Define “handle”

As someone who sits in front of a computer for a large part of her day, and has cute kids, I enjoy Facebook.  I can brag about my kids with a few clicks of a button, whenever I want to.

I also see a lot of posts and comments that annoy the livin’ bejeezuz out of me.  Facebook posts mostly fall into several broad categories: cute animals, inspirational quotes, dirty jokes, political blurbs, bragging/complaining about kids and/or spouse, complaining about job, description of dinner plans, and the ever-popular “women are so fucking wonderful” memes.

Did you get the idea that I don’t like that last category much?  Very observant of you.

“But- But- But you’re a woman!” you gasp.

[Well, according to a bunch of sayings that get passed around Facebook, I’m not a real one.  According to pretty much every post that starts with “A real woman…” or “A real man…”, my husband and I fail the test.]

Here is the number one “woman power [sic]” post that gets my goat, in its many variations:

“I am a woman.  I have mood swings, I cry, I get PMS, I need chocolate, I am sensitive, I can be a real bitch, I’ll scream at you and you won’t know why, some days I can’t get out of bed, [etc, etc.]….  If you can’t handle me at my WORST, you don’t deserve me at my BEST.”

Wow.  Really?  That’s what you want to put out there about yourself?  You do realize that it’s not a flattering portrayal, don’t you?  And saying that it’s because you’re a woman implies things about all women.  No thanks.  You can stop speaking for me now.  Please.

When I see these “if you can’t handle me” posts, the first question that comes to my mind is “pray tell, what exactly do you mean by ‘handle’?”

I will admit (note the difference, that I admit it rather than being proud of it) that I have my bad moments.  Sometimes I’m just grumpy for no obvious reason.  Sometimes I get frustrated and cry.  Sometimes I get my feelings unnecessarily hurt.  Sometimes I lash out in unjustified anger.

My husband can handle me at those times.  But I don’t think the women who share those posts would approve of the way he “handles” me.  He tells me to knock it off.  He tells me to grow a pair (in slightly nicer terms, but that’s what he means).  He tells me that I’m being unreasonable.  He goes out to his shop and leaves me to pout by myself.  Or he lashes right back at me – he’s what’s called a “tit for tatter”.

Basically, he treats me the way he would treat any male friend of his who was being a dick.

I don’t think that’s what women mean when they say “if you can’t handle me at my worst, you don’t deserve me at my best”.

Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.

I believe what is meant by “handle” in the posts is that the woman expects a man to accept her bad behaviors, not confront her about them, not defend himself, just let her be that way and act like it’s reasonable.

So she expects to be allowed to act completely at the mercy of her emotions, but her man is supposed to not react emotionally toward her in return – he is supposed to be calm and rational, comfort her and appease her, and be glad when the emotional outburst is over.

Not lose his temper, not call her on her shit, but give her chocolates and let her curl up with her teddy bear or something?

In other words, he’s supposed to act like a modern PC father does when his child is being bratty.

Yeah, that’s equality for you.

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1 comment
  1. Ed Berland said:

    What…you have bad moods…I never noticed! I’m too much in awe of your insights (seriously!) So, let me see here…what you’re say is that you’re human, right? And, Ben should be nominated for sainthood…not for putting up with you and your “female behavior”, but for treating you as an equal partner in life.

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