Women Shame Men And We Can’t See It!
Women shame men, and it is woven so completely into our culture that few can see the subtle examples. Commercials put men down and build up women, as she comments on how stupid he is being. When writing a chapter in Create New Love: How Men and Women can Prepare for a Lasting Relationship, I interviewed a group of women, and a group of men, and neither could really look at how the women shame men. So I wrote a whole book on shame, which includes this invisible behavior. Healing Humanity: Life Without Shame focuses on no longer receiving shaming, and thus learning how to no longer shame others. I love that I almost never shame others.
I wrote about how a character, Matt, learned about sexual shame, and how women shame men from his college teacher. In this excerpt from Transformational Fiction novel, Sex From The Man’s Point of View on Kindle, he sees how his friend can’t perceive women’s shaming.
I spent a lot of time thinking about my friends, and how they interacted with women. I talked with Dr. Harrison at length. Men’s shame was a major interest of his. He was thinking about the way women play into it, too. He actually felt accepting of what they were doing because he could see that they didn’t realize they were harming men with it. It was so automatic, so conditioned, that they didn’t even see it. Their view was, men are like that, what are they thinking, and shame on them for being the way they are.
I took Bruce aside one night, hoping to find a friend who would understand this. Power in numbers kind of thing. I didn’t start the conversation until our third beer.
“Buddy,” I started. “What do you think about the way women treat us. Have you given it any thought?”
“Not much,” he said. Bruce went to Dr. Harrison’s class on men’s issues, too, but he was majoring in electrical engineering and was pretty removed from the dating scene. “I had a girlfriend for a while last year, but it just seemed to die.”
“Why did it die?” I was already guessing, but wanted to hear.
“It was nice in the beginning. She liked me. Any time I asked her out she was glad to go. But then she got mad at me, and I never understood for what. She would sit me down and talk and talk, trying to explain things. I just couldn’t get it. There was some kind of code that I couldn’t break.”
I smiled inside because I was guessing that he couldn’t see the criticism. “She put you down?” I asked.
“It felt like it. She didn’t say things like, what’s wrong with you, you piece of shit. But I always felt on the defensive, wondering what I was going to do next that
she would have to talk about. She would say, ‘we need to talk,’ and I would wonder what I had to listen to this time.”
“How did it end?” I asked.
“I stopped calling her. Just didn’t call. I heard from a friend of hers that she was hurt, how it took her some time to get over our relationship. So even ending it made me bad.”
“Did you date anyone after that?” I asked.
“Hell, no.” he said. “After that I started picking up girls in bars or coffee shops, seduced them into sex, and nothing more. Why bother?”
“You were taking out your anger at your girlfriend on these casual dates?” I asked.
“No, I don’t think so. I just make myself safe from being treated like an inferior person. I stay in power. I’m in control. I’m not going to let myself fall in love and get vulnerable again.”
I was enjoying this conversation because it was making sense out of what I was coming to understand.
“So will you be single for life?”
“Maybe. I enjoy being with my friends and my work, and I don’t have to tolerate being seen as harmful so much of the time. It isn’t worth it to get sex and companionship.” He paused. “When I have a great job and making a lot of money, maybe I can stay in control. If she wants my money she will have to treat me well.”
“What was your sex life like?” I already guessed his answer to this, too. It started great, and then he did things she objected to.
“It started out pretty well,” he said. “She wanted me a lot, and it felt great. We explored sex and kept learning things that made it better and better. She really liked to go down on me, and she liked some activity I did, which I won’t name. It was great.” He sighed. Memory was wonderful.
“But the first time she learned that I looked at porn, the speeches started. When I wanted to go out drinking with my friends she acted hurt as if I had done something to her. Then she started punishing me by not having sex. She would pout, lying away from me in bed or staying at her place. When I initiated love making she acted like I was using her. She even said it once. So then I figured out how to get her interested. I gave her what she wanted. I would apologize. I sent flowers and cards. I lied about what I had done. Then I got some.
“We used that expression in high school, remember?” Bruce said. “Getting some. It would have felt better to pay a hooker because they weren’t making you perform to get it. You simply gave them money. The contract was clear. They say you should feel bad if you pay for it, shame I guess. But the shame was worse when trying to act like what a woman wants.”
Bruce had gone through a few more beers which loosened his tongue. I wondered how he would feel the next day after revealing so much.
“So, Jeff, what’s your love life like?” he asked. “You got it right, didn’t you?”
“I thought so,” I said. “We started off great, too, and we had promised to tell the truth about all of our feelings. And we are so in sync, it was something. But she did just what you’re saying. She was critical when she thought I had used porn. She didn’t ask. She didn’t just have feelings about my doing that, if I had. Which I hadn’t.”
“What did you do about it?” Bruce asked.
“First I left her, drove off home without saying goodbye. Then I got mad about being treated like that and I went back. I felt powerful, and no way was I going to accept shame. She was so afraid of losing me that she listened and apologized.”
“Man, that’s amazing,” he said. “I should have done something like that.”
“I think Dr. Harrison should start a group so we could learn how. We could teach each other and support each other. Then you wouldn’t have to replace love with just getting laid.”
Bruce leaned over and gave me a sort of drunken, sloppy hug. “Man, that would be so good,” he said, a little teary. “I love you, man, you have been such a good friend.”
I hoped he would remember this conversation the next day. Even if he didn’t, I liked my idea of starting a group to focus on standing up for ourselves with women. We were suppose to be the strong sex, the one’s who took charge, protected and supported. Yet we did these crazy things when women didn’t accept us. And then we did more things that they would criticize us for. How crazy was that?
Read the rest of the Transformational Fiction novel, Sex From The Man’s Point of View, on Kindle.