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Man Hater? You Be the Judge.

I'm a girls' girl. I don't mean a girly girl. I don't know how to wear make up and don't shop weekly to keep up with the latest fashions. I'm not afraid to get dirt under my nails and I have a dirty and sarcastic sense of humor that guys appreciate more than women. Yet, I witnessed a certain type of gender dynamic early in my life and decided that women get the short end of the stick. As a fellow female I decided it would be my job to support and defend all the amazing things that women do and don't get credit for.

It was natural choice for me to attend an all-women's college where men (and mostly my sexual dynamic with them) could not interfere in my education and where I could develop strong, lasting relationships with, of course, more powerful and amazing women. I've continued, through my life, to make many wonderful friends, most of them female. But my sexual orientation has aligned me to spend the rest of my life side-by-side with none other than a man and to fall , willingly or not, into many of the traditional roles that I always fought against as a teenager.

I love being married and Andy defies many male stereotypes. He certainly does not define male and female roles in the house with our daily chores and thinks that my ability to succeed in the work place is just as likely as his. I've not once heard him make a sexual comment about another woman or animosity toward his female boss. Yet, we are still one man and one woman living under one roof and often our clashes are strongly supported by our inherent personalities as a stereotypical male and female.

I have decided to write about these daily struggles and to share my successes and pitfalls with the virtual world. I've been pleased at the number of readers I've gained in the last few years and have not really thought too much about their gender until recently.

I get the occasional email of support for my blog or a request to add a new reader to my feed. Not one of these requests has been from a man. I did once have a male friend make an off-hand comment about my nag blog which indicated he may have at least read one post. The other night, a male acquaintance of mine, who knows me through work, (and does not know Andy at all) approached me at an event and asked me if Andy reads the blog and if I am aware that my posts are technically accessible to everyone and anyone who wants to read them. He told me I don't hold back my opinion and lay it all on the table. At the end of the conversation I was not sure if he would call himself a fan of my writing but again, he had at least taken the time to read.

After that chat, I thought a great deal about my audience. Here I am, married now for over five years, but am I perceived as a man-hater, and not just to men but also women? Is that the perception I want others to have of me? Is this my "bitch blog"?

No, I do not want anyone to think that I don't love my husband or that I think the male gender is any less than the female. I've made several great guy friends over the years and most of my mentors have been men. I'm not a man hater. I'm not bitching. I'm being honest. I wanted to write and decided to tell you about who I really am and what really matters to me.

I'm not going to write a blog about crafting or fun, rainy day activities to do with your kids. I'm not going to blog about recipes or politics, career advising or decorating. It doesn't mean that I don't have an interest in those topics, it's more than I'm writing about what matters the most to me and in keeping true to myself, as I always have been, I'm keeping it real with you.

Andy told me recently that my blog is not marketable because there are so many other blogs out there just like mine. He's right. I'm one of a million moms writing about being a mom. I'm one more woman nagging about her husband and kids. I'm one more mom bragging about her kids and proclaiming her identity as the martyr.

I'd also like to argue against Andy's point and say that my blog is not like everyone else's because this blog is about me. I'm laying it all out on the table. Like my non-virtual personality, I say what I want to say, when I want to say it but I hope I say it in a way that makes you think , disagree or maybe relate. I'm not trying to be offensive or push anyone to believe that my way is the only way. I just want you to know that I'm out here and I have something to say.

For the record, dear readers, male and female, I am not a man-hater. I am trying to live the best life I can. That involves navigating many gender bumps and because I'm writing about my life, you are going to hear about these bumps. You don't have to tell me your bumps. You don't have to write them down and post them in a blog. You can read this and be so glad your relationship is not like mine and Andy's. You can read this and secretly smile because, even though you don't say it out loud, you know some of this is your life, too.

Whether you love my writing or hate it, are thankful to relate to someone else or appreciative of being so different (and not married to me), thanks to every man and woman out there for reading.

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