November 19, 2014

Like A Lady

Think Like A Lady; Act Like A Man 

People are always telling women what they need to do, change or be to catch a man. Blogs are launched. Books are written. Movies are made. But what about what women want and need? Why do women take some men seriously and not others? Why do women reject some men after just one date, or even before? It it because we have the right to vote and vibrators and now suddenly have no more use for relationships? Or could it be that the men out there are actually doing something to cause this to happen?

When I first became a blogger, I knew I had ideas. I had a unique perspective that I wanted to share. I realized that I had a responsibility to read just as much as I planned to write. To see what was out there, and understand what information people really wanted and needed.

I was in no way prepared for all that is "out there".

And one of the most disturbing things I have ever found online in the blogging world, is the community of men out there who hate feminism, who refuse to treat ladies as such, who (as they hold these unhealthy and degrading beliefs) simultaneously endeavor to objectify and conquer these women (who they neither like nor respect, and yet still desire) in only the most disrespectful and demeaning ways.

Never met a website like this? I've got a few linked at the end of this post. If you're a woman reading right now, I'd recommend writing a few positive affirmations down to read back to yourself promptly after clicking.

It helps.

Now, as I was saying...

With the changing times has come an almost deafening outcry from the male population where dating is concerned. Many men are apparently furious with woman who expect traditional treatment, gestures, courtship and standards in a non-traditional world. On the flip-side, many women have attitudes that range anywhere from disappointed to fed up with the number of men who assume that tradition is to be disregarded as early as a first date, before the personal beliefs, behaviors and values of said woman have even been discovered.

The Wide Net

A lot of people will say that society, feminism, "hookup culture", and the like are the reason for the slow death of courtship and traditional dating. Personally though, I think the problem is money. It's just far more expensive nowadays to date traditionally, and because of the changed nature of dating, for many men it's not a matter of not wanting to treat his dates, but plain not being able to.

I've been investigating this, as I'm not the only one who feels like it's the economy that is dictating dating and expectations of courtship. One (perfectly reasonable) explanation that I read for a man's dating mentality changing was that the world has gotten far bigger and people are opting not to date people inside their regular social circles, but instead to date strangers. What does this mean? It means that where in the past a man would have an idea of whether the women he was about to take on a date to begin the wooing process was a marriage minded women, he now has no idea whether she's a potential wife, or if he's Tuesday on her daily meal regimen. A man doesn't want to expend that much time and energy on a specific woman only to realize she's using him for fringe benefits. (Although, I would remind those men that use this as in excuse to date rather freely and loosely that women do not enjoy being used for the fringe benefits of their company either.)

So instead, rather than focusing on a very small number of women intensely (also known as courting for marriage) men opt to protect themselves by focusing on a large number of women, or as one gentleman put it, casting a wide net. The goal? Spending as little as possible. Spending here can refer to time, money, energy - whatever. The idea is that if you don't give too much, you won't be taken advantage of. Or maybe I should say that it's the excuse. But what happens is that it becomes a game of getting the most reward out of minimum investment in multiple women. Basically, it's dynamite fishing. All the while carrying the belief that none of these women can be trusted so, rather than focus ones attentions in one place and get too serious, it's better to remain uninvested while continuing to reap the benefits. Also known as courting for sex.

In a man's defense, it makes sense. Sort of. From a financial standpoint, and even from an emotional standpoint. I get it. Men get the short end of the stick when it comes to the initial stages of dating. It's like being in the art world. It's 99% rejection, all hoping for that amazing, career changing 1%.

Positive Intent

Here's my problem with the wide net theory:

It isn't based on positive intent. The wide net theory is a reaction to a negative assumption of all women. This is a man's way of defending himself from a world of hypothetical gold-digging women who are out to use him, or sexually liberated women who may have had better in bed and may leave him once they have sex, or whatever it is that they fear that the women "out there" either are of have tragically "become" as a result of women's liberation. This mentality assumes that there is something wrong with the women out there that he's going to be going on dates with, and to ensure that he isn't either used or heartbroken, it is best to eliminate that marriage mentality all together and instead court for sex. It also fails to recognize that women have a say in dating and that women who are looking for relationships may want nothing to do with this lazy, minimalist behavior. Thus, by making the decision to cast a wide net and expend little time, energy and resources, men who practice this fail to realize that they may be limiting themselves to only a certain pool of women who will put up with such behavior. Then they claim that there are no good women left, and around and around it goes.

First, women do not exist in two hard and fast categories - ready for marriage, and defective/malicious. I hate the idea that if a women isn't showing up to a first date wearing an apron, talking about how she can't wait to settle down, quit her job and take the temperature of a pot roast that there is something wrong with her. I also can't get onboard with the extremes at which some of these bloggers talk about protecting themselves against women who may be trying to use them for financial gain. It's completely taking the women out of the equation and instead treating things like a math equation. For example, there was a comment on one of these blogs advising men hoping to marry to look for a women under 21 who hasn't gone to college, as women who have gone to college tend to be carrying student loan debt which they will "obviously" [read: sarcasm] expect their husband to pay off. Really? So we don't care that a woman is educated, we only care about her income to debt ratio? And supposedly it is the women here who are only interested in money? ::scoffs::

But I digress. Back to positive intent and how it doesn't seem to be involved with this wide net theory.

What happens when men with that wide net mentality meet women who are, in fact, marriage minded? I'll tell you. Because these men are assuming the worst, they treat these women with far less respect than they deserve, as early as the first date, and justify that behavior with the "fact" that she could be trying to use him in some way.

While he claims to be interested in a serious relationship, if he could find a good woman, he has given up from the outset and made a decision to date loosely and take whatever he can get....

So sex.

And so here is the scenario: He is courting for sex while she is interested in a relationship. He can't understand why she is on the defensive and put off by his behavior, and then he dismisses her feelings and justifies his behavior off the claim that his treatment of her is justified and punishment for the current mentality of her entire gender (which does not share a collective mentality, I might add), and proof that he should continue doing exactly what is causing the issue in the first place.

A Woman's Perspective

Dating creates an illusion, especially online dating, and if you've ever tried it, then you'll understand the illusion I mean. Whatever site you choose presents you with options. You surf. You scan. You decide who you like, sorta like, and definitely aren't interested in. You click thumbs up, thumbs down. You respond to emails. You flag some. Some you delete without opening. It gives you the illusion that you are in control. That everyone on this site is an option. When in reality, that just isn't true. Online dating does not suddenly mean that the world is your oyster and every woman whose profile you scan will be readily available at your fingertips if only you decide to click "like". The online world is still the real world, it's just another way of looking at it.

Even people who don't date online may have met people before who have this mentality. That they are the selectors. They are the choosers. As though the people they encounter will have no thoughts or opinions about them that may effect whether the relationship progresses or not.

Sometimes I think men confuse dating with auditioning and interviewing. And no, not just men, women do it too, but in a different way. There are all sorts of dating and self-help books out there that try to keep women in the role of trying out for a part. Telling them what men like, what they're looking for, what they want to see in a woman. Trying to convince her that whoever she is now isn't quite it, but if she just spruces up a bit and tries a different angle, just maybe she'll stand a chance against all the other women who are trying out for the same part. Men tend to play the role of casting director. They've got a list of traits they're looking for; a list of boxes to tick. Looks, education, cooking skills, debt to income ratio, etc. And they will shamelessly pursue these questions early on with no regard to how it makes them look.

You see, it isn't an interview. It isn't in audition. On an audition, the person coming to the casting call knows they want the part! But on a date, both parties are on equal ground. No one has decided whether they want or even like the person yet - that's the point of the date!

I decided to write this because there are so many sources trying to give women dating advice that is centered around what men want and need. Meanwhile men are...

Living for themselves. Pursuing their hopes, dreams, desires, etc. Something is wrong with that. Especially when a lot of this dating advice pretends to play to a women's strength and intelligence but is often advising that she pretend not to be as strong, smart, or independent as she is so that men can feel like men around her. Basically asking her to pretend that women's liberation never happened.

But it happened! Okay, so women can go to college. Okay, so women have jobs. Women have careers. Ones that they care about and will not necessarily up and quit the minute they meet men. Okay, so women can have sex before marriage without being shamed into never leaving the house again and dying alone. Okay! So you're not the first man she's ever been with, you're not the only prospect she's ever had or ever will, okay, okay, okay! So what! That does not suddenly mean that all ideas of manners and respect must go flying out the window with her former oppression.

This idea that if a woman expects to be an equal then, by default, she forfeits chivalry is bullshit. First, equality isn't this narrow, literal interpretation of thinking we can do the same things as men in all aspects. I know I'm too small to lift up a pickup truck and I have no interest in changing a tire. It's dirty. I'll call AAA. But equality means that you're equal in the eyes of the law, as in not being a second class citizen. As in, if I decide to be a mechanic, etc., I can do so. As in I should not be forced to marry someone or forever life with a parent or roommate because I don't earn as much money as my male counterparts for the same fucking work. How does wanting any of that relate to the expectation of men behaving like gentleman? It doesn't! None of this should effect dating. And yet it does. It's as though the people that advocate for this shit are pissed that women have rights and just looking for another way to oppress them. They can't do it legally anymore so now they're trying to amp up the social aspect.

Forgive me. I get worked up over these things...

My point though...

If you really want to be in a good relationship with a good woman, then you need to act like it. You need to treat women right. Because frankly, the kind of woman you claim to seek is never going to settle for disrespect, and the idea of dating as many women as possible at once with as little effort in as possible to see who bites and what she'll give you for it is just plain disrespectful.

So there are my thoughts. I will now be having a glass of wine and contemplating my fabulous, liberated existence.


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