When I was pretty young, I read a book that my mother gave me that changed the way I thought about men. The Fascinating Girl by Helen B. Andelin, is a book written in 1969 by a wife and mother of 8 children – 4 sons and 4 daughters. Her book (as well as her other books) seek to help women understand men at the most fundamental level of what men desire or need in their life concerning their relationships with women.
One of the strangest things that I never realized before, and probably wouldn’t have realized at all if it weren’t for my mother & her book, was that men are held to higher standards of expectations in society. From the beginning of time, it has always been this way. Rollo Tomassi, author of The Rational Male (Vol I) & The Rational Male: Preventive Medicine (Vol II), writes that Men are expected to perform.
For Men, there is no true rest from performance. To believe so is to believe in women’s mythical capacity for a higher form of empathy which would predispose them to overriding their innate hypergamous filtering based on performance.
Women will never have the same requisites of performance for themselves for which they expect men to maintain of themselves. Hypergamy demands a constant, subliminal reconfirmation of a man’s worthiness of her commitment to him, so there is never a parallel of experience.
Women will claim men “require” they meet some physical standard (i.e. performance) and while generally true, this is still a performance standard men have of women, not one they hold for themselves. There simply is no reciprocal dynamic or prequalification of performance for women, and in fact for a man to even voice the idea that he might qualify a woman for his intimacy he’s characterized as judgmental and misogynistic.
In Andelin’s chapter devoted to being sympathetic to men, she echos this enlightenment to women in hopes that they will be able to come to a better understanding of what men (even young men) face.
A woman ought always to understand the responsibilities a man faces in his future. Since most men plan to marry, they have, at least in the back of their minds, a picture of what this responsibility entails. They know that they will be faced with the social and economic responsibility of a wife and children for a lifetime. They also know that their family will look to them to be their guide and protector, and that they must grow into manhood if they are to fulfill this position. They may not spend a great amount of time worrying about it, but they are nevertheless aware of it. They know that if they are to succeed in this role as a man, they must make adequate preparation.
A woman’s preparation for the future is different. She is planning for marriage also, but this does not require economic responsibility. If she is employed, she knows that it need not last a lifetime – that others will not depend upon her for their daily bread. IF she is attending college or planning a career – a career out in the world, she knows that others will not depend upon her success, and that she will not be disgraced if she fails. She may change her mind, set down her burden at any time, without appearing a failure. She does these things – assumes these responsibilites by choice, without pressures for the future. Of course she may face unhappy or angry parents if she fails in school – but this problem she knows is only temporary. If she makes a success of her marriage, she will win their appreciation.
But with men – their college, career or their jobs are serious business. If they fail, they fail in their preparation for the future. Success in life itself is at stake. They must succeed if they are to fulfill their roles as men and provide for loved ones adequately.
Even in our modern society today, Andelin’s words still ring true. The only exception would be the plight of the single mother, who actually does feel the burden of performance that Tomassi speaks of, and yet, even with that she is not burdened in the same way as being marked a failure by society. Her marriage may have failed, yes, or she may have failed at “keeping a man,” and of course, there are social slights she will deal with concerning those conceptions. However, even a single mother has access to financial aid, grants for college, emotional care, comfort and overall, a greater amount of empathy from society than a man will ever have. Even though she feels the burden of being the sole bread winner, the other passes she’s given for being a woman lessen the overall burden she may feel to perform.