By Kenneth Justice
~Can men and women be friends? Is it possible?
When I was younger the movie “When Harry Met Sally” came out….I ended up seeing it via VHS video as a teenager….
The film largely exists to make one single point illustrated by the friendship between Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan: Men and women can not be friends…it always ends up in sex.
Is this the way it has to be?
Let’s be honest for a moment….no beating around the bush; human culture has been dominated for thousands of years by men.
Women were not given equal rights until the 20th century and it really wasn’t until the past 40 years that women have finally begun to receive more equal treatment at the workplace and in social settings.
The way life used to be….reinforced the concept that men and women could not and should not be friends;
–) Men and women sat separately during religious services
–) Men hung out and talked…while the women stayed in the kitchen and cooked
–) Men were the providers….women stayed home and cleaned the house
–) Men got to be judges and lawyers….women were given the grunt jobs of laundry, cleaning, and changing diapers
–) Men could be politicians and business owners….women were permitted to lead knitting groups
For thousands of years men treated women like s**t…as though women were second class citizens….
In most cultures women could not vote, nor could they even testify at a trial!
In many ways….women were treated like servants
Therefore, everything about the way society was designed in the past influenced people to believe that women were not equal to men……
People didn’t even bother to question whether or not women and men could be friends….because society was structured in such a way that made the very thought impossible!
But, it’s the 21st century!
At what point can we stop being influenced by the negative elements of past societies…..of cultures that we no longer agree with?
Can’t women and men be friends now?
‘But Kenneth’ you say, ‘If men and women are friends it can lead to them having an affair’
Really? Are we such ridiculously horny and out of control creatures that if we get too close to someone of the opposite sex our clothes suddenly come flying off and we go at it like bunnies in heat?
What about gay couples? Should a gay woman in a relationship not have any close friends who are female?
Isn’t having an affair more to do with the quality of the relationship with your significant other and other elements connected to who you are as a person?
Whether or not you have a close friend who is not your significant other….if you are going to have an affair….you are going to have an affair.
‘But Kenneth’ you say, ‘shouldn’t we only be close to our significant other?’
That is a good question.
I guess it depends what you mean by ‘close’.
–) Are you spending more time with your friend than with the significant other?
–) Are you spending more time in conversation with the friend than with the s/o?
–) Are you more attracted to the friend than to your s/o?
If those three things apply to your situation….than one would ask; why are you in a relationship with the significant other??? Because it would sound like you are not doing a good job in the relationship!
If your significant other feels threatened….then your relationship needs work
If your significant other feels jealous………then your relationship needs work
If your significant other is unhappy……….then your relationship needs work
If you are having friendships with other people at the expense of a healthy relationship with your significant other….than obviously you are making some pretty big mistakes.
Unfortunately, for most people the Harry met Sally principle applies; most people in our culture are not ready to move beyond the things that were sewed into us from previous generations.
Most people are still connected to past societies where men and women were led to believe that women were inferior to men.
But as I drink my coffee this morning, here’s to hoping that some of us can progress,