The minute my editor sent an email out to the staff a couple of weeks ago seeking a volunteer to cover an upcoming forum on relationships, I couldn’t send my response back fast enough!
The battle of the sexes is always fun territory to me because - As I’m sure is the case with many women out there - I gladly welcome any chance at trying to understand the minds and actions of the opposite sex.
It doesn’t always mean you’re going to get something enlightening back. Or maybe I should say: It doesn’t mean you’ll always like what you hear.
I mean, this is one of those discussion topics that prove that, regardless of race, socio-economic status or age, at the end of the day “We’re just ordinary peeeopppllllee,” as one of my favorite singers John Legend would say.
And for me, yesterday’s forum “Relationships 101,” held at Southern University at Shreveport in conjunction with the YWCA of Northwest Louisiana’s 21st Celebration of Women Week, did not disappoint in entertainment value, if nothing else.
For instance, one of the high points of the energetic discussion was when panelist and popular radio personality Quenn Echols responded to the question: “Why do men feel they can cheat, but when a woman does it, it’s considered wrong and the man never let it’s go?”
His response: “Y'all want the truth? We’re not built for pain like y’all are. Emotionally you guys are built for more pain than we can take.”
Say what?! I burst into laughter when I heard this response. I mean is he kidding me?!
Of course, it is possible that I could be TOTALLY wrong, but here’s how I intepreted Echols comment:
“You women are so strong that you're meant to take more pain than us men. So that’s why we can cheat and cheat and hurt you over and over again, knowing that you'll likely forgive us each and everytime, because you can handle it. But when you cheat, even once, don't expect the same forgiveness and understanding from us. When you cheat that's much worse. In fact, it's unbearable and unacceptable and if it happens we’re done.”
I don't think cheating is justifiable ever, regardless of gender, but for some reason I was thinking I'd hear a response more along the lines of: "Because sometimes we as men can be pig-headed, selfish, egotistical jerks."
But again, I could be wrong.
One of the other entertaining-yet-interesting responses came from the question: “What are the signs when a man is ready for a commitment?”
Each panelist gave the expected responses like “Less hanging out at the clubs, more talking,” said panelist LeMar Flukers or “When he takes you to his parents’ home or takes you to the club with him,” replied panelist and student Roderick Meaux. Flukers and Meaux were among the younger guys in the group.
However, it took older panelists like Major Brock and Richard Cornelius to break it down with that old school wisdom.
“See you have to first realize there’s commitment and then there’s sophisticated game and sometimes they can be very similar,” said Brock, EOC director. “First you look at the percent of time y’all spend together. How does he spend that time with you? Secondly, when you all talk, does he speak in future tense?”
Cornelius, a SWEPCO employee whom the moderator and CEO of the YWCA Roxann Johnson dubbed as the player of the group, offered this: “He’ll go down to one person. You’ll be asked earlier for dates…”
Can’t argue with any of those points, I thought to myself.
But a battle of the sexes is not complete until you have the women firing back and these women were not shy at all. When they didn’t like a response, they let it be known whether they had a mike or not. And the longer the men took to answer the question, the more hot water they were in.
“What kinda guys are y’all talking to?!” Echols finally asked at one point.
“Boys!” a woman yelled from the audience. Hmph, I couldn’t have put it any better, I thought to myself.
But I have to give these guys credit. I mean it takes a lot of courage to sit in a room full of mostly women and take on all the heated questions they probably should be asking their boyfriend or spouse. Bless their hearts. I mean how would you answer questions like this with a mike thrust in your face, sitting before a crowd of inquiring women?
Except for the occasional blank stare or pause-and-pass of the mike, these men rose to the occasion with ease.
This is what I want to know though: How would the rest of you fellas, have answered some of these questions mentioned?
What about these other questions the ladies asked:
-How long should a woman stay in a serious, monogamous relationship without a proposal?
-What are some ways for a woman to help maintain a serious relationship?
-Do you prefer younger women or mature women and why?
-Would you date a plus-size woman?