On today, International Women’s Day, I wanna discuss a time honored tradition that is rarely brought up out of context. One that can be both healing and damaging. Something that every woman I know has done at least once in her life, though I’d be surprised if it stayed at that. I’m talking about man bashing. Don’t assume I’m going to defend the “mens” or anything. I just want to discuss with you this thing that we do, and guys do it as well but for different reasons.
Think for a moment about the last time a guy broke your heart, stood you up, called you a name, wronged a friend or in some other way acted poorly. What was the first thing you said about him? My go-to: “Asshole!” Right? Ha-ha! I love saying the word, too. But the truth is, there is some healing that can happen when you are able to step back from a situation and straight up bash someone. They may or may not know that it’s happening, but that hardly matters. I know this because when a guy hurts me, I can’t immediately call him an Asshole. I just can’t. It’s too close to my heart, ya know? So I need time. And I’ve found a slightly milder term (in my eyes only most likely) that helps me refer to someone who has hurt me, yet I am not yet willing to let go of completely: “Fucker!”
I don’t know, it seems to have a bit less of a sting than Asshole. Anyway, it takes me awhile to get to the Asshole bit. Yes, I realize that this person has wronged me or hurt someone I love, but it takes time to process the circumstances of a given situation. Part of me will always want to believe that someone is good and kind and loving. But not all people are or can be. This is a lesson I am still learning. I can’t say that I’ve fully accepted that little fact, but I’m working on it.
Women will often get together to bash men. It often starts with someone asking how a recently heart broken or fucked over gal is. And someone will call the man in question names in order to get a rise out of the group, comfort or make the friend laugh or just because the guy is an actual and complete Asshole (some just are, yo). Sometimes a gal may even defend the guy getting bashed, but I won’t lie, it doesn’t last long.
I think that the healing comes from calling someone a name you hadn’t before, in a sense, “othering” them. And while I would usually be the first to say such a practice is wrong always…in this case? Not so much. It just needs to happen. It does! Sometimes it’s the only way to get past the pain. Friends may call a guy many names before you can even bear to consider doing so, but it helps! It helps to hear this as a means of support. And again, guys do it too! Guys will bash women for the exact same reasons. But they will also bash other men, often to put themselves in a better light, but so be it.
We humans are fickle beasts. Some hate it when I refer to our species as beasts and animals, but we are! Take a look around! Ha-ha! We may have evolved into whatever mess we have today, but deep down we are on the hunt and prowl and the shape of our prey may change, but the basic instincts never quite go away. I’m wondering how long this man bashing practice has been around. I’m guessing from the very start! Certainly Sheila and the other cave-ladies had plenty to bitch about the cave-dudes grabbing their hairs!
So let us celebrate women today. Let’s celebrate our spirit and our achievements. Let us celebrate all that makes us multifaceted individuals as well as a community of amazing creatures! We can do anything!