For the couple of weeks, Mr. Ashbury has had a cold. I’m sure by now, most of you have seen that British-made video on YouTube, called “the man cold”. I’ve likely even referenced it before in one of these essays, myself. I know I’ve shared it with several women friends, and to a one, they’ve all said the same thing: “oh, my goodness, that is so my husband”, or words to that affect.
The reason the video is so funny to women, is because men, for the most part, become helpless when they’re sick—even if that sickness is nothing more than a cold.
I’m not one of those people who thinks it’s anti-woman or anti-man to talk about the differences between the genders. There are differences between men and women, physiological differences, and anyone who doesn’t understand that is doing themselves, and all those around them, a very big disservice.
While there are some men who are exceptionally thoughtful, who will cater to their women with a degree of insight that can be considered uncanny, these men are not the norm. If they were, romance books, such as the ones I write, would have no market. Men and women were created for different functions, to ensure the best possible chance for the survival of the species. That is the truth and no amount of modern day revisionism is going to change that.
In fact, I wish we, as a society, would embrace the simple truth: men and women are equal, but different. We need to stop comparing men and women to justify our individual need to feel superior, one gender over the other. We’re equal but different. So let’s get on with it.
There are jobs and responsibilities that are better suited to men, because they call for the exercise of those qualities that are more innate in men. There are jobs and responsibilities that are better suited to women, because they call for the exercise of those qualities that are more innate in women. Does that mean only men can do some jobs and undertake certain responsibilities and vice-versa? Of course not. If you’re a woman and want to undertake what might be better suited for a man, or a man and want to undertake what might be better suited for a woman, you should be able to. Because if you want it badly enough, you won’t care that it doesn’t come as easy, or as naturally to you; you’ll work for it and make it happen.
But the differences are there, regardless. And the differences, when you think about them, really are quite splendid. It’s those differences combined that make the world go around.
I can recall an occasion, probably more than a decade ago, when I was driving and in the back seat, were my daughter, who’d just broken up with her fiancé, and my second daughter, who’d broken up with my son, Anthony. They were airing their grievances as young women do under such shared circumstance. They were each listing, one by one, the qualities they wanted their next love interest to have; specifically, they each wanted to find that lifelong mate they were certain was out there, waiting for them.
Of course, I wasn’t eavesdropping, as they were chatting quite openly. They wanted their mates to be sensitive to their moods, to listen when they wanted to complain about what was bothering them without making suggestions as to how the situation could be fixed. They wanted to find someone who would think of them often, who would be eager to share the minutia of their days, who wouldn’t be afraid to sit and talk about their feelings, and who would really be interested in the little things that they were interested in. The list went on and on, and as I listened, I began to smile and then, I’m sorry, I couldn’t help it, I laughed. They wanted to know what was so funny. Did I not think it possible for them to find mates with those qualities? Did they not deserve such spectacular specimens for themselves?
I assured them that they did indeed deserve, and could indeed find such wondrous people to marry, as long as they understood they would, in all likelihood, be marrying women. They thought about it for a bit, and then, somewhat dumbfounded, realized I was right.
Then I gave them the best advice I could think of. I told them that it’s easy for us women to want men to think and love and care for us in the same way we do them. It’s easy, but not realistic. What we really should want, and pray for, is for our men to think and love and care for us as real men should.