After Brutal Fruit’s latest campaign, Laura Shortridge asks,
are men really so delicate they need to be protected from successful women?
Women who are in relationships with men: Have you ever been
told it’s your responsibility to make your man feel like a man? That no matter
how successful or powerful you become, it’s your job to make sure your man
never feels intimidated by you, because men need to be the leaders of the
A recent Brutal Fruit campaign that’s supposed to be
“celebrating and acknowledging the achievements of women” decided to focus
instead on lecturing women about how we need to look after the egos of our men.
Needless to say, the campaign backfired pretty horribly, but as I watched the
awful 11 minute video, I was reminded strongly of my early twenties, when it
was decided I was old enough to learn from the ladies of the community
(represented here by the Woman’s Bible Club from our local church), how to be a
As these old hens clucked away, sharing recipes and gossip
and advice, they also explained to me how things worked. Men have to feel like
the heads of the household. They have to feel like men. A good wife remembers
she has one extra child, her husband, and that his emotional needs come before
even the emotional needs of the actual children. A good wife never criticizes,
demands, or complains, but rather gently makes suggestions, using a combination
of diplomacy and psychology to deal with her husband, always being careful
never to harm the most precious and delicate object in the household: his ego.
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To these women, I realised, men are not adults who can
handle criticism or real challenges. They’re children who have to be
manipulated and bribed and told constantly how good and wonderful and powerful
they are. They would tell these men they’re the heads of the home, and let them
make all the decisions, and even if the decision was bad or the wife had more
knowledge to deal with the decision, they’d let the men think that the decision
they’d made was absolutely perfect.
It was so manipulative. It was so condescending. I realised
these women didn’t respect their husbands at all.
Really, if it’s a woman’s job to make a man feel like a man,
how fragile is his masculinity in the first place? If we believe women need to
constantly pretend to be lesser than we are in order not to intimidate men, how
little do we think of men? Do we really view them as so insecure and delicate
they can’t handle being challenged or questioned? Do we actually believe men
are so incapable of shining, that we have to dim our own lights around them so
that they don’t feel so bad?For
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