“Insecure people can be vicious.”—A Course in Miracles
What began as an angry outburst ended with a stunning revelation.
My Man and I were watching Law & Order on TV. There was one scene where 4 female detectives were chasing down the bad guys, about to solve the case.
And My Man, who is utterly supportive of me, says: “Hey, how come it’s all women on screen? Are there any men in this show?”
I was aghast. “I don’t believe you just said that,” I exclaimed, smoke coming out my nostrils.
Was My Man a closet chauvinist? He clearly didn’t like watching all these women in power. I had never seen this side of him before.
I was pissed. He had no idea why.
I tried to explain his comment was yet another example of women being marginalized, minimized by men. Something I’ve lived with my whole life. Something I’ve been working so hard to change. Something that’s caused me a lot of pain.
He fell silent for a few minutes, quietly pondering his reaction. I never expected what he said next. I know, for a fact, he didn’t either.
“I don’t have a problem with powerful women,” he explained softly. “The problem is that if women get too much power, men will have too little. Then there’s no place left for a man to be a man.”
We were both quiet for a bit (stunned may be the better word), then he continued. “I’m afraid if it’s not a man’s world, I’ll be playing the previous role women had, a diminished role. I don’t want to be in a diminished role.”
At that moment, I felt My Man could be speaking for millions of others. Behind his dismissive remark was a deep insecurity, albeit unconscious.
Suddenly my anger at chauvinism morphed into compassion for males. How many other men are threatened by powerful women, as if there’s only so much power to go around?
Believe me, I’m not making excuses for misogyny or gender discrimination. But this little tiff got me thinking.
I’ve been so focused on empowering women. Perhaps it’s time to educate our men. Clearly, they’re as afraid of our power as we are.
Men need to know we’re not seeking domination. That’s not how we work. We genuinely want partnership. We want to share power, not usurp it.
I’ll tell you one thing…my little outburst has led to some fascinating discussions. I’d love your comments. Have you ever had a similar experience with men in your life?