On the Equality of the Sexes in Dating (or Should I make the first move?)

I just read some girl’s blog post that reminded me of something I wrote a while back. Her post was entitled On Making the First Move.

And so here I am, rehashing an old post. I just wanted to rewriteand edit my comment into an official post. The weird thing is that Communicating with the shy guy you like is one of the all-time most popular posts here, yet the bulk of the article is about empowering women and all that. I suppose that’s par for my writing though: lots of digression.

Annie had an anecdote, and it went like this:

Just coming to mind – there are guys who will get offended if you won’t let them pay. I also had a male housemate once who, talking to me when we went to a bar once, he watched a girl hit on a guy and called her a slut. There. So that’s the potential cost of a woman pursuing a man. Even if, to yourself, you’re just being a strong, forward woman.

I replied:

I’m a non-conformist. Just not the type that wears ratty jeans and sports a faux hawk on my head. So what does that mean? I say forget social norms. And forget what other people think about you. Be free to do whatever you please, regardless of the opinions of others. That woman who was called a slut…should she be upset? By most standards, yes, she should.

However,if she is a strong and independent person, then it shouldn’t matter. If I were her, I’d probably tell your housemate to fuck off and mind his own goddamn business unless he wants me to dig my four-inch heels into limp dicked loser face. I don’t know what words she used to hit on the guy though. It’s possible that she hit on that guy the same way guys hit on girls: “Hey baby, I love that dress.” “Wow, nice rack.” “Damn honey, you look fine!” Personally, I think a guy who does that is a “slut” just as well: he’s a sexually motivated dirtbag who notices physical attributes first and foremost. If a woman uses the same kind of words to hit on a guy, then she’s just as much of a dirtbag in my eyes. You know what? If a guy was hitting on a girl, wouldn’t you think that there are girls out there rolling their eyes too? If he was using some creepy or perverted lines, I wouldn’t be surprised if a girl walking by would call him out as such.

But I digress.

Being a non-conformist, I couldn’t care less about what other people say or think about me. If I were that woman in the bar, I would probably give your housemate a disdainful look and leave it at that because at the end of the day, who cares what a stranger thinks of me? I’m going to be who I am wherever I go, and I’m going to do the things that make sense to me. And if someone is going to poke their nose into my bu siness and say something stupid, so be it. It doesn’t affect my course of action.

Yes, it’s more normal for guys to be as forward as they want. And in some cases, women will swoon for a man who relentlessly pursues them. Although ideally a woman should be able to pursue just as aggressively, we live in reality. I don’t think that it’s really possible to find such a true kind of equality. Men will probably find it a little awkward for a woman to be so completely entranced that she would be chasing him with such boldness. Now, it’s hard for me to really put myself in a woman’s many pairs of shoes (haha get it?), but I would find it uncomfortable for a man to pursue me single-mindedly, the same way I would feel if I were a man being pursued by a woman. It has nothing to do with gender roles.

The thing is that women are placing more and more demands on men now. With financial freedom, women find that they have greater mate choice. Getting married is no longer a requisite to survival. As such, men are now expected to be in incredible physical shape, intelligent and well educated, funny with a sharp wit, and also tall, dark, and handsome. Men have always preferred a woman with curvy hips, large breasts, blond hair, blue eyes, and all for evolutionary reasons which I won’t get into here. But you know what? At the end of the day, a man is probably going to take what he can get. With increased power, women have to take on a greater share of the responsibility of being in active pursuit of a relationship. If more women would do it, it would become more prevalent and more acceptable. The first women in the workforce had it hard, but now it is commonplace to see women in a place of work.

I have no doubt that though we have come a long way, we have a long way yet to go in terms of equality. I just don’t see it happening in our lifetime.

All in all though, I think that if it is your instinct to be forward, if it is in your nature to pursue a man, you shouldn’t let anything stop you. The way I see it, being yourself is the only way to go. If you are truly the type of woman who is aggressive and gets what she wants, then there shouldn’t be any reason for you to hide this. Showing your true colors only increases the chances that you are meeting the right men.

Life is too short to let anything get in the way of finding someone who is right for us. The only real way we can find that out is by trying. As I’ve taken to saying, to win you must play.

Anyway, I still stand by my opinion. I think things ought to be more evened up, but hey, I’m one hell of an idealist. Things rarely ever work the way they ought to.