Women wear pants now - both literally and metaphorically - as they should. But does this mean that men should be sporting form-fitting pencil skirts? I'm not saying that men have to wear THE pants in a relationship, but I do feel strongly that they should wear A PAIR of pants in the relationship - again, both literally and metaphorically.
The problem begins with mythology: a set of traditions or beliefs associated with a particular group that, by definition, are exaggerated, if not completely made-up, for the purpose of explaining something that's otherwise inexplicable. Immediately, the Republican platform comes to mind as an example of mythology, but even more flagrant in my estimation is the male species.
Many men are not who they purport themselves to be. It's a Fonzi-scheme, so to speak. Their egos, their postures - their brands, if you will - are based on the masculine mythology that, as the person with the penis in the relationship, they run things.
To that I say man, please; hombre, por favor; bwana, tafadhali. English, Spanish, Swahili - my skepticism is fluent in three languages. The truth is, men have become more like human pets in their own households these days: housebroken, the whole nine.
This leads us to the problem of men having their friends vetted as if the VP nomination is at stake. Ladies, it's not like he's trying to bring a buddy home for a ménage-a-trois. Well, unless you have one of those husbands. In most cases, however, crossing swords is not on the agenda. So why can't a guy just take a weekend trip to Vegas with Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky and Mike without having to lie about Bobby? Granted, Bobby has had narcotics issues, marital meltdowns, and as many arrests as he has children by different women, but it's not like he's a bad influence. After all, mistrust is what this is all about, isn't it?
This is why married male friends, especially those who have also been henpecked to the point of submission, are more likely to get the stamp of approval. Single male friends, who enjoy being single, rarely get through the approval process successfully and, if they do, they come with a high interest rate and are always subject to repossession.
There is no sadder spectacle than to see a man have a friend repo'd. I got repo'd once. Just like that, my "all access" pass was revoked because I was deemed too much of relationship liability for my married friend. I write from a place of pain.
And, the thing is, it's rarely an issue in reverse. Aside from a pathological misogynist from the spirit of Ike Turner, the average man doesn't harbor the urge to approve the friends of his significant others. What some men do harbor, however, is the subconscious need to be mothered by his wife.
I'm not a pop psychologist; I just happen to play one online sometimes. That said, I can't speak with any absolute certainty as to why men or their significant others behave in this way. I just know that it's kind of wack.
In the end, it's pretty much laughable. Wives and girlfriends will be wives and girlfriends. Sometimes they're cool about things, sometimes not. And husbands and boyfriends will be husbands and boyfriends... except when they're too busy being neutered house pets.
Mason Jamal writes about men, women and popular culture. For more of his musings, visit www.masonjamal.com. To have his commentary delivered to your e-mail, subscribe here. Keep up with Mason's daily thoughts and observations by following him on Twitter @masonsays.