Wednesday, February 24, 2010

It Ain't Easy Being a Man

Why I Wrote This: 

I've been often informed what tragically difficult lives women lead, from being genetically forced to bear children (do the math on the marriage rate if you couldn't), cultural pressure, inequality etc, now, this annoys me, particularly if it doesn't actually apply to you and just like to just because it's fashionable to whine about it, because at some point in the future you expect yourself to be tormented by societies expectation. I get it, it's not cake walk being a girl, but lets clear something up, join the freaking club; it's no easier being a guy.

I doubt most/any women will agree with me (Mankind; losing arguments against women since Adam & Eve "why don't you just try  the apple? small bite"), but guys have our own set of problems;

Show me the Money (or at least tell me how much you make):  There is a huge concern by all parties (particularly match making Aunties) on how much of it we make. That's our damn business. Period.

Now some guy's are comfortable talking about their monthly 6 figure salaries, but it's a freaking recession for god's sake, it seems like really bad form. Going forward, post marriage, this exacerbates even further; It's a man responsibility to make the dough, if a women decides to bring in a nice chunk of change, then that's great, but ultimately it's the guys duty

For the very practical reason that if and God willing when a couple decide to have kids, the loss of the female partners salary shouldn't drastically hurt their standard of living. If it dips in the slightest, then it's the man's fault and he's culturally skewered for it.

Perfect Partner Syndrome; Girl's like to talk about the pressure they are under to get married and find the right guy. Join the club, for guy's the stakes are much higher. In Pakistan, when a couple gets married, the couple usually move into the guy's family home (tradition rather than necessity, unless you are a broke young couple). A wife seems a lot less perfect when she live in family home than they do if the couple simply lived in a different zip code. 

If it's a 'love' marriage, then hell, it's a diplomatic catastrophe waiting to happen. Because the guy will always be blamed for not bringing home an appropriate girl. Try placating your own mother and partner at the same time without taking sides, whilst living in the family home...I dare you. 

Job Pains: Job: If a guy has a boring, repetitive job, he ought to smile and bear it; to add insult to injury, he's made to feel that he's not working hard enough to find something better, on the other hand if a woman has a boring repetitive job its exploitation.

Lord help a guy if he tries to defend why women make less than men; it’s because you (married women) took 3 years off to have kids, you need to be home at a certain hour to be with the kids and employers are perpetually scared that any day now you are going to get up, get married and then quit (after she has used all of her paid leaves, and blame it on family pressure). Note: Can someone please explain me why there isn’t enough money left over from a ladies salary to pay for domestic staff? 

Career Orientations: Women don't have careers, they have hobbies, guys on the other hand are expected to have career goals. Plenty of women quit their 9-5's once they get married, or in the very least when they have children, a guy has no way out. Trust me, a lot of guys I know would love to wake up late mornings, yell at the sweeper for being lazy and then take an afternoon nap, but we don't get that option. 

Workplace Competition: Women rights activists lament how few women there are in the workplaces, now as true as that may be guys have a different spectrum of expectations; men compete with other men for position and growth, for women, there is no pressure to succeed, at best they get to kill time, make a good salary and find a man. 

If a women comes in, does well and gets promoted ahead of an similarly qualified guy, that’s equal opportunity; and that’s quite nice and all, the office might be treated to some cake. If a guy gets promoted ahead of a girl, it’s favoritism, nepotism and unfairism. We’d be lucky to get a Congrats card and a high five out of it.

Errands & odd jobs: Does 'can you grab the laundry, fix the tap and bring the pile of bricks indoor' sound familiar, well if your a guy you've heard some version of this exploitation. Even though a guy will (eventually) do it, in our heard we're screaming, why can't you grab the laundry? Do I look like a plumber? And what part of I have a slipped disk in my back did you not understand and can you please tell me why we bought a pile of bricks? In her case, she’s asking you for a favor, if a guy tries that, he’s taking advantage of her. In her case, she’s asking you for a favor, if a guy tries that, he’s the asshole who is taking advantage of her.

Women who make couple oriented decisions without men are liberated, men who make decisions without consulting their partners are chauvinistic. Go Figure. I guess we’ll continue to grim and bear it (worked so far). 

Acting Pain Vacant: men are never allowed to express pain, if they do, they are labeled as wimps. When a guy cuts his hand, he is required to profess that he feels no pain, needs no medical attention, and that it's nothing......For the love of God his hand is bleeding, there is blood every where and if he doesn't get a bandage, some pain killers and a Smoothie he's going to pass out. 

Guy feel pain, since we're obligated to act tough, it makes it awfully difficult to cheerily proclaim that it happens all the time and it doesn't hurt at all....really.....When women give birth, are they expected to extol how the pain is non-existent? No, the doctor shoots them up with as many drugs as legally permissible, and still it sounds like the delivery room has a collection of dying banshees

What do we Own: Guys are judged by their watches, suits, wallets, car's, houses and their (preferably offshore) bank accounts. 

Women are judged on their (preferably hot) looks and clothes, even if you factor in the cost of drastic plastic 'corrective' surgery, which do you is tougher to accumulate and is more superficial.  
With the growing trend of Pre-Nups, it's almost like it's like guys are being audited for a reverse long-term prostitution contract. 'So if we stay together 3 years and have 2 kids you owe me 12 million a month'. Lovely.  

Dating Women Expenditures: For men it is a privilege to pay for a date, and that should always remain true. But unless you are making serious bank, having to take your girl friend to upscale snob restaurants like Aqua Lounge and Okra on a weekly basis gets extraordinarily expensive, unless your family shits money. 

Shopping expeditions is a whole different story, if we're dragged along, it's not for advice (we're obligated to say, you look good in anything sweetie), it's to tactfully pick up the bill bill and pretend that we really really want to. When guy’s see a girl shopping bill, we see a potential X-box down the drain.

The Big Idea:  It sucks being a guy just as much as it does a girl, society judges in many of they ways that they do women. And to be honest, we’re okay for that, it’s the price we pay for being men. We’ll grim, bear it and pretend that it’s no burden at all. And to be honest, it should be hard, but if society & women in particular can make our lives a little bit easier, that would be wonderful. We’d return the favor. 

A PC (Pakistanily Correct) version of this article is printed with great reluctance on


Anonymous said...

I have much more difficulty with this piece than almost any other. Of course it's tongue in cheek and I might ask you to consider that much of what you write is losing its impact because it's not meant to be taken seriously, or so you say. Personally I've come to the view that you believe what you write more than you disbelieve it, and at some time soon you are going to have to write a piece setting out what you really believe. It may be too late to hope to be taken seriously. So what about this piece. I know nothing of Pakistan, but I recognise many of the attitudes, so I must assume they are universal. What I know about what is expected of men is based on observation and not entirely experience. I'm gay, you see, and I have, and am the subject of, different expectations. I recognise some of the attitudes you set out, but their relevance is less for me. I'd better keep out of this debate. I do like your stuff! It's fun, as well as serious.

Rukhsana Shama said...

I agree with the first part of Alec's comment, you write this because you believe in what you write, but it is written in a way that people are not going to take it seriously (and well, you know they don't generally take things seriously, anyway, around here).

And yes please, don't spoil men by taking their side (so intensely as they are already tooo much spoiled:P, this post provides them all the right counter arguments and for all the wrong reasons.