No, I don’t think so. Awhile ago, my good buddy from college heard about what had happened. And very seriously, he looks me in the eye and says, “I apologize. I apologize for my species and my gender. We are jerks sometimes. And I’m really sorry for the hurt we’ve caused you.”
Tear. Sweet and thoughtful. So then it got me thinking about the after effects (aftershocks?) about this whole incident. Will I become less trusting with men? Will I have a horrible outlook and condemn them for life? Will I think that they are heartless and ruthless when push comes to shove?
The answer is a big, fat NO.
I will not. Because as a woman, I know that we are so different. In the same way, all men are different. Sure, sometimes we find similarities or shared hobbies, etc, but that still doesn’t define a person completely. (Until cloning comes along, and even then, we still have yet to debate the nature vs nurture question.) This isn’t a court case, where you look for the rulings in previous cases that are similar, and draw the same conclusion or ruling. This isn’t a physics problem where you look at the textbook solution and use it as a template to solve your exam or homework question. This is not a supermarket/chain restaurant/grocery store, where everything that has the same packaging or name will taste exactly the same (unless it’s expired).
Just as much as I hate being judged because of someone else, I’m sure men don’t appreciate it either. And I don’t like it, because I don’t think its accurate. Just because I go to the same school, work in the same place, like the same music, where similar clothes/styles, have mutual friends, … all these things still can’t mark two women to be similar in the way the view life, they treat men, they see themselves, they treat family and friends, etc.
So in the end, despite what happened, my outlook of men, remains the same. Neutral. Optimistic, even. Many of the men that I know in my life have shown to be very gentle and thoughtful. Many of them have shown to be extra caring when I’m hurting, which is a trait we often attribute to women. But I’ve grown up to see that there are actually more similarities between men and women than there are differences.
Men get their feelings hurt, too. Men feel very sad and insecure about themselves at times, as well. Men care about details, maybe not the exact same way women do, but they care. And different men care about different details. Just like women.
So, NO, I still am willing to trust, and I’m still giving men a chance. To some women, I may be foolish. But honestly, I think I’m actually happier this way. Playing games is silly and messes with your mind and other people’s minds. Wastes time and is deceptive. So, no, I will not play games, I will not become increasingly defensive.
I’ll just be me. Old me. Just with new experiences insights and heightened sensitivity to people’s pain.