By Okera Hollis
Recently I sat on the Six Brown Chicks’ panel at the Black Women’s Expo to discuss relationships.
It was quite the discussion for myself and the five other men who sat beside me to speak to an audience filled with women. While all of the questions were interesting, there was one question that really brought to light something that I have always known, but nevertheless found quite unfortunate.
The first question opened up the discussion about emasculating men. Emasculation of a man can consist of a variety of things, including, talking down to him, calling him names and so on.
The question pertained to a wife who earned a promotion at work, makes more money than her husband and, subsequently bosses him around at home.
As I sat on the panel I listened to man after man condemn the action and basically say it is a cardinal sin. And it was even suggested that emasculation will give a lot of men the justification they would need to go into another woman’s arm.
And while the behavior wasn’t being condoned, it was just being pointed out that it can happen. And while I don’t think anyone was saying that it would automatically make a man leave, because we know not every man would leave due to something of that nature. What the responses did reveal was the animosity that is created over such a thing. Each and every panelist said that emasculation something that most men wouldn’t forgive.
As I heard everyone speak I looked into the crowd at the faces of the women. There was one particular woman in the front row who truly looked distraught at what was being said. And there was part of me that just felt as though I knew what she was thinking just by the look on her face. Men, we have a lot of nerve, we are quite unfair, and unapologetic about it. It was said at some point by one of the panelists “that men are ego and a bunch of other things, and once you crush his ego, it’s a wrap.”
As I sat there looking at that lady, I thought to myself the audacity of us to sit here and not even really entertain the notion of forgiving emasculation, especially when we have done so many things to women.
We have cheated on them, we have molested them, we have raped them, abused them physically, emotionally, and have disrespected their womanhood in so many ways, so many times, that you can’t even count them.
And all while we have done all of these things to them, the one thing that we have expected, and the one thing that they have done, is forgiven us. However, if a woman cracks a man’s ego, he can’t and won’t find it in his heart to forgive. Wow! Wow! And wow….that is powerful; how unapologetic that men can be considering the things that we do.
I have always been from the thought of what is good for you doesn’t have to be good for me, which is true. But I also wonder what if women felt like that.
So as I sat there looking into the faces of all these women, I felt like I had to let them know. It wasn’t that cut and dry, that there are levels to this forgiveness thing. And that, depending on the offense, it is possible to come back from it, and that would take some work on her part and his.
While any forgiveness will take work, it shouldn’t be like this. As men, we should lead in everything that is good, and forgiveness is good for the soul and for a relationship.
So as one of the unforgiving men in this world, I apologize for that if nothing else, that we don’t give you the same benefit that you have given us. And I will work on being better.
After all, where would we be, where would relationships be, if women were as unforgiving as men?
I’d hate to imagine.
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