Erase the men! (?)

While channel surfing the other day, the husband and I paused for about 15 seconds on some random movie channel (I believe SBS). A beautiful (willowy blonde in this instance)  with a heavy Spanish accent was complaining about her sex life and her boyfriend. (definitely SBS!)

“This is all women talk about!”

This outburst from my husband.

I fumbled a bit. Being in TV-induced coma and all. “Uhmm… Yes. I think so.” My mind clearly on all those times we’ve compared pros and cons of having men in our lives. It was a fair  amount of time I suppose. In the greater scheme of things.

“So men don’t talk about women. What do you guys talk about?” Buying time.

“We talk about career, money, sport. So many other things,” says he.

“Hmm…”

“See. Even a show that is meant to be as liberating as Sex and the City is all about men and their sex lives and lack of this and lack of that.” When he is on a roll, I’ve learnt (although not always implemented effectively) it’s good to let him talk because the sequence runs thus;

First. Reactionary statement.

Second. Train of thought leads him to the other side of the fence.

Final phase. Brilliant new idea.

So I let him have the floor.

“Seriously. Even Virginia Woolf. It’s all about her father this, husband that and rapist this. Why are they constantly talking about relationships and men. I really feel that even if we wrote a story about Hillary Clinton, it would all be about her husband.”

I do intervene at this stage. “I’m pretty sure she won’t stand for that.” I like Hillary but that’s a whole other blog. Being ambitious doth not a  bad person make.

“I really don’t want my daughter worrying so much about what the other sex thinks of her.  It’s all got to do with social conditioning. For most girls, marriage is the great Finish Point. It defines them. Everything revolves around it so isn’t it natural that they worry about boys as much as they do,” says he. (I paraphrase here.)

“Push them either way, they are sure to go in the opposite direction,” I say, waiting for the Big Idea.

“I won’t push her either way but really I don’t want boys or men to be the focus of her life.”

“When women write their story, they should not write about the men in their lives. Your story (pointing to me) should be about you and your life and achievements. It should not be about your dad or brother or me (husband).”

Now there’s a thought.

I’m not a fan of autobiographies. But is this how it is? Are women the background for men’s stories and yet men take centre stage in the stories of the women?

If not, how much of a solution is it to erase the men right out of your life?

I would love to know. Write your thoughts.

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6 responses to “Erase the men! (?)

  1. I’ve had a drink now so not a good idea to comment (rant). As our ex governator said ‘I’ll be back’ .

  2. tl;dr: No

    Insert Obligatory apology here since this deals with my two fav topics – women & media.
    One – In media (which includes literature), the men & events relating to them are the tools used to bring out the larger conversations. In VW’s case, she speaks of the men in her life because they are the paths that led her to who she is. Considering the society/times she lived in, could it be any other way?
    Two – Men are portrayed in almost identical terms in any media. It’s all about sex and/or friendship. And 80% of the shows referenced in any study are shows written by men.
    Three – If we are to indulge in generalizations, the crux of the issue is not that women only talk about the men in their lives, it’s that women see life as a compendium of occurrences/events/people. Men tend to think (generally) in categories. Career (one category), family (another), etc. If I were to write / read a book, I’d like one that encompasses everything about what made me – including the men.
    Yes, Sex & the City (which was written by a man & is of limited scope) is about sex. But the sex & the men in the show are disposable and are just the devices by which the meat of the show – the relationships between these women – are explored. Entourage does the same thing with sex and friendship. So does Girls (which is written by a woman) but in starker and body imaging crossing terms.
    As women, if we are to leave anything for the next generation, it’s to stop defining ourselves in or against narrow gender roles and just be. Whatever the heck it is you want to be.

  3. So true Sheena. I’m glad you put it out there. Unfortunately, I agree with you so there is not much room for argument here.

    One correction would be..wasn’t sex and the city (the original book) written by a woman? is the screenplay that was written by a man?

    I also want to raise a point here about you SK. I had so many people drop by but only you articulated an argument. this is one of the reasons why I wrote a blog about you a long time ago about how i wanted my Baby to be a bit like you and I specifically mention whch part… read through all my old blogs for that LOL!

  4. Oh yeah! Sex and City (book) was written by a woman and the series by a man. But you are right the entire series was framed by the book 🙂
    I did read that! Thank you lady – how funny it is that I have always felt the same about you too.

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