The Struggle Over the years, I’ve often wondered what is it about men and women that caused us to be so different, and to think so differently. I’ve tried to understand men, rationalize their thought processes and to be honest it seems unfathomable. Is it the hormones that flow so freely through our bodies or maybe the pheromones in the air? Or perhaps its an emotional thing? No one can say for sure, but these were the questions that coursed through my veins as read Daphne Buckram’s essay called, “Perspective on Men. Less clear to me that don’t understand men and they simply don’t understand me.
Our uniqueness, our differences only draw us closer with no reason or rhyme, it just simply is. Daphne used her father as a point of reference for her essay. Throughout this paper I will also use my own father. As I became an adult, I thought my relationship with my father would help guide me my relationships with men. Boy was wrong, it turns out wouldn’t know a healthy relationship if it slapped me in the face. So I began my research with biblical references, self-help books, chicken soup for the soul, ND Daphne?s “Perspective on Men” as I struggled to understand the differences between men and women.
Even though I still don’t understand men, I found that men and women are more similar than originally thought. These revelations began to unravel when I was about 13 as I visited my father’s church. You see my mother and father had different churches and different religions, it’s a long story. Anyway, so it was rare that got to see my father in action at church. I remember watching him saunter to the front of the congregation and ask the audience to bow their heads. He began to pray: t was a strong and well devised prayer as if he had rehearsed tit 1000 times before.
But as time passed slowly (this seemed like the longest prayer ever) his lips began to quiver, he stammered over a few words as tears began to stream down his face one by one. This peeked my curiosity with my head bowed and one eyebrow raised to zero in on dad’s tears and the other eye closed as if were deep in prayer. In my day, Dads just didn’t cry very often, my dad was much like Daphne, “a rock, hard and unmoving. ” Unlike Daphne, it didn’t take me many years to realize what was presented to me in that small own church one Sunday morning. That, “these men cried, they made mistakes, and they could feel,” they were human.
My Dad always seemed invincible, he was an honest, hardworking man. Most of his time was spent dedicated to the job but in his free time I can remember being glued to his side; chewing on my Big League chewing gum like it was the black tobacco he used to spit. I could see the tobacco as it rolled around in his mouth and stuck to the front of his slightly tarnished teeth, and then he hocked it into a can and passed it to me for my gum. If you looked up the definition of daddy s title girl in Merriam Webster Dictionary you would see my name there sitting in the list of synonyms.
Daphne alluded to men being independently strong and well rooted in her example, “l Saw in Louisiana a Live-oak Growing” by Walt Whitman. My dad epitomized the Live-Oak tree, as a mechanic by trade saw him hoist engine blocks over his head, to me you may as well said he can leap tall buildings in a single bound. He never seemed to grow old, never seemed to grow tired or weak. Rooted by his faith and admiration for God, he truly was “the master of his environment. “The Love Song of J. Alfred Froufrou,” by T. S Eliot, Daphne presented a much more fragile man, an insecure unworthy fool of sorts.
Now my Dad is no punk but certain life experiences can break a man down to make him feel meek, humble, and small. I experienced this with him only once. Was on vacation with my future husband in Jamaica living life to it’s fullest. Somehow the sun there seemed brighter, the breeze seemed swifter, and the air was so sweet when received a disturbing phone call. My mom seemed rather frazzled and she asked me if I Was sitting down. She had never asked me this type Of question before; so I took a deep breathe to absorb some of the sweetness in the air as braced myself.
She exclaimed my dad was in intensive care with five blockages in his heart and I needed to rush home. I managed to arrive later that day right before they were going to operate. I held his hand, then I looked into his eyes and for the first time saw the insecurity, the weakness, and doubt draped across a slight wrinkle in his forehead. He was vulnerable, I had to ensure that when he looked back into my eyes he saw the strength he ad instilled, the hint of confidence in my touch, and the reverence of God in the foundation he rooted me in.
I assured him it was going to be k. I was determined to be as strong for him as he was for me since birth; all in one concentrated dose, “pressed down, shaken, and running over,” as grand as the many blessings that we’ve received. Daphne used these poems to demonstrate they are just as complex, evolving, and contrasting as the man in her life, her father. She ties the two poems together by giving her childhood account of wanting a dog. One day a stray approached her and she wanted to pep him so she pleaded with her father. Of course, he said no she couldn’t keep it.
Yet somehow the dog ended up living with their family for several years after that. Her examples shed light on her Dad’s sensitive side as well as her Dad’s masculinity and his ability to go back and forth between these characteristics with ease. Surprisingly, I had been so focused on all the differences between men and women that I had missed the boat completely on all the similarities. When you breakdown what this essay is really about the answer is stereotypes. The ones we associate ourselves with and the ones hat other people lump categorize us into.
Since when did having emotions and expressing emotions become a gender thing or a race thing? Expressing emotions is simply part of being human. When I took a deep look at myself understanding the differences between men and women wasn’t my struggle. My struggle was letting go of all the stereotypes in my life. I realized I don’t need to understand all men, only the ones I have a relationship with.