m.e.n.n.y. m.e.n.

A man must stand erect, not be kept erect by others.
— Marcus Aurelius, ancient Roman emperor

I won't pretend to know what goes on in the minds of all men, but from a female perspective... let me just say that there are many times when men equate to the bane of our existence. From a female perspective, a lot of men can be frustrating, clueless, know-it-alls, abusive and weak... sometimes, all at once.

I won't pretend to know what goes on in the hearts of all men when it comes to women, but from a female perspective... I just want y'all to know that often times, we stay confused by your actions and are frequently unaware of your true intentions. As much as men like to declare how confusing and indirect women can be, it can also definitely be a battlefield for a woman to "decode" the men in their lives. 

Within the past few weeks, I have come across various types men who seem to be at different points of awareness when it comes to acknowledging the significance of a woman in their lives.

Instance One: Not too long ago, I was introduced to a guy about half a decade my senior, who for all intents and purposes, seemed to have his general shit together. Single, polite, gainfully employed, responsible, not too much into the party scene, and fairly easy on the eyes. Seemed like a guy whom I wouldn't have minded getting to know better. We dined, laughed and shared nervous conversation. It was chill. Within a day or two after that, I just never heard from him again. So, his number got deleted because if there's anything I've learned from previous relationships, it's...

Instance Two: On a recent road trip, I was out at a club and met a guy who was fun, cute, and a pretty good dancer. We got pretty close and flirty on the dance floor (blame it on the alcohol?), and ended up exchanging numbers. Not even 24 hours later, I received a series of texts from him, asking how I was doing and telling me how much fun he had the night before, and how dope I was, etc. All this despite the fact that he knew I was on my way back to my hometown, with no real likelihood that we'd be seeing each other again any time soon. Now, I should mention that I found out after the fact, that this guy was 10 years my junior (legal, but still... definitely cougar territory, right?). So, yeah... I guess he was a young dude who found himself smitten with me. Perhaps he envisioned some sort of fly-out arrangement where we might see each other again sometime. Perhaps he thought he would get some? Not happening. BUT I did find it nice to be thought of and "courted" to an extent. It was cute to get his "I miss you" texts even though I'd only interacted with him for a few hours. 

Instance Three: On the same road trip, my girls and I attended what turned out to be an AMAZING slam poetry show at which the very first poet (who by my estimation, was in his late 20's early 30s) recited the most soul-stirring, beautifully revealing poem about the underrated value of Black women. The pure vigor, honesty and passion with which he spoke, told me he had witnessed the struggles and mistreatment of women in his past and that he needed to make it known that we are both valued and wanted for more than our bodies. His words pierced through me and through everyone in the audience (men and women alike) like a shot through the heart. His piece instantaneously reminded me of why a love poetry, and why I thought I would marry a poet some day. He absolutely set the vibe for the night, and the poets that followed him were nothing short of brilliant. 

I say all this to say that within the span of a few short weeks, I've come in contact with three very different men who each seemed to have a very different view of women. The older one, who I thought would have had more "sense" and "wisdom" to know how to court a woman, failed miserably. The younger guy, who barely knew anything about me, managed to make me feel somewhat special by simply checking in, even though he knew he'd probably never see me again. And the poet, basically spoke life into my heart (and I'm sure the hearts of many women!) by putting some things into focus about how men view women but don't actually "see" them for who and what they truly are, and for what they may or may not have gone through in their life.

Needless to say, I'm finding it fascinating to learn about what men perceive as "being a man" or being "masculine". Is a man supposed to be dismissive to a woman? Is he supposed to set his pride aside and chase her? Or is he supposed to reveal his vulnerabilities to a woman only after experiencing his own personal awakening? Maybe it's all of the above. Maybe it's none of the above. It's definitely interesting though, to see the different approaches and perspectives men have towards women. I'm curious to know how different men view the same woman and how that in turn affects how we, as women, respond to different types of men. All too many times, we women seem to reward the men who dismiss us and discard those who worship us. It's a bizarre dynamic, I know. I've been there. But thank goodness for personal growth, emotional evolution and the power of better decision-making. 

Thank goodness for love and affection over lust and attention.

(Sidenote: While the poem shown above was not the poem that I heard at the slam poetry event, this is indeed the poet who delivered it. Feel free to learn more about him here.)

 

Shaolin Says.

Shaolin "J" Style

Ontario

Creative writer. Professional ranter. Canadian-born. Caribbean blood. Probably the worst introvert you'll ever meet.