Monday, 6 June 2011

Are all men bastards… or do they just get a bad press?

Over the last two years of my single life, I have heard women exclaim, “all men are bastards” more times than I care to remember.  It’s a catch all phrase used to describe men when they have committed any manner of misdemeanours.

I find it very depressing when I hear women say that.  If I believed it to be true, I’d probably just shoot myself.  And I certainly wouldn’t waste time going on another date.  In fact, I might even consider becoming a lesbian.  After all, if women are so much better, how could I go wrong?

But I’m not going to, because I don’t believe it’s true.  And of course, there’s the small matter of my not being a lesbian!

Don’t get me wrong… I have met quite a number of bastards in my time, for example:  the one who told my best friend he was going to dump me, because he knew she’d tell me and save him the trouble; another who got engaged to a friend, but forgot to mention that another woman was pregnant by him; and one who started stalking my friend when she dumped him, telling her “you can run, but you can’t hide”  (I kid you not!).  The list just goes on…

But - some of my best friends are men.  And they have often been the ones I turn to for advice, when I fear my female friends are just telling me what they think I want to hear.

Without exception, their advice has always been sound.

These are the men who are kind, thoughtful and sensitive.  These are the men who do remember their wives’ birthdays and even buy them something they want!  There are some that even organise surprise birthday parties.  And on a more day to day level, they tiptoe out of the bedroom at some un-Godly hour,  so as not to wake their wife, and bring them coffee in bed before they leave for work.

Yes!  Kind and decent men really do exist – even if they still don’t know how to load the dishwasher!

The problem is, that whilst women happily discuss all their husbands’ bad habits, they are less quick to publicise those private and intimate moments where their kindness and sensitivity shows through.  For example, if your husband notices you’ve lost half a stone and thinks you look like sex on legs in that new outfit you just bought, chances are, you won’t want to discuss the comment and what happened after, with your friends.

Many years ago, when I broke up with the “love of my life”, my way of dealing with it was to hang out with a bunch of equally wounded women whose only mantra was:

“They’re all the same.  They’re all Bastards.”

And for a while, it helped me cope with my wounded feelings.  After all, it took all the blame away from me.  It gave me anger, which is well known to help recovery from a broken heart.

The truth is, when any woman is suffering from the pain of a failed relationship, their female friends want them to feel better about themselves.  The last thing they’re going to do is tell their friend that whilst her heart has been broken, they’re having a whoopee time with superman.  And so they regale their friend with equal horror stories to make her feel better.

And so the myth “All men are bastards” perpetuates itself.

Personally – I don’t believe it. 

Men are different.  They do things in a way that is different to us women.

But as much as it may annoy us on a domestic level, isn’t this also the thing that’s so great about them?

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