Lately I have been ending a lot of conversations with the disclaimer that, “I swear I'm not a bitter man-hater or anything...” This will be after an hour long diatribe that verbally castrated the entire male gender for some type of obviously moronic behavior that for some asinine reason they have refused to acknowledge or make any effort to remedy. It is all well and good to say I am not a man-hater but the case is destroyed when all evidence clearly points to the contrary.
I really don’t want to be that girl.
It upsets me that somehow, without my knowledge, I may have become that girl. That at some point this attitude infiltrated my everyday conversation and became uncontrollable, making it virtually impossible for me to say anything about a guy that doesn’t drip with sarcasm and condescension.
It feels like I am engaged in an epic battle of wills; demure, optimistic, romantic me vs. raging bitch me.
This point was driven home (like a knife through the heart) when a male acquaintance hit me with the following: “You know, when a woman hates the fact she is single it is incredibly unattractive. Her dissatisfaction floods out her eyeballs.”
Floods. Out. Her. Eyeballs.
Lock your doors. Take cover. Protect the children. There is a psychotic woman with single ladies syndrome FLOODING OUT HER EYEBALLS on the loose.
I enjoy being single but that isn’t the point. That isn’t what hurt me so much about this statement. What hurt me is that I was obviously being enough of a bitch that this guy had to resort to the oldest trick in the book, the “she’s angry because she is single” cliché. It’s the man’s go-to comeback and I have heard it so many times it doesn‘t even phase me anymore.
Well I thought I had moved past these meager defenses. I thought that I had learned how to have civilized conversations with men that didn’t have to end in boy vs. girl mudslinging. It’s like when you were a kid and you said, “I hate you,” and the person responds, “I hate you times ten…” finally ending with, “I hate you infinity!”
“She’s just angry because she’s single,” is the man’s version of “I hate you infinity.”
When it gets to this point nothing I say matters anymore. I might as well be talking to a wall, which is no big deal because my diatribes are not for anyone else’s benefit nor or they meant to impress anybody (clearly, as I am sure there isn’t a self-help relationship guide called “How to Attract the Perfect Guy by Outright Insulting His Gender"). Most of the time I don’t even think before speaking…we all just need to vent once in a while.
But my anger is a righteous anger and that is why these comments will fly out of my mouth with or without my meaning them too. To stop expressing these opinions would be betraying my sense of social justice. It would be betraying the moral model that dictates how I want to live my life.
I also think that on an unconscious level I say these things in front of my male peers so they can learn a thing or two from a female perspective. See firsthand how fed up women are with the current state of things. I know when my male friends have talked about the controlling, back-stabbing, non-appreciative women they have encountered they strike the fear of God into me.
Because I don’t want to be that girl either.
That being said, my moral model DOESN’T need a side of sarcasm. Because if I don’t start curbing my attitude, how is anyone going to take me seriously? Because if I have to resort to angry soapbox speeches to make my point, what does that say about my credibility?
I hang out with some amazing, stand-up gentlemen who are doing their best to navigate a difficult social landscape. I hope that I can temper my attitude enough so that when I express my opinions, I can paint them a credible picture of what the not-so-stand-up gentlemen look like.
Because thank God, I know they don’t want to be that guy.