One of many things I like about Becky is she loves men as they are. She’s not out to change us. She lacks a grand plan to improve and civilize us. And in my limited experience of folks, Becky’s love and acceptance of men as men is rare enough to be remarkable, although it’s not entirely unprecedented.
I believe men and women are more alike than different. For every difference between the sexes, there are a thousand similarities. But even with all those similarities, most women I’ve known have declined to accept men as they are, and most men I’ve known have declined to accept women as they are. It seems our species has a hankering to recreate everyone — and maybe everything — in our own image, rather than leave differences be differences. So Becky’s attitude of simple love and acceptance for the men in her life sticks out.
I’m usually reminded of her when I read the comments on a post I wrote sometime ago, Why do Men Look at Teen Nudity. There are now about 200 comments on that post, and a lot of them are quite heartfelt and earnest. But many — from both men and women — seem to betray a lack of understanding, and even a lack of acceptance, of the other sex.
I’m surprised by how people have handled the discovery that their boyfriends or spouses are attracted to younger women. Several women described themselves as devastated by that discovery. Yet, before I read their comments, I would have thought it was no big deal.
Some years ago, I was intensely in love with my second wife. I could not have found words that expressed how much I loved her. At my job, however, I worked with young women, several of whom I found attractive. I certainly didn’t notice my attraction to them in any way diminished my love for my wife. So, in my understanding, there’s little or no contradiction between loving one person and being attracted to other people. Hence, I was surprised to read h0w devastated so many commentators were simply to learn their boyfriends or spouses had been attracted to other women.
I don’t mean to imply here that the women who felt that way wrong to feel that way. Rather, I just think it’s a difference between men and women. You either accept that difference or you try to change it. But if you try to change it, you might be fighting an uphill battle against female nature. Perhaps.
I don’t really know what to make of these differences between men and women. To the extent they are real — and not mere imaginings or exaggerations — I suppose we should try to accept them. But is that realistic? Is there not an inherent conflict between men and women on some of these issues? Must one side win and the other lose? Or is there room for some compromise here?