Ah, modern dating. It’s, let’s say, a challenge. Between diminished face to face interaction, the heightened superficiality created by dating apps, ghosting, and all the other crazy things that come with dating in 2017, things are already pretty confusing. Add to that the inevitable gender politics that find their way into male female relations, and things can get even murkier.
Recently I wrote about the strange and trite dating advice that single gals like myself are often given. In researching that article and poling my fellow singles females on what dating advice they’ve received, I discovered a trend. Much of the advice being dispensed to singles, especially women, was decidedly sexist. And, as a single woman with heterosexual tendencies, who also happens to be a feminist, I found the commonplace nature of this antifeminist advice angle decidedly disturbing. It was also, frankly, incredibly annoying.
Perhaps It’s my particular situation in life that makes me hyper aware of sexism and gender politics that play a part in modern dating. I’ve always been told that I’m too (insert adjective here) for the average guy. Those brackets can, and have, contained anything from “too successful” to “too loud” and anything and everything in between. Chances are, men are rarely on the receiving end of statements like that. But women, especially brash, opinionated and career driven ones like myself, hear things like this far too often.
So here’s some of the frequently received, but mostly unwelcome, pieces of anti-feminist advice we less than ladylike ladies have been getting.
Men find you intimidating
This is one I’ve gotten often, along with my fellow ladies who aren’t softspoken, wall flower types. It doesn’t take much to fall into this category, but apparently it doesn’t take much to intimidate a guy. At least there’s some balance in the wold?
Men like women who know how to cook
Ohhhhhh, THAT’S why I’m single!
The man HAS to pay on the first date
I’ve always been firmly in the camp of offering to split the bill on the first date. I also have been known to pay for an entire date, if the guy has insisted on picking up the bill on previous. I have also found myself being thoroughly chastised for that behavior by other women. “Men are SUPPOSED to pay for things” they say. I frankly think it’s bullshit. Men aren’t walking ATMs, and women shouldn’t treat them as such. If women think it’s nice to be treated to a date, they shouldn’t be so against reciprocating that nicety. Expecting men to always pay is not just anti-feminist, but it’s just plain selfish and rude as well.
Downplay your job
It seems if you have a job that’s at all impressive, it’s considered intimidating. If you’re excited or proud of your profession, that’s also somehow off-putting to men.
So women have spent decades trying to gain professional equality with men, and now we’re not even allowed to talk about it? Or be excited about it? Oh, only if we’re trying to date. Gotcha.
You work too much
I don’t know about you guys, but it really grosses me out that people thing men are put off by a woman who’s career driven. For men, being ambitious and hard working are desirable qualities that women look for in a partner. If we’re trying to attain equality, this really needs to be an area we work on so women aren’t made to feel like crap for something we’re trained to want in men.
Men can only treat you poorly if you let them
And yet, no one seems to want to tell these men it’s wrong to treat women poorly.
Don’t have sex on the first date
This one has always been a bit of a struggle for me. While my rebellious nature wants to yell out “I’ll have sex whenever I damn well please”, there is a non sexist aspect to waiting to sleep with someone you’re interested in. Getting to know someone mentally and spiritually only serves to enhance that sexual connection. That being said, this advice is dispensed to women far more than it is to men, harkening back to a far more puritanical era where sexual piety and purity was one way to measure a woman’s value.
Be more lady like
So…cross your legs and don’t swear like a sailor? Ya I don’t think I can manage that, sorry.
Let a man chase you
This hearkens back to hunter/gatherer societies where men where, you guessed it, the hunters. In 2017 I don’t think these insticts are all that applicable any more. And while deciding who makes what move is part of the dating game, it’s pretty sexist to expect women to just sit back demurely and wait for a man to make a move.
Always let him text first
I’ve tried this one out, and have actually heard from some men that it made them feel like I wasn’t interested in them. Let the dynamic of your own situation determine who should reach out to who and when, and not some antiquated idea of being the SMS prey to a text happy hunter.
You should try losing some weight/getting in better shape
We’re already dealing with sexism, why not add body shaming and just plain rudeness into the mix too?
And those were just some of the gems that my friends shared, and that I’ve personally experienced. I might need a shower after writing this article *shudder*.
We live in an age where women are literally marching all around the world to fight for equality, and huge strides towards that goal are being made every day. There are also huge setbacks that are occurring every day. Both of those facts make it all the more insulting that women are still being told to act a certain way in order to find a partner. And not just in a certain way, in a decidedly anti-feminist, anti-woman way. It’s already hard enough trying to date, but when you’re being told to literally NOT be yourself in order to be successful at it, it’s enough to make you want to give up all together. But when you’re also being told to set your entire gender back, it’s just not cool.
So ladies, let’s all lay off of each other, and maybe give each other advice about stuff that actually matters, and not things that just stifle who we are, not only as women, but as human beings.
And guys, we’re really not that scary. We just want to be ourselves. That’s who you’ll be ending up with if you actually date us, so wouldn’t you want to know what you’re getting into right off the bat? It’s a lot more fun this way. Trust us.