For those of you who’ve previously read and revisited this blog site to review the comments, let me acknowledge that I took down my blog last night and offer insight as to why I opted to do so.
First, I did not do so because of the “flak” I received (as TW put it), but because of the constructive comments offered.
I did not write and point to any one individual, and I feel that this is perhaps where I went astray.
I appreciate TW’s comments regarding knowing me as an individual, and thus had the insight to know that I am not misogynistic. However, after the comment, I was reminded of an email communication I’d written to an individual some time ago in a professional setting which I wrote with one intent, and it was received with another. Had the communication has been presented verbally to him in that case; it would not have been misconstrued. I recognize that studies reveal that 93% of what we say is communicated through our nonverbal expression and tone and that only 7% of what is said is actually communicated in spoken words. Thus, in this particular piece of writing, I recognize how much of the intent was lost in expression.
Granted, I made a blatantly over generalized statement seeking feedback and perspective on my perception and insight from the outside.
And while some responses returned equally generalized comments… in this case, I’m referring to a couple of comments that offered equally blanket, generalized statements such as “moms handle the kids and dads get to be the fun guy, moms do all the planning and organizing,” etc.
But, understand that also fresh on my mind is a recent conversation I had with a few female co-workers regarding stereotypical remarks that were made to me stating that I wouldn’t understand about household chores because I was a male. One said her husband didn’t know there were dials on the washing machine or dryer. I sat on the other side of blanket generalizations that I didn’t receive so well either, because (and you can ask my wife), I not only know that those buttons exist, I know how to use them, and I do use them doing my fair share of the wash. I consistently help cook and clean the dishes afterwards. I do my part in cleaning our home, scrubbing toilets, vacuuming carpet, cleaning mirrors, dusting (okay, I’m not so good at dusting), etc. In fact, one evening while my wife was away celebrating the last day of school in a night out with the girls, I cleaned our entire home to prepare it for the company that was arriving the next day…without being asked. And, on the other side of that coin, I am blessed with a wife who does the same. When I came home from work yesterday, she had mowed the yard and straightened the house in time for the company that was to arrive later in the day. So, in our home, it is a two-way street; but I feel ostracized when blanket generalizations are made that I do not contribute to the household chores.
And perhaps I should take from my own experience not to turn and do the same by making blanket statements about others whom I know nothing. Thus, out of respect, I pulled what I wrote thankful for having posted and for the feedback that I was given both from the female perspective and the offerings of the males who voiced their feelings as well.
Some offered thoughtful wisdom, such as “If you're looking for something you will find it.” Perhaps you are right. Additionally, I was challenged to label the behaviors appropriately (i.e. “verbally/emotionally abusive” as opposed to using the term “b!+che$”). Insight was offered stating that it was inappropriate to judge others, which is NOT my place to do, for an “isolated incident.” I agree. Furthermore, the question was posed regarding the male behavior we witnessed. My wife answered this question when pointing out that the most “verbally/emotionally abusive” person we witnessed was a [grown] male in an all-out assault on a female (either his wife or girlfriend), and this led to an in-depth family conversation about how his actions were inappropriate for my son/daughter to ever display to a female/male, and how her actions were inappropriate for my daughter/son to ever take.
However, in our observations, at a place where we had an opportunity to witness a great number of families interacting with one another, the number of females on verbal tirades far outnumbered those by men. At the same time, there were many, many, many positive family interactions that surrounded us; but they were not the point of the observation hypothesis.
Some interesting dialogue also ensured about the semantics of the blogs (i.e. the definition of a b!+ch). I personally do not see a “strong” or outspoken woman and label her a b!+ch. I recognize this was lost in translation and subject to interpretation based solely on what was written and recorded. We should all be so strong to express our needs, but in a healthy way. My wife, for example, is a “strong” woman, and yet she is intentional in her reactions, carefully considering her actions and interactions with those whom she loves. Others I/we observed (and experienced) do not have such restraint, and thus crossed the line into “verbal/emotional abusive.” I could hypothesize that it is a pattern in these individuals’ lives (based upon their specific comments that were made to their loved ones), but I could not ever really know this for a fact as pointed out by those who offered comments to the posting.
So, in closing, I reiterate, I am thankful for the perspective you all have offered. If nothing else, I take with me the lesson to read and reread my postings and consider how the details that are behind the scenes and left out of a piece of writing can perceived differently from the initial intent. And out of respect for the number of females who I know far exceed the 10% I suggested, I’ve taken a step back, reminded myself that “feelings aren’t facts,” and I’ve taken down my initial diatribe, and I leave you with these final thoughts.