Is affection a one way street? Or can platonic affection be exchanged between the sexes…
The following question was recently raised to me: “Did your father hug you or tell you he loved you while growing up?”
My initial response was no, (If so, few and far between) but I never believed for these acts to be necessary. I know my father loves me without a shadow of a doubt and his actions more than corroborate that. He has always loved me. He understands me to a degree that is beyond any other being—this is without question, for I am his seed.
But this strand of thought led me down another particular path… The topic of affection… Is it a one way street?
Is Brotherly love the saving Grace of man’s ability to have a sustainable existence?
The question got me to thinking. Has any woman openly displayed affection for me? That answer is few and far between. During the above discussion it was alluded to, because black fathers don’t hug and tell their kids “I love you” that in turn the children do not know how to display affection growing up. I would beg to differ. I would argue that man are among the most affectionate of creature roaming this earth. In fact they have so much affection—they tend to create creative means for displaying and enacting this affection. You see, men are the only creatures who have never been afraid to display affection towards me (not so much in the romantic sense, but in the platonic-fraternizing sense).
I’ve rarely had a woman excited to see. This includes close relatives as well girlfriends and so forth (Although, I’ve had one girlfriend consistently express her joy in seeing me). Yet, I’ve had plenty of men “dap me up”, give me a hand shake, give me a head nod, give me a bro hug and a smile or all out laughter upon seeing me.
Is that not affection?
I’ve rarely had a woman sit down with me and enjoy meaningless banter without some undercurrent of sexual tension being evident; but plenty of men have been quick to “shoot the shit” with me–Men that I do not know and have no apparent vested interest in—from homeless men to guys at the gym to the random guy standing in line at a grocery store.
Is that not affection?
I’ve had many men open up and vent just so they can have some semblance of connection with someone. I’ve yet to meet a woman who would even bother to hear me out. Or fully attempt to understand my prospective on much of anything (I mean it occasionally happens but it is quite the anomaly).
Is that not affection?
I’ve had random men pick me up when I was at my lowest… Lend a helping hand and a kind word without expectation in return…I’ve reciprocated the notion to others as well…
Is this not affection?
I compete against men daily. I enter the gym, and engage in man on man competition. A sadomasochistic outlet towards the lack of affection received from women. In some twisted way the brutality stands in substitute for the soft caress. The soft caress may come once a month or so but the brutality is dependable– I can always count on it. And so as warriors, we as men willingly enter this make-shift arena and grapple—my arena of choice is basketball. We physically beat each other up, but have this deep rooted understanding that we need this in order to survive—in order to thrive and keep going.. We may be at each other’s throats on the court, yet as soon as the game is over it’s back to smiles and meaningless convos. It’s just an unspoken axiom, and all who participate in it: “get it”.
–If this isn’t affection… What is?
Men are scarred, and by function of cause and affect direct their actions accordingly. I can’t speak for all men but those I know are in similar boats. There is very little trust of women, very little understanding of women, and plenty of dysfunctional relationships with women.
Who is to blame?
I do not know.
Yet, to say men aren’t affectionate is to not understand the nature of a man.
I would beg to differ. Men are men’s only saving grace. Without the life vest that we toss each other daily we may be made to drown in our own emotion. Often, men are treated as a “function” as opposed to people. His worth is often derived from what he can provide. His worth is placed in his sexual prowess… His worth is placed in his athletic ability… These are all functions… The “person” gets buried underneath all the “functions” and it slowly chokes him. And maybe it does take another man to understand the depths of this box we’ve been placed in …Whether we are consciously or subconsciously aware of the box: we all tend to act out in a reactionary way—in our own unique way. Men tend to gravitate towards men—and I believe the lack of affection plays a large part in this—whether it be through gangs, clubs, teams or whatever.
But I would never say men don’t know how to show affection… They display affection towards each other every day in every way… Fulfilling the void that society left in the best way they know how.
Now I don’t believe the mantra “bros before hoes”…or “Bitches and shit”… or “Money over bitches”…I believe that is simply the lashing out of the inner boy, who has yet to mature beyond a particular stage of emotional development—he is stuck,in a sense, in a phase of neglect and has not been able to psychological develop beyond this stagnation, and these phrases are evidence of the neurotic residue. But on some twisted level, I understand and I can relate…
Now, insert the bitches and hoes and sluts… Because,after all, women are reduced to their function: A function that is reactionary to the story men have been told and have been showed. Our interactions have not been conditioned to be that of man and woman: but the function of what man can do for woman and vice versa. Hence, the accurate yet inaccurate titles of bitches and hoes– a self-fulfilling prophecy if you will.
I suppose we can blame the victim for not exuding affection in a manner deemed fit by society. But the truth of the matter is that the affection is there, it’s just waiting to be received and exchanged in a healthy manner.
Or perhaps I have it all wrong… Perhaps we are being shown affection by our women, and we’re simply misinterpreting it. And our gross misinterpretation of this affection is the catalyst for all the dysfunction. Perhaps the cold stares and avoidance of eye contact and curt language is a woman’s manner of displaying affection towards a man, and I’m too blind to see it.
Or perhaps this social divide is all in my head…
Hmmm…Thanks for reading!
Reactions and opinions are welcomed.