Monday, August 3, 2009

My love...My Wonder...My Weakness or Casualties in the Battle of the Sexes.

I absolutely LOVE women.

Like a chef admires the various vegetables, herbs, & spices. Like a writer is enchanted by words, rhythm, & meter. Like a visual artist enjoys color. Like a musician loves sound. I love women. I often think of the song "Thank Heaven for Little Girls," & though I'm not big on musicals, I enjoy this song in particular for its simplicity & honesty. From an early age I admired girls from afar. I watched in wonder at how they loved to dance, reveled in the sound of their laughter, & set adrift on their smile. There was always a secret, underlying fascination with them despite the boasts of cooties & numerous games pitting "boys against girls." No matter the challenge, the boys always won. As I grow older, I've began to, how the tables have turned.
I don't indemnify myself at all. Once things began to change from the innocent fascination to the complications of adolescence & young adulthood, a majority of the blame for failed relationships fell upon me. Some people have it all figured out early on. Others need the bumps and bruises of experience to gain that wisdom. Despite it all, my love remained; though all the while my awareness grew.
Recently, I had the opportunity to view "500 Days of Summer." I enjoyed it thoroughly. It was a very engaging tale of a moment in a young mans life enamored by who he believes is the "one." Throughout the tale the narrator is sure to remind the audience that this story is not a love story, & though love is a central element to the narrative...technically speaking, he's right. Summer, the object of Tom's (the protagonist) affections (& agitations), is the girl every romantic has known. The one that set the world on fire, only to leave ashes. The story hit home, but then I began to wonder. Throughout "High Fidelity," "The Apatow Trilogy," and even the new HBO series "Hung," there's such an interesting phenomena that is becoming so common as of late.
Recently, I read an article posted on entitled "The Argument Against Seth Rogen." While I enjoy Rogen's entire catalogue, the title sparked my curiosity. Within it, entertainment correspondent James Bassil delves into the persona that is common within the majority of characters Rogen portrays. Bassil argues that the new archetype that Rogen's characters promote is, as the Washington Post's Ellen McCarthy views, "the modern-day male: aimless & irresponsible." Bassil continues on the danger of continuing this archetype stating that...

"The new male ideal bucks all of those that preceded it in that it requires no ambition or aspiration to fulfill; if anything, it encourage us to regress, or at the very best, accept those worst parts of ourselves that we should have already matured out of."

Those traits are bolstered by many of the male characters of today, men whose best days are behind them, turned a good thing bad, lack backbone, or are completely clueless. Am I a victim of the media I consume, or has the dynamic between man and women changed?
Just a few days ago, I was hanging with a lady friend who was asking me and others for advice on a certain situation between her & this guy she had just met. I don't like offering my opinion on situations involving people that I don't know, so I just laid back and observed. What I noticed was interesting to say the least.
Now, I used to half-believe the philosophy and laugh hysterically at the "Swingers" scene that discussed how long to wait to call a girl that you've just met, but this situation that I was witnessing was far from that. After attempts to "decode" a simple text message, a summit convened about when to contact this poor guy back and how to do it, via text message or phone call. Explanations were offered to as why one method would be better than another to ensure that the power lied within the hands of the female, where it, quote, "belonged."
Perhaps it was a joke that I took too seriously, but I couldn't help but begin to think of voicemail messages that went unreturned, text messages answered days later, & meetings/dates that were continually postponed. Memories began to arise of times in which the common dichotomy shifted and females offered to buy me drinks and ask me for my number (not that I had or have ANY problem with that...I'm an equal opportunity supporter). I would be lying if I didn't say the situation at hand wasn't a tad bit disconcerting.
I began to wonder if the female perspective of men had completely swung in the direction of what was being argued in the article as the new popular male archetype, "moronic, childish, irresponsible, & easy to manipulate."
Perhaps I'll never know, but what I do know is some things are better left unknown. The battle of the sexes will always remain, and while each side will argue that they're continually unable to "get" the other, I wouldn't have it any other way, for the fact that there is still such mystery to discover is exciting to me.
I'm already naturally drawn to so much of what makes a woman, a WOMAN. The curves of their hips. The outline of their lips. The supple, softness of their skin. The scent of their hair. Even the light of their smile, their enjoyment of the dance, & the sound of their laughter still inspire me to this day. I know hindsight is 20/20, but I think I've always believed that in many ways women have always held a power over men. It's a shame when they lose sight of it or allow past lovers who have jilted them to extinguish that light. What is even more disappointing is when we allow ourselves to get so caught up in the "game" we play so well, that nothing substantial forms or remains in its wake.
I know brother James said it best when he sang, "It's a man's world...but it wouldn't be nothing without a woman or a girl," but life is many things, compromise being one of them. Love should be as well.

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