November 15, 2010

The Pussification of the Midwestern Male

A brief background on me.  I’m a thirty-something divorcee.  I spent much of my twenties and all of my marriage hiding my personality from the world in some misguided attempt at being more socially acceptable. Those who know me use words like “aggressive”, “strong”, “force of nature”, “outgoing”, and “brazen”.  All of these I wear like a badge of honor.  I live my life for me, on my terms.  I’ve spent many a day shaking trees to get done what needs to happen. I’ve only known how to be one way, a mover, a shaker, and a questioner.  In life, I make the phone calls.  In money, I write the checks.  In love, if I didn’t seek it out, I turn my nose up at it because it’s too easy.  This is how it works in my world. I do this while trying not to be as abrasive as 80 grit sandpaper.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.  However, this approach goes against the grain for the men of the Midwest.  

In the last two years, I’ve had men from all walks of life not know what to make of me.  The night delivery truck driver who dabbled in witchcraft told me he couldn’t look me in the eyes; they are too intense and see too much.  Another told me that I am imposing, and I can fill a room with sheer force of personality.  He also didn’t believe me when I said I’m not approached all that often when I’m out and about.  The motorcycle-riding, weight lifting, reservist’s eyes got the size of dinner plates when I’d talk about lusty, up against the wall, all I need to do is give you “the look” sex.  

I’ve tried both online and in person dating.  It seems that the outcomes for me are either the occasional hookup, or really short relationships that end up with the guy practicing the dreaded fade out.  You know, where you’re having a blast together, doing whatever it is that you enjoy doing in each other's company.  And then the calls/texts/emails just fade away.  Instead of one of you manning up and telling the other you’re just not interested anymore, you hope they get the hint.  

Frankly, I’d rather be told that it’s over instead of left waiting and wondering, but that’s me.

Something else I’ve noticed is the trend for men in their twenties and thirties to embrace  softer lifestyles.  This, paired with soft spokenness, inability to say what’s on their mind, and a penchant for the occasional pole to smoke makes me want to find the person who made metrosexuality cool and punch them in the throat!  I don’t have any problems with any of the above characteristics.  However, what I DO have a problem is with soft men who let life and their love interests run over them with nary a word to either.

I'm a big girl.  Self-effacing humor aside, I will react much better to you telling me what's on your mind than I will, sitting here, redlining my mental gears till smoke pours out my skull.   Trying to guess what's floating through your mind is not my cup of tea.  I'm an "action item" kind of woman.  Give me something in front of me to work with.  Excuses like, "it's the southerner in me" or some such nonsense don't fly. Stop being someone's idea of polite and let's put everything on the table.

We're humans, we categorize, we classify.   Put a name to it and we all win. Do not misunderstand me.  I’m not longing for the misogynistic days of yore where women were expected to be waiting with a drink poured when their husband came home.  I’m not saying that at all.  I’m perfectly ok with speak softly and carry a big stick, but some of you with mixed chromosomes left the whoopin’ stick in the shed if you follow my meaning.

I'm not going to far as to switch teams here.  Oh no, I love the XY voodoo that you do FAR to much to "move to Canada" so to speak.  But, really now, let's man up a little gentlemen.  I blame Political Correctness to some degree.  I blame hyper-sensitive women, and I blame the bad apples; the pigs who by all rights should never be allowed to even smell a woman for some of this mess.  

So, I propose a truce.  Men, let's look back to the days when your nuts weren't collecting lint at the bottom of a "European shoulder bag".  Ladies, let's work on sprouting a few extra layers of skin and coming to terms we're the other halves of a whole creature.  Somewhere between barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen and metrosexual, we just might find something magical.


  1. Wow, quite a post.

    I am one of these "pussified" men you speak of. I try to be as harmless and gentle as possible. That said I also try to be as honest and forthright as possible too. My take on the Midwestern man is this, we have been stuck in the manly man stereotype forever and now we are finally man enough to realize that it's bullshit. The strongest man or woman is the one who is true to themselves no matter who that is.

    You are obviously a very strong woman and that is awesome! But it sounds like you maybe would benefit from evaluating whether or not the problem is men or your expectations of others.

    Speaking for myself, I'm a blue collar, greasy hands, shovel for a living guy who thinks that the strongest and most manly thing I am doing with my life is being as gentle and kind to all living things as possible.

    Thanks for your post! It was very interesting.
    Be well!

  2. Rad Bear, thanks for the comment. Have you ever had so many things you wanted to say that you couldn't articulate them all? In the name of convenience, I'm going to use a list.

    * There is nothing wrong with gentle. It isn't for me, but it's not wrong on any account.

    *I married blue collar. There's no shame in honest work. I divorced blue collar because of an emotional disconnect between us that was just too great.

    *Laying it all out on the table is admirable. Congrats. Go forth and proselytize.

    *For as blustery as I am, I make it a habit to do no harm, and if I can leave a person or a situation better than I found it, I won't hesitate to work towards that.

    * I should clarify. I don't want a Marlboro man. But if he's dragging me to a chick flick and ends arguments with "fine!" then I start to wonder why I'm not just dating a woman. At least they have tits to play with.

    * Because of some events in my past, I am the first to throw myself under an electron microscope. I am my own worst critic and the first to wonder "maybe it's me". I thought the law of averages would work with me eventually. 12 men later and I'm left picking my teeth and doubting mathematics. So, I figured it was an actual pattern and I was going to write about it.

    *My expectations of others are pretty simple, actually. Regardless of whether it's good, bad, or indifferent, be upfront. The less we hide from each other, the easier we all get along. I know I'm not for everybody. And that's perfectly acceptable. Let's take a dating scenario for an example. We meet, and you think I'm the greatest thing since sliced bread at first. Over time, you realize that perhaps you were just infatuated with the idea of me and the attraction has faded. OK, that's fine. If you tell me that, I'm going to respect you more than if you were to just disappear and leave me to figure it out.

    * I'm not excusing women here. They piss me off just as much as the guys I'm talking about above. That's just a whole other post for another time. After all, I'm an equal opportunity rock thrower here.



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