published Friday, January 8th, 2010

Male Call: Man up and get in touch with the feminine side

By Gina Bever

"OH MY God, that's so true!" my best friend laughed/screamed as we careened into the other lane of traffic.

Was it something I said? OK, it was something I said.

We were talking about things we wished men understood about women. And I innocently said: "We believe them when they say they're going to call."

Now, don't get the wrong impression here. My best friend and I don't tool around Chattanooga on Sunday afternoons dissing guys. We're actually big fans of the mans. But, you know, when we ladies get together, we talk.

So what do women wish men understood about them?

1. We believe you when you say you are going to call.

Let's dial it back to the discussion about the telephone.

We really do believe a man when he says, "I'll call you." It doesn't matter if you've said this to a woman 37,243 times and called her only 27 times. She will expect a call if you say "I'll call you."

I don't know why we can't see the pattern here. I think it has something to do with having two X chromosomes and is genetic. We can't help it, so please don't tempt our inner screaming banshee. Just say "Bye" or, if you really have to, "I'll talk to you later."

2. "Do I look fat in this?" has nothing to do with the outfit in question.

What?!?! Yes, I promise, the questions "Do I look fat in this outfit?" or "Does my butt look big in this?" have absolutely nothing to do with whatever your girlfriend or wife is wearing.

The real question you're being asked is: "Honey, do you think I look hot?" Really. It's that easy. And the answer is always "Baby, you look smokin'." Always. Extra style points for: "Honey, I think you need to hand me the phone so I can call the fire department and report you're on fire."

3. Even when you're right, you're wrong. And proving you're right is futile.

This is a harsh one (sorry, dudes!) and courtesy of a dear friend of mine.

Remember that time you got into an argument with a girlfriend, or maybe your wife, about the names of the characters on "The A-Team?" (Yeah, I loved that show, too.) And you said Mr. T's character's name was B.A. Baracus, and she said it was Apollo Creed? And then you, Mr. Smart E. Pants, had to Google it and prove that it was B.A. Baracus?

I'm really sorry that didn't work out better for you.

One of the harshest things to understand and accept when it comes to women is that even when you are right, you are wrong, and arguing your righteous case is futile. I told you it was harsh.

Of course, if you're into pointless pain and suffering, feel free to not accept this fact. Otherwise, understand that we're very sorry we just can't accept that you are indeed right (again, I think it's genetic), and keep Mr. Smart E. Pants away from all Wi-Fi hotspots.

Women really do want men to understand them, and to understand men. And I'd like to think that one day, we'll all understand each other, and men will call when they say they will.

But that would totally ruin the joke wouldn't it?

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rolando said...

Things I wish women would understand about men [open-ended post]; numbers are not used because they are in no particular order:

  • Something we said six months ago cannot be used against us today.

  • Tears are unfair.

  • Don't work around a question -- if you want to know if you look hot, say so. Asking if something makes you look fat will get you either the unvarnished truth or no answer at all [which IS an answer]. Men are not stupid...we know lose-lose when we hear it.

  • Men understand men; they do not even try to understand the un-understandable. [Harsh truth, that one]

  • Never ask a man what he is thinking about. The answers, if truthful [which they seldome are], will surprise and disappoint you...we DO occasionally think of things other than YOU.

  • Sitting is point-blank; we sometimes miss while standing. Get over it. And check before you sit.

  • When men ask women a question, they expect the answer to be directly related to the question; when women ask a question of a man, they expect the answer to address NOT the question itself but the UNASKED question underlying the question itself. We are NOT mind readers nor are we prescient; this confuses us. [See the writer's question #2 above for an example.]

Other inputs from either side???

January 8, 2010 at 6:36 p.m.
GordonShumway said...

As I read this, I cringed/winced.

And yes, to answer Gina Bever's rhetorical question, it was something she said.

This was, at best, an expose of the three biggest punchlines used in run-of-the-mill sitcoms (the canned laughter was palpable).

Of course one should call another person if they say they will! "Build Me Up Buttercup" was written by a man after all. But to think that women are so utterly insecure that failing to call is a major relationship issue is offensive to both genders. Honest advice: stop obsessing like a teenage girl every time a guy doesn't call. If there are real communication issues, a couple should work on them.

And if a girl asks if she looks fat - I can't believe any space is devoted to this topic. Seriously.

The last topic, concerning a woman's infallibility, furthers the notion that women are deeply insecure and that honest communication (beyond merely calling when one says one will) is hopeless.

Sometimes women are wrong, about things even more important than Mr.T. In comparison to the demand that men crumble in the face of female insecurity, this must be a really harsh truth. But women need to hear it just as much as men occasionally do. It is about communication. Hopefully a woman's respect for her man can outshine pride and insecurity.

In exchange for real communication and respect, I'd gladly sacrifice a thousand such jokes as were martyred here today. Men really do hate to ask for directions, but please do not make it a focus of any continuation of this column.

January 8, 2010 at 10:28 p.m.

Haha, as a non-man, I agree with both of you guys. Pussy-footing around, manipulating and pouting are so shallow. We can do better than that. Yet, it's like the old dilemma, nice girls seem to go for the bad boys and straight-up guys go for the dyed-blond, perky bimbos. She says, he says. Who knows? That is the strange dichotomy/symbiosis of attraction between men and women. And in the end it seems to work...well, somewhat

January 8, 2010 at 10:55 p.m.

Wow! I am floored that this is even an article in the paper! I guess one of these girls got stood up over New years weekend and decided to complain about it :)

January 8, 2010 at 11:03 p.m.
jingles said...

Where is my value in this column as a reader? I am not interested in the fact that you drive around thinking of things like the above mentioned (which have already been thought of a million times over and written about the same amount) and then turn around and waste valuable writing space on them. This took zero originality and creativity. And, as a female reader, I cringed at how pathetic you make women look in your article. As for the Free Press, get a new columnist quick, because if this content keeps coming, as a reader, I am going.

January 9, 2010 at midnight
KellyP said...

Gina Bever (and oh do I hope that's really your real name, because if its not, its the worst attempt at a fake girly name for a columnist I've ever seen as its only one step away from a really really bad pun), please pick up a book on feminism, or at the very least on self awareness. And please, please, stop pretending that you have some authority on how women work while perpetuating the same time worn myths that men are justifiably petrified of. Women who use these myths really have no excuse. Men who buy into them don't either. Communication is a two way street, and strangely enough, that means both parties have a responsibility to clarify things like this like adults and not play games.

Just to clarify how I got here... I was linked to this article as an example of bad female writing about women. I came and read it to judge for myself, and I have to say, I agree. There are good ways to write this topic, this ain't it.

January 10, 2010 at 2:14 a.m.
JLA said...

This manages to be insulting to both men and women. I would be appalled and ashamed if a woman behaved like the author suggests, and frankly, most men are better than this.

I seriously hope that this is some kind of joke from the paper and not a regular feature.

*For full disclosure, I am female and have dignity.

January 10, 2010 at 5:25 p.m.
Baldrick2 said...

I can't say I'm a big fan of this column. As other responders have noted, there's not much that novel in the points the author makes. Additionally, it feels kind of politically regressive. I think there are always interesting conversations about the differences between the sexes to be had, but they should reflect the culture as it is, not as it was decades ago. Particularly, I have to say, point number 3 bothers me. Please let's agree that we've come to a place as a society where women are not seen as inherently irrational, and worse yet, as proudly owning that irrationality.

January 11, 2010 at 3:41 p.m.
casey9490 said...

I agree with all the previous respondents. I too am offended that somebody else has created something and feel a burning need to tear it down and build my own empire in its place. Yes, my empire is 150 words or less and is composed entirely of bitterness and misplaced outrage, but by god something needs to be done about all this "creating" going on.

How dare you, Gina Bever, for writing anything that is then posted on the internet. The sheer gall it takes makes my blood boil with the unrestrained, faceless fury of the internet critic.

A pox upon you and your silly newspaper column that I simultaneously hate and plan to read again next week. My heart thrills at the thought of the outrage I will feel when you have the gall to show your 1.5 x 2.5-inch face again in the august pages of the Chattanooga Times-Free Press Life section.

January 11, 2010 at 4:15 p.m.
dionas said...

Wow! I am shocked at the lack of humor possessed by these commentors. I thought the article was a tongue and cheek poke at the truth of women. I fell in love with my husband because he actually called when he said he would, tells me I look smokin hot when I ask if I look ok in this outfit and laughes with me when he proves he's right and I was thinking of something else (because I wasn't wrong, just confused). I am an independent strong woman with her own career, a feminist one could say, and I am not fooled into thinking that because I am I can't be emotional, hopeful and complicated. I applaud the writer and the Times Free Press for putting an article out for men about understanding women instead of another one on what women should do to hook a guy. Maybe some of the men out there will learn something about how to hook a hottie.

January 12, 2010 at 6:08 p.m.
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