulness, companionship, friendship, laughter, good times.” And at 2:15 minutes in, she asserts, “I don’t need a man! But guess what, I want you.” Which really comes off as, “you’re expendable/ replaceable/optional.”
So here’s the slippery slope people need to understand about men. If we’re not needed, then we’re not important. If we’re not important, then we’re not relevant. If we’re not relevant, then we run the risk of feeling like we don’t exist. If in our minds, we feel like we don’t exist…we run the risk of questioning what’s the point of being alive?
Easy…I’m alright. I’m just putting that out because I think it relates to the high rate of male suicide. And this isn’t necessarily the fault of women. If we as Men feel like we aren’t important or relevant, it’s on us to do something about it. Or as I like to say… “If you feel like you don’t have a place in this world, keep your chin up and build your place.” To this end, I credit God with providing me with such purpose.
Also, consider the qualities she lists that she wants in a man: “love, kindness, loyalty, faithfulness, companionship, friendship, laughter, good times.” What does this remind you of?
WOMEN ARE OUTPACING MEN –
On the notion of “Protection and Provision” …I get that women today are outpacing men in education and arguably, careers. Women indeed make up 85% of the consumer purchase. Honestly, kudos to them. However,…there’s one thing that’s constantly overlooked. Good men (Godly men) don’t care about money.
We’re not materialistic. We have money, because we’re hard workers, but we don’t place such a high value on the number. Instead, we’ll seek more money if we need it. If we DON’T HAVE families that depend on us or wives or girlfriends that need us…,what incentive do we have to move up the corporate ladder and seek higher paying jobs in roles that may not bring us happiness? For instance, I’ve had plenty of opportunities to move up into a management position, but I knew I wouldn’t enjoy those roles. As my college instructors once put it: “Rock’s the kind of guy where you just tell him what you need him to do and get the hell out of his way.”
“But Rock, for generations it’s always been a biological imperative for a woman to seek a male with the greatest resources. It’s not just for her, but she’s thinking about her children’s comfort and security. It makes sense. And Men need to be able to have that money and resources or else.”
I agree to an extent. However, I believe my generation has been so influenced by social media and advertising that a lot of Millennials have a heighten expectation/entitlement/demand about the kind of lifestyle they think they should live. Our parents and grandparents raised 6-9 children on one income. Are we really supposed to believe my generation can’t raise a few on two 5-figure incomes?
“Well, I admire a man who has ambition!”
If you want a wealthy man who has expensive things, eats at five-star restaurants and can take you to resorts where you can brag about it on social media…just say that. Some of us have other ambitions. Like resisting worldly temptations, finding a Christian spouse, getting married only once, and raising our children to stay out of jail, off drugs, out of gangs and off the stripper poles to become decent human beings with the hope of everlasting life by doing what’s good in God’s eyes. Trust me when I say these ambitions are far greater than becoming a millionaire.
If the argument is “you get the job and money first, and then the woman will come” …that’s not guaranteed. Not to mention, I don’t think it’s wise. What happens if you lose your job or your money. Now what? (Hint, the hyperlink takes you to the top reasons for divorce). It’s kind of like when I went and got my oil change and was just checking out the new Jeep Grand Wagoneer in the showroom. The floor manager encouraged me to consider it. And while it is awesome and luxurious with three rows of seats…it’s $90k and I don’t need all that space for just little old me. So, I’ll stick with my more efficient $30k Jeep Compass UNTIL I have a need for all that space.
This next point…I hope you understand, these things are not easy to admit.
Masculine Men HATE Feeling More Feminine than Women –
For a lot of us men…when it comes to qualities such as being affectionate, nurturing, sweet, soft-spoken, or supportive. The notion of reaching out and checking on someone to see if they’re alright. Letting another person know that you’re thinking about them. The action of doting on the person, showering them with tender compassion and words of affection. The uplifting quality of brightening another person’s day with a happy bubbly demeanor. I know ANYONE can exhibit these qualities, but for a lot of us men, these are traditionally seen as Feminine traits.
But as a guy…I have them. A lot of masculine men have them. We’re just careful about revealing ourselves in such light because…sad to say, we don’t trust most people with our softer, more vulnerable sides. A lot of us have been called punks, lames, soft-ass niggas for exhibiting these feminine qualities that are perceived as “weakness” in Men. So, we keep that side hidden. That’s why when our mothers die, it hits hard. Because she’s probably one of the few people ON THIS PLANET who we could ever let our guards down with.
People love to say, “times have changed,” but as Men…we’re still expected to be masculine, tough, tough-skinned, persevering, brave, bold, take charge, provide, protect! I’m not complaining about this. As Rollo Tomassi would say, it’s the burden of performance we embrace.
But while I do have all those masculine qualities, I’m also very caring and romantic. That being said…it’s one of the worst feelings in the world when it seems like I’m acting more feminine than the woman I’m dealing with. Seriously, I hate it so much. It’s disgusting! It’s like a rotten pit in your stomach when you’re the sweet, kind, and compassionate one, but you’re woman’s all fierce, strong, and masculine.
And I know some people would say, “Oh, well if she’s not acting feminine around you, she must not really like you” …I don’t think so. I believe it’s based on the individual and how they were raised.
The last girl I matched with clearly kept her feelings locked away. She never gave any compliments. And when she asked what I thought about anything, it always turned into a debate where if I disagreed, her go to-phrase was “I feel like you aren’t hearing me.” The most I got was this rigid analytical BS about “Love Languages”. It was so stupid. There was no femininity. It’s like I was talking to an HR rep more so than a love interest.
“But Rock. What if it’s your femininity that’s repulsing her?”
The truth is…I don’t believe I act all that Feminine! I’m 6’3, 225lbs. I box 3x a week and literally daydream about street-fighting while I’m working out on the treadmill, listening to Slipknot. Unlike most of my peers, I didn’t gripe about going into the office with the threat of Covid. I don’t give AF about Covid. Never have! LET’S GO!
Here’s what I think’s going on. I believe some of us were raised by our parents to be husbands and wives…while others were raised to be independent, to “run these streets,” to have fun and enjoy life and maybe, just maybe, find a spouse much later down the line. That’s why I personally was shocked when I was 24 and first learned about the hook-up culture. I didn’t know it was so widespread and accepted as a way of life. And I thought it was the dumbest thing in the world, primarily because my parents raised me to date WITH THE INTENT of getting married, not to sow my royal oats!
“Men keep their feelings locked in a vault too! They don’t communicate. Too insecure. They’re so afraid of looking weak and vulnerable!”
They wouldn’t be if they trusted you. On that note, I’m aware the logic could go both ways. If you’re dealing with a man and you bottle up your femininity…he’s likely going to think you don’t trust him either. And the problem with that is there’s too many ladies who think a Man should just stick around and put up with that tough veneer until you’re ready to open up, but really, you risk running him off. This ain’t the movies!
Also, let’s not pretend Men and Women are the same. Between the genders, people will be more accepting and sympathetic to the perception of a “weak” woman who says, “my feelings were hurt” than if a “weak” man said that.
“But Rock. Why do you feel a NEED to show your softer side when you’re around your girlfriend? Isn’t that what your momma’s for? Your girlfriend isn’t your momma! You’re supposed to be her man, her rock, her pillar of strength. She might not want to see you all affectionate and what not.”
It’s not so much that I have a need to show it. It’s more like I don’t want to be in a relationship where I have to HIDE it. If my softer, romantic side comes out in the moment or because I feel like expressing my affection…call me crazy, but I want a wife who’d appreciate it, welcome it, and reciprocate. I don’t want to have to come home every day and pretend to be Stringer Bell just to get some love and affection.
Take this for example. Imagine you’re walking down the street and you cross paths with a person, and you say hello. But the person doesn’t say hi back. They see you and just ignore you as they keep on walking. What if it happens again? Three times in a row you see this person and they just completely blow you off every time. By the 4th time, are you still going to say hi to this person? It’s the same with texting a person. If you send someone a supportive thoughtful message and they just respond with “K” …or don’t respond at all, are you going to want to reach out to that person again?
It’s the same with us. If a masculine man, shows his affectionate side with the woman he likes/loves and the woman takes it for granted…he’s going to be reluctant to show that side of him again.
And to be frank, I have heard of this being a reason why men cheat on their girlfriend/wives. This link gives 30 reasons why Men cheat. Some of the reasons include, that men have an inner child-like need to be nurtured. Some men don’t even realize they have this need until it’s too late. One day, they’ll come across that sweet bubbly receptionist that brightened his day. He becomes a regular and suddenly this girl has him feeling things he never knew he could feel or forgot he could feel. Loved.
“Wow, Rock! Sounds to me like you’re just sensitive. Thank god all men aren’t like you.”
See what just happened there? Earlier you complained about men not communicating their feelings…and look what happened when I did! Truth is, a lot of us are insecure. We are sensitive. Not about everything. But when it comes to the love of a woman we’re attracted to, dude…there’s legit Marines who have braved IEDs and machine guns but have been broken by their exes. That’s why some men are telling each other to NEVER show your softer more emotional side to your woman. We’re reluctant to be upfront and honest about these things because:
1) We don’t want to feel like a b**** who’s whining over something YOU think is no big deal
2) My generation claims to be all about empathy, but don’t believe you when they don’t understand
3) We run the risk of losing your respect if you have those preconceived notions of what a “real man” is.
4) We’ll likely have to apologize for how our feelings made you feel.
5) It’s like wanting your parents to tell you they’re proud of you when you score a goal. If they say they’re proud only “after” you told them…it feels fake.
Lastly, let’s hit on that common accusation of, “y’all are just intimidated by a strong woman.”
Let’s say that’s true. Now what? Because here’s what’s crazy. For us Men…if we found out that a woman or any other man was intimidated by us for whatever reason…If we like the person, instead of belittling them as if we were in middle school, we’re more likely be understanding and help them out, doing what we can to make them feel comfortable being around us. This is what men would do.
For instance, I’m a big black dude. I’m always smiling and laughing when I’m around others, partially because I’m just goofy…but also because I don’t want people to be afraid of me. My default expression, just walking through the airport, it looks like I’m about to whop somebody’s ass.
“Well women do that too! If we like a guy, we’ll try and be more accommodating if he’s intimidated by us.”
Then what’s the problem? Why complain that men are intimidated by you?
“We just want men to admit it!”
Why? Why is that so important to you? To make you feel powerful or superior? We get that you’re strong. We get that you’re powerful. But we are men! The good men you say you want don’t like feeling inferior or weaker than the women they’re dealing with.
“Well that’s not women’s fault. Men are responsible for their own feelings!”
True. And these are some ways they handle it:
1) Some men may endure you, becoming a shell of his former self as long as you’re satisfying his other needs so well that he doesn’t care anymore.
2) Others let go of their own masculinity and embrace this notion of “Happy wife, happy life” by letting you lead.
3) They leave you
4) Cowards who don’t have the courage to walk away end up cheating on you behind your back.
So long story short…if you are strong and independent, exuding those masculine qualities and you like who you are…you may need to seek out those men who are far different from me. There are strong, silent types who refuse to show a hint of weakness to their women. Within black culture, it does seem to be a popular stereotype among the hip hop crowd.
But for black men like me, us “sensitive” types who you’d never know just by looking…perhaps this explains why we end up dating outside our race. It’s not because we hate black women or think y’all aren’t beautiful (I think Cardi B and Meg the Stallion are gorgeous). We just go where we can be ourselves, where all my overwhelming “creepy” affection is appreciated.
“So basically, what you’re saying is because you have this feminine side to you, you’re looking for a woman who’s more feminine than you.”
Correct. And again, as much as I know you want to make it sound like the problem is me having that feminine side…I’d argue that most women are more feminine than me. Just not the strong and independent types that a lot of my lovely black sistahs seem to be embracing. Moving on…
MEN WANT TO BE HEROES:
Men want to be heroes, the ones who saved the day. In our homes, to our children, to our wives, to our girlfriends, to our friends and family! We get that women may like being heroes too, but I’d argue it’s more important to a man (ie, men aren’t raised with the mentality that women are gonna come and save them if we’re ever in danger).
Consider my four-year-old niece. I visited her for the first time since she was born last month, and I absolutely adore her. She calls me “Uncle Rock” and when I’m gone, she keeps asking, “Uncle Rock, gone night night?”
I will make it my business to visit every year. This girl will be showered with love and affection. She will know without a shadow of doubt that she has a FIRE-BREATHING Dragon out here ready to raze whole cities to the ground if the darkness of her closet so much as frightens her.
For her, I will do this because she is weak, she is vulnerable. She does need men like me and my brother (her father) looking out for her. She isn’t corrupted by modern ideologies into thinking she doesn’t need a man. But I’ll only be this way with her…only until she grows up and starts acting like my cousins who can’t even be bothered to return a text. When that happens and she demonstrates that she no longer needs or appreciates me as much as she used to…I’ll back off. I’ll keep my love for her locked away in a vault so it’s not be a burden to her. I’ll watch from afar and if she ever needs my help…
“Wow, Rock. Why can’t you ever just do things because you want to? Why does everything hinge on how the other person responds to you?”
Because I have an ego. We all do. The difference between me and most is that I’m aware, think it’s normal, and I’m not afraid to admit it. For example, if you work your ass off to save up and buy me a birthday gift because you legit want to make me happy…but when you give it to me, I grimace and don’t show the slightest amount of appreciation, how would you feel?
I’m of the opinion that there’s no such thing as a “completely self-less act”. Everything we do, we’re doing it for motives and reasons we derive satisfaction from other than just the other person’s benefit. Even Jesus Christ, when he died for our sins…he did it not only for our sakes, but also because he wanted to do the will of the Father, Jehovah God. It was pleasing to Jesus to obey his Father. And God showed his appreciation with kind loving words of affirmation.
So, when people say, “You should do things and expect nothing in return” …not sure that’s entirely possible. At the very least, I suspect all of us expect to at least feel good/accomplished/fulfilled from being able to assist another person. However, those feelings can be sullied by a lack of appreciation, complaints, and even misinterpretations (example: he was only helping you because he wants something in return! Correct, a simple thank you would have sufficed, at the very least not this stupid accusation).
I know society has made the “damsel in distress” to be a figure that’s demeaning to women. But it reminds me of the saying that “Chivalry is dead, and women killed it.” I don’t believe chivalry is dead. Gentlemen still do exist. I do believe in paying on the first date and holding open doors for my woman. That being said, before we even get to the date, I would’ve discerned if she’s the type who’d appreciate and welcome my chivalry.
Honestly, ever since I was a kid my parents raised me and my brothers to have the utmost respect and care when it comes to girls. Never hit a girl. Offer her your seat. Never cheat on her. Never break her heart or toy with her emotions. I was the ultimate white knight, defending women whether I was attracted to her or not…which is why I hate it when people say, “a man’s only doing this because he wants sex from you.” Nope. THAT’S WRONG!
There were plenty and I mean PLENTY of ladies who I stood up for because it was just the right thing to do, and I didn’t find them attractive in the slightest. Like when I was in 7th grade and classmates kept picking on the Special Ed girl. So, I joined her at the computer to keep her company and someone threw a textbook at the back of my head. I got up ready to throw down, but everyone kept quiet. Nobody fessed up.
Last year, there was a video of a black man punching a woman just because she said, “take a chill pill”…bruh. If that happened back at my high school in the early 2000s, it didn’t matter if she called him the n-word, this dude’s getting jumped. So when people say things like, “times have changed” …Yep. How’s that working?
Good Men want to solve problems. We want to fix the situation. If your car breaks down on the side of the road. Call me. I got you. If you’re feeling a little nervous because some dude’s been loitering outside your apartment. Bet! I’m on my way! If your grandma’s sick and in the hospital, I’ll come keep you company. Again, all men aren’t like this. I’m talking about Men like myself.
“But Rock! We don’t need you for those things!? Times have changed. We can figure it out ourselves.”
“Where are you going?”
WEAKNESS CAN BE USED TO YOUR ADVANTAGE –
The Strength of Women is in her façade of weakness?
I think it’s an interesting quote that basically means “the strength of a woman is in her appearance of weakness”. The illusion of it. As in… we get it. Women may not NEED us as much as their grandparents did. However, if they put on the appearance of being “in need” …we’ll be there.
And while I want to say I can’t imagine anyone wanting to “pretend” to be weak just to have someone take care of them…it happens all the time. Some people take it too far, taking advantage of other people’s kindness. Getting a ride to the store. Asking for someone to listen to your problems while making themselves out to be victims. Millions of men are in the friendzone right now because these ladies deliberately use them as a shoulder to lean on, while they’re off getting smashed by Chad and Tyrone.
I don’t encourage anyone to abuse the masculine need to be your hero, but for good girlfriends and wives, I think it makes sense to embrace the weakness of being a woman.
In 1 Peter 3:7, the Apostle Peter tells husbands (men) to “live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.”
Earlier I mentioned how some were raised to be husbands and wives, and others were raised to be independent. They’re contrasting paths because husband and wives do DEPEND on each other, as was God’s design. And deep down, we all know it.
To be clear, women are strong. Bearing children takes strength! Self-sacrifice takes strength. To show love and compassion towards your husband and kids even on days where everyone’s just working on your last nerve…that takes strength! And it’s beautiful. I have co-workers who I’ve known for a decade and recently become mothers. It’s an amazing thing to see them. Their kids are their worlds. Honestly, it’s so beautiful.
Compared to men, however…we are stronger, I’ll let these ladies explain:
But if you’re still offended, I found this website that has a really great answer about what it means to be the “Weaker Vessel.”
The author writes: As Christians, we understand the dynamics at work which are totally at odds with human viewpoints and worldly “wisdom.” This word “weakness” can cause great offense when there should be none at all. Women are weaker and need to be treated with understanding and respect. A woman who resists this loving care by her husband is robbing herself of the joy of being the “weaker” vessel.
And it’s there in marriage that men find their fulfillment and purpose if the woman lets him. In marriage we get that needed companionship (because it’s not good for men to be alone Gen. 2:18), we’re needed to have children and raise our families (be fruitful and become many, Gen. 1:28) and to contain our sexual urges, since God knows us very well and doesn’t want us to engage in stupid worldly customs, like the hook-up culture (1 Corinthians 7:1-5).
But if you’re not a Christian…I imagine all of this might be nonsense patriarchal oppression, right?
Maybe. But as many have predicted…more and more women are entering their later Middle Ages and speaking out with regret about the decisions they made.
And it’s interesting. I started working on an essay about “why it’s my default to assume a woman’s just being nice” when she may be trying to give me a “hint.” And I was doing some research on Nikola Tesla…basically men who went their whole lives without ever getting married or having children (Sir Isaac Newton and Beethoven etc)
On the issue of women and relationships, Tesla’s early years sound a lot like how I felt about women during my White Knight years. According to what I read, he felt unworthy of a woman and thought they were superior in every way. Honestly, that’s how I felt…even up to my mid-twenties. To me, it was like… “until I’ve succeeded in my goals and built a financial foundation to start a family…I’m unworthy.”
But apparently, as he got older, Tesla mentioned this in an article in 1924, “In place of the soft voiced, gentle woman of my reverent worship,” says Mr. Tesla, “has come the woman who thinks that her chief success in life lies in making herself as much as possible like man–in dress, voice and actions, in sports and achievements of every kind. The tendency of women to push aside man, supplanting the old spirit of cooperation with him in all the affairs of life, is very disappointing to me.”