Why “I Can Take Care of Myself” is Such a Blow to Men

I was recently watching a TV show and a male character was trying to explain to the girl he’s fallen for that his (perhaps) misguided decision was only made because he wanted to take care of her. Her angry response was the cliche, feminist, I am Woman Hear Me Roar “I can take care of myself!” (Though really she wasn’t as nasty as she was confused and hurt.) But it struck me just how rough that sentence must be for a guy to hear.

Men are wired to be caretakers, protectors. Just like women they want to feel needed. While we seek attention and affection as our means of validation men will strive to prove themselves in different ways. When we tell them that we don’t need them, that they aren’t important, that their protective instincts are wrong, I can only imagine what a punch in the gut that is.

Imagine if you, as a woman, tried to do something nice for your guy. Maybe you cook something for him, or get his car washed when it really needs it, or make sure to record college football. Now you present him with your soufflé, his shiny clean car, or the DVD of the game. And he says: “I didn’t need you to do that! I can do it myself!” How do you think you would feel?

Thing is men do have feelings (I think) and self-esteem. And they can be hurt just as we can. We shouldn’t bite their head off because they did something nice for us. We should thank them, if for no other reason than common courtesy. This extends to just about everything, including a man opening a door for us. If he holds open a door don’t turn your nose up or get mad because you can do that yourself. No. Thank him.

We can do a lot of things for ourselves. If a man doesn’t believe that then you can go ahead and yell at him. But don’t ever belittle his attempts to fulfill the calling God has placed in the very nature of his heart. Respect that he is made to be a protector. And accept his attempts as one of his ways of showing the affection your heart seeks.

Chivalry is dead, in large part, because feminism killed it. I know I’ve said this before but it’s more than worth repeating. Chivalry lives on in a few men, but if we continue to tell them “I can take care of myself” they may come to believe they aren’t needed and that their desire to be kind and protecting is wrong or misplaced. The world needs men to step up, one way this might happen is if we women step back and allow them to do nice things for us. Yes, we can do it ourselves but we can also let someone else be chivalrous enough to do it for us.

It occurred to me that there a few different things lately that have brought me to this post. One, which I’d like to share, is this status from Made in His Image’s Facebook page

“I held a door open for a woman on a date and she said, ‘You don’t have to do that because I’m a woman,’ and I said, ‘I didn’t; I held it open because I’m a man.'” #gentleman (Made in His Image on Facebook )

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