It is in Pakistani men’s interest to perpetuate certain myths about the male psyche and persona, for it is highly convenient. The lower expectations are, the easier it is for guys to meet them (all in the interests of continuing the species). Still, the time has come to clarify a few things.
Myth one: Pakistani men do not listen
Contrary to popular belief, Pakistani men do listen. We also tend to throw away bits of information that are irrelevant to our more immediate concerns and interests.
It’s not that we don’t want to hear everything women have to say, we do, and we do try to, but after repeated, inane details-driven information collects, our brains categorise certain data as superfluous and deletes it.
Unfortunately, most such data seems to stem from girl talk (usually directed at men). Some brave chaps do argue that a woman’s voice contains a powerful hypnotic force that briefly shuts down a man’s faculty for understanding. If that’s not love, I don’t know what is.
We also only retain as much information as needed. It’s logical and saves space – free market brain storing if you will. A man during his courtship will almost certainly remember that his future wife’s favourite flowers are lilies, but by the eve of their first anniversary forget that she even liked flowers (battle is won, ring is worn…. what’s for dinner?).
Ever wonder why a man will never expect his partner to remember random details about his day? It’s because we think it’s irrelevant. Say what you will, but we are consistent.
Myth two: Pakistani men are calendar averse
Highly untrue! Ask any Pakistani man and he can tell you the exact date and time of the start of the next World Cup as well as his team’s pre-season schedule.
Women tend to take severe issue with men forgetting birthdays, anniversaries, etc. But that’s because women put tremendous store into certain occasions.
Men don’t dream about getting married. For some guys, marriage is the day they stopped being the womanisers they were genetically built to be and became husbands. An anniversary is a reminder of the day a man became a life partner responsible for the happiness of a union. Throw in some family pressure and it’s akin to waking up with a sack of bricks permanently attached to one’s head. It’s a miracle men get married at all. But out of love, we do it anyway. We just don’t need reminders.
Myth three: Pakistani men are actually overgrown boys
Men are not immature, we just have adolescent habits that confuse women. The truth is, once we like something, we are pretty happy to continue doing it (which is why most men only get married once).
Once we develop an interest, we are consistent about adhering to it. One would think that women would appreciate this quality in men. The root of the matter is that men are no good at handling change. We are what we are. You loved us in spite of it once and you will again; just hurry up and get over it.
Myth four: Pakistani men are terrible communicators
The truth is that men are very direct communicators; we don’t deal in nuance and we don’t have the innate desire to recount every detail of our day. Note: Alternate research suggests that men also are highly environmentally conscious and find using scarce oxygen unnecessarily to be an anti-green faux pas. Men say what they mean and are talented at compressing conversational material – deleting the inappropriate bits and concisely explaining themselves.
Maybe it’s actually women who are terrible communicators, or imagine that we want to know the entire story rather than the brief synopsis.
Myth five: Pakistani men don’t have feelings
This myth arises out of the difficulty some men have with emotions: in particular, talking about and sharing feelings. Men are socialised to compress emotions and bury them under as many layers of feces as we can find. Some men choose to drown their feelings, typically in collaboration with their friends Jack D., Johnnie W., Jose C. and Jim B.
Part of being a man means having a sense of stoic control and solely carrying the burden of our emotions, thoughts, and responsibilities, no matter how heavy that may prove to be. It’s what we are taught, it’s what we see, and most importantly, it’s how we function.
Just because men don’t express emotions doesn’t mean we don’t feel. Women can enjoy figure skating competitions, yet not know how to skate. Men express their emotions through their actions, providing for their loved ones. We do as we feel – lip service isn’t a by product we’re comfortable with. If we care, we show it, end of story. “Judge me not by what I say, but as I do.”
In the end…
Women live in some magical alternative universe, where you have to love everything about your mate. When there are certain habits that they don’t appreciate, they add to the store of myths that womankind perpetuates about mankind. It’s unhealthy and causes a lot of heartache. Chill out, ladies, We certainly do.
Murtaza Ali Jafri is a Karachi-based banking professional. He believes in free markets and freedom, and wishes men could get more of the latter. Read his blog at www.Alphaza.blogspot.com.