Friday, November 22, 2013

CTNAHM-Mr Steady Part 12 (Dem Wimminz Hormonez)

p 106-107

Today we are finishing up the section on Mr. Steady. And how does Michael choose to close this section? Does he summarize the traits of a Steady? Will he exhort men to fix their weaknesses? Does he give a list of scriptures helpful for Steadies?
  Don't be silly. He talks about those female emotions.

Female Emotional Breakdowns
Mr. Pearl,
I have a few words to contribute to your men's book. I call it: WHAT MEN SHOULD AND SHOULD NOT DO.
As I am sure you have noticed, women are very emotional creatures. Sometimes crazy hormones or over-the-top emotions get the better of us. Now these instances should never happen, but we are human and sometimes they simply do (like after the birth of a child or the day before our periods are due to start). My desire for all married men is that they understand the following:
   *She is just having a "moment" so, please, don't take her seriously.
   * Perhaps just step out of the room for half an hour.
   *Go buy her some chocolate and be sure to give her a hug.
   *Then move on from the "moment" and let her move on too.
This is not a cop out, only a plea for some occasional room to be emotional.
Hopeful Lady,

   Egads. My first thought is that I seriously doubt a real "hopeful lady" named Amy wrote this letter. If  you recall the section where Michael compares women to ocean tides, the narrative voice is almost identical. Another problem I have, is why would a woman counsel men to not take their wives seriously? Also, I'm finding it difficult to believe that a sane person could write, on one hand, women are very emotional; and on the other, say "our emotions get the better of us-even though they shouldn't!"
  So apparently, it's natural that women are emotional, but acting on those emotions is a sign of being a weak person.  One other thing that's bugging me is the advice to give your menstruating woman some chocolate and a hug. How fake is that? "Hey, honey, I know you're on your period. Here's a Hershey's bar. Please don't get emotional at me."
   Also, this letter completely negates the fact that a woman (emotional or not) might be legitimately upset, or even have valid points. Saying "Oh, you're emotional, I'll be outside until you calm down." isn't helpful or very nice.  The letter isn't arguing for empathy for stressed or hormonal women. It doesn't counsel to listen to the wife's concerns. It just implies she's blowing everything out of proportion because she's hormonal.
   I am Bipolar, and hormones affect my moods in a big way. But even when I have escalated past the normal zone, and I'm screaming, or crying, or both, THE FEELINGS ARE STILL REAL AND LEGITIMATE.  I cry because I'm genuinely upset. Even if the reason I'm crying is because of something I just watched on TV. It's not always a matter of being a little bit irritated and reacting way too strongly. Sometimes the feelings are genuinely as big as the reaction. This letter doesn't allow for that.
   I think if Amy really does exist, and actually wrote this, she should be held accountable for how many women she's hurt by spreading this toxic nonsense.

Other Suggestions from the Ladies
*A man needs to understand when is wife is having an emotional fit. He needs to just pretend that she is acting completely as she should and just hold her in his arms and tell her how much he loves her.
   It really is OK for women (or people) to have emotions, and act on them. If you're sad, you can cry, or be sad, or yell, or however you deal with it. Yes, there are some healthy ways to deal with emotions. But the point I'm trying to make, is it's OK to feel and demonstrate things other than gentle contentment.  And why is the only time Michael counsels men to hold their wives and say that they love them is during emotional upheavals.  Honestly, if the only time my husband did that was when I was emotional, I would freak out all the time, just to get that validation.
*I think all men should understand that a woman has times when she is not as emotionally equipped as other times. During such  times she might yell or demand things that she normally would not. He should not take this occasion to tell her what is right or wrong but just give her time to get things together.
   What about when men demand things they shouldn't? What about when men are emotional? Or too proud? Or cruel? Or petty? Why are men's negative emotions/actions untouched, but when women offer anything other than a happy smile and willing attitude, they are hormonal, PMSy, emotional monsters that need to get their act together? I just can't stress enough how harmful these teachings are!
* Sometimes I feel real emotional and my husband just tries to calm me, which makes me feel worse. I wish he would just let me yell and not get upset with me.
   Perhaps this is something women should discuss with their husbands. Saying "I'm very upset right now, and all I need you to do is listen." when that's what you need is a healthy thing. Getting mad because your spouse can't read your mind and give you what you want isn't.  What makes me sad, is that it really seems the women in Michael's demographic don't feel safe enough to tell their husbands what they need.
*When I am mad and on a frustrated rampage, when I cry, when I'm moody or ornery, just give me a hug.
    Again, it's OK for one spouse to tell their SO what they need. If your spouse doesn't listen, care, or act on it, then a big chat (or counseling) is probably in order.
*Don't tell me I must be on my period and will feel better later.

   Well, I hope you learned a lot today. Those silly women with their silly emotions clearly don't deserve actual consideration or thought. And shame on you for thinking otherwise!

   Next time, we start up the section on Mr. Command. I'm a bit scared, I'll admit.


  1. Um, yeah. So I'll admit that childbirth did a number on me and that I was pretty emotional in the first few weeks postpartum. But you know what absolutely wouldn't have helped? Ignoring me. You can be empathetic and offer to help even if you do think that the emotional response is a bit over the top. In fact usually just verbalizing what I'm feeling helps me to find perspective on my own and realize what's really going on. Maybe it's just an emotional time or maybe I've been really upset about a whole bunch of things and the last one was the straw that broke the camel's back.

    It's the same with my kids. Living with a preschooler and toddler means I'm constantly putting up with meltdowns over problems that I would consider trivial. Sometimes I know they're just acting out because they're tired or hungry. Or sometimes they have more complex emotions that they don't have the maturity to really verbalize so instead they blow up about all the little things instead. Then again, sometimes it really is a big deal to them. Their priorities are totally different from mine so there's plenty of situations where something that seems pretty insignificant to me feels like the end of the world to them.

    The thing is that whether it's a toddler or adult who's melting down about something you view as fairly insignificant you can offer empathy and comfort without agreeing with their point of view. You can say, "I'm sorry you're so upset. Is there anything I can do to help?" It's not insincere because who does like to see someone they love upset even if they don't agree with the reason? Validating someones emotions does not have to mean agreeing with them.

  2. Instead of saying not to take her seriously it might work better to say if your mate (male or female) is obviously in an emotional state-men can get irrational too!-don't take it personally. Whatever is disturbing him or her probably needs to at least be considered seriously, but a person who is really upset may be unreasonably angry/frustrated/irritable, and considering their words and actions as personal insults isn't going to be helpful.