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22 Things We’ll Teach Our Sons About Women And Relationships ... dear me! How heteronormative!

So let's see what I think of these.

1. Pick your battles.
Yes. This really goes for everyone, not just men.

2. Going down is more intimate than sex, but it shouldn’t be scary.
Uhhh. It shouldn't be scary, and it is intimate. But going down is sex, and it's also less of a pregnancy risk. And turn about is fair play.

3. Walk on the outside (closer to the street) of your female companion.
Say what? Is this one of those etiquette guide things that matter if you're into the heavy gender roles scene? I'd say read up in a Miss Manners manual if you're shaky on social norms, and then suit yourself and any companion you're with on whether anyone will be performing gender roles tonight. But if both of you are doing the strong gender roles thing, you owe it to both of you to know what they are.

4. Saying “You’re being crazy” is never an appropriate response, unless you want her to go postal on you.
Yeah, belittling someone is never appropriate, and if someone is acting irrationally, mocking them is just plain a bad plan, and that probably will lead to them acting even crazier. YMMV, but try minimizing the damage while they're acting irrationally, then bringing it up in a non-belittling fashion once they've saned up.

5. Cooking, cleaning, and taking care of kids are things men can actually do as well as women.

6. Keep backup supplies of quality chocolate in the house for when she’s on the rag.
The principle -- learn the little luxuries that bring your partner comfort, and deploy something unexpected when they're having a bad day -- is sound. The phrasing, ugh. My father was actually the one who taught me how to do this, by example. He would pay attention when people made noise about the little things they wanted (but never thought to get for themselves) and would then remember that, and when someone was having a bad day or for no particular reason at all, he would deploy something interesting.

7. Buying tampons and other feminine products shouldn’t embarrass you—everyone knows they’re not for you.
This is true! There's a nice hate-on in the comments of the original article for women who are so careless and/or thoughtless to let themselves get caught short and force this on someone, but a) just because it's a guy buying feminine products does not mean that it's an emergency; it could be that it's on the shopping list and he's shopping; b) there are other reasons besides carelessness that someone could get caught short (miscalculation of how much you'd need, someone else raiding your stash, biological insanity), c) even if it is carelessness or thoughtlessness, it's not honestly that much worse than a last-minute grocery trip for some forgotten recipe component.

8. Women like compliments and gifts.
Depends on the person. See http://www.fivelovelanguages.com/ -- even if it's a bit heteronormative too, it's a damn good assessment.

9. Earning less than her shouldn’t be emasculating.
This is true! It should not be! And it reinforces the glass ceiling.

10. Your legs really don’t need to be open that wide.
If you're wearing pants that are tight enough to squish your package unless your legs are wide open, and as a lifestyle thing rather than a dress-up or a costume ... why!?!

11. Be on time, even if she usually isn’t.
*sigh* Being on time is a good thing for everybody; consistency is also a good thing. If you're going to be late, advise. If you're running early, advise. But even if someone usually runs late, don't count on them to do that, or else they might get there on time and you might not be there. See above about advising if running late.

12. Don’t be a pouty puppy when shopping with her.
It's things like this that alternately want to make me declare that I'm not a woman, and/or that these women need to get out of my gender.
1) "Shopping" as a sport is an activity that needs to be confined to the people with an actual interest in that sport. (Bring me along on an electronics shopping trip, but if you expect me to go to more than two clothes places in a row, expect me to have a book and use it.)
2) All partners are going to do stuff that their partner is not into. Do not force them to participate in something that they're really not into; conversely, don't feel obliged to feign interest in something that bores you.
3) If you are coming along on an activity that you know you loathe, bring along some form of portable entertainment if at all possible. Books are good. Portable electronic devices are also good.
4) If you know you're doing something that you like and your partner is not that into, and you have dragged them along for the togetherness, do not be surprised or hurt if they make with the book or gameboy.

13. She should never be able to control you with sex.
Word. Neither of you should be controlling each other with anything; if you do find that you do "have to" be controlling with/about something, seek counseling if you can't get it straightened out on your own.

14. Find out what her favorite flower is.
See #6.

15. If you like her, then don’t buy her shoes; it’s bad luck.
Um, what? I guess there's a superstition, but I'd never heard of it.

16. Smiling and nodding aren’t the same as listening.
This is true. But, uh, if you're inclined to babble about anything, don't always expect rapt attention.

17. Skid marks aren’t sexy or hygienic.

18. It’s OK to cry in front of her, but keep the blubbering to a minimum.
By all means, cry. But keep an eye on how much and why you're crying. Too-frequent bawling can indicate other problems, such as attaching too much importance to an event so if it doesn't go exactly as planned it's all ruined, or not keeping things in perspective.

19. Personality goes a long way.
It does! Both yours and theirs. No matter how attractive you are, if you're also an asshole I will stop being able to appreciate your charms. People who routinely spend hours and hours cultivating their appearance don't have those hours to devote to other things, such as any other pursuit you may find interesting. If you insist on supermodel looks, be prepared for the time sink it takes to cultivate it.

20. At some point she’ll be more important than your mother.
I suppose.

21. You will never completely understand women.
Does any human ever completely understand any other human?

22. Oh yeah, and no woman will ever be good enough for my baby!
If you say so.
Gone away, gone ahead,
Echoes roll unanswered.
Empty, open, dusty, dead.
Why have all the Weyrfolk fled?

Where have dragons gone together
Leaving weyrs to wind and weather,
Setting herdbeasts free of tether;
Gone, our safeguards, gone, but whither?

Have they flown to some new weyr
Where cruel Threads some others fear?
Are they worlds away from here?
Why, oh why the empty weyr?

-- "The Question Song", Anne McCaffrey
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