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Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Respect

Up until I met Deidre early this year I had spent a couple of years dating mainly asian women, as I had come to feel that western women just didn't have the attitude I was looking for in a relationship or in a partner. I had a number of experiences and realisations in my life that helped me realise I was more interested in being with an asian woman than a western woman. The main reason for this was that throughout the relationships I'd had and the things that I'd learnt, what stuck out was that asian women respect what their men do for them, something that in my experience most western women do not. I learnt that what many westerners see as asian submissiveness is actually misunderstood by them, and is instead respect and appreciation for someone who cares for them.

My comments, of course, are generalised. There are western women who do respect and appreciate what their men do for them, and there are asian women who truly are submissive in all ways. My experiences, however, showed me that there were more asian women with the qualities I was looking for than there were western women with those qualities. And yes, it's quite likely I just hadn't met the right women - but all we can do is make decisions about our life, our needs and wants, based on the experiences we have and what we learn from it. Your experiences, and others, are obviously very different. Each to their own, and this post is about my experiences and what I learnt from it. Let me continue...

I used to be in a relationship with a Japanese woman, Wakana, who I thought was submissive. But only in public, and only in a way that was deferential to me. In private, she was very open about her wants and needs, and quite happy to tell me when she thought I was failing her. This wasn't a submissive attitude, and it confused me. My relationship with her eventually failed because of a number of reasons, with a primary cause being my misunderstanding of her cultural expectations towards the relationship.

My problem was that I had looked at it from a western point of view, which had been tainted by my understanding and experiences of western women's attitudes towards men and relationships. I expected her to want equality, as most western women do. Problems arose, however, when I tried to make her an equal in our relationship, which was something she rejected. This confused me, and made me feel she was actually preferring to be submissive by wanting to put me first.

Most western women (especially Americans, I hear) are different, in that they certainly aren't submissive. They often demand equality in a relationship, but at the same time, they demand a gentleman. For me, this had also caused certain problems. How can you be a gentleman with a woman, when she demands to be your equal? Being a gentleman means treating the woman as a woman, rather than as an equal. Here's an example of a typical quandary related to this situation:

"Ok, if you're my equal, then you can open the doors for yourself, or you can open them for me occasionally. Oh, that offends you? Then how can you demand equality in our relationship when you don't want to give to me what I give to you? That's not equality. How can you demand equality in the workplace, for example, when you'll use your sexuality to get what you want when men have to merely use their merits? Women can dress provacatively but if men do then that's sexual harrassment. That's not equality. How can you demand equality as a woman when men and women ARE NOT EQUAL. Men can't have babies. Women can't perform great physical feats, no matter how much they try. In sports, there are two categories - men's and women's. The expectations of the performances of each gender are different. There is no equality."

What I'd learnt from my experiences with the Japanese woman - and other asian women after her - is that asian women don't demand equality. They like to be treated as a woman, and they understand that men are men and women are women. They are attractive because they accept their femininity, and they do not try and compete with men. They appreciate their men for being gentlemen and treating them like women.

Yes, there are many western women that do that too (as you know, I found one in Deidre), but western society in general promotes aggressive equality and competition, and some men just aren't interested in that. Including me. I don't want to compete with the woman I choose to be with. I want to compete with my workmates, or with other men in sports, etc. I don't want to have to compete with the woman I love.

Asian women respect, honour and appreciate the man they love, but in return for those qualities they expect the man to also respect, honour and appreciate them back. No woman, western or asian, will want to be with a man who doesn't (unless they've got serious problems of low self esteem). To many of those men who prefer asian women, they are more attractive than western women because of what they offer in a relationship: acceptance, without competition or demands.

I was only interested in asian women, and then I met Deidre. To me, as I came to know her, she had many qualities that I was looking for. She was feminine in her attitude, understanding that men are men and women are women. She was appreciative of the qualities I had, what I did for her and how I made her feel. She gave me respect in return for the respect I gave her. She gave me the freedom to be myself, instead of wanting me to be what she thought I should be.

How many men in relationships are free to be themselves? How many, instead, feel bound to be and do what their partner wants of them? We hear about it all the time, where men are initially happy with the woman they're with, but then their happiness fades over time. The woman has this ideal in her mind that the man never meets, and so she tries to help him become her ideal man by changing small things about him, or demanding that he change his ways, attitudes, hobbies, etc. The man is usually obliged to change to suit the woman, but woe betide any man who wants the woman to change to suit him.

Personally, I think men are to blame for this situation in the first place. Men gave up their individuality and personal freedom to fit into what they believed their women wanted. They think that in order to be in a successful, happy relationship, they have to ensure that they don't upset or disappoint the woman they're with. As a result of this, many men live on virtual egg shells, wondering what their partner actually wants from them, and hoping that they meet her expectations. Men give up who they are because they're afraid of being alone, and so they submit to the demands of the woman. It's amazing how much a man will give up of himself in order to try and make his partner happy. (Yes, I know the opposite is true too, where the woman gives of herself and the man doesn't respect her and takes everything she gives. Whether you're male or female, I'm sure what I'm saying is somehow familiar to you.)

Unfortunately, women went along with this, believing that this was what feminism was all about. Finally men were giving women all the power, all the respect, and all the control. Having their men try so hard to fit their expectations, giving them all that they could, made women feel great! Why would they want this to stop?

However, it's getting tired. It's a social experiment that's not working. More and more people are finding themselves unhappy in their relationships, because men are giving up who they are, and women are demanding more than what they need or deserve. Everyone is unhappy, and few people know the resolution.

Men and women are not born or live as equals, no matter how much they try. Men are born to be the hunter, the provider, while women are born to be the mother, the carer. This is nature's role for the male and female of the species, regardless of species, and by confusing those roles the relationships between men and women are confused as well.

Asian cultures still have these understandings, where the men and women know their roles in a relationship. Unfortunately, while asian women are expected to respect the man, and they hope for the man's respect in turn, they don't often get it. Asian culture is very male-oriented, where submissiveness in the women is expected. At least in public. This is part of the culture of 'face', or respect. You've heard of the term 'saving face', I'm sure. Face is a very big part of asian culture, particularly in Japan and China. (I'm uncertain about other asian cultures, so I would be happy to have more information provided to me in the comments section.) When a woman is openly respectful of her partner in public, he gains face in the eyes of his peers. This can have favourable consequences to his career and social prospects. If she's disrespectful, or neutral, this can have the opposite effect.

Western society has it as well, the concept of face. We call it respect, politeness, etc. No one wants to be disrespected in public, and yet, how many women do this to their men? How many women embarrass their man in public, out of some misguided sense of saving their own face, of gaining power and strength from their humiliation of the man? Many. We see tantrums occurring in public places like restaurants, and especially in presentations by the media of how they seem to believe men should be treated by women. The media, of course, has a very strong hand in guiding not only public perception, but also public trends, with people thinking that if they see it on TV or in the movies then that must be how it should be. A 'smart' man has learnt to be a good, pussywhipped individual, meekly agreeing to whatever his partner says, avoiding confrontation, etc etc. And in the process, losing the essence of who they are.

Respect goes both ways, as far as I'm concerned. I am not going to respect any woman who doesn't respect me. If I'm out in public with a woman who is doing her best to embarrass or humiliate me, I'll walk away. "Don't you walk away from me!" she'll likely call out. I'll continue walking. "You come back here this instant or we're done! We're through!" I'll keep walking. She wouldn't have realised we were through as soon as she started to disrespect me in public like that.

When you keep your strength, your individuality, over and above anyone else in your life, you will find that your relationships will be happier. You'll find more quality women to be with and to choose from. Regardless of what you might think, your happiness has to be more important than the happiness of the woman you're with (and if you're a woman reading this, YOUR happiness has to be more important than the man you're with!). This is because of a very simple little rule.

If you look after yourself and your happiness, then any woman who is with you - on your terms of mutual respect - will find herself happy to be with you, and the result? Mutual happiness.

Whether you're with an asian or a western - or any culture - woman, mutual happiness is what's really important. And it starts with you, making the choices in your life that lead to your own happiness. What I learnt from the asian women in my life was to respect myself, because they certainly respected me. I learnt I was worth it. I learnt that without respect - your respect for yourself and from the woman you're with - you have nothing.

Make the decision to respect yourself and to insist on respect from others. Without it, you're missing out on quality relationships, with quality people.

Posted on 10/19/2005 01:41:00 PM Backlinks


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