Wednesday, May 25, 2005

The Role of a Man

Yes, I watch the Dr. Phil Show from time to time, it comes on directly after one of my soaps, so sometimes, if laundry folding runs a bit long, or the TV drug has taken effect, I keep it on. That's not the only reason though: He's good.

So good, I wish I could have gotten my husband on that show. I would have loved to hear Dr. Phil (or anyone) say classic lines such as "And how's that working for ya?" or "You realize you're a jerk, don't you?" - the fact that it was on TV, seen by millions, would merely be a bonus (& I could tape it & replay it over & over again).

But past that fantasy, there is much truth in Dr. Phil. And the fact that he speaks English, cuts to the chase, & tells it like it is, makes the truth ring out.

The reason I mention all of this here, is that there was a show on, "The Role of the Man, Part 2," that was stellar. I wished I had seen Part 1. (Thanks to the official website, you can get the jist of it all there.) The staggering part was when Dr. Phil announced his ideas on the role of the man in the family. - and toping that list was a big one.

In the middle of talking with a man who was trying to improve his relationship with his wife, Dr. Phil asked "Are you the protector of her self-esteem?"

I stopped folding his boxers, the girls' jeans, and stared at the screen.

Here was a man, speaking English, hitting a nail right on the head!

You see, the beauty of this simple question was magnificent for several reasons.

Back in the early 80s I read in "Psychology Today Magazine," a letter from a "real psychologist" who wrote in to state that the reason violence was so high among males was that they no long had roles. Gone were the days of male providers, protectors. Men had no 'real work' so they didn't know what to do with themselves (and I guess, it implied that testosterone left without proper channels would turn to violence, which is a whole other debate!).

Even then I felt that was bullshit. I mean men had new places, new roles to provide & protect. Maybe they no longer grabbed a spear, but they hold many other weapons, like the courts. They can use their votes to create & uphold laws for protection. They can teach children, be it as an official teacher or by leading by example, what is important & right. They can start at home & give their families what they need. Why not protect & provide with actions? Men are needed for survival today, as surely as they were in those 'good ol days' of hunting for food, fending off attacks & other forms of basic survival. Some of the means may have changed, but men have the same responsibilities.

So here was Dr. Phil, pointing out that a man's responsibility was to protect his lover's self-esteem. Surely that is worthy of protection - spear or not!

And the genius of Dr. Phil, he spoke it in man-talk. He used words men not only could hear, but respond to. Such as later in the show when Dr. Phil said "Are you providing the spiritual leadership your family needs?" and other statements that used classic male-talk, it was clear that the men in the hot seats were getting it! But then, what man doesn't hear, understand, become motivated by words like 'provider' & 'leader?'

The brilliance of Dr. Phil taking what women want & need in a partner, and translating it into male is impressive.

For nearly half of my 40 years, I have talked to women about what we want in & out of a relationship. I spent most of that time yakking my fool head off to this man & that man, trying to clarify my needs & wants. I used bits from my girlfriends, hoping their words would be of help. All to no avail.

Then here comes Dr. Phil, who 'didn't just fall off a turnip truck,' known for his directness, stating clearly the needs of women everywhere!

Forget that with my new love, the conversation isn't necessary - for some unknown, but blessed reason, he gets it - I still wept.

I wept for the years of trying. I wept for the women who may need help, and now have a tool: the language to communicate!

If you, or someone you love, is having a problem articulating their needs, or the words are not getting through, let Dr. Phil's words help you make contact. View Dr. Phil's "The Role of the Man in the Family," and start using male-lingo - I bet you make some headway.

2 comments:

Toryssa said...

That was an awesome post, I've never watched Dr. Phil, on principal - but I appreciated what you said.

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PenileCodeAvenger said...

Thank you, toryssa :)