I believe the battle of the sexes ensued the minute Eve ate that fruit. Adam pointed the finger at Eve. Eve blamed the Serpent, and nobody took responsibility for their actions. It doesn't seem, for one minute, that Eve stopped to consider what her actions would cost Adam, and Adam figured, "Gee Eve, you only had one job!" Meanwhile, the side-chick, sorry I mean the Serpent, slithered off, saying, "Welp, that een non of my business!"
From the garden to now, I see a lesson to be learnt in just about everything. The details are right there; in the good, the bad and mainly the ugly (those are the best). For instance, after a breakup, don't think for a minute you were a great partner just because you didn't cheat. Inconsistency, insecurity, manipulation, and being overly critical made you a bit of a pill (hard to swallow). I'll give it to us ladies, a lot doesn't get done without us, but a lot crumbles because of us, too.
Look, it's not so much that there are bad men as much as you've just made bad choices in men and vice versa. When it comes to 'his and hers,' one item is meant for the male and the other the female. Only now, with the aroma of equality in the air, 'his and hers' are seen more apart than together.
In the beginning
Hear me out. Guy meets girl. Girl, no doubt, expects guy to foot the bill. If he doesn't, she's ready to call him just about everything but a child of the King. Heaven forbid the guy says, "Miss, this ain't 1955, we 'bout to go half on everything!" many women would have a conniption. Be that as it may, you are well within your rights to keep it moving until your knight-in-thug-life-armour comes along. I could be very wrong, but if you're asking a guy to come up 'money' on everything, then don't be mad if he's asking for reciprocation.
Come on, girls, like men, most times, we want our cake and eat it too. Or better yet, we want to spend our money and still keep it. This is not me being pessimistic, but ladies, what if all the equality we fight for never comes? Because no matter how you try to slice this, men and women are NOT now, nor have they ever been equal. Even if we were, I doubt many of us may like what that looks like in its natural form.
Case in point: I heard a talk show host ask a caller who disagreed with his 3 date rule one question. He said, "If men are expected to pay for everything while women try to decide how much of herself she is willing to give him—then shouldn't she pay for the dates until that's figured out?" Immediately, she went on the defensive, saying that's not what she's looking for. Now, don't throw a hissy fit and come for me in the comment section. Yes, like many females, I, too, appreciate a man who pays. It's what I've been accustomed to. But I'm not out here singing the "anything he can do I can do better" anthem. Call me old-fashion if you want; I (me NOT you) like the idea of conventional roles.
Lesson: Defining your expectation or lack thereof early on is not just necessary; it's mandatory.
'Cause let's be fair, if it's equality you want, should this not apply in all areas? You can't expect to hold on to certain ideals only when it's beneficial to you. We want men to be men but are we as women willing to be what that looks like in a man's mind? We're borderline offended when they prefer a domestic but trophy-wife. Just as he should be offended if you expect him to be priest, protector and provider while you catch flights and not feelings on his dime. Girlfriend, if you have a 'what's his is ours, but what's mine is mine' mindset, you're in for a rude awakening. I read a tweet some time ago that said something to the effect of 'if we move sex from the equation, many (not all) women ain't gat a thing to bring the table.' Let me tell you, in my soul, I felt that. Honestly, if a man has means, why should he pick you? Just as if you're the one with 'means,' you'd want someone on your level. Fair, right?
Time is of the essence
Be not deceived; I'm well aware times have changed. Women have absolutely upped the ante, and the girl power is lighting up the world. Us flipping the script, though, has definitely altered traditional roles. BUT someone will always carry more of the weight. All I want you to understand is if you're going to call the shots, then ma'am, that person is you. Now, with all this bag securing on the lady's side, I get how that may be intimidating to man, and hey, it's not your fault. However, if you have put yourself in the driver's seat, don't expect the passenger to steer the car.
I remember playing doll-house with some lady's son. I told him right off the bat, I was not prepared to do anything domestic as long as we were just dating. I wouldn't wash his clothes, clean his house, cook meals, or iron; I mean not one iota of housework. Why? Because I had done that before and ended up right where I began. Forget the milk; I was a classic example of why should he buy the cow when I had the steak home, cooked and waiting for him. Needless to say, I had a change of heart when life for both of us got booked and busy. So there I was, thinking I was stepping up to the plate by offering to take some of these must-do's off mister's hands. Chall, please, only to be told, "I don't need you for nothing!" Errrrr!!! Hunnay, can you say I was a walking billboard of 'if in my feelings was a person.'
Lesson: Don't give more of what already isn't appreciated.
I can't tell ya what it was for him, but it was the sense of feeling utterly useless that did it for me. The chain reaction only left one thing clear, it was time to queue up Boys II Men's End of the Road. The message was plain as day, and I was not about to give him another opportunity to say he didn't want me. This 'his and her' subscription had expired, and what was initially a perfect fit became an imperfect match. I had a decision to make, and as the saying goes, pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional. So I opted out.
Lesson: Everything has an expiry date, and consuming things past that date is likely to make you sick.
Clean the closet or come out
No matter if you live behind the gates or in the heart of the ghetto, everyone wants to know what the other person brings to the table. I'll have to say wholeness is now the most in-demand. I'm not talking buns and thighs. I mean being communicative, mature, open and empathetic. Believe me, there's nothing worse than talking, and there's is no comprehension. I learned (the hard way) it's not what you say but what the other person hears. Imagine those videos that go viral with school kids and their math questions. "If Mary has 5 apples and John ate 2, how much is Mary left with?" Even after providing visual aids of holding up fingers and counting, a kid will look you square in the eye and still give the wrong answer. Now picture that in a relationship!
Maturity does not mean a fully developed anatomy. It means seeing that sometimes you're wrong, apologizing and then making the correction. Openness means you're not easily offended or triggered. It is the capacity to hear criticism while remaining receptive. It's the ability to have the hard conversations minus the attitude. Agreeing to disagree but still peaceably coexisting. Empathy means you're willing to understand your partner's feelings as if they were your own. Not disregarding them because you think they're invalid. Are you ready to care about this person's feelings as much as you regard your own? I'll admit my mouth has been the source of some issues that could have been avoided and resolved if I took the time to get out of 'self.'
Lesson: Don't be so happy to claim you've won the argument that you lose the whole man.
Clean this House
We've become masters of mines, not yours, me rather than you, I and my. All possessive pronouns that only widens the degree of separation. Ironically, the things that make us different shouldn't be the thing that divides us.
We wanna normalize everything but knowing our role. Whether you want to admit it or not, we all are playing a role. Scripture puts that all in perspective when it says: If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear? Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything? (1 Corinthians 12:17 NLT). In other words, not only know your function but do it and do it well. You don't see the sun acting like it can be a better moon or the sea acting like its land.
Yes, love, you can absolutely do or be whatever your little heart desires. If you want to be a king, go do it! Just know that that comes with a set of terms and conditions. Yes, a man should take care of his home but ask yourself what the female equivalent of that looks like. Can you accept correction, or do you always need to be right? Will you consult on the decision-making or do as you deem fit? You can be a boss chick all day, every day, and twice on Sundays, but bossy doesn't go over well at home. Not if you want a real man.
Lesson: Adjust that expectation, or you'll get got!
The concept of 'his and hers' in itself bares differences. There are qualities in each product that differentiate one from the other. The male object is usually more prominent, and the female's sleeker. They are rarely EVER equal. They complement each other they don't compete. If you find that you're in a competition with your partner, then what you're involved in is a game and sad to say, someone will be played. 'His and hers' are meant to identify whole articles of the same design. But each will function for whom it was intended. The 'his and her' vanity doesn't exist in different locations; they are usually in the same house, in the same room.
As a woman, I know it feels like we're expected to be all things to all men. But that's not the case. You'll be what you agree to, whether knowingly or unknowingly. The 'his and hers' function doesn't look the same for everyone. It's not a one-size-fits-all approach. F.Y.I—you can't be the follower and leader, sun and moon, alpha and omega—pick one. 'His and hers' represent two sides of the same coin. Without one side, the currency is not spendable (good for nothing). Both sides are necessary to the whole. As Larry Dixon said, "if two people are exactly alike, then one of them is unnecessary!"
Lesson: There is no such thing as the better half.