Relationships, and the Internet
by Brett Krkosska
Men are evolving into a more understanding, sympathetic, and expressive
Ludicrous you say? In the immortal words of Gerard Depardieu, "I'm
not afraid to show my feminine side - it's part of what makes me a
Right on, Gerry.
Frankly, I'm ready for a change. It's about time we shift men's
attitudes about power, intimacy, sex, and relationships.
Besides, I'm getting rather bored with sneaking into the bathroom with
my wife's mascara to thicken up that thin patch in my beard. It occurs
to me that if a Scottish man can wear a dress and call it a kilt, then I
can put on mascara and call it a beard thicker-upper.
Guilt-free mascara for men. There's a worthy goal.
The evolution of men has been in the making for a long time. Indeed, the
epoch movements of the 20th century - women's right to vote, women
entering the workforce during World War II, the sexual liberation
movement of the 1960's - have done just as much to liberate men as they
have done to liberate women.
As the political, economic, cultural, and familial dividing lines
between the sexes are challenged it is inevitable that men should adopt
behaviors and attitudes traditionally thought of as feminine.
This is not to say that men should reject their masculinity. On the
contrary, men should whole-heartedly embrace their masculinity. But the
evolution of men rests in our ability to challenge pre-conceived notions
There is nothing wrong with being aggressive, powerful, or bold.
Applying these characteristics to uplift men and women alike is the
defining catalyst for change. To be aggressive in humanly pursuits,
powerfully outspoken against injustice, boldly honest, passionate, and
sensual - that is what it means to be a man.
These ideals are manifested through our interaction with others. We call
these interactions relationships.
But how do we perceive the competency of men in forming and maintaining
relationships? Do men embody the expressive qualities which solidify a
lasting and satisfying relationship? Do men share openly, listen for the
sake of listening, express their needs compassionately, or show their
emotions unabashedly? And how are men perceived as compared to women in
the depth of their relationships?
Call me insensitive if you must, but I would venture to say that someone
probably put the words "men" and "relationship" in
the same sentence and came up with the word "oxymoron."
Consider the burgeoning presence of women on the Web. Notice the
prevailing and underlying theme of sites designed by women and for
women. Look at the marketing approach used to capture the dollars spent
by women. It's all about relationships.
Does it work? You only have to look at the success of sites such as
About.com, Women.com, or iVillage to see that it works. These sites are
hugely successful with women because they provide a personalized and
human experience. The expressive qualities of a relationship are
hallmarks of these sites.
Speaking from a man's perspective, I can tell you that I want the same
thing from my Internet experience that women want. I want to know that a
site is trustworthy and I want them to prove it. I want to know that a
site is concerned with my needs. I want a relationship with the people
behind a site, not a sales pitch.
But where are the men's sites? Is the definition of a site for men
rooted in pornography? Must the expressiveness of a man be explored on a
web page within the context of being gay or religious?
We need more sites that target men "as men." Certainly, the
many different faces and roles men play should not be minimized. But as
I cruise the Web and come upon site after site announcing a
woman-to-woman theme, I am struck by the realization that the man-to-man
Internet landscape is quite barren.
But there is hope, for I would argue that the increasing use of
relationship marketing on the Web can have a transforming effect on men.
I don't pretend to think that relationship-centered sites can change
men's attitudes overnight - that goes without saying.
The only thing that could do that would be menstruation.
Think about it.
Rocky - big, strong man - wakes up in the morning a tad bit moody. He
goes to work only to discover that...
... his cycle starts heavy right in the middle of that important
meeting. He chides himself for wearing those tan slacks.
"Today of all days," he whispers. He bolts out of the meeting,
realizing that he didn't pack his briefcase for this emergency.
Thank heavens, there's Brock. He's always prepared.
"Hey Brock, I've got this important meeting and I just started
and... can ya help me out?"
"Sure," says Brock. "I was just going to the men's room
myself. Come on, we'll go together."
Pretty weird scenario huh? It gets even weirder when Rocky comes home
and spends 30 minutes telling his wife all about his day. And the crack
in his voice is unmistakable when he gets to the part where the overseas
client called his marketing strategy "half-cooked."
Yes, this would sure do the trick. But for now we must be content to let
the emerging personalized Web experience work its way into men's hearts.
Exposure to relationship - centered websites is bound to rub off.
After all, men do need relationships and they really do value their
repressed feminine side, they just need a little help getting it out.
As for myself, I'm quite happy to play along. Perhaps I'll even get my
own mascara. But I do admit to some macho baggage, so for now we'll call
it a beard thicker-upper.
------------------------------ Article by Brett Krkosska. Brett's site
has helped 1000's find home-based work options. For FREE home business
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