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‘Why we need to give men some praise’

‘Why we need to give men some praise’
23 May
4:11

For the last few days, I’ve been watching my brother sleep, which sounds creepy until I explain we’re sharing hotel rooms on holiday and I rise before he does.

Anyway, I’ve been waking early in the morning and watching him with a dumb grin on my face, his ridiculous sleeping poses and sounds that are so familiar to me after all these years.

“I love you!” I sing-song at him when his eyes slowly flutter open.

“That’s great,” he says before turning his head away. “Now f**k off.” 

Five-four-three-two-one… “I love you too,” he adds, as he has done for the last 40 years (almost).

“But seriously, f**k off.”  I can’t help but beam some more.

Obviously, I love my brother (as well as our elder brother), but my love for our male counterparts doesn’t stop there. I love men in general.

I realise this could be quite an unpopular opinion in the face of all the man-bashing I’ve been reading lately, but I love just about everything about them.

I love how they tell you what they really think – even when you don’t want them to – and I love how they give practical solutions to problems you’re experiencing rather than just talking about feelings.

I admire how simple things are with guys.

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There’s no denying you always know where you stand and what their thoughts are on the guy you’re seeing, the work you’ve started, or the ‘dumb’ dress you’ve turned up to dinner in.

There’s no confusion, no backstabbing, no gossip or word shovel that gets placed in your mouth, making it seem as though you’ve insinuated something you can’t recall saying in the first place.

If I want to get to base level, I also love how they look, smell, put shelves together, lift heavy things and everything else I don’t want my parents reading.

Let’s just put it this way: I’m a huge fan of men. I think more of us should be.

It probably won’t surprise anyone to learn I grew up the only girl in a family teeming with males.

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Nothing but brothers, male cousins, lots of uncles – so much so that I grew up a tomboy, completely unaware of how a girl was expected to act (and let’s not kid ourselves here – there was definitely an expectation back in the 80s).

By the time I was in high school, most of my friends were male and we would spend weekends building billycarts and bandaging each other in mosh pits.

It’s not that I didn’t have female friends or crave them, it’s just that most of the time I didn’t understand them. Why did they say they were fine when they clearly weren’t? Why did they hear things I didn’t say, but they believed I said because of the tone in which I said the original thing? Why did they cry so often? 

I was left confused by them and leant in closer to my male mates with whom I always knew where I stood.

As I got older, got married and started a family, I came to rely on men even more.

Dilvin and her brother travelling in Morocco (Supplied)

When I struggled after the birth of my firstborn, it was my male mates who rallied around, taking me out for dinner and telling me jokes until my mood lifted.

When I suffered two miscarriages, they appeared once more to paint my house, move furniture around, and yes, take me out to dinner with more bad jokes (now they they’re mostly dads themselves, the jokes have gotten much, much worse).

And whenever I go through a rough patch, the phone continues to ring with offers of babysitting, nights out, more jokes and simple but oh-so-effective, ‘How are you really doing?’

They don’t need to ask what we’re thinking because all too often they know, they care and they want to help. They just wish we could meet them halfway.

This isn’t a piece to bash women. I think they’re pretty great too, but I do believe men get a pretty raw deal in the press with little positive feelings being thrown their way.

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Yes, there are horrible men out there, but then there are plenty of horrible women too and sometimes, just sometimes, we need to slap our brothers, partners and mates on the back and say, “You’re freakin’ amazing and I value you.”

They may tell you to f**k off, and they may laugh maniacally until you regret your words, but there’s every chance they’ll come back to you when no one’s around and say, “I think you’re freakin’ amazing too.” 

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