Wednesday, June 22, 2011

It's Hard Being a Man: One Woman's Response

A fellow blogger, “That Teowanna” ( has written her reflections on T.D. Jakes’ recent comment, “…It’s hard being a man”. In her analysis of Jakes’ comments, she expresses her emphatic objections to his statement, landing softly on biblical and biological grounds. I very respectfully and lovingly disagree with her conclusions. With her gracious permission, I am offering the response which follows.

Before I go further, let me state for the record that I understand the vantage point of my friend and fellow blogger. And let me also make it very clear that I am neither a fan nor defender of T.D. Jakes. My intention here is to initiate a dialogue that will facilitate the enjoining of all that is opposite and unloving among the sexes. That men and women are finding more reasons stand in opposition to one another rather than endeavor to engage in acts of love and kindness breaks my heart. It is burden that summons me to tears in a way that no other yoke can. Sure, my heart has been broken and I have witnesses many unloving acts; however I still believe in all that is good in the opposite sex. I embrace this view as a requirement on the path to enlightenment.

The belief of a bequest of earthly dominion to “man” is a necessary philosophy of Christianity. It was equally bestowed to both genders. “Man” in this instance refers to all of mankind, not just men. Men and women have biological differences and social responsibilities as it relates to the gifts of their gender. Most difficulties, challenges and tragedies to this sensibility can be traced to the one biological allocation that mankind possesses to the exclusion of all other beings; having a conscious. It is our consciousness, our ability to choose that purportedly sets us apart from the rest of creation.

The bird and the lion do in fact arise each morning and perform as they are designed by the Creator. They do so because there are no cerebral options built into their configuration. Simply put, they cannot choose because they have no choice.  Without the ability to choose, there is no wrestling for selfish satisfaction as is the blessing and curse of mankind.

Neither gender has cornered the market on hardship. In their own lanes, each gender has their cross to bear. And in carrying those so-called crosses, they arrive at life’s destinations based on the choices they have made over the span of their lifetime. As humans we are wrought with choice, some of which will undoubtedly make our journey through life more difficult than it has to be.

Knowing that individual and collective challenges abound, we should resist the urge to compete against each other in any circumstance. The sexes have allowed matters of the heart and ego to construct and expand the bridge of brokenness and mistrust between them.  Love cannot abide in such channels of despair. Our lives can be unnecessarily hard or intentionally happy depending on the extent to which we allow the ego its way.  

We must be exponentially kinder and genuinely empathetic to the plight of our friends, family members, partners, enemies and strangers of the opposite sex. True consciousness and authentic living and loving require the cessation of all competition. It is the pathway to a life that has the light of truth and the promise of love as its intentional companions.

Here’s to all men: I feel for you; but more than that…I love you.