I am so very weary of the notion that the sure sign of a strong woman is that she is angry with men. Outspoken or implied, this utter nonsense is everywhere. I’m not saying I’m not angry with some men. Those who think faithfulness is selective, the men who have their tail ends glued to the sofa while constantly playing video games, or the men who make promises they optionally keep … I can be really angry with those guys. But I am certainly not angry just because they have a Y chromosome that makes them what they are: men.
Men really are pretty great! A few days ago I was in the grocery store parking lot searching my purse for my keys when I glanced up and saw an extremely old couple. The gentleman had a determined grasp on his little lady’s arm. He was keeping her out of the moving car lane as they shuffled toward their parked car. Watching them I thought, “A strong wind would blow that guy over. But I’ll bet he’s spent years protecting the love of his life and he isn’t stopping now.”
A man’s best nature is to provide and protect. Being married to one of those, I know how that can look. My husband would take down anyone who attempted to hurt a member of our family. Trust me on one thing—he’s not a takedown kind of guy, he’s a thinker—but that wouldn’t stop him from giving it all he had. I’ve also known him to spend sleepless nights strategizing how to successfully provide for our needs. To do anything less would have never crossed his mind.
I spent the bulk of my career-life working primarily with men. Yes, I have had long and successful careers, so you can discard the notion that would dismiss me as “just one of those helpless women.”
I would often arrive with the bands I managed as the only female in the auditorium in which they were performing until the doors were opened for the concert. They respected me and I respected them. I also knew that at 2 a.m., when we loaded the last piece of gear on the truck, I would have a few of them shadowing me to make sure I got where I needed to be safely. Late nights in downtown Detroit made this lady really appreciate that gesture.
So I’m not angry with men—I have no need to be. When they are what make them great—protectors and providers, we benefit. When we tell them how wonderful that is, we get to watch them virtually pound their chests in pride, and we benefit even more.
Ladies, ignore the nonsense that we should be combative, angry, and disdainful toward our male counterparts. It only serves to incite more combat, anger, and disdain in return. Not being angry toward our men doesn’t make us weak. Quite the contrary: admiring and appreciating their nature, instead, just makes us smart! It’s the perfect balance of grit and grace.
Image courtesy of Hernan Sanchez
Read more on the uniqueness of our genders in Men and Women: Equal Not Identical. And don’t miss Anatomy of a Strong Woman and 7 Things to Look for in a Man.