On our Millionaire Single Moms Facebook group, one of the rules is:
No male-bashing allowed.
When you get together a bunch of mostly divorced women — as I do here on this blog, and its many social media outlets — it's only natural that they're going to complain about their ex-husbands. Also: ex-boyfriends, current boyfriends, men they're dating or want to date or who they can't find to date. That is normal. It can be very frustrating — enraging, even — and women have been having these very same spirited conversations since the dawn of time — way, way before family court or Tinder were invented, or the term “conscious uncoupling” departed a certain under-nourished celebrity's thin, sanctimonious lips.
Often, without thinking it through, such conversations can include missives like, “Men suck.” Or: “Men just don't get it,” or “Men … etc.” Even a simple “Men!” in a certain tone says so, so much.
On that forum, I announced, that is not allowed. I also highly suggest you disallow it from your own home, mouth and mind. “You” being the universal you, with a special emphasis on single moms.
Single moms must be extra super-duper careful to not to make negative blanket statements about men.
Any thinking person knows it's not acceptable to make nasty, blanket statements about women. Or gay or transgendered people. Or any race, nationality or religion. Duh.
Men are no exception.
Now, if you are an unmarried mother, there is a more-than-50-percent chance that you are parenting a male child. A male child who, statistically, is not likely to have his dad in his life in a meaningful way. Telling boys — explicitly or implicitly — that men are bad dumps into an existing hole in a kid's self esteem a giant glob of toxic tar that is very hard to undo.
This rule applies to mothers of both girls and boys — humans who will interact with people of both genders for the rest of their lives. If they are taught that half the population is bad, that sets precedence for how they feel about themselves. It has an impact on the success of their future relationships in romance, friendship and business.
And saying “Men…” anything holds you way back, too. Even if you don't say it aloud, but text it to your friend, or mumble it under your breath when your boss is being a jerk, or right as you slam the mouse on the “Disable account” button on OKCupid, you are sending unconscious nasty energy out to 50 percent of the world's population. Whether all the men in the universe actually hear you mutter those hateful words, or are within a reasonable dating radius of your condo, you are throwing off hateful vibes to the world.
Including to men you potentially want to love you.
Because somewhere there are guys hanging out, nursing their own broken hearts and contending with ex frustrations, and looming over the universe is an utterance of “dumb bitches.” And you and I know how so very wrong that is.
When hearing from women about dating and relationship challenges, I'm often stunned at all the man-hating out there. Lots of women HATE dudes. When confronted, most insist they do not. But you do. You totally do!
Why does it matter? Because you're full of hate. It's not like hate for trans fat, or public smoking or even Republicans, because you have a choice about how you vote. This is hating half of the human race. It is hating half of your own DNA. It is hating all of your male relatives and friends and any man you may consider. This means you even hate Tom Hanks and nobody hates Tom Hanks. Except there is something he shares with half the population– and that is his manhood.
Which is so, so toxic. No likes hanging out with a hater! Not even women. And you're holding yourself back – back from connecting with others. Back
Here are 9 signs you're a man-hater:
1. You speak about men in gross generalizations — and it's always super-negative. Stuff like, “Men are always playing manipulative games,” or “Men love to be mommied,” or “Men hate giving oral sex and only do it so women will agree to anal.” You know, stuff like that.
2. You hate all your exes. If you find no redeeming qualities in any of the men you were once devoted to, well …
3. All your breakups were his fault. Not because it was a poor match, or the timing was off, or you acted poorly. No. All. His. Fault.
4. You lecture your son on how to be a better man. This assumes that men are inherently rotten, so he must be the exception. What you're telling him is that by nature of his gender, your son is inherently rotten.
5. You lecture your daughter on what to avoid in a man — ad nauseam.
6. When you spend time with a man you spend the while time nitpicking, correcting and insist on doing everything yourself. Lady, let the guy do his thing already. You are not the only competent person in the room.
7. You have a feminist chip on your shoulder. I'm a feminist, and you should be, too. It is hard to hold tight to our beliefs — which are rooted in a movement designed to upturn a male-dominated paradigm — and still adore the company of men. Because, one could very justifiably argue, men are the enemy. Except most of them are not. Not the one sitting across the table, patiently listening to you quote Germaine Greer with interest, after which he will insist on paying the bill. Still not sure if this applies to you? Do you ever casually — as in not in an ironic way — use the word “patriarchy”? There you go.
8. Your favorite way to flirt with a man is to argue with him.
9. Your messages to your daughter about dating are negative. I appreciate that your past experiences my have been negative. But your daughter is not you. Do not put your stuff on her. As parents, it our job to help our children grow into the people they will be.
What do you think?
Emma Johnson is a veteran money journalist, noted blogger, bestselling author and an host of the award-winning podcast, Like a Mother with Emma Johnson. A former Associated Press Financial Wire reporter and MSN Money columnist, Emma has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Glamour, Oprah.com, U.S. News, Parenting, USA Today and others. Her #1 bestseller, The Kickass Single Mom (Penguin), was named to the New York Post's ‘Must Read” list.
Emma regularly comments on issues of modern families, gender equality, divorce, sex and motherhood for outlets like CNN, Headline News, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Fox & Friends, CNBC, NPR, TIME, MONEY, O, The Oprah Magazine and The Doctors. She was named Parents magazine’s “Best of the Web,” “Top 15 Personal Finance Podcasts” by U.S. News, and a “Most Eligible New Yorker” by New York Observer.
A popular speaker, Emma presented at the United Nations Summit for Gender Equality. Read more about Emma here.