I told you all I'm going to be posting some vulnerable stuff! Hooray, for more vulnerable stuff! Today's post centers around some crud I'm dealing with as regards my perception of male people in my life.
Thing is, I really really struggle to trust men. Especially men who are more typical men. The more manlike a man is on the manly spectrum (earning points in the direction of manliness if they're obsessed with sports, for instance, or dismissive of touchy-feely discussion, or extremely driven to some specific manlike activity such as fishing or hunting or outdoor cooking, or very logical rather than intuitive, or collecting cars or boats, or displaying the sort of leadership or "protective" qualities men are supposed to have) the less I trust them.
(I know, in listing these traits, that many women exhibit them as well. Right now I'm talking about stereotypes.)
All the men I trust are kind of... not typically male, in the sense of what society thinks are man-like traits. Jeff is not. He's not interested in sports. He loves fishing but not to the point where he loves it above all else. He really enjoys being a teacher, not a leader. A mentor. He loves talking. *loooves* talking. I might be more manly that way than he is... I can't talk for as long as he can about dreams, feelings, experiences. He's also a fantastic dancer, a musician...
these are not the traits that society designates as manly, necessarily.
And my own Dad. He's manly in the sense that he's Logical. Very answer-focused, when it comes to problem solving. Very A+B=C. Logical. BUt he's not into sports. He's kinda geeky... into books, reading, music, computer games. He loves to hike, that's pretty manly. He might be more typically male than my husband.
There's my Ida-Dad. He's manly in the sense that he's protective, he is authoritative, he's kind of a guider. He's also pretty strong & enjoys being able to work hard. But He doesn't like sports, or hunting, and he loves talking. And he loves music. And he doesn't take himself too seriously... maybe I'm wrong to think that's not a typical male quality. Maybe it's manly to not take oneself too seriously.
when I think of the men around me that are more "typical" (acc to the definition I'm using) I feel pretty threatened. Even if they're good people, if they have some of theses traits (really into sports and talk about them all the time, speak authoritatively in front of a group & have that sort of attitude of protectiveness toward stuff, not really into emotion-driven conversation, not really into books or music...) I feel like I pretty much don't want to be around them. I feel rejected by them before they've really rejected me.
The thing is, these traits are traits. Period. They don't make people good or bad, or even necessarily more manly or feminine. THey exist in people. By golly, some women are really, really authoritative (see Sheri Dew) and protective (see ME!)
But when those traits exist in a man, I feel pretty threatened by/suspicious of that man.
And it's lead to some thoughts about how I feel about myself, my body, especially during this pregnancy, and my interactions with various men in my life. I think the reason my body during pregnancy makes me feel so very vulnerable and self conscious has to do with the fact that I can no longer hide that I'm female. When I was a young woman, I had subtle curves. I could wear stuff that made it so nobody really got a good look at me if I didn't want them to. They likely knew I had breasts, but couldn't really see them. They weren't prominent. My hips had a bit of curve, but not an outstanding, undeniably feminine curve like they have now. I walk into a room right now and sometimes I feel extremely conscious of the fact I am a woman and it's pretty obvious.
I think I feel really self conscious about it because I've been used before, and so I walk into a room, feeling overtly and vulnerably feminine, and all these men are sitting around and I don't know what they're thinking. What if they're looking at my body and purposefully allowing it to induce sexual thoughts? I can't do anything about that. What if they're being overpowered by my feminine body & can't *help* but think sexual thoughts? I hate that. That turns me into an assault weapon.
Oh gosh. I'm kinda messed up.
I guess that's what happens when you go through what i have, sometimes, though.
I don't think it's just being married to a porn addict that helped me develop these kind of insecure feelings, though. I think it comes from my mother, too. I'm not at all sure she's comfortable with her own feminine body. I think she's pretty embarrassed by her body. I need to not pass that down any further.
Lately I've been working on feeling like i'm beautiful and endearing, as a woman who can't be anything but woman, the way I'm shaped. Maybe JEff loves me because I have breasts, because I am growing and turning into a different, wider-hipped, more curvy shape. Maybe that shape is beautiful and endearing to him. Maybe he feels tender about me. Maybe he feels protective and full of joy because of my body being undeniably feminine.
I just feel threatened, because I trust him, but I don't trust other men. I want to be that just for him. I'd like to be a secret woman, with secret breasts and secret hips. Not a woman with obvious ones for everyone in a room to see. i'd like to be able to "choose" who looks at me like that. But I can't.
I was having this kind of discussion with my IDa-Dad recently (not nearly so articulate or in depth... I can't speak as well as I can write) and he was attempting to bring across to me the message that men don't necessarily "turn on" as soon as they look at a woman. That's not how it works.
And I said, "But don't men think about sex every seven seconds?"
And his response made me laugh so hard. I had to post it. I hope he doesn't mind. He said "That's a great statistic. Lots of people have used it. But I have to think that anyone who is thinking about sex every seven seconds can't really be a productive citizen."
Ok. Take a moment and laugh.
Now think about it.
In what ways is our world distorting and destroying our faith in each other, in men, in women, in this way? Since when have we been all about sex?
Why do we paint men as hormone-driven, barely-controlled sex machines? If I walk into a room, looking obviously feminine, and some people happen to enjoy looking at me maybe, is the thought on every man's mind "sex," or is it "she's beautiful. I like looking at her." Sort of the same way a sunset is beautiful. Or a particularly graceful quaky aspen is beautiful.
I mean, you can "go there," but how many men actually "go there?" Can I trust that men aren't using me as pornography simply because i'm female?
Oh, gosh. I really hope so.
Responses welcome. Remember that this is me being vulnerable & real and I don't mean to shock at all, just trying to figure stuff out, and this is the easiest way for me to sort these thoughts, so. Thank you in advance.