Thursday, October 6, 2016

Why Men Fight Over Women

I noticed a peculiar event on my way to work yesterday. I was riding the subway train to go to meet a friend of mine for breakfast at a coffee shop I frequent. Why I decided to try to travel during rush hour I have no idea, but I decided to brave the strong current of emotionless, robotic-like people heading to their various jobs so I could have breakfast with an old buddy.

As I sat on the cold, hard orange seat and watched an old lady comically attempt to apply makeup to her face in between the unpredictable lurching of the train, a flutter of activity from the right caught my attention.

“I told you to stay away from her!” a voice blared. Several riders, including myself, began to mimic the curious behavior of deer in a field when one senses an invasion to the normality of the moment. We looked at one another curiously, then to the other.
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 I stood up to get a better look at the situation. The voice belonged to a very emotional young man in his early 20’s. His red face was painted with pain and tears. His wrinkled clothing told me that he had either climbed out of bed and threw the first thing on that lay on his floor, or that he hadn’t slept at all for several days.  His bushy brown hair was a mess as his shoulders rose and fell with the emotion of the moment.

“Dude, we’re supposed to fight over a chick?” asked an even deeper voice, only he didn’t say chick, he said the “b” word. He was significantly larger than his emotional counterpart. If I were to guess, he had to be at least 40 pounds heavier and about two feet taller. His appearance was more polished. His beard was so neatly trimmed it looked like he had just come from the barbershop. His clothing was pressed and his shoes were shined. He wore an expensive watch that seemed to dazzle when he moved his arm.  He was surrounded by two or three other guys (I’m assuming they were his friends).
“I’d watch my mouth if I were you. She’s mine! Stay away from her,” the smaller guy warned. His hand crawled underneath his jacket and around his waist to the small of his back. I started getting a little nervous about the way the situation was looking. Things could get ugly.

“Hey guys, take that stuff off of the train. Take it easy,” admonished an elderly man.

“Who asked you? Shut up!” snapped the smaller guy.

“Look, she chose me. I can’t help it if I’m the one and you’re a scrub. Accept it and move on. Or get busted up and still be forced to move on. It’s on you dude,” said the larger dude. His two friends had inched closer to the smaller guy, ready to jump him at the first opportunity.
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At that very moment the doors opened and a transit cop walked on the train. Both men cut nervous eyes from one another to the cop. Finally the smaller guy exited the train.

“I’m definitely going to see you later,” he mumbled as he left the train. The heavier guy cut a devious smile and yelled after him,

“I’ll tell Kristie you said hello.” His two buddies burst into laughter as the train began to move again. Something was telling me that things weren’t over by far. If this guy knew what I knew about life and the heart, he’d better watch his back.

As the subway car settled back down to the hypnotic stop and start of the travel, I began to think about things.

Why is it that some men choose to fight over women?

It’s as though some men think of the women as prized possessions. Is that it? Could some men really think of women as objects to be locked up in their homes, never to be seen again? That can’t be it, can it? Even with things of value, I’ve rarely resorted to fighting over them. I’ve lost numerous pieces of jewelry. Heck, I’ve even had some stolen from me at gunpoint . Not once did I want to fight the person that took the jewelry. The thought never crossed my mind.

What is it that causes men to behave like possessive apes and lash out at any individual intruding on their relationships? What makes a man fight over a woman?

Here are 5 Reasons Men Fight over Women:

1.      They want to blame someone: It’s easy to put the blame on another person. Finding a focal point for all of your misery is almost relieving in a weird sort of way.
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You have an enemy you can touch. You have a face that you can place with all of the turmoil in your life. It becomes so much easier to blame someone other than the real culprit. Yourself.

2.      They are control freaks: Some men have to be in complete control all of the time, even when they lose. They can’t accept the fact that the woman was stronger and ultimately chose what was best for her life. You see, society will push this “We are all equals” statement, but men rarely believe or live by it. There is a sub-message that many men seem to hear when they become angry; we can change it. Not to have that control is about as frightening as it gets to most men. Many men can’t handle the fact that the sub-message that has been transmitted to them about being in control has ultimately been… well….wrong.

3.      Men know the deficiencies: Have you ever had something happen to you and you saw it coming but you just couldn’t move quickly enough to avoid it? This happens with men a lot. Men are aware of a lot of their deficiencies but just don’t know how to correct the issue before the destruction of their relationship occurs. And those deficiencies?
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All of the things that he knows he’s weak at? All of those deficiencies somehow magically manifest in most men’s nightmares. You know... The next guy your ex is dating…. It may not be truthfully what your girlfriend gets in her new man, but in your imagination it is. And that is torture enough. Torture enough to fight.

4.      He’s weak: It takes a strong man to admit when he’s lost. But it takes an even stronger man to accept the pain that comes with that loss. Some men are just weak losers. They’d rather punch someone than to deal with that night when they have to lie alone in their bed and cry.

5.      He’s crazy:  Think about how crazy you have to be to approach a stranger and hurt them. Or better yet, think of how crazy you’d have to be to think you can win back a woman by acting like a complete idiot. How would that ever be the answer to the problem? She’s not going to magically come back to you based on the fact that you embarrassed the heck out of her in public. If anything you’re only going to reaffirm her decision to leave your silly self. It takes a crazy man to stand in a dark room alone and think the answers to all of his problems are through his fists. Good luck with that one. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

When Your Friend Says Something Racist To Your Lover

We all have friends. That’s just a fact of life.  No one can make it through this life alone. Everyone needs someone to confide in. That’s an indisputable truth about living in this world. As strong as we all try to be, everyone needs support sometimes in order to survive.

Sometimes we choose our friends like shiny rings in a jewelry store. One friend may complement our party side. 
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They may be that go to person whenever you want to hit the town for fun. They are reliably live and provide us with that jolt of juice we may need for the weekend. Other friends are good for holding our dirty little secrets. You know the kind of person that knows every single one of your sins on heaven’s card and wouldn’t reveal it to a soul no matter what the cost.

But we also have some bad friends. Many of us have these types of friends too. And we usually keep them in abundance. This person may be one to spread gossip and cause fights for no particular reason. 
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Or maybe this person is a friend that has done some of the most disgusting things (like sleeping with a person they know someone else liked, purely out of spite). Maybe you are that bad friend. Or maybe we all are sometimes, failing to acknowledge the fact that we all fall short of perfect and give in to a dose of meanness from time to time. Regardless, that type of friend exists too.

But what do you do if you are in an interracial relationship and one of your good/bad friends says something hurtful or racist to the person you’re with? What is the protocol? How do you handle something like that? What if this friend has been your friend forever and you have only known the person you’re dating for a brief period of time? Do you ignore the racist behavior or do you stand up for the person you’re in a relationship with?

There’s a consistently “good” answer to this situation and it goes like this,

“If you are dating someone and one of your friends says something racist, you defend the person you’re dating and stand with them against that friend.”

But that answer is not a real world answer and more than likely, you’d be ruining a good friendship over a politically correct moment. People make mistakes as easy as taking breaths of air. Chances are, you’re not perfect and that friend has seen you through some of your less than stellar moments.

So what do you do?

Here are 5 things you should do if your friend says something racist to your interracial lover:

1.     Acknowledge the error: There are numerous ways to engage your friend and to alert them that what they said is not okay. The most common way to do this is to simply call out what they said as being racist.
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Nobody is saying that you need to get all confrontational about the situation. But if you’re looking to build a future with this person you’ve started to date, they definitely want to be sure that you have a keen understanding of what racism is and how to deal with it. You don’t necessarily need to blow your friend’s face off with the “racist” gun. But they definitely need to know that what they said isn’t cool. And they need to know in the presence of the person you’re trying to date.

2.     Follow your lover’s lead:  People who have experienced overt racism perpetrated against them are very aware of its presence on so many levels, no matter how slight. Some people will choose to be passive until the correct moment presents itself to address the issue. But some people will not be afraid to engage the person who offended them immediately. Either way, if you don’t know how big of a deal to make of the situation, search for signs from the person who was offended. You may be able to communicate that you acknowledge their pain through a sympathetic look or squeezing of the hand. This lets them know that you saw the same disgusting thing and you want to have a conversation offline about how to deal with it. Sometimes they choose to call out the offender. And you should not stop them or interrupt them. The victim has every right to react to being attacked.

3.     Call an immediate sidebar with your friend: Maybe you have one of those friends that will take things to level 100 if you accuse them of anything. 
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Maybe they may truly be ignorant of a position they hold and need to be brought up to speed about the racist implications. But pulling them aside immediately puts the fire out immediately. Not only do you educate them about how they have offended the person you’re dating but you get that one off chance to put your foot in their $#$%$ about their stupidity.

4.     Shove real life examples down their throats: Depending on the racist statement, you may be able to call upon other examples of more mainstream progressive thinking and politely shame your friend for having such a stupid opinion. This is a bit tricky and depends of the audience you hold. If you’re in a party setting or with like-minded individuals who share racist opinions, you may get ganged up on. It does require you to be aware of your surroundings and intelligent enough to steer the friend with idiot thinking into shame.

5.     Leave: I know it may seem a bit harsh if you want to keep your friend but sometimes we all need to know when someone has stepped out of line.
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Leaving at the moment of the racist statement sends a message to that friend that they’ve screwed up. It also shows the person you’re with that you have a backbone and are capable of standing up for what’s right.