Men and women are beautifully different. Each gender has, in general, certain benefits, pressures and expectations in life and society. I’d like to explain a bit more of what drives the average man in daily life from my own perspective.
I enjoy being a man. I like the fact that I make more money than the average woman, because I spend more money on women than I do on myself anyway. This seems to fit in well with everything else I know about the relationship between genders, with man as protector, hunter, provider, etc. and the woman as nurturer and caretaker. I appreciate feminism but I have never been with a woman who didn’t appreciate her own position in a relationship with me as well. I respect and admire women in general and would do almost anything for a woman I love, as long as I am not taken for granted. I think that’s all most men really want, to give all they have and for it to be considered enough to make someone else happy. All I can ask any woman is to be the lover and respite I desire when needed, and never to forget me.
There is so much more to this quality of sacrifice that I want to talk about. Women are expected to be variously beautiful and good mothers, to fit in with cliques of other women and to be faithful, as well as myriad other complicated social ways and mores based on particular culture or religion. As a man I, on the other hand, am constantly assessing myself against other men in terms of financial, physical, and sexual prowess. I live in constant concern over these things as if I could lose everything when a more successful man interferes, or even just by losing my own position. And this is the crux of the issue: as a man, I know without a doubt that I am not as valuable as a woman. These things I consider worthwhile pursuits are merely the least worthless achievements possible for me. I cannot taste the slice of immortality that comes from having a child and providing for it as only a mother can. My sole purpose in life is a figurehead, a giant statue set at the door to keep others away, which could be replaced as needed by another serving a very similar function. And when war is called, I will go and she will stay. My only goal is to live in her memory as a hero. In this way we men will come and go, living lives violent and short, hoping to make a mark. Those not capable of violence will endeavor to be capable and aggressive in any other form available.
A woman’s goal in life is to make life. A man’s goal in life is to give his life. Those of us who accept this fate are the men who understand the nature of war and care more for others than possessions or themselves. Volumes of books can be filled on the various ways many men attempt to deny the truth of their lives’ worth. But if I need someone in the trenches next to me, I will choose the man with the sorrow of real knowledge of his position in life any day. And in the mean time, I will gather around me those men I see as most fit for this very purpose, and look for that one woman who will remember me most clearly.