Do men care less and women care more in relationships?

A friend recently said women had high and unrealistic expectations from relationships, which lead to disappointments, insecurity and jealousy.

Let’s assume what she says is true for some women.

Could it be that some women feel insecure because they grow up hearing their life had little meaning without a partner?  Persistent little reminders like nobody blesses women with ‘jug jug jiyo‘ (may you live long). All blessings to women ring like warnings –  to get married and to die before their husbands do for example. (saubhgyawati raho, sada suhagan raho i.e. may you never be a widow)

[Note: Why not wish women a happy, healthy life too?]

Their partners need the relationship as much as they do, but if a man shows he values his spouse or his marriage, he is promptly labeled a JKG (a Joru Ka Gulaam). If he is insecure, the only way he must express it is with violence. My cook came with a swollen face last week because her husband suspects she manages to have an affair sometime between my cooking and three other jobs she has. Another woman I knew found her land line phone locked when the husband went for work (they are separated now).

Acid throwing and murders by men who couldn’t handle indifference are not unheard of.

I have read tweets like the one about a lucky husband being congratulated because he got a car for his wife in an exchange offer. Traditionally no woman would dare make such blasphemous jokes about her pati parmeshwar. And traditionally men must make such jokes to show how they don’t care for their wives :roll: (Have you met/read someone who does that ;) )

And then the society wonders why some women need to know if they are loved. Do you think Gauri Khan worries if SRK loves her? ;) Anyone knows the story of 8 cows?

Do men really care less and women care more in relationships?

What do you think?

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66 thoughts on “Do men care less and women care more in relationships?

    • I agree 100% with Sraboney, I think men are expected to not care, comes from some macho notion of being a man. Infact, I have observed that the men in my life care as much, if not more, about relationships as their female counterparts. It is time we give up this idea of manliness!

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  1. P.S. I don’t think a woman’s insecurity has got anything to do with the way she has been brought up…Everybody is insecure – it’s human nature…I think the biggest problem with women is that they expect to change their husbands and when they can’t, problems arise…For a marriage to work, both partners need to compromise and not try to change each other…People should not go into a marriage expecting to have everything – life isn’t a Mills & Boon story…

    Me – I agree!

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  2. Thats true.. If men express it wont get respected .. it is not “manly” of them… thats why they show if they don’t care and make jokes :-)

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  3. I believe the part you said about insecurity is right. From childhood a girl is brought up thinking that her sole purpose in life is to get married. However, if she grows up, manages to carve a niche of her own in this world and transforms herself into a confident being, she will feel more confident in a relationship too. The confidence that she need not be dependent on someone for her well being can be a huge success factor for a relationship. Having said that, I know men who openly admire their wives :)

    Me – I agree. Only mentioned the insecurity for any woman who might feel insecure …if at all, in response to my friends’ comment.

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  4. Yea, they care alright! Just conditioned not to show it! Like that would make them less of a man or something!! :roll:
    they get insecure and uncertain in a relationship too… they like being appreciated as well! ;)

    I wish this conditioning goes and that violence and neglect are NOT the ways in which love, care are to be shown to their families!!!

    I guess it all boils down to how we bring up our kids and how we teach them to love and respect the women in their lives :)
    And, men should learn to relax their minds, not be too rigid and egoistic and see around them and learn what’s good for their relationship and their families

    Me – True Pixie it does boil down to how one was raised… or sometimes what one saw happening while growing up…

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  5. As Saraboney says, it isn’t about caring less, but perhaps the gender conditioning to show less! Most often the softer side of men are hidden for fear of being laughed at. Simple as that :)

    But then again, as with exceptions, there are those who never have enough trust, or too much bravado. That is dangerous!

    What’s the story of the 8 cows? Not heard of it :)

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  6. Men care some dont know how to show, some dont want to show it because they are labeled what you just said.

    Coming to other point… i think its what society teaches along with parents. I have an aunt of mine who has conditioned her kids to thinking that all household chores are womenly and men arent supposed to do anything for women. They need to boss around. Even though i constantly tell them otherwise.

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  7. I agree with all here. Men do care but they are conditioned to believe that it would make them less ” manly” if they were to express it. Mothers have a major role to play in creating / changing this outlook. Come to think of it, in our society atleast , how many moms would not squirm if their sons proclaim that their wives mean the world to them or even anything lesser that signifies importance??

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  8. Even in 16th century England of Shakespeare’s plays, you’ll find ample examples of cuckoldry jokes. It’s an un-funny man thing that comes with being a stereotypical husband!

    But I do think that women give more of themselves in a relationship. And therefore expect more as well.

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  9. Its a bit of both you know, social conditioning and the male psyche. Women introspect a lot and will keep examining their relationship. Men grow up with the idea that unless its broken, it does not need fixing, whether its the car, the washing machine or their relationships. That way of thinking along with social conditioning brings them out as uncaring. They are very caring but simply dont know how to show it.

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    • So agree with this Ritu! We’re accused of being over-analytical, but honestly isn’t it better to keep working on a marriage, than let it unravel and then try to do a shoddy ‘darning’ job that still doesn’t hold it together! Like you said, most men think “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. What if it’s cracked???!!!

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  10. again some kinda Streotype post?

    My wife accuses me for not loving her and shows her friends hubby see how they love their wife and learn from them…there may be men like me, but they are less in no …

    I agree about the jokes..sometimes we do it for fun and on the face of it, not serious…well these days , the wife and their friends equally do….

    A recent joke i came across – a couple came to know of a Wishing WELL and visit. Husband leans over the well..drops a coin and wishes….then wife follows leans a bit more and fell into the well and drowns…Husband looks into the well and says, Oh my GOD i never thought that my wish will be fulfilled so instantly…

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    • Sunder some jokes are fun, some can be offensive and all should be a pleasure to the person being teased. Some jokes if made continuously make one wonder if perhaps this is what the person really wants.

      And if that is not the case, how many women make jokes about their husbands dying? Do we joke about our parents drowning? Or children? Why not?

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  11. I make wife and relationship jokes all the time and thats not because I dont care for her or I am insecured to reveal that I care for my wife. Its for fun, and only for fun. Well, I make fun of myself too as a husband; according to me, if you dont know how to laugh at yourself, then you dont have the right to laugh at others ! :D :D :D

    and for your question, ‘no’ is the answer from my end !

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  12. It’s very true, often. Men usually do care as much as their wives, but the idea that they should show it or express it is something novel or foreign to them. It’s anathema for many men to wish their wives on their birthdays, I’m not kidding, many of my friends make jokes, which barely cover their hurt.

    Also many men like to act like whatever they get from their wives can easily be gotten from other sources. If a man’s wife leaves him, he can get a maid, a nanny, his mother, a cook, a secretary, gardener and whatever else ‘functions’ she was performing…and of course he can get sex from any other source too :( The companionship, love, warmth, support and other intangibles she provides are never appreciated, never measured, never considered. :(

    Plus an unmarried or divorced man is not stigmatised, a single woman usually is.

    I don’t find these jokes funny any more.

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    • @ Exactly the sentiment I saw reflected in a movie that had Anupam Kher tell his son Salman Khan that ‘Sita. Rita or Gita’ made no difference, they were all the same. The men in the theatre were thrilled hearing this and guffawed loudly. And to tell you the truth I was nonplussed. Did the men really think John Jaani or Janardan would make a difference to the women??!! How come everyone thinks only of one side of the coin and forgets completely that there is a second side to the coin too??!!

      I don’t find the jokes so funny too, just repetitively boring and the men who repeat them I feel, are the most insecure lot. When you have to put down women (even via jokes) it shows a lot of insecurity.

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  13. Jokes and fun are alright, but as you say, there does seem to be some sort of a sanction for men to make such jokes – especially the offensive ones.. Men, are in a lot of ways, told that they are expected to not show caring and love towards a spouse, while women are told that marriage and a husband are the end alls of her life..

    But as you say, loads of men are breaking out of the mould :) and show that they care in so many ways :) And lots of girls are brought up without being told that marriage is the the reason for their existence.

    As for caring, or feeling insecure about a relationship, I think men and women care and feel insecure. It has to do with personalities rather than gender, in my opinion. It is sanctioned for a woman to show that they care, while for a man, it is sanctioned to joke about it and pretend that they don’t care..

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  14. I don’t know if this can be made a rule. In many English movies, you see the woman being portrayed as more needy than the guy – and sometimes the reverse as well. I don’t have enough experience in relationships to make an educated guess at this…

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  15. I wouldn’t say Yes. There are some men who care more than women do and vice versa. But in Indian setup it seems like Woman is the one who is always thinking about the relationship and trying to secure it. When we live outside our country the perspective changes for sure.

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  16. @Starsinmeyes, fully agree.

    The dispensibility and replacability of women in family and marriage is the reason women are insecure in relationships. Unless women have readily available and non stigmatized options of sex outside marriage like men do; women will remain insecure in intimate relationships.

    Men are insecure or possesive/jeaslous in relationships because they are taught they own the bodies and affections of women and children or the bodies and affections of women and children ought to belong to men associated to them through marriage and paternity.

    Over all it is a sad affair and total waste of human effort to exaggerate bodily difference to the point of making it an ineauality thus each gender missing out on so much beyond the expected behavior.

    About jokes be it about Sardars, wives or MILs they are insensitive and offensive because they feed the stereotypes and perpetuate them for numerous people to base their judgements on them. More over they dehumanize and objectify people and groups thus equating them to inanimates. Such jokes also portray what kind of person is the one who is cracking it or cracking up.

    I usually ask them to take their words back or chuck them off from my list of contacts. I do not indulge in stereotypes nor do I contribute to their perpetuation.

    Peace,

    Desi Girl

    Me – Wow, well said Desi Girl!

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  17. Acid throwing, locking phones, beating, they do it all… and yet it is the women who are accused of jealousy. I find that astounding.

    I have grown up listening to jokes degrading women, on the lines of the one Sunder has written above. Cousins and male relatives, friends all positively delight in repeating them. I got sick and tired of them. Made me think a lot. If men found women such a source of trouble WHY the hell did they run after them and get married?? It was a mystery that I could never solve. When I first started blogging this was one of the first topics I wrote about though in a humorous way :)

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    • @shail: If men found women such a source of trouble WHY the hell did they run after them and get married??

      Desi Girl: 1. Because it is like a conquest, feeling of thrill to chase women.

      2. By marriage woman, her body- read services (house keeping, caring not for just man but his kin etc.), her sexuality and her loyalties by default come to be owned by the man. Thus it provides not only safe and regular sex, ensurity of paternity (exclude donor insemenation and cases of cheating that are fewer than the other way round) and other perks like house keeping and caring.

      3. As we know women are easily dispensable and replacable in marriage they do not have similar privileges so they have no or very little bargaining power.

      I guess these are pretty good reasons for men to get married. The problem is they have poor threshold to withstand the cost of upkeeping a wife. They are more willing to fill the fuel in the car and wax it than attend to the wife’s needs hence they complain, crib and try to pose as victims.

      About the offensive jokes try my formula: NOT HERE, NOT NOW, NOT IN MY PRESENCE. Yes, few rotten apples in my family have told me to leave if I was feeling offended. But I have stood my guard and things are changing.

      @Tbg
      You are right not all women are caring. One of our professor does tutions and he is clearly over worked. One time he was sick and wanted to cancell a session. His wife said to us it was a headache for her both the ways if discontinued tutions or if something happened to him because who will pay off the loans. For numerous women the care itself got to do with survival.

      Anyway what has love got to do with marriage :) .

      Peace,

      Desi Girl

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      • @GGTS That was just a statement masquerading as a question. But I loved your answer anyway. :)
        As if any one would dare say such jokes to me now! Oh no, not now! :)
        And boy do (MOST) men whine, complain, crib and act the victims??!!! A resounding YES to that.

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      • @shail, you are too sweet in saying Oh no, not now. Use NOT HERE, NOT NOW, NOT IN MY PRESENCE with cold and flat voice. That way it makes an impact that it is not acceptable in your presence ever again.

        @IHM
        Let us correct this one

        Men are taught/socialized not show emotions. Men are taught/socialized not to care much but only care for feeling enraged and offended, be it road rage or seeing other men courting their sisters or women rebutting their advances.

        Me – I agree Desi Girl!!!!

        About jokes, idioms and language it establishes how a group of persons is valued. There is nothing mild and funny about it. Long time acceptance of these cement in the mass psyche and that is how they start treating them.

        Me – True.

        Peace,

        DG

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  18. Sigh.

    There’s no yardstick to measure which gender cares more. I strongly feel we need to move forward from the old school of thoughts wherein women are considered more caring. Let’s not have a yardstick for love, care and affection please.

    Each relation is very unique.

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  19. Men care less.. Coz by nature, they’re an indifferent lot. Not their fault.. I’ve come to belive, that’s how they’re made!

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  20. Though I agree that social and family conditioning plays a big role in moulding a man’s ability to show his wife that he cares,I also feel that a lot depends on his personality as well.I was brought up by a father who spent his sundays cooking for his wife so she could have a day off from her daily routine,who nursed her to health with hot soups and gentle care and most of all never raised his voice. While my elder brother is all of that and much more,my younger brother is inhibited so his ‘care’ doesn’t show. Presently he is being trained by his wife how not to be shy in showing that he cares. :)
    A relationship will be cherished only if the caring is equal from both sides and more than gender it is a personal thing I feel.

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    • I agree Sharmila! My dad was the one who bought us poppins and teased us, made funny parodies and made us laugh … my bother is the same with his kids. It’s not gender – it’s personality types.

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  21. I agree with the comments about how men do care, but are brought up not to show they care. I don’t know how it is in India, but for men to care about relationships, they can come off as “weak” for some reason. As for women, it seems we care more because we’re simply brought up to want romance and relationships and that our sole purpose in life and accomplishment is to be married.

    Acid throwing, locking phones, beating, they do it all… and yet it is the women who are accused of jealousy. I find that astounding.

    Oh that old double standard.

    At any rate

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  22. I believe men do care about relationships and in many cases care more than women. Some communicate this, others don’t but they are emotionally dependent on their mothers, wives or daughters and in some cases sisters. What is said in jokes can be ignored because even the man who cracks such jokes either doesn’t mean it or is insecure and has ego issues.

    Me – These jokes are just like sardar jokes, blond jokes, racial jokes … :(
    About women wanting to die before their husbands is also gradually changing, I have met lots of men and women who think that women are better equipped emotionally to be able to survive without a spouse than men.

    Me – Yes Prerna I have heard women say this too. I feel men and women can both survive (and why not) on their own – one should plan and prepare for this.

    What mothers in law say when they bless their daughters in law doesn’t count because they can’t imagine anything happening to their son even when he is 100 years old.

    Me – But even in their own homes I wonder if we bless little girls with ‘jug jug jiyo’…?

    About acid throwing, locking phones, beating wives, these crimes are done by anti social people and should be treated like this.

    Me – The telephone locking guy lives a normal life, he is seen as just a little ‘strict’ but not an anti social man that he is.

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  23. I really fail to understand all those wife, MIL and marriage related jokes men crack. As f marriage is the worst thing that could happen to a man!!

    Me – Still worse are those where they joke about wishing their wife was dead so they could ask their (half their age) neighbour out. Wishful thinking is what it sounds like.

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  24. Well, IHM, I do believe the men care less and women care more – not just in relationships, outside of that as well. It’s a stereotype, but “stereotype” by itself isn’t a four-letter word.. if I just step back from the man/woman debate a bit, I could say “children are naughty these days”. We can get offended about that stereotype-esque statement or we can get on with our lives thinking of it as a common observation. It’s a harmless stereotype not meant to hurt, and I’ll be careful before concluding “Oh, so children are naughty.. surely they’ll become mass murderers tomorrow.”

    So, what I’m trying to say is that not all stereotypes are/ can be humanly dissed, and with this one, I don’t see the correlation with acid-throwers at all. THAT extrapolation must have very sound assumptions, I tend to believe.

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    • A darkcomedycalledlife, men are discouraged from expressing how they feel. They are also encouraged to maintain a ‘manly’ facade of feeling no pain or heart break, they are not really given a chance to learn to be human and be able to handle rejection – a ‘no’ is then seen as a personal affront.

      Men are also made to see violence as a logical way of handling problems – beat children, beat a man who whistled at a sister – problem solved :|

      Not all families reinforce these stereotypes, many parents see that pressurizing a child to fit in can hurt a child, a lot of men do show their feelings, a lot of men dislike violence and do not associate it with courage – these men will not see acid throwing as a means to handle a heartbreak.

      Do click on the link to read the post about what makes some men expect only a ‘yes’ for their offer of ‘frandship’.

      Or read it here, http://indianhomemaker.wordpress.com/2009/09/28/losers-and-stalkers/

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      • Yeah, I read the linked post. And I do not disagree with what you’re saying IHM. I’m trying to find the linkage and the reason to label it as a stereotype. Are we trying to say that ‘men feel less, women feel more’ is because ‘men are discouraged to show emotions’ and actually, both men and women feel equally in relationships?

        Me – I wonder if gender decides how much we give in a relationship Adarkcomedycalledlife? I feel, some people feel more, some less; some expect more, some less… there are too many exceptions, despite the social conditioning.

        Because *I* am not talking about these men who are discouraged, I’m talking about other men I’m surrounded with, who as a general observation, don’t invest emotionally in relationships as much as women do. And I’d hate to see them clubbed with acid throwers.. it’s just the way they are.

        Me – Men are not discouraged directly, generally when a little boy is told, “Dolls are for girls!” or “Don’t cry like a girl!” or ” Don’t be shy/scared/etc like a girl” – we have already conveyed how we expect him to be. If this child happens to be shy, or scared of the dark (and plenty of boys and girls are) – he can either think he doesn’t care what we think of him, or he might try to fit in. :( Very few lucky men are NOT brought up like this.
        But I am sure these people, boys and girls grow up to be happy, well adjusted adults. I have so called ‘manly’ traits in me, and I think I am doing fine too.

        This post sounds a little bit like “No, men don’t feel less. They are made to. Then they get frustrated and beat people up. And look, then they turn borderline rapists.”

        Me – Did it sound like that? I will read it again…
        What I mean is – Most people, (both men and women) feel and hurt ; some people (both men and women) need relationships, more some need them less; some people expect more, some less.

        Whereas no, the women in the lives of these men I’m speaking of don’t resent them this or are pained by this or are ever hit and are perfectly happy.

        Me – I agree, I know I wouldn’t worry too much about words, if the actions show there is care and concern. But each of us is different, some women and some men love to be told they are loved and valued many times and very clearly. I read a touching post here and the comments by women readers triggered this post.
        http://shailsnest.com/wp/fiction/do-you-love-me/

        For one, nobody knows whether overmuch emotional investment in relationships is a desirable trait or not. I don’t.

        Me – I feel it is too personal, but the amount that doesn’t hurt either of the partners should be fine. Some of us need personal space, some love the secure feeling of being needed… each of us is so different adarkcomedycalledlife.

        For two, why do we talk about these twisted men so often and not NORMAL men.. I always wonder about this because I almost never read so many posts about passive-aggressive women/ women rapists and murderers/ any other bad subset of women as I read about men.
        Me – You mean there are too many posts about men who don’t express how they feel? Hmmm…
        I guess one posts about what one sees in the world around them. What are passive-aggressive women? And if I come across women rapists I have no doubt I would blog about them…
        About women murderers? I do blog about girl baby killing mothers, and about women who sent their daughters to the husband’s place, knowing they could be killed and they are indirectly responsible for their daughters’ being burnt and killed.

        Just means a little less representation for healthy, perfectly balanced men I think.. and that’s also unfair.

        Me – You may like these posts then adarkcomedycalledlife,

        1. http://indianhomemaker.wordpress.com/2009/01/11/men-will-be-men/
        2. http://indianhomemaker.wordpress.com/2010/04/26/what-do-men-need-liberation-from/
        3. http://indianhomemaker.wordpress.com/2009/04/01/mip-men-in-pink/

        For three, feeling a little less or feeling a little more, is not a crime either way.
        Me – I agree, though one could make sure one isn’t hurting anybody because of either feeling too much or feeling too little.

        If every stereotype hurts us this bad, we seem to be getting offended simply because “men” and “women” appear in a sentence together and OMG, that can simply not be harmless.. so let’s look under the carpet and we’re sure to find something to – pardon the french – piss us off?

        Me – I didn’t get what you are saying…
        Stereotypes might hurt those who are not able to fit into them. I have seen sensitive boys being taunted as ‘sissies’ and I have seen girls trying to cover their mouths while laughing…
        ‘we seem to be getting offended simply because “men” and “women” appear in a sentence together’ – I didn’t get it. I have used men and women together in many sentences above – why should it be offensive?
        Could you explain the last bit adarkcomedycalledlife?

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  25. @adarkcomedycalledlife – About saying all children are naughty – I think it can and it does a lot of harm to children.

    It may not mean “Oh, so children are naughty.. surely they’ll become mass murderers tomorrow.” – but it does mean, we trust or believe an adult who says the children were naughty and it also means the adult’s word would be take more seriously than a child’s. (because we think, after all, children are naughty).

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    • So yes, that’s where you and I differ. I don’t think saying/ hearing a statement like ‘all children are naughty’ makes adults smarter or saintly by default. I think it just means that we can make certain statements as we see them around us, generalize but not take too seriously and still be able to instill enough confidence in a child. I think it’s possible.. all at once.

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  26. Love and care in a relationship is more to do with how you feel irrespective of gender. I have seen men who give a relationship their all and women who couldn’t care less about the relationship. It depends on what your priorities are as an individual.It is just that men are usually reared not to be too verbose about how they feel and as you’ve rightly said they are labelled as JKGs if they go all out to express their love and affection…perhaps that’s the reason they shy away from expressing themselves !! strange as a society we have no qualms about associating aggression and violence with men but men who are expressive and sensitive are seen as umanly !!

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  27. Continuing from the comment response above, because it’s getting a little longish to track :) Starting from the top in response to your reply,

    Me – Yeah I think this is better :)

    1. You’re right. Yes, some people feel more, some less. Ironically, that’s what I’m trying to say. That’s an entirely different topic from what the title and content of THIS post is. In the post we use the terms “men” and “women”. In the comment, we’re saying “some people”. It’s very different.

    Me – The title is a question, I made some points and asked what everybody else thought.

    2. You’re right. Yes, some little boys are brought up like this. And some stick with what they’re taught. I know some who don’t or haven’t. Let’s talk about them, is what I tried to say.

    Me – But why talk about only them or only these? I feel there is a bit of many kinds in most of us…

    3. It’s correct but then why is it that we state the some people who expect more as ‘women’ and who expect less as ‘men’. Again, this is simply going by the title.. I honestly think the comment is saying something very different from what the post is saying. It lends it a whole different meaning.

    Me – I was discussing if ‘women felt more and men felt less’ – that was the subject. And I was disagreeing with the question and saying social conditioning makes people behave differently – basically each of us is unique.

    4. Ofcourse, expectations are different in different women. But, if a woman does not rue lesser emotional investment, is she being independent or being regressive? Who can say for whom?

    Me – Difficult to say, one would need to know more I think. Does she feel emotionally dependent? Does it make her feel insecure? Is she confident and content?

    5. Ditto as point 4 above.

    6. You mean posts about negative traits of women? I said they’re fewer and far between, not that they aren’t there. We criticize aggressive men, but we wish more power to aggressive women. Is aggression a good thing or a bad thing? How come the rules are different?

    Me – Assertiveness is what is desirable in men and women. I would say the only time anybody should be aggressive is in self defence – as in from violence or crime.

    7. Yup, the not hurting someone goes without saying.

    8. Stereotyping means recognizing a pattern, that your mind stores and uses for easy recall. Like “Fast food is bad for you.” SOME SUCH (and I don’t mean all, ever) can be extremely harmless, even if they are about genders. However, we are slowly getting trained to see ALL sentences in the format “Men like PQR, and Women like ABC.” as something to automatically resent. For that matter, many not-so-smart women have been brought up playing football, and many smart women played with Barbies (and vice versa). Many confident girls cover their mouths because they learn it from friends or TV, many shy girls laugh openly. Whether men feel more or women feel more, is one such harmless stereotype as far as I can see. What’s wrong with it?

    Me – Stereotypes are generalisations and are inaccurate. Why bother with incorrect information?
    Stereotypes also tend to expect confirmation – that can make those who do not fit (and there are plenty of them, like the tag showed) wonder if there’s something wrong with them. Absolutely unnecessary.

    Take the Gender Stereotyping tag to illustrate. I think one should look to break a stereotype that is in some way harmful. On the one hand, we keep saying how it’s okay for little boys/girls to be told they can express sadness by crying. On the other hand, lots of adults are ‘breaking the stereotype’ of crying, and saying they never do, like it’s an achievement of sorts. It just messes with my head a lot.

    Me – The tag was about being oneself. If someone does cry or doesn’t cry – then they should not need to feel ashamed or proud. They should express or react the way they do without worrying if men or women are supposed to/not supposed to do that.
    The tag was about how one did what one was made to feel one couldn’t because one was a man or woman).
    Crying for example, is neither a virtue nor a crime, some of us really do not cry much – some others get teary eyed easily. Sometimes we change as we grow – although gender does not change. And it is no indication of sensitivity either.

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    • @adarkcomedycalledlife,

      So here is more about Passive Aggressive women
      Refer the comments

      http://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/2010/03/05/an-ode-to-mothering-desi-sons/

      http://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/2010/03/24/401/

      http://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/2009/12/07/desi-mothers-in-law/

      About Domestic violence in Indian context (read SAARC and similar communities)it is more complex than other parts of world as women are abusing women within the households.

      In some of IHM’s previous posts I have commented about women sexually abusing young men. It doesn’t mean that if you have not come across it then others are not talking about it. Yes, people do think alike in different parts of the globe at the same time.

      Words carry meaning and the meaning carries value. How one uses words and how they are received are expressed in drawing generalizations about everything under the sun. And generalizations definitely leave out many but still cover many more :) So generalizations need to have good research based evidences or else they harm.

      Peace,

      Desi Girl

      Like

      • Desi Girl,

        I never said people are not writing about it. I said *I* don’t read about it *as much*. (Spelled that out in the follow-up comment as well).

        About generalizations and stereotypes, it’s a process like picking up accents or like developing tastes.. doesn’t happen with research, but by observation and exposure. I have been repeatedly saying that there are SOME (and this is the third time I have capitalized this word for emphasis) stereotypes that do not do harm, which get random free airtime. You and I can think differently here, right? Although I don’t think we do.. I think we think the same, only you chose to read my comments selectively.

        Like

    • Well, there isn’t much to say beyond this. I’m glad you took the time to clarify your stance. I still do disagree, but really, some disagreements are basic and neither can do much. I don’t resist all stereotypes.. I don’t profess it either, because I don’t see why I should. I’d always feel I’m lying if I said I don’t stereotype at all. I stereotype. On the basis of gender, race, nationality. I live some stereotypes. To me, crying IS about sensitivity and expression of it. I can give examples, you can too.. it doesn’t end.

      Anyway, thanks!

      Like

      • @adarkcomedycalledlife,

        How about we collect some stereotypes that don’t hurt?

        I cry not because I am a woman I cry because I feel, I feel my pain I feel your pain I feel for the destruction of planet and everything. I cry because I am touched, I am awed and happy. I cry not because I am a woman.

        I am enraged not because I am PMSing but I can’t stand the injustice.

        Sometime stereotypes are used strategically to meet an end. I friend of mine refuses to lift anything weighing more than 20 lbs. She uses not only her delicate dainty stereotypical damsel in distress look to see which guy will pick up the stuff. :) For this she has not only received passes from some guys but few others have stalked her. Believe me if I tried to pull that stereotype it won’t work my voice and my gait does not say delicate in any way even though I am short and moderately built.

        The harm of stereotypes depend on how they impact the bearer not on the one who imposes them.

        I did not read your comments selectively, that’s how they appeared to me. Words carry meaning and meaning differ.

        Peace,

        Desi Girl

        Like

      • Desi Girl,

        Which part of your comment is differing from mine? Are what we saying contradictory?

        Did I say crying or being angry means PMSing? Did I say that ‘Women’s anger = PMS’ is a good stereotype?

        I said crying means sensitivity to me. Sensitivity to pain, social issues, environmental, political.. anything!

        But yes, you have managed to read my comments selectively through and through. For one, you sent me links to your posts saying “It doesn’t mean that if you have not come across it then others are not talking about it.” when I had clearly said in my very first comment that *I* do not read about it *as much*. Secondly, I am reiterating this that some stereotypes are harmless and natural to conceive, and almost impossible to diss. And I keep highlighting ‘SOME’.. but you keep coming back with examples of any and every stereotype like daintiness and PMS. Is it not selective reading? In case you want examples of what stereotypes I think are harmless, I think cooking, sewing are all good ones. We should encourage even men to take them up and not plan to shed them just because for now, they seem stereotypical of women. But I’m sure you’ll read this a whole different way and send me links where women have been beaten up to cook for the family.. dude, that’s NOT MY POINT!

        Beyond this, I have nothing to say. See my last comment to IHM – it’s all good :)

        Like

  28. I think quite a few men care less. But not cos they want to, or they love their wives any less. They’re generally an insensitive lot.
    And if a man is insecure and jealous types then it’s best to keep off from him…

    Like

  29. I think it is high time we, as a society stop labeling ‘manly’ qualities and ‘womanly’ qualities. Or more importantly we should start it at a personal level. Not being afraid to “show” emotions or that you care, for the fear of being labeled ‘un-manly’. And not being afraid to ‘not show’ your emotions if you dont feel like it, just for the fear of being term ‘un-womanly’ and insensitive.

    Like

  30. A study conducted on married couples of various ages showed that in the initial stages, the males touch the females more, but as the couple gets older, the female touches the male more. It is an evolutionary trait. It is healthy from an evolutionary perspective that a male cares a lot for the female until mating, after which the female cares more for the male and courts the attention of the male.
    Of course, in today’s times, with very few people being complete slaves to their primitive urges, I would still say that guys tend to court the female more until their association is permanent. If something happens to their significant others, guys show as much love, care and worry as women could. So, this myth of women caring more for the relationship should get busted soon.

    Like

  31. Great post, IHM. Loved it. I personally think men care just as much as women. Well, atleast most men care as much. Its just that they aren’t very vocal in expression!!!

    Like

  32. I do not think so at all. I think good peple care; bad people don’t. It’s as simple as that.

    As for showing it, it depends on the way you’ve been brought up. It depends on what you see around you.

    For instance, a daughter who has an arogant, feminist, haughty mother (who takes pride in being so and comes across happy being so) will most probably grow up to be an arrogant, haughty, i-don’t-care-for-men types, unless she has other influencers around her. And vice-versa.

    Me – I agree with the comment, but I think feminism has got too much bad press, take a look – http://indianhomemaker.wordpress.com/2008/11/14/feminism-is-good-for-society/

    SImilarly, a loving father who takes super care of his wife/mother/sister/daughter, will definitely influence his son to be a loving, caring man. And vice-versa.

    I say this so confidently because I have seen all these types, and the influencers ( and motivators and demotivators, as the case may be) :D

    Like

  33. No, would be my answer. And like LiberalCynic mentioned, it’s a genetic trait. Case study for sociocultural evolution this certainly is. I couldn’t but help notice LC’s interesting choice of words: “If something happens to their significant others, guys show as much love, care and worry as women could.” Women don’t wait until something happens to the significant others- I s’pose that’s where the difference lies!

    Me – Chronic worries all women may not be so caring – some do it because circumstances force them, others still don’t. Same applies to men. Some people care, some don’t.

    Like

  34. wow… a big discussion’s on ..

    i feel.. there has to be a balance in a relationship… both the people should be expressive once in a while. its all bout expression really…. women / men start feeling insecure when their partner stops communicating the feelings or is busy for a long time.

    a woman demanding for time or feeling insecure does not mean that she cares more for the relationship. it just means that the relationship is going through a low phase which happens to every relationship and is very normal. its like life. ups and downs.

    there’s nothing unmanly about expressing and showing how much he cares. it just makes a human being beautiful…and nourishes the relationship.

    Like

    • I agree! Well said Dipti.

      //a woman demanding for time or feeling insecure does not mean that she cares more for the relationship. it just means that the relationship is going through a low phase which happens to every relationship and is very normal. its like life. ups and downs.//

      Like

  35. For me, both men and women care equally… Only that men wont show it in words… They show it in action… They will be there… I think thats our way of expression and surely its based on how we brought up… There is no denying that :)
    Nice post IHM :)

    Like

  36. By the same token, I think women are sometimes encouraged to care more than they do. For example, I am a nice women but to be honest I can be quite blunt and have a little bit of a rough edge to me. I am not a bad person, but I am just not always 100% nice and soft and feminine. I was talking to a friend of mine about this, and he kept saying to me, “i see you as very feminine” and “you should smile more” and “you should be nicer” or some such nonsense. But the truth is if I dont feel like being nice I’m not going to be nice, and if I don’t feel like flirting with this guy i dont do it just to make men feel better about themselves. If he doesn’t like it he can go complain to the pope! or go cry to his girlfriend! I am very stubborn sometimes too! and love to have a good fight or argument sometimes to blow off some steam. So I think men are encouraged to show their hard side, and women are encouraged to show only their soft side (even though I have a rough side too, men like this are always telling me that it’s not “the real me”. hahaha! what do they know! hahaha!)

    me – Absolutely agree, yes this does happen specially the last part of telling a woman the rough side of her is not the real her!! I think it is a subtle way of saying they would rather this wasn’t the real you! Of course we can’t really be who we are not and definitely not for long…

    Like

  37. Wow. I just happened to find this post as I was surfing the net. Any man who is violent with a woman does not love her – he feels ownership over her, and that is completely different than love. See Corinthians 3:14 for the definition of love. I divorced my first husband after he punched me. My now and forever husband would never dream of violence toward me – he tells me he loves me every day, treats me with kindness and respect. In turn, I happily would do just about anything for him. We have each other’s undying loyalty. He is not laughed at by other men, but is in fact, a very successful business owner in construction and has several employees. Everyone who knows him respects him. However, he does not consider me his slave. For instance, if I am feeling ill, he will make a meal and take our daughter to school. He is always offering to help me with housework, but I just smile sweetly and tell him that because he works hard to support me, and because I appreciate how he loves me, I am taking care of everything at home – from cooking to cleaning, to yardwork. He still sneaks in some help now and then, and I sometimes help him with work – last week, I helped him paint the inside of a building – that way he doesn’t have to pay hired help, and our family keeps the profit. We are a team, and that is how marriage should be. I am so sorry where you live in a culture that accepts violence to women, and sees it not for the horrible, sadistic, controlling act that it is, but for a condition of a man’s embarrassment. Those men SHOULD be embarrassed. I cry for all abused women, and so does Jesus.

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  38. Pingback: “My relation with my ex was dead because he was never available for me in person or over phone… The feel is being repeated.” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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