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Man Up?

Last Monday I spent a little time watching daytime TV, as I am wont to do on my day off.  I caught snippets of Judge Joe Brown and Judge Mathis and they both managed to floor me.  Judge Joe Brown was having a “Man Up” special, which is an idea I can really get behind.  However, Judge Joe was lecturing a dude who had trashed his sister’s car that a man’s responsibility is to take care of the women in his life, be they wife, sister, mother, child, grandmother, etc.  This gave me pause.  You see, I am a wife, a daughter and a mother and I don’t need any man to take care of me.  I could kind of see his point, though, so I was willing to let it go.  At least, until a few minutes later, when Judge Mathis boldly stated that he dislikes men who hit women so much because he feels that he needs to protect weaker members of society, such as children, the elderly and… wait for it… women.

exactly.
via google images

WTF, Judge Mathis?  Weaker members of society?  Did he seriously just say that? Oh, yes, he did.  He just called me a weaker member of society.  That’s the kind of thing that makes me want to kick his ass just to prove that I can.  And now I’m also pissed off at Judge Joe’s completely absurd statement that women need a man to take care of them.  So I’m going on the record right here and now about gender roles.  I am a mother of a daughter and a son and it’s really, really important to me to get this right so they don’t fall into society’s categories.

Historically, yes, the man was the one to take care of the family.  Women were sheltered and protected by a father or brother until they could be handed off to a husband.  Like a massive relay race with women as the baton.  Anyway, that’s the way it was and history doesn’t change, folks.  But everything else does change.  It is absurd, in the year 2012, to suggest that a man needs to take care of the women in his family.  Am I saying men should trash their sisters’ cars?  Of course not.  What I’m saying is that it’s a family’s responsibility to take care of each other and it is each individual’s responsibility to look out for themselves.  As I mentioned, I have a son and a daughter.  Should we assume that my son will be in charge of taking care of me when I’m old and feeble, because he’s male?  Oh, hell to the no.  Both of those kids will be taking care of me, and you’d better believe that I intend to be cranky, demanding and expensive enough to require two caretakers.  And anyway, what if I didn’t have a son?  Then would I be on my own in my old age?  This is awfully bad news for my parents, then, since they didn’t have the foresight to have any boys.  Is it also safe to assume that my husband is ‘in charge’ of our decisions because he is male?  Oh, please.  More than one car salesman has made that mistake, but it’s a mistake they never make twice, I assure you.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let us move on to the hitting issue.  I know this is a very serious issue and I don’t have any intention of making light of it.  Men should not hit women.  Not ever, not for any reason.  It’s also not acceptable for a woman to hit a man.  Essentially, we shouldn’t just go around beating on each other, no matter how much we might want to.  It isn’t civilized.  I concede that most men are physically larger and stronger than women.  That’s how they’re made, it’s not an issue of equality or anything like that; they’re just different.  I just do not, for one second, believe that women are weaker.  Physically?  Sure, in some ways.  I couldn’t beat Hubs at arm wrestling if you had a gun to my head.  But I guarantee you that if he ever hit me (and he would never, never, NEVER do such a thing), he would be in for a nasty surprise.  I might not be as strong as he is, but I am fast, I’m mean, and I’m perfectly prepared to fight dirty.  So can a woman beat a man in a fight?  Of course she can.  That doesn’t mean that it’s okay to hit us, it just means that we don’t need Judge Mathis casting his protection spell over us poor weak women and lumping us in with children.

Gender roles are critical to me, not only because I am a human, but because I’m trying to raise children.  I don’t want to them to grow up trying to fit stereotypes.  I don’t want my daughter to be afraid some man might hit her and I don’t want my son to marry some woman who expects him to take care of her (unless that’s what he wants, but if I do my job right, he won’t want that).  Ignorant bullshit like these TV judges are spouting is undermining everything I’m trying to do.  No, my kids aren’t watching it, but think about this.  When these things were said, the audience cheered.  People think that this is okay.  It is most decidedly not okay.  It is not ever okay to tell my daughter that she is weak by virtue of being female and it’s also not okay to imply the same to my son by telling him that he must take care of the womenfolk. 

Can’t we ever stop grouping ourselves into groups of male and female and just be people?  Everyone likes to have a door opened for them.  No one likes to get hit.  Everyone likes to feel like someone’s got their back.  I just don’t understand why gender matters.  We can all do many great and wonderful things with the gifts we were given, no matter what equipment we were given.  We’ll all be happier once we can accept that, Judge Mathis.  And I’ll just bet Judge Judy would agree.

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  1. May 21, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    I think I love you 🙂 You are officially on my list of favorite bloggers. Love your style, humor and message!

    • May 21, 2012 at 3:51 pm

      Oh, thank you so much! I think I’m blushing. 🙂

  1. July 12, 2012 at 7:49 pm

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