Greetings from the Land of Enchantment: The Men You Love to Hate

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Men You Love to Hate

I've been experiencing a lot of inner anger this past week. I've done some stupid things in response to it; but the most baffling is this: a Mad Men Marathon. This new show on AMC network is all about the early advertising executives. What did my friend call it at lunch today? Oh, yeah, the glory years, when men could harass women at work with not a word of complaint, in fact, women were conditioned to play along if not encourage it outright. The days when men were expected to cheat on their wives, but not really participate in their families, other than pay the bills and be on the 5:31 train back to Connecticut. Drink hard, work hard, and don't embarrass themselves or their wives, too much. I've heard similar stories from older men in AA: lawyers, doctors, CEOs who lost entire years in black outs but were still successful, big players in the political, financial world of the 60s. I know it didn't stop then--and it didn't start then. Power and money and sex have always gone together.

Nevertheless, old wounds have really been triggered in me lately. The inability to trust. The deep feeling that every man is a liar. This same friend at lunch said to me, well, for every negative thought you have of men, you need to balance it with some good men you know. He admitted that it might be harder, but still, a necessary exercise. For he, a good man, I'm sure felt a bit threatened by my anger, even as he pointed out my own inability to even identify with 'good men'...his example was a 'good guy' from a series a few years ago. He asked me, "What do you think of him?" and I replied, "Wimp." He laughed and said, "I thought so". So see, we all have our blocks and our stereotypes and our hidden agendas....sigh.

I guess my hope is that whatever this anger is bringing up, I can clear it once and for all. And begin experiencing men--good men--for what they are, without dismissing them as soft, weak or somehow not real men.

What in me is attracted to 'the men I love to hate"? And how can I clear it and forgive myself? Forgive them? Forgive men . . . hmmmm.


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