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Because men think hurting yourself needlessly means something

I have discussed on this blog before men’s peculiar habits and the strange meanings they attach to them. 
however there are few stranger than the actions that are taken in the name of machismo.
Lets look at a few of them:
– Doing outrageous stunts on bikes
– turbo charging a skateboard
– cliff diving
– running in front of stampeding bulls
– attempting impossible stuns on ramps
– wrestling snakes and crocodiles 
– riding bulls
The show that properly represents these incredibly foolish acts is Jackass. I have yet to meet a man who doesn’t defend Jackass. The amazing thing is not so much the defence (after all, this is a blog defending the right to read romance novels) it is more the meanings attacked to the acts themselves. They have a sort of love for machismo. Even though the behaviours of the shows hosts are foolish, there is something very special and brave about it.
A more serious treatment of a similar subject occurs in the book Fight Club. In this book the self-abuse is definitely seen as a kind of machismo; a reaching into the depths of oneself for a meaning that is never there and can’t ever be there – but you come out of it a man.
In romance novels men are heroes the hard way. By choosing to take a stand and then taking that stand. they fight for who they are and they fight for their women and their loved ones and their principles. They are not men who are so filled with nothing that even stupidity makes them feel more like men.



Because women take revenge through sex

In the ongoing ever-present conversation between men and women, it is always the men who accuse the women of being unfaithful. Women get accused of it in a way that men don’t.  I don’t mean to imply women don’t accuse men (they definitely do) but the way these infidelities are understood is very different.

The stigma attached to male infidelity is one of a basic understanding – well he’s  a male and he can’t help it.

However, when a woman does it, the stigma implies there is something intrinsically wrong with her. The story around women is muddled. Women are supposed to want sex, but love fidelity (naturally of course) or they are supposed to hate sex. Women who can’t be ‘caught’ for example are always seen as spinsters and treated as frigid.

So, there is a special place in hell reserved for the woman who cheats on her man.

As if following on from this, women will use sex as an act of revenge. Men don’t tend to do this. they will sleep with someone because they want to.  But a woman will use sex in this manner. Not all women of course, but many women will use it to pay a lover back for something that he might have done to her. And this slight can be real or imagined.

It’s hard to know if the reputation came before the behaviour. But it is not difficult to work out why women do this. It is one of the few forms of power women have, therefore it should be no surprise to anyone that they will use it.  I guess if you look at it logically, women have very few avenues available to them to take revenge. Sex is one of the few areas they are granted any sort of power.

Add to this, every man being ‘unable to resist’ every woman, and you have a power ascribed women, that although not necessarily accurate, is still heavily set in mythology.

In romance novels women don’t have sex for revenge. They have sex when they fall in love with the hero – and usually they only have sex with him, and if any one else is involved it is with the consent of both parties. If women need to take revenge out on someone they do it in more clear and constructive ways. They don’t use sex as a weapon, because they have access to other kinds of power.


Because men expect power without having to be powerful

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.
Abraham Lincoln

Men love power. They say it is to impress women, but that is about as accurate as the theory that women dress to impress men. Men want power for the same reason women want to look good. to make the others of their sex jealous. To ‘prove’ that they have come first.

So what is a powerful person? Almost every philosophy or theology you will ever read agrees it starts with self-mastery. However, men have missed this point. For them, power resides in the strength of their punch and the quality of their lie.

It is true that men are getting better at resisting the punch. There are very few men in our culture who would defend hitting a woman or a child. there are even men who would resist hitting another man, no matter how much he challenged him to a ‘duel.’

However it is very rare – even in this day and age – to see a man working very hard to improve himself.

Oh, he may want to take more courses in his chosen career path. Or he may be into business books and motivational books. However, how often do you really see a man attempting to practise self-mastery?

And I don’t necessarily mean quitting smoking or losing weight. I mean real self mastery. Like learning how to be nicer to his wife, spend time with the children, and above all fight the ego drives that encourage him to dominate and control every situation, usually to the absolute detriment of all his long terms plans.

Men have largely gotten where they are by mateship and camaraderie. Women know this, because we have so much trouble getting through the ‘glass ceiling’ and being paid the same for equal work. In only very rare exceptions do you see men getting somewhere through intense self-examination, life changing decisions and a challenging of their own ego. It is a very rare man who will not argue  in FAVOUR of his precious ego. Why? Because it is the very key that convinces other men to elevate him, or get him something that he wants. His bravado is far more powerful amongst the world of the powerful (that is other men) because if there is one thing men want to see, it is the lasting enduring power of bravado. They will elevate each other and promote the most useless human being, all in the name of keeping the faith in their egos alive.

In romance novels all the heros are powerful. And they are that good old-fashioned kind of powerful. they are powerful in that they self examine and they allow themselves to grow. Usually they will allow themselves to be transformed by the love of their fine woman. And tat is another reason why women love them so much.


Because older women turn on younger women

Unfortunately the list is long and tiresome.

But here are two classic examples of women – feminists in their youth – who have turned rabidly against women in their old age.

Dr Laura Schlesinger and Bettina Arndt are just two. I could mention more, but these two women will give you a good idea of what I’m talking about. The first has written a book called “The proper care and feeding of husbands” (trying to convince women that a good meal will change their man) and the second has just written an article in the main stream Australian press claiming that an unmarried, childless female prime minister in Australia is a bad influence on women. (I kid you not)

Now, it’s not that these women aren’t entitled to their opinion. I am emphatically against misogyny, but misogyny is not as bad as refusing someone the right to speak. I may hate what they say, but I will defend their right to say it. However, both these women were feminists when they were younger (in other words – freedom was good in THEIR youth but they don’t want it for the younger women of today – or they’re jealous of how much freedom women might be gaining today) and my really big problem with this is…

Can you think of a male equivalent?

I can’t.

Can you think of a man who, now in his ‘twilight’ years is openly coming out and attacking the way younger men are living their lives? No. That’s because there aren’t any.

Now there are plenty of older men openly criticising WOMEN – they have always existed. I am talking about this bitchy snarling thing that older women do to younger women. Men just don’t do this to each other.

It seems Dr Laura left “Publicly and privately backstabbing each other” out of her list of ten stupid things women do to mess up their lives.

One of the most important thing a woman can do for herself is learn to love other women. And not just the women who are behaving in a way YOU think is appropriate. Men may not have warm feelings for every man they know, but they have an underlying respect for each other that very few women have.

A lot of this has to do with the universal hatred of women. These women are exhibiting a public hatred of women. Now, I am not against open and honest debate, but telling women that if you follow the patterns of the fifties housewife has been shown to lead women down destructive paths that are very bad for them. Laura suggests in her authors note in The Proper care and feeding of Husbands, that women wanting to go on vacation without their husbands, or wanting to refuse sex because they are upset are some how not showing concern for “the guy that goes out and slays dragons for her and their child every day”. Of course the fact that SHE has been slaying dragons for the family as well, is irrelevant.

I’m sorry, what’s wrong with a woman wanting to go on a vacation without her husband? As long as he is free to as well, I really don’t see why she has her knickers in a knot over this one.

But then that is it isn’t it? s usual there is no rationality behind any of this. it is all pumped out by some sort of latent weirdness about what they used to be when they were young and what they are now. When men get conservative in their old age, they make money and vote right-wing. When women get conservative in their old age, they attack younger women.

In romance novels the only person the heroine can rely on as much as – and sometimes more than – her hero, is the unfailing, supportive perfect best friend. Women loveingly paint this person in their books just as much as they paint the fantasy hero. She is loyal, upright and true. She doesn’t try to steal your man, she is there for you and she supports you.  And that is another reason women love these books so much.


…here’s the ad mentioned in the post below.


Because men have no sense of humour

There was an ad campaign in this country a few years back that was very successful. It’s task was to encourage men (younger men particularly) to slow down. Several shots of men racing off at lights or speeding to impress girls, were met with witnesses holding up their pinkie fingers in response. This symbol indicates the witness things the guy must have a really small dick in order to be acting that way.
After the ad was on for a while, a report aired on the radio of a distressing case of road rage. A man attacked a woman’s car with a baseball bat on a freeway while she was sitting in it, smashing windscreen, back window and making large dents in her bonnet. When he had to face a judge in court over the incident, the man cited as a genuine defence, she’d held her small pinky finger up at him when he’d cut her off in heavy traffic.
Can I tell you? Men can’t take a joke.
Guys, if you’re gonna put the whole ‘aggressive-im-better-than-you’ thing out there these days, you gotta expect a little backlash.No one is falling for dragging at lights, two-wheel corners or mufflers that don’t work. The chicks your going to pull are the ones you are embarrassed to be seen with – trust me.
Driving dangerously has got to be one of the most stupid, ‘shit-for-brains’ way of attracting mucho attention ever. this went out with the 50’s greasers. please get it through your head that public roads are not the place for extreme sport.
Or, at least if you HAVE to do it, understand that you will be made merciless fun of, with no apology forthcoming no matter how much you sulk.
For your information, the man who cited the small finger joke as justification for his outrage, was fined, had to pay court costs, and had to pay to fix the woman’s car.
In romance novels men use their ‘mucho birthright’ to fight off villains and evil vampires, werewolves, bad counts, dukes earls and cousins. They never, ever use their powers for bullshit because women writers know, that inspires incredulity and mountains of jokes.  And justifiably so.


Because a woman’s expectations are forever defined by her fictitous first love

I know men are all determined to be the first love for a woman.  While I have poked fun at this in the past on this blog, there is an element of truth to the idea that if you get in very early, she will have certain feelings for you that will ruin her for all men who follow.

However, if a young man  dates her at eighteen, sixteen or even twelve, he’s probably missed the boat.

It has also been said that women’s fathers define the kind of man they will want when they are of marrying age.

Again, while the father may be around at the time these ideas are formed, all he will influence is the man she actually ends up with. this will not be the man of her dreams, this will be the one she settles for.

The man of her dreams is defined outside of the realms of reality. And trust me on this, his influence will never leave her psyche.

He might be a hero in a novel (read Mr Darcy, or Mr Rochester) he might be a famous actor (read Robert Redford or Jonny Depp) he might be a rock star( read Elvis or Kurt Cobain) or he may be the image of a fictitious dream man who, even in the represented image of him, may not be a real human being. The current manifestations of this are Edward Cullen and Jacob Black – but don’t be fooled into thinking this is a new phenomena. Remember Frankenstein was created by twenty-one year old Mary Shelly.

Women will dream forever and a day about the fictitious first love. And the more impossible, the stronger a hold he will have over her. The sweet ordinary man she will marry, and her declarations of love in front of her family and friends, no matter how sincere sounding, will always be a nod to compromise. A woman falls head over heels in love with her secret man and the flame will never be extinguished.

In romance novels you see the proof of this over and over again. the men there are designed mostly by women, and they may be very different, but one thing they have in common is they have very little to do with reality.


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