Posted on January 27, 2009
HE’S JUST NOT THAT SCREWED UP
I’m starting to notice a phenomenon.
On Saturday I went to the gym for my circuit training class, and because I had left my iPod at home, snatched up a tattered copy of Elle Canada to read on the stairclimber. As I flipped through the pages – some stuck together – I came across what is your typical Q&A column where women had written in with their various relationship problems, seeking words of wisdom.
As I scanned over first the questions and second the answers, I was amazed. “Do these women really believe that this is what they’re supposed to do to fix what’s wrong?” Some of the so-called advice astounded me in its absurd logic.
Photo: jamielondonboy on Flickr
Several hours later, I found myself wandering the downtown Chapters with a friend. While her and I both managed to grab a cheap beach read for ourselves, we browsed the store since we had nowhere else to be. By the time we reached the third floor – and often dreaded self-help section – I couldn’t help but notice the large volume of books dedicated solely to women and their “dysfunctional” relationships.
As I scanned over titles such as the classic Men Are From Mars… Women Are From Venus, Why Men Love Bitches and the soon-to-be movie He’s Just Not That Into You, I noticed more than their splashy, brightly coloured covers. Not only were these books aimed to sucker in hurting women everywhere, they all smelled of complete bullshit.
Heartache and heartbreak are great for the economy.
Photo: mollybob on Flickr
I turned to my friend and reiterated to her what I’d thought just hours before at the gym: “Seriously, do women read these and consider them the Holy Grail of relationship advice? I think that’s unfortunate.” Why do I think it’s unfortunate? Any back covers or inside pages I scanned for their purported insight all point to the same issues – that women screw up, pick the wrong men and just need to find “the right kind of guy” instead of the so-called toxic ones.
How about this instead? Women don’t always screw up (but neither do men), sometimes we don’t always consciously “pick” the ones we do and just because a man is broken doesn’t mean he isn’t “the right kind of guy.” Perhaps instead of trying to change how women relate to potential suitors in their lives, they need to re-think how they relate to themselves.
Less of We, More of Me
As women, we have the right to feel empowered, the right to take care of ourselves and the right to make the best choices as we see fit. Playing the blame game gets no one anywhere, so perhaps it’s time to take responsibility for our own actions and choices. Some are so quick to label men as “toxic,” but if that’s true, then we as women are equally capable of being toxic.
Focus on yourself, on your growth and your development. Instead of over-thinking and overanalyzing the differences, I think it’s time to instead appreciate the delicate distinctions between men and women and how we all function – within relationships and, more importantly, as individiuals.