Saturday, January 16, 2016

Some Boys will Never Grow into Men - Part II

This is part two of my first entry that I wrote about 3 years ago 'Some Boys will Never Grow into Men' - Click here for Part 1 . You do not have to read the first part to understand this one, for there are all new characters in this part.

Again in this post to respect the privacy of the people that I have interacted with, I will only use an initial instead of any names. Plus, I would like to just emphasize that I do not befriend people to blog about them, but I then realize they are good blogging material that we can all learn from.

I know that men mature more slowly than women do, but only recently have I learned that some of them reach points in certain aspects of their life where they are merely boys who refuse to grow, or maybe do not have the capacity for further growth because in their eyes and in the eyes of the society, they are now men just because their bodies have transformed even though their minds are still somewhere in between that of a young boy and a troubled teen. 

Today, I will be speaking of four boys who have yet to grow into men, and I will list them in the order that I met them; beginning with the story of T, going on to the story of M then J, and finally finishing off with the story of H. The youngest of them is 28 years old and the oldest 36.

Image result for TT is a bachelor in his mid-thirties who still wants to live the life of a careless teen in some aspects of his life whereas, he can be semi-responsible in others. T comes from a war-torn country where the media says there is a civil war going on, and he works abroad and helps provide for his family and sometimes even friends who depend on him to be able to live a decent lifestyle midst the war. He tends to forget his financial responsibilities at times, and spends a good portion of his paycheck on things he does not need such as a GPS system in his car when he lives in a small city where it is almost impossible to get lost in addition to the fact that he already has GPS on his phone which he used before he felt the need to spend his food and essentials money on his car. There are so many other car non-essentials that he bought, that I could not keep up with. At the same time, he says that he does not eat well at times because he does not have enough money to buy healthy food. That is the same reason he gives for not seeing a doctor when he is in great pain which he was ever since I knew him. Please tell me what kind of grown man with a fully mature brain puts his car over himself and his own health? 

He says that marriage is not for him and he cannot afford it, and I wonder why that is... For a while he was encouraged by his relatives to buy a house in his hometown as due to the war prices of real-estate is rising, and his family could rent it out and could live on the monthly rent. He was ashamed when after more than four years of living in the Gulf, he could not afford to buy his own house that he should have been able to if he budgeted like a grown man. This new enthusiasm of saving up to buy a house lasted for a month or two, before he realized that he did not like the wheels on his car.

About a week ago, he finally went to the hospital and took an appointment because he could no longer bear the pain then he never showed up and said he felt better with the help of strong painkillers. A man who cannot care for himself and set his priorities straight does not deserve to be called a man. For what gown man prioritizes "pimping their ride" over their own health and well-being?

He says he cannot live with anyone and wants to live alone forever, yet then he says that he is tired of being alone, and does not want to be alone forever. He wants to merely date, but most of the girls in his age range are already married. He has tried dating a married woman, and let us just say that did not end nicely. 

T also finds it hard to accept different points of view and gets angry with me when he has told me his point of view on a political issue several times, and I still formulate my own. He says that he wasted so much time explaining it to me and I still do not understand, but he does not understand that I do understand his point of view, but have my own; and it is very hard for him to accept that because he speaks to people in order to convince them of his point of view and cannot accept the fact that people can agree to disagree. He once discouraged me from posting political posts or commenting on his telling me that women do not understand politics, and I simply hung up the phone in his face because I cannot poison my thoughts with such nonsense. He then went on explaining it was because he did not want his friends who had the same political stance as him to see my comments and then question him about being friends with me. Males in the Arab society tend to avoid people who do not share their own views because as boys they cannot accept that not everyone thinks their ideas are not great.

Image result for MM is a different story altogether although he always waits for the last minute to see doctor, but at least when he does, he still has a budget to do so. M likes the ring of the word man and I have heard him say it several times when referring to himself or when comparing himself to others who he does not consider men. I do not know what characteristics and habits he considers to be manly: is it because he smokes, is highly overprotective of women, lifts weights at the gym (which I and several other women do as well), or has man-looking hands. Speaking of hands, he once told me I have nice small and fingers, and that he said they are good for a woman, but he could not have him because they are not engineer hands and nobody would take him seriously if he put hands like my on the meeting table. I pointed out that women could be engineers as well and specific hands did not matter, and he told me he meant it as a man engineer. Basically, M thinks that even his hands contribute to his manly-hood. 

M is so swamped up in the idea of being a man, he never thought it through to decide what it entails, rather he thinks what the society has brought him to think; that he was born with male privilege and does not need to think on his own to be a man. He constantly told me that my thoughts are not compatible with those of society, and that I have "manly" thoughts because I want a career and have done a lot for it. He says that a woman should always listen to her husband and never disagree with what he has to say because he wants the best for her. His thought of manliness is to tell a woman what to do because she cannot think for herself. He is still in the mind of a teenage boy who wants to prove that he is a man to society by raising his voice and physically attacking people at work which is why he needs he "man" hands on the table.

A man knows that problems are solved in a civilized manner and that there is discussion and negotiation. Many people in our society have not been trained to discuss and negotiate, and thus resort to less civilized techniques to get their message across to others which young boys often resort to when in distress. Men do not need to prove their manliness by having a woman who never disagrees with him because she does not know what is the best for her, while he surprisingly does; maybe, it is a "man" superpower of some sort.

Image result for JJ is very well-liked and popular among friends, family, and acquaintances alike; he is one of those people who has a free ticket into society which many people envy because they work twice as hard to earn that ticket, but they just never fit in. I used to envy people that got that free ticket, but now I appreciate that I did not because I do not want to be fully integrated into society; I need some distance. J has certain criteria for a female partner that will allow him to hold onto his free ticket; otherwise, his social acceptance that he takes for granted will cease- which he is quite aware of. Thus, he needs a female who also was given a free ticket by society. This integration will lead to the producing of offspring who will be accepted into society the day they are born. Their chances for survival will be higher and this is how Darwin's theory works out. 

In the Arab world, men who do not have any pre-marital relationships usually look for everything they fantasize in woman in their future partner. People usually say: "You only marry once." which is not true nowadays with the amount of divorce and remarriage, but they convince us that it a YOLO experience that must be taken advantage of. J's fantasies and preferences include fair skin and a woman who wears the hijab (head veil); however, he says that he will let go of his preferences if he likes someone who does not meet his preference of skin color. He has previously done so in a previous relationship, but admitted that he secretly wished his partner had lighter skin at times. He also lets go of his preferences if someone has caught his interest from the first sight. Other features such as a nice smile, hair and body will catch his attention from first sight. 

Image result for H

is a good talker and that is the means he usually uses to convince people that he is a man who is always being pursued by females he is not interested in. He tells these stories to other females who he is trying to pursue to fulfill his short term needs without making any commitments. The females who listen to his stories begin to feel that he is very difficult to impress and begin to feel as if though they are privileged to know such a great guy who other women cannot get. 

He never speaks of stories where women have rejected him, for he is too good to be rejected as any woman would die to have him. He speaks of his exes who try to get back with him, but he is not interested as he has higher standards and has long ago moved on whilst they still think of him and hope to be with him again one day. When he goes to parties, he is not pursued by one woman, but at least three women who are all trying to get closer to him while he pushes them away because he is not interested even though they are beautiful. 

H speaks of himself as if though he were unreachable and that no woman is good enough to meet his needs and what he is looking for, but the ugly truth is that he himself is lost and does not know what he is looking for. 

When a woman tells him that he is a womanizer and a player based on the stories he tells, he tries to find his way out of it by saying that he is all talk and he really has been alone for such a long time. He tells women that he does not judge them if they have needs they need to meet with him, for he will happily fulfill those needs while he fulfills his own as well. 

He then sends the females off with a hug and emphasizes that they are still friends regardless of anything that has happened between them that day. These women should not  even be surprised when this happens after all the stories he has told them. After all, they are mediocre, and he is looking for someone spectacular and out of this world. This type of "man" will never grow up, he is a boy who will play with you as his toy. Good luck with him.

In the Arab world, we as women, come across these odd characteristics in men that our society has helped nurture. If we want to see any change, we as Arab women must change the way we raise our boys. I know men in each society have downfalls, but these attitudes are just toxic to us women. Maybe in a couple of decades, I will be writing about 50 and 60 year old Arab boys who still have not grown up. Until then...