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Archive for the ‘Feminism’ Category

I came upon this blog entry about the blogger’s experience at a grocery store, where one female cashier felt it okay to tell another female cashier, loudly and in front of customers, that all men are pigs.

I’ve written before about the bitter single woman. I hate, hate, hate male-bashing. Really! Listen, I’ve dated losers who dumped me by email, did the fade out, or stood me up to watch a baseball game. I’ve gone through excessively long dating droughts. I’ve watched many female friends — intelligent and beautiful and great catches — get their hearts stomped on by unfeeling guys. And you know what? I still love men! They’re cute and tall and somewhat awkward when girls confuse them, and they get that ruggedly handsome 5 o’clock shadow. They can fix broken household appliances. They’ll go out of their way to walk you home at night so you’ll be safe.

Ladies, there is much to love about men. I get that you’ve been hurt, but it’s counterproductive to blame an entire gender for the bad behavior of a small minority. Dating is a journey, and you make mistakes along the way. Haven’t you ever had to cruelly break up with someone? Haven’t you ever avoided a guy’s phone calls and texts so you wouldn’t have to go out with him again? Or maybe you’ve done worse — cheated on a boyfriend, or left him for his best friend. Women are just as guilty! And yes, many men will say that all women are crazy (I hate that too!), but they’re still chasing after us.

Approach dating with a crappy attitude, and you’ll get crappy results. Treat men with respect, and assume their intentions are good. If you’re bitter and angry and have an emotional wall of man-hatred built up, men will catch on. And you’ll be the crazy one they tell their friends about. You want that to happen?

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Here’s an oldie but goodie from Slate: The Eligible-Bachelor Paradox: How economics and game theory explain the shortage of available, appealing men

So, the assumed lack of men who are good catches, according to this article, is that the good ones get caught earlier, while the awkward ones stay single. As for women, the greater of a catch they are, the longer they hold out for perfection. So, all that’s left, after awhile, are women who think they’re amazing, and awkward men.

That article pointed to this one: Marry Him! The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough

I think the title is self-explanatory. Anyway, am I telling you to settle? To marry the first person to come along? No, not necessarily. If you have misgivings about someone, you sure as hell shouldn’t marry them. But maybe don’t be unreasonably picky, and don’t think you’re so amazing that no man will ever measure up. Because while you’re there, being supposedly amazing, nice guys are marrying other women.

Interesting point of view in these articles. Food for thought!

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“Enough,” my mom said to me as I lay on a hospital stretcher. In two of her past three trips to visit her kids, she’s ended up in the ER, first with my brother and now with me. “You need a husband to take care of you.” I’ve been thinking about what she said. I’m educated, employed and self-supporting. I’m living the typical single-gal-in-the-big-city life. If I’m sick, I heat up my own soup. If I’m tired after a long day at work, there’s no one to go to the grocery store in my place.

“The women in this town look so tough,” my mom said a few days later, after I was up and about and we rode the train together. “They don’t look sweet or caring. No one wants to marry that.”

A controversial stance, that. I’m sure some of you are reading this in disgust, and thinking quite ill of my mother, but you don’t know her. She’s no Stepford Wife. I have to say she made a valid point. Men who like women want to date women. They like us in dresses. They like that we smell nice. They like that we get concerned if they haven’t been eating well. They want the future mother of their children.

At the same time, women who like men want to date men. Taller than us, stronger than us, protective. They say that women date men like their fathers. I don’t know if that’s true, but I know that the men in my family are good at repairing things. To this day, even though I’m decent at fixing household stuff myself, I tend to call up my brother for help. When my dad’s in town, he busies himself making small repairs around my apartment. At work, my co-workers are mostly male, and I’ve definitely played the “you are tech-savvier than me, please help” role. Does it make me seem like a defenseless little girl? I don’t know. But I do know that I can’t do everything alone.

I’ve been hearing a lot about Steve Harvey’s relationship advice book, Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man. He was on Oprah while I was home from work with the back injury, and he said this about men:

We profess, we provide and we protect. A man has got to see where he fits into the providing and protecting role. If you’ve got everything, you can do everything, you’ve got your own car … you’ve got a guard dog and a handgun. The guy is thinking, ‘Where do I fit in here?’ You’ve got to make a space for him to fit in so he can come in and do what men do.

A lot of people advise making space in your life for new things to come in. Suze Orman says to clean out your wallet to attract new money. Patti Stanger tells you to throw away things that remind you of exes so you can finally move on. Steve Harvey says to leave some unfulfilled needs in your life, so that someone can come in to meet them.

Does this mean that if you’re single, you should throw yourself a huge pity party and whine about how lonely you are to anyone who will listen? No. You should have a life, friends, a job and hobbies. But neither should you be so rooted in your self-sufficiency that you will refuse any person who doesn’t fit into the life you’ve created. You need some wiggle room so they’ll have a place. If you’re overscheduled and refuse to meet new friends and potential dates, you’ll find potential dates coming around less often. A person you go out with when it’s convenient for you, who moves out of your way when you’re busy, who doesn’t interfere with the life you created before you met them — that’s a mistress. A person who quickly becomes an essential part of your life — that’s a relationship.

Let someone take care of you. And while you’re at it, take care of them, too.

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For those of you who read the New York Times Style section regularly enough, you’re probably familiar with the Modern Love column.  They held a college essay contest, and the first of five was published this week.  In it, the author, Marguerite Fields, expounds upon her experiences with noncommittal guys.  The men she dates give weird excuses, behave bizarrely, or change their minds about her quickly.  One guy, in order to rationalize his apparent inability to stick to one person, said “that his disregard for monogamy wasn’t a chauvinistic throwback, but quite the opposite: the ultimate nod to feminism.”

Oy.  Is this what the feminism of the ’70s and ’80s has caused?  Do today’s 20-something women have to acquiesce to men who don’t want to assign titles to anything and who don’t want “society” to dictate how they live?  This is the legacy our pioneering mothers have left us?

Listen, you all know I don’t subscribe to The Rules.  But, like Ms. Fields, I would like to find someone to spend a long time with.  Exclusively.  So whenever a guy starts spouting off about not wanting “society” to tell him how to define his relationships, my Bullshit Detector(TM) goes off.  He doesn’t give a lick about society.  What he’s really saying is he doesn’t want me to tell him how to define our relationship.  I assure you that the second this guy meets a girl he really wants to be with, he’ll let society get its way.

It’s a shame that men in their 20s have been bombarded by messages that men are evil, that fathers are unnecessary, and that they are responsible for keeping women in a state of servitude.  That couldn’t have been good for their self-esteem.  But feminism today is different from the feminism of 20 years ago.  Women who desire a traditional life of love, marriage, baby carriage, and maybe going part-time at work until the kids are in school, will admit that without feeling like they’re selling out the sisterhood.

Now, most men are unaffected by this.  The awkwardness they experience in dating is more a result of fear of rejection than anything else.  But for the guys who make these pitiful speeches about how they don’t want to have ownership of someone, or limit themselves, or perpetuate stereotypes, or define their relationships by concrete terms…

Bullshit.

The longer an explanation you get as to why someone won’t commit to you, the more they are completely bullshitting you.  Listen, if you’re also not into the traditional gender roles or monogamy, cool.  But I am telling you, if you’re looking for an exclusive relationship, and possibly marriage, and you’re treated to a dissertation by someone you’ve been seeing for awhile, you have not found The One.

And guys, if you’re going to be all laid back, fine, but don’t make excuses about not wanting to apply labels or caving in to social norms or whatever.  Just say that you want to be able to have sex with anyone you want, because this is likely closer to the truth.

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