There are many types, but as an almost-30-year-old-female in Academia, the one I run across the most often is the 20-or-30-something male, fragile and self-important and sensitive. (He is fully aware of how different he is from the inferior males so unlike himself—-those evil jocks and yokels.) And for all these reasons, he thinks that most females exist to cater to his needs. He whines and demands, and we (naturally) should take care of him, show how impressed we are by him, and maybe (maybe) date him.
Something in me twitches in rage…
But then it occurred to me… they are just treating us like we are their doting mother. And where have I seen this behavior before? The unreflective self-centeredness that demanded your emotional encouragement? That unquestioningly expected you to cater to their needs?
It’s the sweetest, most endearing thing in a little 3 year old child. Selfishness in a child is such a loveable thing–the way they demand love, demand live, and cling to you unquestioningly as a benevolent deity.
So these males aren’t awful. They are just behaving like children.
So why do I love it so much in kids and hate it so much in men? OK, so maybe they aren’t a man like John Wayne (our society has been lionizing protest so much that it’s veered into whining), but what is wrong with me? Why all this hatred?
This sounds terrible — but I hate them because I feel sorry for them. Somewhere in the recesses of my dysfunctional guilty self, I think I ‘owe’ it to every pathetic guy to cheer him up. And I don’t want to, so as a rather ill-chosen self-defense-mechanism against my own dysfunctional conscience — I resort to rage and hate. I need to, so that I don’t pity them too much.
The thing is, egotism and selfishness is in all of us. And it is directly correlated to insecurity. The more we (deep down) don’t love/respect/treasure ourselves, the more we express egotism/selfishness/self-centeredness. The thirsty man snatches the water gourd in the desert — the well-filled man does not. Those starved on love will demand it from others. That is why little kids are so demanding–they are new in this universe, so desperate for love.
God gave us a craving for unconditional love and unconditional acceptance. For someone who loves you more than the universe, and you know it deep down.
It’s not that selfish/egotist types are still kids. The problem is they don’t know, deep down, that they are kids. God’s kids. There is a place for demanding love and attention and respect and support. But not from females (or males), but from God. Go to him and plead and demand. He’s your father and you are his kid. The realest kid. Ask him to show you he loves you, to put his love for you in you, to let your see yourself through his eyes — eyes that see all your weaknesses and failings and precious specialness and love you more.
Be your kid self to God. And then you will be good to other people.
[PS Yes, I know I can be quite the egotist too, and a female “mansplainer” to boot. Mea culpa.]