Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Venus And Mars Both Blow

As Tammy Wynette sang, “Sometimes it’s hard to be a woman.” And I don’t want to stand by my man, because he’s thinner than I am. It’s like those Slimquick commercials: a rotund couple sits on the sofa. The man has a bowl of chips on his lap. The woman tells us that her husband just started drinking diet soda, and lost 17 pounds. She’s been drinking nothing but water for a year, and…nothing.

Why, why, why can men just barely start doing exercise or eating more salad, and they can fit into their old pants; but when we skip breakfast and eat 1 little chocolate covered diet granola bar for lunch and splurge on exactly four raisins, and cannot get the sound of Billy Blanks out of our heads (“Go! Work it! Go! Work it!”) and feel guilty over having a skinny latte with Splenda and three weeks later, exhausted, we can proudly point to a two pound weight loss?

I don’t know if it’s hormones or metabolism or age, but I’m sick of it. And the weight is hard enough- I’m going through peri-menopause. Which means hot flashes and moodiness coupled with cramps and PMS, and could continue for the next seven years. Can’t my body just pick one or the other? Do I have to have both? Or could I at least get skinny while the hormones duke it out?

But talking to my son lately made me realize that men don’t have a bed of roses either. Recently a men’s group at our church decided to go coed. And that bummed him out big time. “Mom,” he said, “why is it that every time guys get to do something together, a girl decides to crowd in?” I had the typical response ready- that’s the price you pay to live in a patriarchal society, etc., etc., but then I thought about it. I wouldn’t want to tell my daughter that there was anything she couldn’t do, but should there be places or groups she shouldn’t try to join?

Does “For Men Only” automatically make it chauvinistic? I had more male friends than female growing up, and I’m very comfortable with the company of men. But I also know that the very air changes when a man walks into a group of women. It changes the dynamic. And there are times when I just like talking to women. Ain’t nobody gonna squawk if there’s a sign on the door that says For Women Only. Are men any less deserving?

My son said it wasn’t just being invaded. It was that he thought he’d get blasted for thinking it sucked. I’m going to suggest that he start a guy’s club, and hang up a big NO GIRLS sign. I think the females of the world can take it. Heck, I’ll even jeopardize my diet and make them snacks.


December/Stacia said...

I absolutely think men should be permitted to have their own clubs and spaces, and your son is right. There should be all-male schools (*cough*Citadel*cough*VMI*cough*) and organizations, just as there are all-girls school and organizations. Why does somebody always have to stick their noses in and ruin it for everyone, for no good reason?

Missie said...

There should be places where guys can just be guys, and not have women come in and try to make them discuss their feelings about being guys.

I agree with your son.

Robyn said...
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Robyn said...

Good examples, DQ. We're supposed to be strong, independent, and empowered, right? Why can't we develop women's versions of VMI that get respect?

It does change the dynamic, doesn't it, Missie?

StarvingWriteNow said...

I agree as well! I think society has gone a bit far with trying to make men more like women. Let them be men! We need men out there!

Since my breakup/moving/life change experience, I have made an effort to do some kind of exercise every day. No major workouts, here--just taking the dog for a walk at night, a really easy pilates tape, etc... and when I weighed myself last week I had lost 13 pounds. I was kinda psyched about that. Don't give up, Robyn! You'll get where you want to be! And remember we are all goddesses no matter what size we are.

Robyn said...

Thank you, darling. Although I'm usually called the Empress. ;)

Missie said...

You mean the voices in your head usually call you Empress...not real people, right?

Bernita said...

We ARE different after all.
Down with homogenization.

Robyn said...

Actually, Missie, that comes from a kids drama group I directed. They called me the Drama Queen, and I said, "No, no. I'm the Drama Empress."

Exactly, Bernita. I don't want us to be alike.

writtenwyrdd said...

I don't think that it's wrong to want a men's only gathering, but it does have to be balanced with breaking the glass ceiling. Tough call.

I've said for years that while women got a lot out of women's lib, the guys actually lost a lot. Whether it was good or bad is another question for another time, though. A debate I'm not in the mood to start, lol.

Robyn said...

A-freakin-men, Written. I don't want to debate it either, but I agree with you- men did lose out.

writtenwyrdd said...

Could be worse, though. You could have all those menopausal changes for the worse plus hormonal migraines that last for weeks like I get. However, they did get them knocked back--but I have to take 3 meds to do it.

I'm fat now, but no headaches. I'll take a compromise like that, even if I don't like it.