Stand by your man
‘Sometimes it’s hard to be a woman. Giving all your love to just one man. You'll have bad times. And he'll have good times. Doing things that you don't understand.’
This song by Tammy Wynette has always sickened me. Every time I hear it, I want to meet the man who made her write it and hit him square on the nose, because if this is a relationship, then something is seriously wrong.
The song is brave, it’s from the heart, and I’ve heard it a thousand times. Sung it actually. But when you break down the words, it’s the subtext behind those words that clings to you.
‘But if you love him you'll forgive him. Even though he's hard to understand. And if you love him. Oh be proud of him. 'Cause after all he's just a man.’
The question that begs an answer when I listen to the words, is ‘Should you forgive someone for being male or female?
If men like to drink beer, should they be forgiven for being constantly drunk? If a woman is drawn to expensive items, should she be allowed to drain the bank account dry? And if we led a life together in the guise of stereotypes, would it work? Would we both be happy or just one of us?
In the movies, in songs, on the TV and between the pages of books we are taught about stereotypes. The way things are and how men and women act. But in this century I’m not so sure that this sticks anymore, because the stereotypes of Tammy’s day are fading.
Men are governing their own money and women earning their own. If a man drinks and his partner isn’t happy, they can sign them up to rehab or leave. This behaviour isn’t taboo. It isn’t frowned upon. It’s accepted as part of society and a new age. An age where people and relationships are changing as we rediscover who we are and what makes us happy.
We are becoming much more comfortable and confident in our own skins. Not scared of being left on the shelf or alone, but scared of being stuck in a relationship that isn’t right for us.
Tammy’s word might be outdated, but they do show us how far we have progressed in a short space of time. It shows us that acceptance isn’t accepted and we are the creators of our own destinies. And isn’t that a powerful thing?
Stand by Your Man, Tammy Wynette