On Behalf of Wo/Men
By Loreli Hassan and John Del Rosario
Every year, a gaudy, misunderstood consumer holiday measures the amount of romantic love one has in his or her life against his or her misery. Take a look at the way that we as men and women treat each other and you’ll find out a number of things. For one, love for the sake of love is as played out as the gold standard; a night of surrender can still be distilled down to a single notch on one’s belt; and somewhere between learning to say “please” and “thank you” and adulthood, some things went terribly, terribly wrong. Like having children, relationships don’t exactly come with an instruction manual. So, we, Loreli and John, would like to use our combined 50 years of getting it wrong to atone for the sins of those in our respective genders. Allow us now to learn from our mistakes. For a better El Paso, for a better Valentine’s Day. Forever and ever. Amen.
J: Loreli, on behalf of men, I’d like to apologize for our general inability to communicate emotion. I don’t think we’re generally emotional beings, with exceptions, of course. I’m sure that there is a good amount of us that think “hungry” is an emotion.
L: You’re so right. Men do lack the ability to communicate emotion. Men don’t have the patience to sit down and cry along with their woman over whatever is bothering us. Men aren’t emotional. You tell us how it is. And that’s that.
J: In our defense, you have this monthly visitor that makes you more prone to emotion. Ours comes once a year: it’s called the Super Bowl.
L: Don’t ever stand between a man and his football. You all also seriously lack the ability to “multi-task,” something women are more capable of doing. John, on behalf of women, I’d like to apologize for our indecisiveness. When it comes to relationships, what we want for our future, or even while simply shopping for clothes, a car or a home, we just cannot make up our mind most of the time!
J: Is it worse to give a woman her options or to make a decision for her? One way, you’ll never arrive at a decision. On the other hand, you’ll only blame us for any ensuing unhappiness from our firm choice or even blame us for not allowing you any independence. It’s a lose-lose situation!
L: In our defense, a woman ALWAYS wants to feel as if she’s cared for. She wants to feel loved and protected by her man at all times. To support one another is extremely important for both partners in a relationship.
J: That’s fair. But consider the body language of courtship: the early stage in a relationship when you’re feeling each other out. You’re trying to pick up on signals, you’re taking baby steps to prove yourself without being either too overbearing or too weak. What do we men do with such indecisiveness?
L: Good question. First of all, men give out a much more different type of love than women do. Men are very simple when it comes to loving their woman. It goes both ways, if both are loyal, loving and supporting to one another, indecisiveness should not be something crucial to the relationship. It is simply one of women’s flaws, just like a man’s lack of emotion.
J: That’s fair, I’d say. Loreli, on behalf of men, I’d like to apologize for reducing “going out” attire to a T-shirt and jeans. Personally, I’m not big on the “Jersey Shore,” nor am I a fan of graphic tees that look like Ed Hardy projectile vomited on only one of the shoulders. Also, not a big fan of jeans with pre-wrinkled crotches and backs of knees. I mean, do the people at Levi’s think that we need an idiot’s guide to know how to sit down?
L: Ugh! Tell me about it! There is absolutely nothing wrong with a stylish/preppy man. But women admire most men who don’t fit into a women’s size-eight jeans or take longer to get ready than we do. Leave the pretty boys for high school. We want a manly man. Someone who knows how to dress for every occasion without looking just as feminine as us.
J: What’s your opinion on the “metrosexual,” then?
L: To me, a metrosexual is a man with a tight-fitted shirt showing their shaved chest hair (which I find absolutely disgusting). Most women fall for that. In my personal opinion, it’s just not my cup of tea. I’d prefer a nice button down with regular fitted jeans, a professional looking man.
John, on behalf of women, I’d like to apologize for all the trouble and inconvenience we create by simply going to our girlfriends for relationship and “man” advice. I know we are some hard-headed creatures, and this tops it off. I apologize for not speaking directly to our man when there is a problem. Instead we vent to our girlfriends about it. Lack of communication is no bueno while in a relationship.
J: Right back at you, darling. We do the same thing with our friends, but with a much more limited emotional vocabulary. And it’s usually in the middle of us doing other things like watching the game or playing “Call of Duty.” Loreli, on behalf of men, I’d like to apologize for us not having a working understanding of the principles of both feminism and chivalry. That, I think, would greatly benefit relationships. Feminism doesn’t seek female dominance, it seeks gender equality. So, men, please note that “feminist” does not equal “vagina Nazi.” As for chivalry… Well, chivalry is only as dead as the courtesy that you think you owe all women if you realized that you came from a mother.
L: Amen! There are gentlemen out there. We just don’t know how to pick them.
J: Why is that, you think?
L: Women like a**holes. Women are attracted to bad boys in one way or another. If we are given the option to pick the good-looking, HOT, bad boy or the sweetest, most genuine, not-so-good-looking guy… Nine times out of 10, we’re picking the bad one! The majority of women have learned from bad relationships. I mean, you can’t progress without having to go through hardships, right? But there’s still a few who manage to stay in them. They have gotten so used to being mistreated and unhappy that they believe that they can no longer get out of the relationship. That’s the problem with women. Most women nowadays have been encouraged to be professionals, to succeed in life. We have been taught to be independent women, which many times, pushes men away. We have the mentality nowadays of, “I don’t need a man to make me happy” which is why we stay single… and miserable. We all want a man.
John, on behalf of women I’d like to apologize for our insecurities, which many times lead to an unnecessary argument. Even the most beautiful woman can be insecure when around someone who is supposedly “better” than them.
J: Why do you think this is? It’s not just physical insecurities, but emotional ones, too, that guys have to defend themselves against. Do women find other women as natural threats? What has to be done for you to believe that you’re beautiful or good enough?
L: I saw a post from a Facebook friend just recently (and it caught my attention) about how beautiful women are the most insecure. It got me thinking and I honestly believe that this is true in some way. Women feel like it’s all a competition when we should really be building up one another. He said that beauty is a gift and a burden because everything from success to the man a woman chooses is scrutinized in some way. There’s always “hate” between females and I think this comes from a heartbreak or some damage caused by a male or a significant other.
J: On behalf of men, I want to apologize for the little things that go unnoticed. I think that, as men, we put more thought and emphasis on the results than on the process. When we’re going out, the hours it takes for women to get ready are akin to waiting weeks for the results of the most boring paternity test (that we already know the answer to). Some men have a naturally lazy eye for detail. If only life had instant replay where we could look at a single, sentimental moment and see how it played out from all angles, then we can see the nuances that are hidden in the way you do what you do.
L: There’s some lyrics to a song that go, “And you don’t do it for the man, men never notice, You just do it for yourself.” These lyrics describe exactly what you’re telling me, John. And I couldn’t agree more. Women spends weeks, even months planning an anniversary, which, the majority of the time, goes unnoticed. Men are simple and they want results. If only they noticed the little things, a woman might feel a little bit more confident about herself. On behalf of women, I apologize for having the mentality that we should act and have what everyone else does just to fit in. For example, not leaving the house with makeup on or spending beyond our budget to have the latest fashion trends. Being a woman is being yourself. Confidence is key. There is no better representation of beauty than someone who isn’t afraid to be herself.
J: Is there a healthy medium between being an individual and fitting in? On the one extreme, you have Barbie and on the other side of the spectrum, you have Lady Gaga. Both are dangerous to buy into and neither gives a real sense of balance. If beauty has become this consolidated idea that everyone has to abide by, tell me what real beauty is. Is it a look or an attitude?
L: That’s a good question. Nowadays, we all want to have a Victoria’s Secret model body or Kim Kardashian’s luscious hair. Society has been brought up to be that way. Women feel like they have to be “beautiful” to fit in. But beauty is an attitude, John. Someone who’s unafraid to be herself. We’re all beautiful in our own way. Looks are important, but it’s what’s inside that counts.