Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Why Can't I Just Be Me?
I wish I could start every blog off with a disclaimer. Something that would read along the lines of, "what do I know, I couldn't even spell negro correctly". That wish is built upon my desire to say whatever I want with no consequences. I'll even go a step further and say that I'm pretty sure everyone would love to be able to do that. For instance, Governor Mitt Romney has been plagued throughout his bid for the presidency by what he's been saying.
Of course, there are consequences for what we say, and there's not much we can do to avoid them. I personally try to pick my spots to say things, in essence concluding the less I say the less I'll ultimately be responsible for. Life has taught me that some times, in fact, most times, you should just shut up.
This often back fires on me, since the less I say, when I do say something, it carries far more weight. It's the ultimate catch-22. But every so often I see something and I just feel like I can't keep quiet. I'm sure no one will be surprised to hear that I am at such a point right now.
Last night, while killing time before falling asleep, I saw and interesting tweet on Twitter. It read: "Men. Be men. Do that and I promise I'll treat you like the KING you are." Kind of a sweet sentiment isn't it? All we as men have to do as men is be men. Yay. I should point out it was RT'd (retweeted for the non-twitter savvy) by multiple women everywhere who apparently have dealt with men not being men.
Needless to say, as a man, I have a few problems with that statement. First, isn't that a tad ambiguous? What makes a man "a man"? I can hear the backlash now as millions of women scream at me about being responsible and treating other people with respect, and being open with their emotions, and just considering the other person for a change. There's no argument against any of those things. But isn't that just being an adult? Why is it so necessary to make that being "a man"? I'm not a perfect human being, but I'd like a woman to do all of the aforementioned things in a relationship, namely because I want to date an adult and not a child, or a cleverly constructed facsimile of an adult.
In fact, I tweeted that the statement should read "Men. Be the man I want you to be. Do that and I promise I'll treat you like the KING you are." There's nothing inherently wrong with that statement either. I'm sure every man wants to be a king. I'd love to be one. I could have people beheaded any time I didn't agree with them, I could own land and people, and taxation without representation all day. That doesn't make me crazy. Even Nas had a "if I were king" platform. It was just as preposterous too. Sending all the convicts to Africa? Really Nas?
Most would like to point out that they would treat their man as a king, and therefore they would be a queen. To which I point to history, and specifically to King Henry VIII, a man who started his own church just so he could divorce his queen. My point is, don't treat anyone like a king. Respect them. Love them. Consider them. Let them be, well, them. There's no actual way to change a person, or mold them into what you want them to be. All you can do is accept them or reject them. That's it.
Ultimately, there's nothing wrong with wanting a man to be a specific type of man for you. Nothing wrong with that at all. But be willing to tell men what you want in clear and certain terms. As a man, I'm proud to say that I have no clue what every single woman in the world wants from me in a committed relationship. What I do know is that I'm willing to ask, willing to listen, and if I can fit the description I will. If not, no harm no foul. I'm sure you'll find what you're looking for if it exists.
Look, there's no hard and fast rules anymore, I think we all know that. All I'm saying is instead of resorting to cliches and societal standards for what you want, actually sit down and consider what it is that you require to be happy, as well as what you offer in return. Then go out there and find someone who wants what you have and has what you want. And yes, I did just end on an O'Jay's lyric.