DISCUSSION

02/14/2012


"The president's budget is a gloomy reflection of his failed policies of the past, not a bold plan for America's future...  The president offered a collection of rehashes, gimmicks and tax increases that will make our economy worse."

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio
 

A Faithful Reader Makes a Request

12/21/2011

Today I received a letter from a long time reader asking two things:

1)  Please do an analysis investigating why women (almost unanimously) cannot be good, competent and competitive "equals" in the workplace without suffering the typical backlash. 

Typical backlash is defined as follows:

  1. Branded a lesbian, whore or bitch

  2. Looked down upon for choosing work over family

  3. Subjected to a veritable cornucopia of varying attacks, including sexual harassment.

2)  Please do not publish her letter since she felt as though she was rambling and scatter-brained and did not want people to criticize her delivery over scrutinizing the subject.

I, for one, did not think she rambled or went on ad nauseum.  I agreed with the spirit, direction and scope of her editorial and have chosen to take the subject up. 

First, one has to acknowledge that she is correct in order to properly investigate the subject.  I, as a father of four daughters, who has worked in varying environments where women were quite prevalent in the workplace, agree that women are treated completely differently in the workplace (for the most part).  Like the reader, I know that the mistreatment comes by the hands of women as much as, if not more so, than by the hands of men.  And I believe that the problem in large part resides there.  Additionally, I am of the opinion that women are not now, nor have they been for the past 40 years, being raised in a manner suitable for being engaged in a competitive work force.

I plan to give this some thought before I opine and I open it up to discussion for all.  I did offer a bit of advice/insight into the subject and I will share it with you.  First, let me say that I am using the "male" as the standard - NOT A BENCHMARK!:

In my 40+ years of experience, I have noticed the following: 

Women attack each other, mercilessly and unnecessarily.  They see each other as a threat whereas men rarely do.  Men compete with one another when there is something to compete for and "to the victor go the spoils" - then they go out and drink together.  "Females" have a tendency to compete for sport - all of the time - with everyone, lose poorly, win poorly and hold grudges.  For women, all previous competitors are forever enemies. 

Men engage in camaraderie; women rarely do.  It is further my experience, that boys are taught from a very early age that "every man has his part to play".  Whether or not you are capable of being the star athlete, even the water boy has his place - glamorous or not.  Women, historically, have not received that education and it shows.

Then there are the utter differences...  The things that defy explanation in their wild differentiation:

Daddy issues for men cause them to become competitive and strive for greatness, seeking approval from the one who never gave it.  Daddy issues for girls tend to make them seek the strip pole or become overtly promiscuous, ensuring that their father will never be proud of them.  Mommy issues make women distant and cold, almost guaranteeing the same reaction from their offspring.  The same issues cause men to become clingy and effeminate and often make them doting parents...  

Women, through art, mass media, toys, cartoons, TV shows, family members and peer pressure are made to feel that "image" is far more important than "ego".  Pumps that make your calves look hot, pants that make your ass look great, bras that do things to your boobs that defy logic.  Men have no such thing - we can't even compare.  Moreover, lipstick that makes men think you could suck the chrome off a hitch ball?  I'm not even sure I'd like that!  Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, liposuction, implants, botox...  Seriously???  Injecting Botulism Toxin - just to look good??  Here's my unedited thought on that:  You may look younger, but you're stupid for doing it - too stupid, in fact, for me to find you attractive. 

I agree, it's an uphill battle for so many of the fairer sex in the workplace.  Sadly, so much of the battle is fought against themselves and those that should be their allies.  Men, of late, have actually become a bit more accepting of women and are no longer the obstacle they used to be.  Now, if we could just get the girls to play well with one another, the media to start focusing on what's important and men to forget that they love to play with the women when the lights are low - we'd be all set!

Let's get this discussion rolling.

 

AND HERE IS RESPONSE #1

Please do an analysis investigating why women (almost unanimously) cannot be good, competent and competitive "equals" in the workplace without suffering the typical backlash. 

Typical backlash is defined as follows:

a.       Branded a lesbian, whore or bitch

b.      Looked down upon for choosing work over family

c.       Subjected to a veritable cornucopia of varying attacks, including sexual harassment.

Dear Faithful Reader (& Merlin),

Being a long time reader of Merlin’s I have always directed my responses to him and did not address any specific Merlfan. However, when I read your question, I related and wanted to reach out to you. Merlin did, however, clarify that your statement was directed toward women working with women. I still wanted to reach out, but for a different reason - That I felt bad for you.

I believe Merlin is well intended but it’s still from a man’s perspective and no matter how in tuned or understanding the man is, he cannot think like a woman, feel like a woman, or truly understand her plight because he is still just an observer. {Merl's words}  I take exception to this - though I will leave it alone.  As a smart man told me, women feel, men see. And lets be honest, the sexes are simply wired differently.

My perspective is that of a woman in the corporate work force for 20 years. I worked my way up from staff accountant and I am now quite successful, well respected in large developer circles as well as the real estate industry. Historically I have personally found prejudice was more at the hands of men rather than women, and although I still encounter it from time to time, I would not classify it as prevalent – but I work in a male dominated industry. Because of that, I sought out and was fortunate to be supported by several female VPs who worked with me to further my career, help me in areas that I was weak, and together we forged a women’s team within the greater company team. When I changed companies, I continued to build many new business relationships and bond with my female counter parts and associates. Yes, I compete with other women in my company in the same positions – fiercely. But then the clock hits 5 and we laugh, have a drink, and go for walks together. And I will credit my success to two people. First, to my mother who instilled in me that I could do anything I wanted but not because anything “boys can do girls can do”, or in spite of the fact I was a woman, but because I was a smart, strong, capable individual. Later in my career I had a mentor that showed me by example about work relationships and ethics. He never saw the sex of a person, just the individual. It was an enormous influence on my career. As a result I have, and continue to assist and mentor women as women have and continue to be instrumental in my success.

I have a 17 year old daughter who has watched me, learned from my example, and is now building her own glorious female bonds. She is strong, confident, and rather self assured for a young lady her age. I encourage her to compete for the important things in life. I continue to preach about the difference between that and coveting. But she competes against people, not the sex. She competes against herself. And I tell her that most fights she will get into is over boys and that is why she needs to find her self worth from within, and not from her success she may perceive is from a man or in the eyes of a man.

So, how does this help you? I see the problem as two prong. First, women have learned to compete in the workforce by watching men compete. We are fierce by nature but come equipped with far more feeling and compassion than men. We hold grudges, get vindictive, and appear to attack mercilessly because we get wounded. Rather than manage the hurt, we spring and attack the individual. Men see it and use it to further the divide and use it in the future to his advantage. To successfully overcome this, a woman needs to learn to remove the personal “I” from it. If you have been wronged, and if possible, go see her, close the door, and be honest. Get her to explain her perspective. You may not get the resolution you want. You may not agree. But you will earn her respect and the relationship will grow. Men don’t “feel” like women so they compete with different outcomes. Seek out strong, positive females in positions of authority. They usually are very sensitive to the success of other women and enjoy imparting their wisdom. Asking someone for guidance is a sign of respect, welcome by any gender. I’m not saying it always works or is possible, but no situation changes without you making changes to how you handle these challenges.

As far as Merlin’s broad brush generalization of the entire female population -  Daddy issues for girls tend to make them seek the strip pole or become overtly promiscuous, ensuring that their father will never be proud of them.  Mommy issues make women distant and cold, almost guaranteeing the same reaction from their offspring.  Shame on you. That thought process is almost as dated as the Madonna/Whore mentality. {Merl's words} No shame, I can haul an easy dozen in front of you immediately to prove my point.  In fact, I have scientific research on my side. 

But the next 2 sentences I whole heartedly agree but it fails to add who worships these images the mass media has deemed the ideal. Women, through art, mass media, toys, cartoons, TV shows, family members and peer pressure are made to feel that "image" is far more important than "ego".  Pumps that make your calves look hot, pants that make your ass look great, bras that do things to your boobs that defy logic.  Men have no such thing - we can't even compare. Merlin, you obviously have not been to any big city lately – San Fran, Chicago, NYC, Denver, LA…. The expensive suit, the car, the platinum T&E card, the man-scaping are relatively common in the highly competitive corporate world and are all part of the image the male is projecting. {Merl's words} Merl has been to plenty of big cities...  My point was that there are no industries pointed directly at us in an effort to create a false image of us in the eyes of women.  We do want to look good - that's a part of our competitive nature, but we are not struggling against a "Ken doll" image likened to the "Barbie" you guys are. Besides, who says Merl doesn't manscape!!??  Moreover, lipstick that makes men think you could suck the chrome off a hitch ball?  I'm not even sure I'd like that!  Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, liposuction, implants, botox...  Seriously???  Injecting Botulism Toxin - just to look good??  Here's my unedited thought on that:  You may look younger, but you're stupid for doing it - too stupid, in fact, for me to find you attractive.  And there you have the second part of the problem. That we do it for a man. The attention of a man. The favor of a man. The approval of a man. The respect of a man. “Too stupid for me to find you attractive”. Yes, even Merlin understands that we do it for a man … so he will notice us. {Merl's words} Yes, I know - you do do it for men.  Your sarcasm is noted, but the fact that women do make themselves look beautiful, by the measuring stick of men, means that you are - at the vary least, tacitly doing it for us.  I stand uncorrected.

So, what is part 2 of my words of wisdom? Men and women make beautiful chemistry together. That very dance is why the species continues. When women rely primarily on men to establish self worth and confidence, they fight each other for that nod of approval. Find your strength, determine your value by your own yard stick and be ok with it.

To come full circle:

A. Bitch and Whore became acceptable because we watched men call us that in the work place without repercussions. We need to stop emulating men and talk to each other with respect. {Merl's words} Gasp - I disagree...

B. The world would be a much nicer place if we stopped judging each other for our chosen profession, religion, hair color, shirt size….. If you don’t want to be judged for the choices you make, learn to not judge others for theirs. Specifically, women will always, predominately, be the ones society looks upon as the child rearers and will therefore always be judged for their choices.

C. I don’t know what you mean about sexual harassment. I’ll need you to expand on that, Merl. {Merl's words} Really?

Faithful Reader, in closing & from one woman to another, if there is anything I can do to help, please reach out to me.

Sincerely,

Wanting More

 

AND HERE IS RESPONSE #2

Merl,

I am going to insert some thought on the female topic as it seems no one else has.   I often ramble as well, however; I hope that you will not edit me due to my wordiness!    {Merl's words} -Uhhh, nope, never would edit for wordiness...  Have you ever noticed how my rambling tends to go on?? 

1. “Women see each other as a threat, win poorly, lose poorly, and hold grudges…..”  You are correct Merl, we do.  But, have you taken the time to consider why and under what circumstances?  We are not like that with the women we love and call friends…. “Trust” is why.  {Merl's words} - I was going to say "trust" but you beat me to it.  I am going to comment on this from the personal relationship side.  In life, women that are not in the “inner circle” are a threat and I will explain that.  We as females, whether we want to admit it or not, want the fairytale.  Why do you think there are so many chick flicks made?  We want our prince charming within our relationship (dating or marriage) and we want to be their princess.  It is called romance and it is the key to unlocking the chastity belt (and keeping it unlocked).  Those FEW who are lucky enough to find that have to hold on to it for dear life and fight tooth and nail to keep it.  For those who are unlucky, and are only perceived as having found it, I pity you.  Why you ask?  Because sadly, other women (most of them) who don’t have the fairy tale see it and want it and will try anything and everything to seduce it to their side.  If you have truly found it, your relationship is immune to the effects of interlopers – otherwise – Not so much.  Never, as a married man, doubt that women always have ulterior motives when they interact with you if they are:

a.       Playing the cutesy routine or loading a lot of what they say with sexual innuendo or,

b.      Playing the damsel-in-distress card seeking your inner warrior to rescue her or call on you repeatedly when anything goes wrong in their life for you to sweep in and fix it for them or,

c.       Doing everything and anything to impress you.  Whether it is learning about a topic that interests you - so she can discuss it and you can teach her or an activity she gains a sudden interest in so you can instruct her. 

d.      Merely playing helpless and needing assistance from you: pandering to your ego.

 

{Merl's words} -I hear what you are saying, but how do "friends of the opposite sex" ever occur?  Can't it happen without one or the other having ulterior motives?  What if the damsel really is in distress?  I don't say this to make light of your view, but I am concerned that there is no way for men & women to be friends, according to your view - or did I miss something?

Yes, I say this as a woman; women will slaughter each other over a man and will use every possible angle to steal a man they perceive as a good one.  In matters of the heart we win and lose poorly and we hold deep grudges.  Men, give your wives some damn romance now and then.  Swat the buzzing “other women” away like flies and in return you will get that whore in the bedroom you want.  It really is THAT easy!  If more couples expressed their needs, wants, desires, hurts, fears and everything else to each other, cultivating what brought them together initially, maybe the swarm of flies would shrink and love would conquer all.  Sorry, hopeless romantic here!   {Merl's words} -Maybe, just maybe - if more couples considered their significant other their best friend - this wouldn't be an issue?  I know a lot of couples who live completely separate lives and only come together in time of crisis.  When this happens, the symbiosis doesn't exist to persevere together.  Just a thought.

2.  "Mommy issues in men cause them to become clingy and effeminate.” Well yes, sometimes I suppose, though I think that happens more often with an uninvolved father. I believe it more often makes them women haters, abusers and users. Lack of love and respect for mother translates most often to lack of respect for females in general. As for mommy issues in women make them cold and distant. I openly admit my mommy issues with those close to me; I own them. I do not believe they have made me cold and distant as a person and take some offense to that characterization. It has made me self-sacrificing and non-confrontational because I never want to hurt someone or make someone feel as useless as that woman made me feel. I will admit though that I become cold and distant when I perceive someone that I love (spouse, child, friend) breeching my trust in some manner, choosing me second, or sharing something that is ours with another. That is a defense mechanism and I would call it trust issues - not caring issues in these women.  {Merl's words} - I will keep that in mind.
 

3.  All the fake: implants, lipo, Botox and everything else. Put yourself as a man in a female mindset; truly imagine our culture and being a female in it. Women discuss this amongst themselves and there is a very common theme in women’s thinking. To try and understand, think about every aspect of our culture and how it inundates us with how a female should look and behave. Then, while still thinking about our culture’s definition of “preferred”, contemplate striving to reach those unattainable goals. All women are working with what God gave them but it’s never quite enough to keep the attention of the man you are coupled with. They look at porn, go to strip clubs, check out the ass of the women walking by, compare breast size, joke with their male friends about the things they’d “do to THAT”, and many even openly discuss the desire for or actually engage in “strange.” The saying men want a “whore in the bedroom” in the woman they marry - we understand that and most want to be that. It is hard to feel that desire some days however when:
 

a.       Our needs are often scoffed at (there is that damn idea of romance and intimacy again) or,

b.      We are left wondering at the end of the day if his mind is having sex with me or the 100 women he just looked at naked on the internet? 

 {Merl's words} -Uhhhh....  Well, from a man's perspective: porn is a fascination that replaces nothing; at least from my perspective.  Strip clubs have never interested me, so I really can't say much about them other than, "Ewwww..."  There is really nothing quite as nauseating as the notion of, "Boldly going where every man has before." 

As for the combination of actions & words you ascribe to romance:  Sometimes, like you guys, we just aren't feeling it.  You guys aren't feeling sexy after cleaning the house or dealing with children all day - we aren't feeling romantic after dealing with crap from the crack all day.  I cannot speak for all men, but I for one, love romance - particularly when I'm the initiator and not baited into it. 

I want to interject here that I am not blaming men for the totality of relationship issues; I am just asking everyone out there to think about the big picture from a woman’s perspective.  It is difficult to totally let go of oneself and give yourself to another when you are constantly made to feel like you are never enough to satisfy that other person, so you utilize implants, lipo , botox yada yada yada ……..  Another tip from me from my relationship files to all of you out there:  I used to watch porn with my man ages ago and would be willing to do so again…. It can be tantalizing. Men, share it with your women!  Then it becomes a shared (although it needs to be occasional) thrill and not something of disdain to your significant other….  Besides, isn’t it better to get laid for g your pud (by yourself)?  {Merl's words} -Yes...  Yes it is.

4.  “If we could just get the girls to play well with one another.” We play very well with one another until men become players on the field. From my own personal experience, in addition to observation over my 40+ years. This, from the perspective of men:

     a. Strong competent women have penis envy.

     b. Bubbly, attractive women are dumb bimbos,

     c. Capable average women are plain Janes - often said to have “a stick up there ass”.

{Merl's words} -Yes, I believe that "we" came up with these categories; at least A & C.  We are bad...

Hey if we want to get ahead in the business world we have to agree with these categories and treat each other accordingly. Even with the advances in equality, it is still a man’s world. We also at times must:

a.  Engage in “casting couch” activities or at the very least swallow the colorful comments shoveled our way. Because being pretty is a tool and oozing sexuality gets us ahead. This causes the "plain Janes" (for lack of a better term) of the world to resent you, your tactics and ultimately lash out at you in the only ways they have available... Who do they think starts all those rumors about sleeping their way to the top?? I have not been in the work place for a number of years as I have been busy raising my daughters. With that said, while I was working, I was in management and my bosses, including the training managers, were male. A comment that remains fixed in my mind to this day came when I bent over to pick up a paper that dropped. My training manager openly gawked at my ass and said, “I can see why you were hired.” I did not feel complimented by that comment, I felt humiliated and degraded. But that sort of “harmless” dialogue happens all the time to women in the workplace and we FEEL like we need to go along with it to get ahead.

b.   Become the woman perceived to want or have a penis, thus needing to be taught a lesson or in need of a "good F***ing". Being a fearless, assertive, powerful, competent and logical woman wearing the power suit and remaining all business makes men want to take her down a notch so we endure being called a bitch, ice maiden and the whispers of us needing a good stiff one. In these instances, we as women often play along because - well secretly - we want to be a bitch too, to take you down a peg (come on ladies, you can admit it). We climb on the bandwagon because we perceive you as thinking you are better than us, for whatever reason, and we want you in the trenches with us.

c.  Be capable, albeit average, maintaining our dignity yet compromising much of our advancement opportunity, without the beauty and without the inner bitch, all we can do is fly under the radar and do the best job we possibly can. We are only utilizing the rules of the game and often have to kill those we perceive as being from categories A & B or be killed by our own frailties, feelings of inadequacy or paralysis brought on by inner demons.


 

Now I want to say I am not a man hater.  In fact I am in love with the man I am married to, more so now than on the day we met eons ago.  What I am trying to express here is how our culture, a culture that is heralded as being the greatest on Earth at present time for a myriad of reasons, as long as Obama does not destroy it (another topic, I know!) is in some ways destructive.  I could have it much worse.  I could live in an area of the world where my genitals are mutilated (“circumcision”) so that intercourse if of no pleasure and is just for a man’s enjoyment, be tossed in the woods to die at birth simply because I was born – ugggggh -- female in other parts of the globe, have my family prostitute me as a child for money or outright sell me into the sex trade.  I could move to another area overseas and only be allowed to show my eyes in public and walk paces behind my husband with no right to speak, vote, have an opinion and where if I am raped I am killed in the justice system because it was my sin.  I could go on but will end there.  My hope, as I think the hope of the original writer, is that maybe just one person out there will open their eyes and find some understanding that it is not easy being a woman.  With that said, I love being a woman.  I think our gender sees and appreciates the small wonders that make life worthwhile far more than our male counterparts.  Women just want to feel cherished by the one they love, respected for their intelligence and ability by those they work with, and feel comfortable in their own shoes in the great competition called life without the unrealistic standards of looking like a Barbie doll to be ideal.  It would be so much easier to obtain these things if our culture cherished and celebrated more than physical beauty and if we as females felt less emotionally and men thought more with their larger head.  (I think you said that too Merl) 

Wanting  less of those wanting more (of what’s mine)

1/4/2012 {Merl's words} - Wow...  I need a day to digest this.  I think it is obvious that this contributor agrees with the first that men are at the heart of the problem.  Though I do not disagree, I do think that there are a lot of shenanigans that go on behind the backs of women (at the hands of others) that they either ignore or unaware of.   Is it possible that women have, in fact, been "trained" to ignore much of what comes from the actions of other women??  I'm going to let it rest there for a night and think on it.

1/6/2012 {Merl's words} - So much of what you say makes good sense.  I think you may forget (to a degree) that men's egos are a little like women's emotions: they need to be stroked.  Let's not forget that men are evolutionarily predisposed to much of the behavior you balk at.  And, so much "adapting" to the evolving needs of women (as they change their roles so drastically) makes things very complicated.  Men really aren't that complicated...  In short, if you want something from us that we aren't picking up on on our own, don't get pissed - tell us!

Merl Man,

As the original letter writer, I will make a few comments.  Let me first say thank you to Merl for taking the time to post the topic, and thank you to those who took some time to ponder and reply.  I do get a bit of a belly laugh from the respondents being named Wanting More and Wanting Less from those Wanting More.  {Merl's words} -As ALWAYS, you're welcome.

Merl: I believe you did a fair job of picking the essence of what I was trying to say from my ill written ramblings.  I tend to write like I speak often making lane changes and going off on tangents. Glad you muddled through and mostly stayed on the path without having a roadmap lol.  I do believe I cut my meandering of thought down in this letter J

Wanting More:  I am saddened that you wrote in your opening paragraph that you wanted to reach out to me because, and I directly quote, “I felt bad for you.”  I certainly do not need anyone to take pity on lil ole me.  I am a very strong woman myself, however I have admitted frailties.  (One of them being as mentioned above, I ramble) I can assure you that I can take care of myself, and my original letter was not a rambling of how poor little me needs someone to hold my hand and help me figure out how to get along with all the big bad bully women out there.  It was merely a letter concerning my experiences in the world battling for what I wanted, often a more merciless battle at the hands of women than men. 

I too have female offspring.   It has always been my goal to raise them outside the toddlers in tiaras mindset. They are beautiful girls growing into beautiful women, but I as their mother would never allow them to focus fully on their looks.  Instilling in them that great minds change the world, and love of self is more important than love of another are important concepts.  Let’s face it, an expert on lipstick shades is not going to bring about world peace and if you can’t love yourself how can you expect someone else to love you?

You were fortunate to have a mother that seemed to instill in you the power of inner strength and come across people in your career that could mentor and support.  A lot of women out there have no one in their lives to encourage them on the path to greatness.  These are often the ones that fall into the trappings of name calling and undermining of other women in the workplace.

As for daddy issues, I agree with Magic Merlin on that one.  {Merl's words} -Thank you.  The evidence of the damage that lack of fathering for female offspring does is literally everywhere.  The females that usually disagree with this are ones that have daddy issues of their own.  (not at all implying that you do)

I also agree with Merl that man-scaping, nice suits and fancy cars do not rise to near the level of the body altering things females do to themselves to reach the level of culturally acceptable do, not even close. {Merl's words} -Though I do acknowledge knowing that men too, get plastic surgery - it is not at all the "industry" that surrounds women's cosmetic enhancements.  I am also aware that men's clothing is a growth industry, but, in comparison to the women's clothing industry...  Well, let's say, it's like spitting into the ocean.

Do we as females do the ridiculous extremes for beauty for the attention of man as you say Wanting More?  Well, why else would we?  Since caveman days everything about us evolved to attract a man to protect us, provide for us, and give us babies.  It is reality that we all want a man to do those things.  The fact that men buy into all the false advertising we as women flaunt (fake boobs, fake hair, even fake butt pads for heaven’s sake) is the part that so frustrates me about our culture.  The ideal is so ingrained that a large percentage of men will choose the surgically altered Barbie doll over the naturally attractive girl next door.  Is a very sad statement on our culture to me. 

As for your offer of help, although I believe you meant well in the offer, I believe it belittles my strength to same level that you accuse Merl of belittling it by presenting what I wrote from a man’s perspective.  I will politely say thank you but no thank you, please do continue the debate though.

Wanting Less:  Wow, you have a lot to say, however Merl does not seem to have near the commentary to add to your letter as he did to Wanting More’s. {Merl's words} - Give me time woman...  Don't rush me!  Check it now... I am disappointed by that as I thought you actually had more to say about women where she seemed more interested in proving Merl wrong or just portray him as a dumb man unable to present an unbiased view.  {Merl's words} -My feelings might be hurt...  Nope - indigestion.  Seriously now, I've been married to the same fabulous creature of your species for 20+ years and have a heard of little "yous" in my stable - I'd better know a thing or two about the ladies. 

To begin, if your Wanting Less (your signature name you chose) refers to the wanting less of the women you describe as flies, I hear you sister.  I believe you hit the nail on the head describing women seeking to seduce men and the actions they take to do so.  Men play innocent and dumb sometimes, but they know what these women are after too.  I believe we have all encountered a women like this in our day and yes they are like flies buzzing sh*t.

I also agree if men gave their women more romance, women would give their men more sex and both parties would be happier.  It is an extremely simplified concept of how to make each other happy, but nonetheless true.  The loss of communication within couples truly is the downfall of many relationships, I will agree on that point as well.  Your partner cannot read your mind; marriage takes a constant cultivation just like a garden if you want it to grow and the love to last a lifetime.

You chose to touch on the mommy issues where Wanting More latched on to the daddy.  Maybe a little Freudian psychology occurring?  I will just come out and say that I have mommy and daddy issues and I am completely messed up in my interpersonal relationships by both of them at times.  My mommy issues have molded me to be a bottler.  By that I mean I shove everything I feel into a nice little bottle and let it sit there and fester until I finally just blow up in a crazy rage.  I also say I am sorry a lot and compromise my own wishes for the happiness of others and I bottle my feelings about that away. I am working on that, expressing my anger, hurt, whatever at the time it occurs, but it is a long hard process, and I am thankful my partner is supportive in helping me through.  My daddy issues cause me to fear abandonment (also feeds into my lack of confrontational skills).  He was never there for me to protect me from my mother, so at times it is hard for me to trust others to be there for me when I need them and find myself pushing them away instead of embracing them, again a process of change for me.

The girls getting along (in the workplace).  You had some interesting points there that are more in line with what I was trying to portray originally. Inner demons, the inner b*&ch, the sexpot, the plain Jane, the jealously, yes it is a great big cesspool of insecurity feeding the workplace war where we are merely pawns of the rules made by men (long ago).  Perhaps one day we will all wake up and smell the bacon and realize if we don’t like the rules they set, then perhaps we should make our own?  Stop blaming men for something (game rules, acceptable behavior, whatever) that we tacitly approve of by playing along especially since in many cases we take those very same tactics and raise them to the most brutal level possible.  It should only be kill or be killed in the arena of love my friends.  If someone is after your man, by all means take that bitch down, by all means necessary.  In the work place though, no one should be looking for romance at work, that is just plain idiotic.  What is the phrase, don’t sh!t where you eat or sleep where you sh@t or something like that.  No one should be competing for a man or his attention in the workplace.  If you are, that says volumes about your own self-worth.  Minds should be competing, intelligence should prevail, and progress of work should be the focus.  She with the most smarts, ability, and talent wins not she who undermines, backstabs, or cat fights the best.  Come on ladies, wake up, grow up, and play the games of war where they belong.  It is my opinion that the concept of the workplace was created by men (generations ago in the leave it to beaver days) as a man’s world.  The women’s right movement occurred and women flooded the market place displacing men, the bread winners.  I think the behavior of men trying to hold onto what they had against the invasion of us females is merely human nature.  If you ladies truly want to be equals, stop blaming them (the men) for something, a system of perceived discriminatory behavior, that you proclaim to hate and yet you use to your full advantage in all ways possible. It is just not fair to demonize and blame our unhappiness with each other in the workplace on the men when we are the ones using the very same war games we say they use against as the sword to slit each other’s throats.

The examples you gave of the plight of women in other areas of the world, are to say the least, abhorrent and hopefully others out there will give them some thought as well.  I thank you for your bringing this to the discussion.

Please bring me more girls

The Rambler

1/13/2012

A NEW READER LETTER

Ok, I need to peep my head under the tent with this discussion, I can’t resist. ::::grabbing some coffee, popping my knuckles::::

Merl,

The original topic is an interesting one, we seem to have gotten off topic a little, but I will make my remarks to that later. Women in the workforce, we are a pain in the ass are we not? (I am female…. I can say that.)

The bimbos, those with penis envy, the plain jane’s, we all know the categories mentioned in this discussion. To take offense to them is laughable to me. As with every stereotype, they are rooted in some truth concerning a few. The women out there are never going to change these classifications unless they own them and focus on the truth and those that are the inspiration for the creation of them.

The bimbo’s, we have all run across them and if we are all honest with ourselves, we have ALL used our feminine wiles to get something we wanted at some point in our life, we just don’t use them to get EVERYTHING in our life. But this group has the ones that ruffle feathers by getting something major that they don’t deserve or haven’t earned by using little more than their bodies as tools. As woman you do not have to engage in “casting couch” activities to get ahead and I snort in laughter at the idea that you do engage in them because you FEEL you have to. You are not a victim of anything if you engage in them (unless it is forced in some manner). YOU HAVE THE OPTION TO SAY NO AND MOVE ALONG!  Men cannot subjugate you in this manner unless you allow them to.  You are a woman NOT A SLAVE for crying out loud, get some counseling to get over your issues (daddy or whatever) so you can function in the world as a person not as a set of boobs and a vagina.  I have had a boss that performed the duties of her position with little more aptitude than a baboon would have. She got and kept her position because she was sleeping with her boss. THOSE are the bimbos that need eliminated in the work place because they ARE bimbos who just somehow managed to avoid the striper pole or street corner (and the men involved in this situation, as well, should be castrated), not the women who are placed into this category merely because of their looks without the consideration that they are very competent (and got their positions without prostituting themselves) but just happen to be pretty.

The ladies with penis envy, and I am going to break this group down a little. There are women who are nothing more than a bitch. You know it, and I know it. Men never have the right to call a woman a bitch, they do not have a complete understanding of the meaning of that word, and we women do. Sometimes you just need to call a bitch a bitch, no different than calling a spade a spade. However the women making up the group with penis envy are not usually bitches. Women with penis envy, or should I say those placed into this group with the bitches, are generally very strong, competent women who are very self-assured and typically good at their jobs. They have been categorized as having penis envy (and a bitch) because they typically lack the displayed emotion in their decision making and interactions that people expect of a female. Sorry ladies, we do everything with a shade of emotion, penis enviers don’t. We should not strive to take these women down! They should be our role models! Call the true bitch a bitch, and tell this miserable, mean, usually lonely female to go get the stick out of her ass or the cobwebs out of her vajayjay because they are the few that inspired the creation of this stereotype… they give this group a bad name.  The penis enviers though, these capable and assertive women should be revered by us, we should take lessons from them, they should not be the focus of our jealousy induced antics. Lashing out against these women would be like cutting of your nose despite your face.  They are the truly adapted female, the evolved species, NOT YOUR ENEMY!

The plain Jane’s; this is the dangerous group no matter how you look at it. I am not talking about the average woman, just doing her job to the best of her ability, minding her own business without the looks (or desire) to be a bimbo or the assertiveness to be a penis envier that just gets plopped into this group because she is average. I am talking about the true plain Jane - the one who is unhappy with herself and her looks. She is unhappy in her relationship, her station in life, her job and every other facet of her being. She lashes out at everyone due to her own unhappiness and insecurities. She will sabotage male and female coworkers, she will start rumors, and she will make everything as difficult for everyone else as she possibly can. She is the stickler for the rules, and often the grown up version of a tattle tale. We ALL know the type…. She is the one that no one is surprised when she drowns her kids in the tub. I think dispensing Prozac in the water cooler may not be a bad idea some days. Again, the off center in the lot gives the whole group a bad name.

The Rambler, you stated:

It is just not fair to demonize and blame our unhappiness with each other in the workplace on the men when we are the ones using the very same war games we say they use against as the sword to slit each other’s throats.

I agree. One group can’t chastise another group for a set of tactics if they employ them themselves. Employing them ourselves is the problem in a nutshell is it not?

The Rambler, you said:

Minds should be competing, intelligence should prevail, and progress of work should be the focus. She with the most smarts, ability, and talent wins not she who undermines, backstabs, or cat fights the best.

I like your summarization. Alas the world is not fair though and the bad apple usually wins.  Unless our arbitration nation puts some limits on the ability to sue for everything, the bad apples of all categories are unfortunately next to impossible to get rid of lest the company be sued for:

1. Discrimination

2. Sexual harassment

3. Hostile work environment

4. Unfair labor practices

5. Blah, blah, blah, the list could go on for a mile.

So we need to find a way to deal with those that engage in these activities in the workplace, I would suggest a dark night with a sea bag full of bars of soap, a little military justice, but the lesson would not be learned and the one attempting to teach the lesson would be in jail (and sued for everything they have). Maybe if we stopped letting these subsets of women (the bad apples)

a. Hurt our feelings causing us to meander around with frozen brains like spineless mamby pambies

b. Intimidate us with their ruthless bitchiness so we are rendered useless with our heads buried in the sand

c. Anger us with use of self-prostitution leading to nothing more than irrational behavior towards anyone “pretty”

Maybe, JUST MAYBE, if we stopped looking for a pat on the head from everyone and instead focused on using some covert ops of our own, we could have these useless women in the workplace removed, on legitimate grounds and we would not resort to ridiculous games against each other as a whole. Females don’t think this way though, they prefer to take on the victim role, woe is poor me. I can’t fight the power. Get a grip ladies, if someone is acting in the ways described, they aren’t playing fair! Don't join in on the tactics ascribed to men earlier, Stand up and shout BACK OFF and do something about it (other than complain!).

I do say this all tongue in cheek, but really, consequences for any one and their behavior in our culture are inconsistent any longer… Some aren’t fired no matter what they do, others – no matter how competent they are get fired at the drop of a hat.  Schools hardly reprimanded for the “usual suspects” these day, instead choosing to get creative and chastise for the damnedest things.  Everyone is so litigious or afraid of being sued that we are a nation of paralyzed, politically-correct (P-C) worker ants afraid to do what is right.  Many (too many) muddle through the day, hunkered down, hoping to not have to interact or be interacted with.  Minding our P’s and Q’s and maintaining P-C has become a full-time profession. The rotten apple wins more often than the unblemished one due to fear of repercussion at the hands of perceived bias, or at the very least – a CLAIM of bias.  Men too are paralyzed by this crazy tsunami of P-C washing over us, however; our skewed nature as women, of being afraid to fight back against injustice perpetrated on us by our own gender, multiplies the effect.  The mantra is, “we have to stick together because we are women fighting the invisible glass ceiling” but everything in our behavior portrays us working against each other, not sticking together.  WE ARE RETARDED!  {a little dramatic – but I’m making a point}

Now on to the other topic that seems to have blossomed like a virus, here are my thoughts as Mrs. Merl on this:

Wanting more, you said:

So, what is part 2 of my words of wisdom? When women rely primarily on men to establish self worth and confidence, they fight each other for that nod of approval. Find your strength, determine your value by your own yard stick and be ok with it.

That last line is good advice, as long as you live by it yourself and are not just dispensing it from a vending machine.

Wanting less, you said:

Never, as a married man, doubt that women always have ulterior motives when they interact with you if they are…. :

 Always is a strong and absolute word, these means of behavior happen from time to time, I would have worded it as… if a woman has a pattern of this behavior directed at one particular attached man, then yes, alarm bells should be going off and probably are in the wife/partner.  If this pattern of behavior is directed at all men, then she fits into the bimbo category of the workplace (as a true bimbo) mentioned earlier and most likely has ::::drum roll please:::: daddy issues. (yes, sorry wanting more, that is not a dated idea, they do really exist in a great number of psychologically damaged females I must agree with Merl and the Rambler)

You also stated:

if men gave their women more romance, women would give their men more sex and both parties would be happier

I will agree, but with a distinction. Depends on the romance you mean. For me, romance is my husband having coffee ready for me each morning, holding my hand out of the blue just to let me know he’s there, a random call in the afternoon to say I love you. Other women see romance as grand gestures of flowers, jewelry, and extravagant getaways. It is important to define your meaning, because it defines your relationship and you as a person. If a woman is seeking romance defined as the grand gestures in order to give her man sex, she, in my opinion, is no better than a prostitute paid in cash.

Merl, you said:

I hear what you are saying, but how do "friends of the opposite sex" ever occur? Can't it happen without one or the other having ulterior motives? What if the damsel really is in distress? I don't say this to make light of your view, but I am concerned that there is no way for men & women to be friends, according to your view - or did I miss something?

I think you may have missed the detail of what she was saying but not the totality. Please let me know Wanting Less if I am in the ballpark of your thinking, I am reading through your obvious anger/frustration to attempt interpretation here.

1. Men and women can be friends. Opposite sex friends (OSF’s), if not a friend of the couple, typically are friendships developed at work, the gym, ect., unless it is a friend from before the couple was a couple. They typically do not chat it up every day or do social outings together outside the environment where they are friends, if they did, it could and often does appear suspicious. If a deeper friendship is developed, then usually this OSF is brought into the couple’s or both couple’s (if both OSF’s are married) family of friends and socializing occurs outside the original friendship environment as couples. If one party of the OSF relationship displays resistance to this idea, the reason for this resistance may be a warning sign.

2. If an OSF begins displaying the behavior extensively listed by Wanting Less of a “buzzing fly” or woman with “ulterior motives” on a consistent and daily basis, Wanting Less is saying she would interpret that behavior as overstepping boundaries and would hear the war drums pounding alerting her to an attack, and I say I would probably too. Not just one particular item of the listed behaviors, it is a whole package of behavior she is describing Merl and females typically recognize these boundary crossing women before their men do (the men enjoy the ego stroke for a time before they see clearly again…. As you aforementioned the intoxicating effect of the ego being stroked).

3. If this pattern of behavior is being displayed by the OSF, this is where I believe Wanting Less is stating boundaries for the friendship should be reinforced, if the friendship is of importance to the person involved. If it is not of importance to the person involved, it should just be ended and save everyone some grief. If boundaries of behavior are continuously not respected by the OSF and the inappropriate behavior continues, then the OSF does not respect you or your existing romantic relationship and the friendship most likely needs severed anyway because she actually is a “buzzing fly” with “ulterior motives”. You will only be hurting your partner if you allow the OSF to continue to intrude upon your relationship, ramp up her pursuit, and continue buzzing louder, no matter to what level the attention flatters you. (This goes for you too ladies, men can be buzzing flies too!)

4. Damsel in distress. Yes it happens sometimes whether with a friend or even a stranger and most of the human population would be there to lend a hand and rescue her. I believe Wanting Less was discussing those that play the role in everyday life with the OSF and never with their own spouse/boyfriend, girl friends, family, bosses, coworkers, neighbors, ect. She leans on you, calls on you, always you her OSF for every event in her life. Again, I believe Wanting Less is describing a pattern of behavior, not an isolated event of a damsel with a flat tire. If the damsel needs rescued from her life in general, then a more appropriate knight should be called to the scene that has the availability to make the emotional commitment to do the job.

In summation, I believe wanting less was stating, or pointing out, that opposite sex friends that are not mutual to the marriage/relationship can be a very slippery slope when certain behaviors are displayed.  If there are warning signs of romantic or inappropriate emotional attachments developing, it needs to be addressed and dealt with. If signs are appearing of one party wanting more from the other party, then you are slipping down that slope and ignoring or permitting it to grow further most likely will end in hurt for all parties involved.

That is my interpretation of your words Wanting Less’s to answer Merl’s questions. If I am wrong, please correct me. I agree with most of what I believe you are trying to say. Emotion and dependence can be dangerous things when growing with someone of the opposite sex outside of a committed relationship, it is a slippery slope. One can trust their partner explicitly, yet still become uneasy, angry, or hurt (depending on her man’s response to the OSF’s ever growing need for his attention) when an attention seeking female is lurking around demanding said attention utilizing all means of behavior you described.

I must admit ladies, I am an extremely lucky woman. Merl is hot, intelligent, and a powerful presence who still makes me weak in the knees after 26 years. He is a man misunderstood by many, even by myself at times, and possesses a core need to fix what he sees wrong in the world; interpersonally, personally, professionally, or globally. He is a good man, one of the few I have met in my lifetime and I am blessed and honored to call him my husband and father of my children. With that said, I have endured some flies seeking desperately what I have, and it has made me angry, hurt, and everything in between. My advice to all of you ladies out there is to hunker down. If your spouse is your best friend, your lines of communication are open and honest, and his love is yours, your man will do what is right by you in these situations every time, have faith.

This is a good discussion ladies. I hope the focus moves more towards developing our inner warrior (self-confidence) as women.  I do believe that a lot of us out there lack role models, supporters and cheerleaders. Many of us are too busy trying to prove something to someone out there that we waste a lot of time in the process. If you do not like the culturally accepted idea of acceptable, then stop buying all the products to achieve it. Your man married you, he obviously found you alluring, so do the work to maintain that relationship….. The hard work - not the spackle and putty.

We have gotten off of the initial discussion in a big way though and I think it's because the issue at the root is pervasive and exists outside of the work place as well.  Having said that, let’s get back to the workplace discussion; it is a fascinating look into the social experience of women (and ultimately men). 

The one and only, Mrs Merl

{Merl weighing in here too} - In case you folks missed it, she called me hot... 

 

Looks good so far - keep the letters coming!!

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