Tough Little Boys

Ok, so the words of this song don’t really correlate with this post but that’s kind-of my point exactly.

How many sentimental (country) songs are there about boys growing up besides this one (from the title)? Please inform me if there are more that have just skipped my mind. The only real ones I can think of are George’s “The Best Day,” and MAYBE Rodney’s “Watchin You,” but these are all still geared towards the dad role of being a man, not the man itself.

Yet, how many sentimental songs are there about how precious little girls are? “Don’t Take the Girl,” “I Loved Her First,” “This One’s for the Girls,” “There’s Goes My Life.” I could go on but I’ll stop, you get the point hopefully.

Obviously boys and girls are different. “Gendered” behaviors can be generated or enforced through individual parents and society, yet in most cases there ARE differences mentally and emotionally.

Because of these differences, people tell boys to grow up, be a man, quit crying, stop being a baby, don’t show emotions, be strong. Whereas little girls? They hear: honey what’s wrong, what happened? It’s ok, you’ll be fine, come give me a hug.

No I’m not some sort of feminist (not that there’s anything wrong with that), and yes I know there are exceptions. My point is that boys a lot of the times are treated differently and therefore are basically taught not to be open and not to show emotions.

I have this theory (I have a lot of them as you’ll see) that behind every tough exterior of a man is a little boy wanting to feel accepted for who he is. A boy who is nervous to let people see that side of him and open up… nervous to finally be able to voice their blunted opinions and feelings. A boy who wants to be able to trust someone with his emotions and most importantly with his love.

As I’ve said before, my parents are divorced. I don’t know if I mentioned this part (too lazy to look right now), but my brothers and I lived with my dad. It was me and the boys, and even our dog was a male. My brother had a group of about ten core friends that would come hang out at our house on a regular basis. There were always sports games and practices where most times I was the only girl present, and I loved it.

I think this history could be responsible for my view on guys, but for me, if ever there is drama (trust I’ve seen a lot after having so many roommates and friends go through break-ups) between a guy and girl, I can sympathize with the girls, but more often than not I think a girls’ part in a situation such as a break-up is ignored. It’s so easy in those situations for me to see what the girl is doing wrong and how she is confusing a guy or breaking his spirit.

Most girls don’t do this, I realize. The few that do? Probably because of their own personality and/or issues but it still doesn’t excuse their actions. The constant nagging, biting, remarks about their past, their present, and their future. The treatment of girls is always made a big deal (which I definitely believe it should be), but little attention is paid to guys that leave a relationship broken-hearted, down-trodden, and feeling worthless.

I saw this a lot with The Fighter. His ex-girlfriend (and baby mama- did I mention he had a kid?) tore him to shreds. I could see the hurt in his eyes. It took him awhile to get out of the mind-set of dating her (love is blind) to realize that he deserved better and that I wasn’t going to be like her.

Shy Guy is a slightly different case where I think it takes him a long time to feel comfortable with someone- especially a girl- to let them in and to feel like his opinions or feelings won’t get rejected.

It’s easy for me to see the timid little boys in these grown men.

With both of them, I want (and wanted) nothing more than to make them feel secure enough to open up to me.

I feel like with guys, it’s all about making them feel safe. Safe that they can express their feelings and trust that a woman isn’t going to take advantage of them, or damage them.

The male ego is a fragile, fragile thing, and us women would do better to treat it with more care than we think it needs.

{obviously this goes both ways, that’s a whole different post. for now go hug your little boy of a man and let him know you care.}

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