Why men are always wrong

So, here’s the thing. I recently made a mistake. Hard to believe, I know, but it’s true nonetheless.

I failed to get a 13th birthday card for a friend’s daughter. The rest of that story is subject to the Friendship Confidentiality Act 1981 s. 2(1)(a), which states:

(a)

(i)     Talking shit about a mate on the internet is deemed an offence.

(ii)    Said offence may be punishable up to and including the Claim of Friendship being held in abeyance by the wronged party indefinitely or until such time as suitable restitution is made and the Claim restored.

(iii)   Definition of both type and extent of the restitution shall rest solely with the wronged party.

 

Now, my wrong-doing is not the point of this post, but it did serve to highlight a required adjustment to my thinking.

 

It has often been the case that any wrong-doing, whether perceived or actual, against the women I know, carries with it the harshest possible interpretations as to motive. Not so with my male friends. It’s something I’ve noted before, but never stopped to examine.

In my female friends, I’m talking about women who are intelligent, rational, tough and caring. Their capacities for these things exceeded only by their expression of them. I admire and love them immensely.

So, this morning I examined.

 

Why is it, I wondered, that women always assume an intent to harm, where blokes don’t?

I paused, briefly, in the middle making the first mug of morning coffee, recognising a PROBLEM.

If I carry on with that thought, I am going to end up saying “I’m not a sexist, but…”. Worse, I could feel that sentence rushing headlong towards prevocalisation. RED FLAG!

Bollocks. I’m broken. I thought, continuing Primary Encaffeination prep.

I know that any time someone, including me, says “I’m not a {INSERT *IST HERE}, but…” it’s a lie. There is a piece missing in the thought process.

So what was I missing?

No clues. I drank the first coffee of the day.

Ahhh, that’s what I was missing, my partially relieved thoughts continued, a functioning brain.

 

I have no idea if my reasoning is correct, but it makes sense to me. It strikes me that this scenario closely mirrors those which have been, and are being, recounted in distressing ubiquity via #YesAllWomen. It’s a threat response.

I may not perceive my actions as being threatening, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t. I’m not even talking about a physical action, here. In some ways this is worse. There is an argument to be made that, particularly with female friends, when I screw up I am threatening something which is meant to be safe, wanted, even treasured: our friendship.

 

Of course that is going to invoke a threat response. Pillock.

 

Worse still, in this particular case, not only was I threatening the friendship, but I was also threatening her daughter. It is, therefore, entirely reasonable for her to be pissed off at me, and on the vague off-chance that she (she knows who she is) reads this, I am REALLY sorry.

 

Here’s the lesson, guys (yes, me and any other bloke who reads this): when we fuck up, large or small, it’s an implied threat. We are going to do so, sometimes. Everybody does. Try to make it as few times as possible. Remember that it doesn’t matter what you meant by whatever it was, that’s what you’ve done and her response is not irrational, nor is it unjustified. Your correct response is to work out how you’ve fucked up, and try to fix it, and say sorry.

 

P.S. Guys, don’t go the flowers-and-chocolate route on this one. Flowers and/or chocolate and/or nice things are meant to be “just because”, or as an adjunct to the sorry not the “sorry” itself. Without working out how you’ve screwed up and why you are wrong, the other stuff is meaningless and just as likely to get you into deeper shit than you already are.

 

K

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