I love perusing the Divorce section of the Huffington Post. Having had a long-term relationship recently come to an end (20 months ago is recent enough, right?) I suppose I find some solace in the misery of others. It makes me feel less alone.
I’ve especially come to like the bits about men and their cheating ways. As a member of said sex it is curious that I found myself happily monogamous after 4 ½ years with my partner. It would seem abnormal from the sheer frequency that these testimonials of infidelity are published on the section’s front page. Apparently the penis is a Socialist appendage. Mine must be akin to Ronald Regan.
Today’s featured article, Life After Divorce: Casual Sex. Is it healthy to move on from a serious relationship with “casual” sexual encounters? Unfortunately I haven’t found my answer on account of my being been negated from the speaker’s target audience. Men have beer commercials; women have divorce advice.
I’ve learned a lot about the female race from the fifty-something year old women that write for the Huffington Post. Their newest nugget of wisdom: “Women are emotional and men are analytical.” She’s speaking in generalities, of course. I like to think of it like this, if you’re writing an article for an audience of thousands it’s best to try and connect with the most amount of people’s experience. Though I’ve never made it a life goal to argue with a Coldplay song, this would seem to compromise the integrity of the writer on the subject. The only reason the experiences of your readers might define the thing that you’re trying to say is so you can sell adspace to Weight Watchers.
If most people already see the battle of the sexes through the fragmented perspective of this black and white kaleidoscope, does that make it any truer than the gray shades of complexity that define human relationships? I assert it isn’t because such a blanket statement about so many people across so many cultures is impossible to substantiate.
Generalities like this would go unnoticed if so many people didn’t make major life decisions based upon them. Online relationship experts seem to frequently fall back on stereotypes as a universal truth and grounds for willy-nilly advice. I suspect they do this because it fills up a lot of space without having to do much of the thinking or research necessary to make the claim.
The author writes, “Since women are emotional, everything they do depends on how they think it will make them feel.” This is contrary to men, whom do things dependent on how it will make them fat. I’ve come to this conclusion after my latest trip to Golden Coral.
“When a woman has sex with someone,” she continues. “She usually assumes that whatever relationship she has with the guy is about to become a lot more serious.” I’ve never been a proponent of the universal “she” when talking about the intricacies of sexuality. Doing this often leads to established norms that alienate those that don’t fit neatly into this category of women. Why do we still believe in seeing the world this way? Sure, sometimes women might want a more “serious” relationship with a guy. And sometimes, they might not. I think it all depends on the kind of person they are. Like my Kindergarten teacher always used to, “We’re all snowflakes, Jack.”
The HuffPo piece goes on to say about my gender, “Men are simple; they like sex.” True, over the years I’ve come to learn that sex can be very enjoyable, but my sexuality is probably a little more nuanced than this woman has described it and her audience perceives it. I am, in fact, a man, yet I wouldn’t have that define what I should feel or the decisions I will make.
“After divorce,” she says. “A man will likely be just as distraught as a woman, but he will, in most cases, be able to differentiate between emotion and pleasure… He will most likely want to experience different types of sex with different women after the split.”
Or maybe, just maybe, he won’t.