Every Friday my syndicated column appears in a bunch of newspapers in southeastern Ontario. Here’s this week’s!
Father’s Day is upon us, so it’s time to thank Dad by emptying stores of ugly ties and the occasional fishing lure.
Now I have to admit that sometimes the females of our species are guilty of approaching this day with a little bit of derision. Just look at how easy he’s got it! Women are the ones who really do everything; men may work at their jobs, but they spend the rest of their lives trying to get out of labour. They’re the lucky sex.
Not so fast. If we women were honest, I think we’d admit that we’re the more fortunate gender. After all, in countless things in life women are allowed to have it both ways. We can decide we want a high powered career. If we put our kids in day care, men can’t complain, because that would be sexist. But we can also choose to stay home with the kids, telling the guys, “it’s your job to support me.” If a man were to say, “I think I’ll quit my job and stay at home and you can support me,” he wouldn’t get patted on the back. He’d get suspicous looks from strangers and potentially divorce papers from his wife.
We tell men they’re not allowed to treat us as sex objects, because that’s sexist, but we’re also allowed to wear whatever we want, and they’re not supposed to look—unless we want them to.
At school, we girls can bicker and insult each other, but if we shy away from actually throwing a punch, people don’t question our bravery. If a guy were to refuse to stand up to a bully, though, he’d be labelled “a girl”.
Women can cry at movies, at good byes, at births, at deaths, and even at slivers being removed, and everyone just passes the Kleenex. If a man cries, people giggle and back away slowly.
If we want to make friends with kids on the block, people think that we’re saintly. If men want to, people assume they’re perverts.
If a guy has difficulty putting a roast beef dinner together or dressing the kids in clothes that match, women are allowed to laugh at him. But no guy is allowed to laugh at a woman who doesn’t know how to change the oil in her car.
When a crisis hits, like a basement flood or a dispute with contractors, she can always pass the buck to him to deal with it. But he can’t pass the buck to anyone.
If a man is grumpy, we lambaste him for it. If a woman is grumpy, she has a “get out of moodiness” free card she can play, no matter what the time of the month. And if a guy challenges her on it, then she can whip out the “I went through labour because of you” trump card. Then he’s toast.
Do women have it bad? Of course we do. We’ve got PMS and pain and superwoman syndrome and pressure to be a size 4 and soccer practice and hot flashes. But let’s not pretend that we’re alone in our suffering. We can be moody, we can be demanding, and far too often we can even be condescending. So on this day, let’s acknowledge that men do indeed have it rough. And as much as we may complain about men, our lives would be awfully empty without them. This Father’s Day, let’s celebrate him for being a guy, whether he’s a brother, a son, a father, or a husband. After all, guys really do deserve our gratitude.
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