A Male Perspective

After reading my last piece A Female Perspective, a male friend asked me to write a piece from the opposite perspective:

This is really thought provoking.
I'd be really interested to read a piece written by you from exactly the opposite perspective.
I say this because I feel that perhaps it's also true that many women still expect men to be 'simple men'... when it suits them.
Throughout my life I've felt the pressure to be a modern, progressive, emotionally-vulnerable feminist... and also a caveman. Getting the balance right isn't always simple.

The previous post was written from ONE singular female perspective, in ONE moment in time, tapping into a collective feeling from ONE specific angle, and there are many possible opposing perspectives.

The perspective I chose was an emotionally aware straight man my age raised in a ‘modern society’, WANTING to acknowledge and support the independent women around him, but feeling utterly confused about how to do it.

Take it or leave it.

Damned If I Do, Damned If I Don’t

damned if I do, damned if I don’t
there’s no way to win!


I’m ashamed

I read about the girl who got raped
and I’m ashamed of being a man
unable to protect you
from the world, from men, from myself!
ashamed of my own powerlessness
I try to be strong
I try to be soft
either way, you don’t feel safe in this world

damned if I do, damned if I don’t


I’m angry

but I can’t let it out – that would upset you
and probably me, too, I’m taught it’s not ok
so I swallow my anger
but it’s bad for my digestion
it makes me bloated, and you give me that look
you’re not attracted to bloated

damned if I do, damned if I don’t


so I pretend

or maybe I believe it, I don’t know
I show you vulnerability
censored to soft, safe feelings
talking YOUR language, not my native tongue of action
and you hold me, proud of my courage
to be … what I’m not

damned if I do, damned if I don’t


I’m confused

what is it that you need me to be?
I’m trying to understand you, to be present and listen
but you’re changing at a speed I cannot follow!

did I get this straight:
you want me to be decisive, AND flexible
you want me at home, AND out conquering the world
you want independence, AND my arms tightly around you
you want me to be spiritual, AND provide you a material world
you want me to be authentic, AND some perfect creation of your imagination

it is as if you want me to win
but you want me to loose, too

as if you want me to tie myself into a powerless knot
to protect you from me
then you say ‘see, you cannot protect me!’

as if you need me to cut my balls off for you, to find safely in my bravery
but then you don’t want me anymore

damned if I do, damned if I don’t


I’m lost

I’m a missile disarmed
I, modern man
to ensure no more wars
a forward moving energy forced to stagnate
to save the world from what I am – a man

there’s no manual applicable anymore
times are … confusing
and I’m just trying to wing it

but I’m secretly afraid
afraid that you don’t need me anymore
you, independent women!


but then I see the sparkles in your eyes, and I’m in heaven
I hear your carefree steps across the floor, and I’m at peace

the truth is
I just want to love you

why does it have to be so hard?

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