The battle of the sexes has waged for years with either side feeling like the victim of the other for being valued for what they can provide over who they are as a person.
Women feel reduced to sexual objects.
It’s not an individual man who creates this feeling, but the structure of society. Everything from burgers to sport cars is sold to men using attractive women as the lure for participation.
There is a whole industry that thrives on undermining the self-esteem of women so they will buy makeup, body shapers, diet products, hair products and any other form of mask that perpetuates what we determine to equal beauty. And, there are magazines that target women by consistently telling them they aren’t doing enough to satisfy men in the bedroom. Instagram is covered with half-naked women being praised and drooled over by men.
Then, there are the movies, music and some men themselves who subscribe to the trope that a sexually unsatisfied man is justified to cheat or have a woman on the side.
All of it serves to make a woman feel like her value lies between her legs and not between her ears. But, you are still supposed to remain self-confident despite what you see around you. How? No one cares. Figure it out on your own.
Men feel reduced to success objects.
The word “Provider” looms over the head of young men. They are groomed to grow up with the expectation that they will be able to take care of a family.
Advertisements, movies and music all tout the virtues of being a success. Music videos show men throwing money around and beautiful women fawning all over them. They see female groupies willing to do anything to get the attention of a famous singer, actor or sports player. Materialism is pushed on them as the way to get the attention of desirable women.
There are very few stories that show a man making a modest amount of money that gets his dream girl without being something else to compensate.
Even if you grow out of the chasing materialism phase, as a man, you are still supposed to have a respectable job, moderate success and be able to support an entire family. You are supposed to be able to afford luxuries. How are you supposed to achieve this without anyone showing you along the way? No one cares. Figure it out on your own.
Some men and women have figured out how to strike the balance between these ideals while some struggle with reconciling the two which can create toxicity in how one views the other.
The difficulty is that it is quite possible to exploit or be exploited for your sexuality and your success.
There are women who will date men without understanding that all the man is interested in is either using or parading them around as an acquired sexual object. Meanwhile, there are suspecting or unsuspecting men who will be used for their wealth, prestige or power by women who want to be in the presence or have access to what those things provide.
After several times of feeling used, someone may view every potential love interest from the filter of wanting what they have and become disgruntled or apathetic in their pursuit of real love.
The truth is, there are no guarantees in what a person has. Jobs and titles can be lost. Money comes and goes. Libidos can be lowered. Looks fade. And, we are always getting older.
What a person has to offer at every stage of life changes over time and this is why some people can’t weather what comes in their relationships, because it was based on temporary things rather than characteristics that can weather those changes.
The Antidote: Maturity
Eventually, you have to start examining your own motives and also start seeing other people as more than a means to an end.
It doesn’t mean that you have to go completely against what makes you feel secure. But, you have to raise your standards above the shallow symbol of what you desire. Identify the true need that exists beneath it.
If you chase either someone successful or beautiful because you feel insecure and need someone’s appearance to make you feel as if you have it altogether, maybe it is time to secure yourself. If you can create security for yourself then you can love someone for who they are because you are not depending on them to make you feel comfortable. You also don’t have to manipulate or control them to keep up your image to others.
Secondly, instead of someone successful, admire ambition. Instead of someone being a sex goddess, find someone passionate. Find the attractive qualities that are beneath the surface of what you want and look for those in the people you meet. They may not be in the Forbes 100, but maybe they are a small businessman with goals and a plan of execution. They may not being a Supermodel walking the runway, but in a writer with her own column. (I’m just saying.)
If you want to be loved for who you are, make sure you are offering the same to someone else.
What’s Next? Talk with others. Take action.
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