Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The Guy's Rules

I pass these along as they are from a Canadian friend who gave them to me. These are the things some men wish women knew, but usually are too cowardly to tell them. Please note that these are numbered and placed in a certain order on purpose. Please also note that I don't necessarily agree with them all.

1) Men are not mind readers.

2) Learn to work the toilet seat. You're a big girl. If its up, put it down. You don't hear us complaining about you leaving it down though we need it up usually.

3) Watching sports on Sunday after church. Its like the full moon or the changing tides. Its inevitable--- let it be.

4)Shopping is not a sport, and no we will never think of it that way. And please stop telling us how much you saved by buying something.

5) Crying is emotional blackmail. Yes, we know it works sometimes.

6) Subtle hints do not work for most of us. Strong hints don't usually work. |Just tell us what you want, and assume we are thick as a post.

7) Yes and no are perfectly acceptable answers to most questions. We are not being coy.

8)Come to us with a problem if you want help solving it. If you only want sympathy, that's what your girlfriends are for.

9) A headache that lasts for 10 months is a problem. See a doctor.

10) Anything a guy said in an argument 10 months ago is inadmissable in a current argument. In fact all comments become null and void after seven days. They have a shelf life.

11) If you think you're fat, please do not ask us our opinion. There are no right answers to such a question.

12) If something we've said can be interpreted in two ways, and one of them makes you mad or sad, then of course we meant it the other way.

13) You can either ask us to do something or tell us how you want it done, not both. If you already know the best way to do it, then perhaps you should do it yourself.

14) Whenever possible, if you have something important to say during a sports match or movie on the TV, please wait until the commercials.

15) Christopher Columbus did NOT need directions and neither do we.

16) If it itches it will be scratched. Men do that--- yes even in public.

17) All men see in only 16 colors, like a Windows default setting. Peach for example is a fruit, not a color. We have no idea what mauve is. Also, men only smell certain things-- things like hamburgers cooking.

18) If you ask a question you don't want an answer to, expect an answer you'd rather not hear.

19) You have enough shoes and too many clothes.

20) If we ask what's wrong and you say 'nothing' we will assume you are telling the truth. Don't be shocked if we don't ask again in five minutes.

21)I am in shape. Round is a shape!


PamBG said...

For all the times that women have posted "Aren't men so stupid" lists, my profound apologies as a representative of the female gender. Pardon my sense of humour failure, but I think that there are serious issues for us as disciples of Christ with publishing these sorts of lists.

My most serious problem is with number nine. Assuming that as Christians we are trying to advocate stable and loving married couples and families, do we really want to say that if a woman doesn't want sex for ten months that it's "all her fault"? Does that imply that her husband has a "right" to demand sex whenever he wants it, without having to do silly things like listening to her? (number eight)

I have another problem with number eight and I certainly hope that's not the line that most male pastors take with their church members. I do not think it's particularly pastoral or Christian to devalue listening and "just being there" or to place a high value on telling someone what to do.

Finally, addiction to sports and addiction to shopping / clothing are just that: addictions. One addiction is not better than the other.

I think that there are a few good serious points in here, but it's lost in the overall tone. My reaction to the "deal with it" tone is certainly not "Wow, this makes me want to be cooperative". Is is really helpful from a Christian perspective?

If the intention is to show how unhelpful these sorts of lists are, then point taken.

Ben Witherington said...

I completely agree with you. I am but the bearer of the message, but sadly this is exactly how so many men think.



RC said...

gotta say, this list turns me off to...maybe b/c I didn't find any of it too funny and see this list as really devaluing communication as part of the marriage relationship.

--RC of

Benson said...

Gotta love those Canadians...

As to the comments of pambg and rc... I think you are taking this post and yourselves too seriously... I think it is actually quite witty and intuitive... I don't think this is a prescriptive list (as if this is the way it should be)... rather it is descriptive (the reality of many marital and dating relationships)... The first job of a leader is to define reality... in many situations, I think this is an acurate depiction of how things are... perhaps this post will follow with an ought... perhaps not... but the reality is that this is not posted as an "ought"... it is (in many situations) an "is"...

Benson said...


I find your comments especially ironic in light of the following statement that I have quoted from your blog profile:

"Lionesses have no manes. How do they know when they've grown up?
When everyone in the pride expects them to do all the organising and to tell everyone where they have to be and when. ;-)"

Why were you not offended by this?

Greg Simmons said...

Hmmmm...I guess my only observation here might be to lighten up a little (mainly directed at the first two commenters). I believe that men and women who CANNOT laugh about the differences between the sexes (and there are many), have more issues to resolve than the reverse.

My wife and I have been married for 14 years. I joke constantly that our marriage is based on Love and Fear. I love my wife and fear what would happen to me if I wronged her. She jokes constantly that I CANNOT comprehend subtleties and am completely fashion UN-conscious. But we have a little fun with the differences. Laughing at ourselves is better than yelling at each other.

Is the list a little harsh? Perhaps. But I think it celebrates in a tongue-in-cheek fashion, the differences between the sexes. Men and women are different. No, neither will ever understand the other. Sadly, our world is trying to dissolve these differences instead of celebrating them. I believe that, in part, has caused so many young people today to suffer from sexual identity issues.

Sometimes a little biting (sarcastic) humor can get a message across better than a biting rebuke.

Before anyone goes off on me about the condition of my marriage, etc and so forth, we are HAPPILY married.

PamBG said...

benson, I shall remove that comment if you are offended as a man. I'd argue, however, that to be insulted as a man by the statement that "the family expects the woman to organise" you'd have to infer "because the man can't organise". Whereas this post has a number of points which directly paint women in a bad light. A strict equivilent, I think, would be perpetuating the petulant female stereotypes of "men are lazy brainless slobs" - a statement equally unChristian, I'd argue.

Ben, the post reminds me of the bad old days. I'm still puzzled as to the purpose of posting it, but there you go.

Benson said...

"I shall remove that comment if you are offended as a man."

I am not offended at it in the least...even though I do think it makes inferences about men as much as women... I choose to see the humor in it... I was merely suggesting that there are hints of inconsistency in your conversation here and your joke in your profile... I care not in the least whether you leave it there or not...actually, I quite enjoyed it when I read it... I just find it ironic and I love irony...

By the way, in case i am being interpreted as sexist or something...I am actually known by many as a feminist... I just don't think this is the place to fight our battles...

Men and women are different... This is not a bad thing... Ben's quote (which is not his) paints men and women both in funny ways... I can laugh at the idiot sitting on the couch (even though I rarely watch t.v. and I rarely watch sports on Sunday)... I am blown away by the seriousness with which this post is being taken...

Ben Witherington said...

The purpose in posting this, is that these are the bad old days--- in a retro kind of way in Conservative Evangelical circles. Men continue to behave badly, and some of it is in fact habit and some is self-absorption and some is just innate. But this was done tongue in cheek and actually I think we are allowe3d to laugh about the sad state of affairs... better to laugh than cry.


PamBG said...

Ben, as long as we are laughing at a sad state of affairs, then that's fine by me.

benson and greg, I've heard your invitation to get a sense of humour but I'll stand by what I said.

III said...

As an outsider, it's fun to watch Benson & pambg go back & forth. And I feel stuck between the two.

Like pambg, I too am tired of the over-played stereotypes in our culture. I am especially disappointed with how these stereotypes are consistently portrayed on television -- men are overweight, lazy, and without ambition; women are moody, overly-demanding, and habitually disapproving. And even we in the church go on complaining about our "Peter Pan husbands" and our no-fun-having ball-and-chain wives. And there's a point where all the joking just isn't funny anymore & it becomes destructive.

At the same time, I with Benson enjoy the humor with which the post was intended. And I appreciate his point that sometimes we take things too seriously, and it's good to just sit back and have a laugh.

Ultimately, I guess I chuckle at the spirit in which the post was meant, and yet I wince at the covert teasing of the opposite sex at the same time.

PamBG said...

The framework of my thinking is Rene Girard's concept of mimesis - rivalry - the idea that as human beings we desire simultaneously to "be" and to "not be" the same as the other person. James Alison (a Roman Catholic dogmatic theologian) names mimesis as a classic outworking of Orginal Sin. It seems to me that mimesis is the factor at work in some of these "lists" of "what is ontologically wrong with the opposite sex".

To me, it is one thing to acknowledge the differences between the sexes and to have fun with those differences and quite another to make "jokes" about the stupidity and incapacity of the opposite sex. I do take it equally seriously when we state or imply that men are stupid, incapable oafs. And this latter thing is a real concern in the UK educational system which has now been geared toward girls' ways of learning and is seriously undermining the confidence and self-worth of boys in the educational system.

I note that one big difference in this conversation is that three posters are in their twenties whilst Ben and I are boomers. I grew up in a society which said that women were stupid and fair-game sexually. I came very close to being raped on the job a number of times and it is a frightening way to live - especially if you're not convinced that anyone will actually say that the rape was wrong.

Those WERE the bad old days. I grew up as a conservative evangelical in the States and I too see those attitudes returning in those circles in the States. As a society we can't simply go into reactionary mode and swing between "males are evil" and "females are evil". As Christians, we're supposed to be proclaiming the Kingdom, in which Kingdom we are all saved sinners; equally sinful in the eyes of God and equally loved through the grace of Christ.

Suzanne McCarthy said...

Like Pam I grew up with some pretty scary stuff, and it wasn't funny at all.

However, in this case I simply started to laugh - I badly needed something to laugh at. Who says you have to agree with something to find it funny?

I see these as the flip side of a list a woman might make about men, so it really just puts us all together laughing at ourselves.

Contrary to Greg, I don't see this as expressive of innate differences between the sexes but cultural ones. I hope that we all share the same ability to laugh at ourselves.

'Laughing together' is strong value in Cree culture, one that I learned by asking "What are you laughing at?" The answer was simply "We are laughing together!"

I didn't interpret this as anything other than an opportunity to laugh together.

Thanks Ben, sometimes it really is better to laugh than cry.

Terry Hamblin said...

I've seen the list before. It is mildly funny - the humor is directed as much at men as at women. The stereotypes are garnered from Men are from Mars; Women are from Venus. There is some truth in them, but they are stereotypes, meant to reinforce points by hyperbole.

There really are men who find the newspaper more interesting than their wives at the breakfast table. There really are differences between men and women in the way they approach a conversation. The day that I learned that my wife wanted sympathy not a solution it improved our relationship.

Of course, these differences are not the most important aspect of a relationship, but unless we take note of them our relationships are the poorer

yuckabuck said...

That's probably the first list of it's kind I've seen that's actually funny. Usually, the one's I've seen go no farther than, "Leave me alone during football and get me another beer."

(Yikes, I've been commenting much here lately. Wearing out my welcome...)

I think many people see the above list as humorous because the climate is (slowly) changing for the good in regards to men and women getting along. I really think the culture is figuring it out on this one. Women are not the mystery they once were to men, and vice versa.

For example, I read a great book by Shaunti Feldhahn called "For Women Only," which pegged how men really think better than anything I read in my undergraduate psychology studies. (Yes, I am suggesting that men read this little book that was meant for women. Don't be embarrassed.) And the fact that the recently released "For Men Only" (all about women)bored me because I'd heard it all before shows that perhaps there is a deepening understanding happenning between the sexes.

Granted, as a psych major I would have been exposed to info that others aren't, but I think all this information of men and women is trickling down and helping men and women relate better to each other. Even Dr. Phil and Opra (!) are helping here.

Now if we could only get our churches to take a class on hermeneutics, so they would learn how to properly apply today certain things Paul said 2000 years ago about women in his churches.....

Benson said...

"Women are not the mystery they once were to men, and vice versa."

I'm not sure I would go that far... I may just take a look at your suggested reading though...

I am disappointed to see that you removed your lioness comment from your profile...this was certainly not my intention...


seth richardson said...

whoa...we christians sure know how to argue.

RC said...

yikes...this is a crazy conversation to catch up on.

1. men and women are different
2. sometimes drawing attention to those differences is funny
3. sometimes drawing attentiion to those differences are not funny.
4. generalities are nothing more than generalities, sometimes they apply, sometimes they don't.

yikes, do you expect a conversation like this would start Ben?

--RC of

RC said...

benson, i thought it was interesting that you didn't post all of the "rules" on your own blog deemind some of them as possibly offensive...i posted the "rules" you took off and am curious if you wouldn't mind commenting on why you see those particular one's as possibly offensive.

--RC of

Ben Witherington said...

Welll Rc, I can only say--- I have learned to expect almost anything on a blog, and as my granny used to say---- 'don't be so open minded that your brains fall out, or so close minded that you get brain cramps when you read something disturbing.'


PamBG said...

I am disappointed to see that you removed your lioness comment from your profile...this was certainly not my intention...

I feel pretty well backed into a corner now, so I think that all I can say to the above is "I heard that." And all I can say to everyone telling me that I don't have a sense of humour (please see first post where sense of humour failure was acknowledged) is "I heard that".

seth richardson said... bout' them yankees?

Ben Witherington said...

Yes Seth you are right, the Yankees are looking old. But since I am a Red Sox fan, I do not mind :) Go Big Papi go,


see-through faith said...

I'm puzzled as to why you'd post this Ben. They are sterotypes and not particularly funny IMHO.

I think we can embrace the differences between men and women - and should do - but not when the underlying message is derogatory.

I thought the toilet seat one was funny - (unless you know that lowering the loo-cover BEFORE you flush is a very good way of reducing the spread of bacteria and virus - like salmonella- not, to be fair, that's the first thought most women -or men- would come up with!) but some of them are simply not funny and serve to re-inforce bad attitudes and yeah addictions too.

I think the shelf-life of 7 days is a good one - provided the couple have taken time to talk about their differences. Long term grudges are rotten at best and very destructive, but so is not talking issues through.

Hoping for better here ... this is the first time I've been disappointed to be honest. I didn't expect sexist stereotyping here - and yeah expected better.

blessings and love
Lorna xx

Ben Witherington said...

Hi Lorna:
I really don't see this as involving stereotyping as they are actually repeated behavior patterns observed over a long period of time. That it is frequent behavior doesn't mean it is good or univerisal, just that it is typical. Wait until you see the comments of women over 45 in one of the future postings.



Alison said...

Hi Ben, I think publishing this list was just plain mean. Not up to your usual standard. Saying you're just the messenger doesn't absolve you. Some things are funny - some things hurt. Just sayin' ... Alison

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