Stickman Readers' Submissions July 15th, 2011

A Note On Sex, Men and Marriage, To Korski’s Daughter Or Granddaughter

To my daughter,

A few words of advice on sex, men and marriage.

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Don’t confuse lust with love. A young woman in the bloom of youth often thinks she is more mature than she actually is – emotionally, physically, mentally. There will be a man, he will be a few years older than you, who will break your heart and take your virginity. He may be kind-hearted and not mean to, or he may care less whether he does so, or he will do so maliciously. You will believe it is love. The first bit of ‘real’ attention, from a ‘real’ man. Do not let this embitter you towards men in general – it is a rite of passage, heart-breaking, but inescapable. You will be stronger because of it. You will take your time in relationships which follow, to make sure that you are ready and prepared – emotionally, physically mentally, before you open yourself up, before you trust, before you love. Always make sure you use protection – contraceptive pills and a condom. You should be prepared to have a child, otherwise you will be robbed of your carefree youth, despite having the wonderful gift of a child in return. The world is harsh for a young mother – perhaps most surprisingly, sometimes, from her partner. He may accuse you of ‘trapping’ him with a child. A manipulative, conniving leech, he will call you.

You, child of Eve, must pay for her sins, at least in the minds of men.

Never forget that marriage is not an easy solution to pregnancy – at least not a marriage of convenience, built on resentment and a concept of duty. Never forget that an abortion will haunt you, lurking in the shadows – leaving its ugly scars. If not straight away, then at the birth of your first child, the moment you hold the newborn in your arms…what would that child, the one never given a chance to live, have to been to you? What would that child have been to the world?

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You need to fend for yourself in this world, my dear. No matter how much a man earnestly promises he will look after you ‘for life, for eternity,’ you cannot trust in words alone. Work your hardest, open your mind, develop skills which you can use throughout your life. Strive to be the best you can be – academically, socially, professionally. Make sure you can support yourself. Never expect a man to support you financially. When you get married, make sure you have separate bank accounts, any property you own should be in your joint names, or, if you have made the payment, in your name only. Make sure the pre-nuptial agreement is drafted grounded on reality, rather than idealistic notions of love, which can be shattered like fragile glass.

Now, onto a long list of things I would find undesirable in any man.

If your potential partner has a history of mental instability, then head for the door. That oh-so-rare emotional or physical abuse, severe mood swings, manic depression, will only get worse as you get deeper into the relationship. You will feel trapped. Trapped as a victim. Trapped as a carer.

If you are an active, curious and adventurous woman, as I hope you will be, stay away from men who are couch potatoes, and sit watching the football, whilst scratching their balls and burping from consuming too many beers, who refuses to get out of bed, on weekends where you should be spending quality time together.

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Don’t get involved with a man for whom sexual gratification is his top priority in a mate. You will find yourself reduced to a sexual object, tossed aside when, reaching middle-age, you can no longer compete with. I want you to explore your sexuality, be comfortable with yourself sexually. Don’t be ashamed of yourself, of your body, of your desires. But find someone who is compatible with you sexually. Don’t stay with a man who’s be-all and end-all is a mind-blowingly hot 20-something who caters to his every sexual need. By all means, be this mind-blowing hottie, but don’t start a life with a man who is only with you for your body.

If you begin seeing signs that the man is a misogynist, or has chauvinistic tendencies, then please, leave him now. You need your views, socially, culturally, to be compatible. Not identical, not the same, but compatible. You should be allowed to be the woman who you are and the woman you want to be – do not be forced to be the woman he thinks you should be. You are now living in a time where a lot of men believe a number of women to be ‘men-hating feminists.’ They will have a pre-conception of you before you have even explained yourself – that you have ‘attitude’ towards men, that you are out to take them down with charges of harassment and false cries of rape. Stay away from these men, as they are caustic, embittered souls, who will rob you of any belief in any kindness, compassion and altruistic tendencies in human nature.

Make sure your man shares some of your interests and views – you should be looking for a partner, a friend – that is what makes a husband. It will bring greater joy and your relationship will grow and flourish, if you have hobbies which you can both enjoy together. The general rule here is: don’t take any man’s word about anything that concerns your conception of identity and your way of living – he may lie to impress you, to get you into bed, or perhaps, just because he can’t be bothered to disagree.

Consider his views and habits with the highest scrutiny. Does he place great emphasis on how you look, all the time, incessantly, to the point where your self-esteem has plummeted to zero? Does he complain when you gain 2-3 pounds? Does he call you fat? Never go out with a man who is more concerned about your appearance and your weight than you are. He will be a shallow man who only notices what is not ‘perfect’ about you, whilst refusing to hold up the mirror to his middle-aged, wrinkled and overweight self.

Onto the issue of beauty. Don’t let any man tell you that you can’t be beautiful and intelligent. Prove them wrong. Strive to be the best you can be in all areas of your life. A fulfilled and happy woman is content with all aspects of her life – her mind, her body, her soul. Don’t get dragged into consumerism and materialistic tendencies which consume a large proportion of the female population. Be beautiful, but be beautiful first and foremost for yourself. You cannot please a man who wants his wife to be stunning, a perfect 10, for all time, and then berates such a woman for wanting the aid of plastic surgery to meet his unattainable ideals of beauty.

Now onto the green-eyed monster. Jealousy. Don’t let jealousy consume you, nor stay with a man who is consumed by his jealousy. Please, my darling, remember that marriage, a relationship, is a partnership. You should not let any man control you, and you should not try to control your man. The problem is that whilst many men believe that whilst they are entitled to however much privacy, alone-time as they like, or to simply disappear without any explanation at all, they do not think a woman should be so entitled. Make sure your man does not hold such a self-indulgent double standard.

Don’t stay with a man who accuses you of nagging, when in actual fact, he uses this to escape a discussion which he does not wish to have. If you try to have a serious conversation to sort out any issues or problems in your relationship, and he calls you a ‘nag,’ then it is clear he uninterested in anything you have to say. He does not want to listen to that which he does not agree with. But you, he feels, should always listen to him. Don’t let yourself be bullied into submission.

If your man wants you to go out and make half of the aggregate household income, and you agree, then by all means, do it! But do not let yourself be subject to the double-burden. If you are with a man who expects you to be his equal at work, but also do all the household chores – dinner, cleaning, looking after the children – then leave. If he wishes you to be equals, you need to be equals, not only in the workplace, but in the sphere of the home. You pull your weight professionally, he pulls his weight domestically.

But enough of this negativity. I have been surrounded by marriages and relationships, good and bad. I am not idealistic about marriage, and I do not want you to be. But I also do not want you to be a cynical, hardened woman. Marriage does not have to end in divorce. A marriage, a good marriage, grows and develops, if both parties respect and love each other. Yes, cheating happens, yes, people change, yes, some people change their spouses as often as you or I change our underwear. But this does not have to be the case.

So, to end this letter: Chose your partner wisely, because men – well, there aren’t many genuinely good ones that any self-respecting woman would want to spend a lifetime with.

But, on the other hand, never, ever, lose hope for love – for a man who will love and cherish you, and a man who you will do the honour of loving and cherishing in return.

They do exist. I know this for a fact.


Stickman's thoughts:

Lots of good, fair points and it is nice to see it from "the other side".


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