The Vanderhorst Family

The Vanderhorst Family

Sunday, June 12, 2016

In Defense of Men

I love Brian Regan. He is probably one of the funniest comedians out there--not to mention I appreciate how clean his humor is. I think what makes him so funny is how accurate his perceptions of life are. One perception is his bit that he does on "stupid husbands." I couldn't find the video, otherwise I would post it on here, but let me paraphrase. He basically says that he finds it really frustrating and insulting that a bunch of commercials on TV feature a husband and wife duo, where the wife is complaining to the TV about how stupid her husband is (cut to a picture of the husband using the rake incorrectly, or getting stuck in the blinds). Obviously Regan's impression is much funnier than my description, but he hit the nail on the head. 

Some people nowadays seem to think that life is a competition between men and women. That one must dominate the other, and now it's the women's turn. In too many Hollywood films, TV and cable shows, and yes, even commercials, men are portrayed as incompetent, immature, or self-absorbed. How can this have any other effect on our society than a damaging one? It must be difficult for good men to continue living a good life when they are getting bombarded with these kinds of messages. People who degrade and mock the role of husbands and fathers and make them feel as though they are not needed, or are incompetent

I've had two experiences just this past week where men were put into this stereotype of being complete idiots and would be totally lost without a woman. The first one was a phone call I received from a nurse at the surgical center where Grant will be having surgery tomorrow. At first I thought she was calling me because she couldn't get a hold of Grant or because they had the wrong phone number on file. She went on to explain that he had to fill out a survey online and then call them back for an over-the-phone interview to go over medical history. And then she said the kicker. "Yea, we usually just bypass calling the husband and instead call the wife because we've found that's the only way things get done." I just kind of laughed it off as I told her I'd pass along the message. After I hung up I told Grant about what happened. To be honest I was kind of angry. I thought to myself "Wait, they didn't even try to call Grant? They just assumed that my husband is some irresponsible moron who needs his little wifey to tell him to do everything?" Newsflash: My husband is independent and responsible (as are most men). I'm more than happy to care for him after his surgery, and I'm more than happy to pass along any messages. It wasn't the fact that the nurse called me, it was the reason behind why she did that bugged me. This is what kind of society we have created.

The second experience was a post I saw on Facebook. Literally, the title of this post was "What to do when your man refuses to change." I remember seeing this and thinking "Yep, this outta be rich." Looking back I probably shouldn't have read it because I knew it would make my blood boil, but I had to see what kind of post this would turn into. So I read the whole thing. In short, it made my blood boil. It talked about how we as wives need to encourage our husbands to change and love him and lead him. My biggest beef with this post is that it encouraged expressing love and compliments only on conditions of your husband "doing something right or showing up for you." Right, that's super healthy. Put conditions on expressing your love and respect for your husband (said no marriage counselor ever).

How often do we hear women (even righteous, religious women), speak disrespectfully to or about their husbands, even in front of their own children? Or most often, to other women? Now listen, respect goes both ways. Both husband and wife need to speak respectfully to and about each other. When was the last time we sincerely praised our spouses? When was the last time we thanked and expressed love for our spouses? When was the last time we stopped ourselves from saying something hurtful? When was the last time we apologized and asked for forgiveness? Note: all of these done without adding conditions?

I think sometimes our perception about men in society is distorted by the news and social media. What kind of stories do we hear? Trust me, it's a small percentage of men out there getting 100% of the attention. All men are NOT like Brock Turner. All men do NOT go on shooting rampages. All men are NOT incompetent morons. All men are NOT disrespectful to women. All men are NOT liars. All men are NOT cheaters. I could go on and on. The perception of men that we get from the news and social media is most often not a positive one. But there is so much good in the world. Here are some examples from my own life.

~My husband always takes time to spend with the kids--away from his phone, away from his work, away from any distractions. He builds train tracks with my son, dances with my daughter, and takes them grocery shopping, to the park, and to the pool. I never once feel the need to explain the kid's routines to my husband because he already knows.
~Last week I had to leave my brother and sister-in-law in CT in a hurry, and as I was frantically packing up I noticed my keys were missing. My brother had quietly taken my keys and went to fill up my car with gas and all the other fluids it needed. Quiet act of service that meant the world to me.
~My other brother and sister in law and their family came to visit this past week. The first thing my brother did was pick up my son to give him a high-five, and he helped me get the kiddos to the park for a picnic.
~2 men from our ward selflessly came over last week to give Grant a blessing after he tore his Achilles'.
~Grant is constantly helping me around the house. Cooking, cleaning, you name it. He takes his role of provider very seriously for our family, but he also recognizes the importance of his role in the home. He always leads out in family prayer, FHE, and family scripture study.
~Grant is fiscally responsible. He is not selfish in how he spends money, and he has invested money to help our children have a bright future.
~Grant is an impeccable husband. He is there as a sounding board for me and he is truly my best friend.
~My brothers and brother-in-laws are wonderful husbands to their wives. They support each of their families, are righteous men who lead their families in the gospel, and are incredible fathers to their children.

I could go on. There are good men all around us. Don't let society's perception of men taint your view of what a man truly is.

They love their walks with daddy

Some of the wonderful men in my life

Hailey and her sweet daddy

Love my man in the kitchen!

Back when Andrew was little

Andrew's baby blessing and all the wonderful men in the circle

Andrew and daddy in the NICU

Love my eternal companion

Wouldn't trade my brothers for anything

My nieces and nephews have some pretty awesome uncles ;)

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