Daily Archives: March 11, 2007

Emotional

I’m tired of battling stereotypes. I’m starting to wonder if there is indeed, some truth in some of them.

One big stereotype I’ve fought hard against is the one about women being emotional and men being rational. I’ve always prided myself on being reasonably intelligent and sensible. But it really has been a tough struggle to stay rational, a fight to not let my feelings over-rule me. And I know I haven’t always succeeded. Far from it, I’ve behaved badly, misjudged people, messed up situations and relationships badly.

It makes me wonder, who was it who said that men are equally emotional, but only unable to ‘express their feelings’? Actually it sounds like a woman must have said it. And going down that line of thought, it sounds like it was said by a woman who was trying very desperately to understand men and make sense of her own inadequacies in this world. It might have been said by me…I can identify with the situation.

I’ve blamed men for a lot of things and portrayed them as evil demons, unfeeling and cowardly. And wondered why they were so petrified of their feelings. I’ve also frequently been asked why I can’t leave a peaceful situation the way it is. I just have to keep raking up issues, discuss, analyse, over-analyse, talk, talk, talk, talk, talk. And get upset when they don’t talk. Or when they do. Yes, a lot of men have thrown their hands up in despair with me. As with a lot of other women.

As I see it, men seem to be rather ‘inertiatic’. Not lazy, just inertiatic. Just to remind everyone, inertia is a state of constant motion or fixed state unless acted upon by an external force. So also with men. When they’re young, they’re cruising along, merry batchelors, chasing women, kicking around with buddies. It takes them a while to ‘settle’ into a relationship, after much effort on the part of the woman, which they generally resist all through. And once in, they generally stay in. I’m not sure if that’s comittment or just inertia. Isn’t it generally a woman who brings up questions like

Where is this relationship going?

Are you happy? Am I happy? Are we right for each other?

So we are then, the constant facilitators and agents of change. We are usually unable to stay fixed in the state of being wherever we are, how ever we are. Our emotions are in constant flux, every moment thinking, pondering, analysing, worrying, rejoicing, being disappointed, determined, being right by chance, being wrong often. The emotions get to be too much and push us into action. And we just can’t understand it when men resist the change.

It makes me wonder….what if men really don’t feel as intensely as women do? It’s an idea.

Maybe women really are more emotional.

Maybe men just are built with a safety-valve on emotions that keeps them from bursting out and spilling all over rational thought. I know women generally aren’t. Those who manage to stay dignified and rational (and oh, how I admire them!) have done so, after a tough fight with emotions. But the struggles don’t show on men. So maybe they just don’t struggle all that much.

This is not to say that men are not emotional at all. After all, men have felt, understood and accepted love, hatred, pain and the gamut of emotions. Men have been artists, writers and performers…and can a person really do that without emotion? Yet, at a day-to-day, person-to-person basis, it is generally a woman who is more prone to hysteria…even theatrics, isn’t it? The intensity of emotion and the inability to deal with it, the failure to balance it with rationale….I guess is realistically, biologically a feature of a woman.

I’ve been a woman all my life and will probably never understand what it is to be a man. After all, my perceptions have to be skewed with my resentment at not being treated equal, all the chemicals that course through my body in the name of hormones and the social conditioning. I am not sure I believe in my own judgement or that of another woman, about men, any longer.

Maybe men just aren’t that emotional after all. Or perhaps women just are affected more by emotions.

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