Punchy AdviceArchives

July 27, 1995


"Offended Yesterday" writes back to Kelsey:
I read your response and wanted to, well, respond. See, the thing is, I've lived in Europe for a lotta years now. Americans have this thing about wanting men to be like women. They aren't like women.

I have a theory about men: You know why women seem to like to argue and men don't? It's because, with men, there is always the tacit understanding that if you get pissed off enough, you're going to hit somebody. So men tend to weigh how angry they are against this implicit understanding. Most men learn somewhere around the age of ten that they have to control their tempers and not slug Billy at the slightest provocation. This is an incredible act of self-socialization. That men will get up in the middle of the night when their beloveds hear a bump in the kitchen, and armed only with their fists and their jockey shorts, go investigate, is almost entirely unsung about men.

If you hadn't noticed, I like men. I think they are great. I don't want them to be like women. It is true that men don't tend to operate romantically as women would want them to. Sure, I wish my fabulous husband would say he loved me more often. But he tells me in a lot of ways that aren't verbal, like killing any insect that sneaks into my home, taking responsibility for all those really drippy, disgusting things in the refrigerator that I can't bring myself to touch, lots of stuff. I wouldn't trade him for anybody -- not even Brad Pitt.

So rather than women taking responsibility for turning men into women with willies, maybe women can take responsibility for learning to appreciate all that great manly stuff about men. I think, were I a man, I'd really hate hooking up with a succession of women who wanted to fundamentally alter my character.

Kelsey Kelsey answers
I think you are a very wise woman. You are — quite rightly — making the distinction between a woman trying to change a man versus allowing him to explore other aspects of himself. See, I believe that men do have powerful feelings, but they don't know how to express them. Any relationship depends on both partners accepting who the other person is. In relation to the original question, I would only add that women can also learn to appreciate and love the feminine side of a man, even if the man himself isn't well connected to it. And this requires total love and acceptance of him as a man.

"Eugene Unterobergammer" asks Punjabi:
I'm designing brochures for my training business. I'm not a designer, although I'm deluded enough to think I have some style. How do I know what will attract customers?
Punjabi Punjabi answers:
A wise and very successful businessman once told me: "The secret to my success is that if I find someone who can do something better than I can, I hire them." You need not know how to design a brochure to attract customers, you need only know how to find someone who does.

Shelly asks Drizzle:
How can I get rid of my boyfriend's jealous and overprotective behavior?
Drizzle Drizzle answers:
You can't get rid of his behavior.

He can get rid of his behavior.

Or you can get rid of him.

What is it that you like about this behavior that keeps you with him?


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