One of the thoughts that always occurs to me around Father’s Day is that I’m so glad I’m a mom, and not a dad.
This week Father’s Day is upon us, so it’s time to thank Dad by emptying stores of ugly ties and the occasional fishing lure.
And sometimes, I think, 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.
Nevertheless, I am so, so glad that I am not. Because while women do have our difficulties, men do as well. And so I thought that today we could recognize some of those difficulties together!
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 coward”.
Women can cry at movies, at goodbyes, at births, at deaths, and even at slivers being removed, and everyone just passes the Kleenex. If a man cries, people look worried and back away slowly.
If a woman spends hours on Netflix watching chick flicks and rom-coms, it’s called “self-care,” but if a guy plays video games after work it’s called immature, even if he wastes less time than she does.
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.
If a woman wants to stay home and be a stay-at-home wife, no one bats an eye. But a man saying, “I’d rather stay home and take care of the house than work a 9-5” is seen as lazy or unmotivated, even if he is proposing to do the exact same role as the wife would have.
If a woman starts dating a guy, she gets taken out for free meals, gets flowers and presents, and is showered with chocolate. Which he is expected to pay for, even if he makes less money than she does while they’re dating. Dating can cost guys hundreds of dollars, whereas there isn’t the same expectation that women shell out cash on a date!
While women deal with the media’s portrayal of the “perfect body,” men do, too–and it’s also largely things they can’t control. How well you grow facial hair, your body’s ability to build muscle, your face shape, and whether or not you have male-pattern baldness all contribute to whether or not you have the right “manly” look or not. And there’s not much you can do about it if you don’t have those “masculine” qualities.
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.
If a woman is upset, chances are there are at least 5 friends she can phone or text immediately to talk it through. Most men are lucky if they have even one good friend they talk about emotions with. Men may get together with other men to watch sports or to do a hobby, but most men have no one with whom they regularly share their feelings.
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.
Men have a lot to live up to as well. And while there’s pressure on us to be the perfect Proverbs 31 woman, there’s also a lot of pressure on guys to be this macho man who has it all together. Part of having it all together, too, is this idea that he never needs anyone or anything, which means it’s so much harder for men to talk about how they really feel.
So on this day, let’s acknowledge that men do indeed have it rough. 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.
Who is a father in your life that you want to celebrate this Father’s day? Share about it in the comments and let’s honor the amazing men in our lives!