Conversation between a male friend and me yesterday:
“Ginger, or Maryann?”
“Ginger for a one-niter. Maryann forever.”
“Maybe Ginger wanted forever, too.”
“Nope. She was a man eater!”
My friend is a good guy. But his answer got me thinking.
As usual, something that started out in fun has awakened my frustration at the continued stereotypes and perceptions surrounding dating and sex. This subject pissed me off in 1988, and it pisses me off even more today. Good grief, men (not all of you, but you know who you are)! It’s 2017. Stop expecting women to suppress pieces of themselves, because they know that if they do (or even want to do) what you do, you will most likely no longer believe them to be worthy of the awesomeness that is you.
I Googled qualities men believe women should possess (or NOT possess) if they want to be Mrs. Right (Maryann), rather than Ms. Right Now (Ginger). One of the main themes, of course, was women giving in too quickly to propositions from the men. I am only listing one response (it is indicative of the rest I sampled); I’m afraid if I brought them all, my measly machine would crash. Anyhow, here you go. The dude’s side of the story:
“I really don’t wanna come off like a misogynist, but I respect a woman more if she doesn’t just put out straight away. It’s down to trust and I don’t think I could trust a girl who would just sleep with me the first time we meet to not do the same with others. The girls who sleep with me right away and expect me to wife them up always end up disappointed because I simply can’t bring myself to respect them.”
TO THIS I SAY (to GUY1) — Sorry, YOU TOTALLY COME OFF LIKE A MISOGYNIST. And if you hold women to a higher standard than you hold yourself, you are not only not ‘respecting them more’, you’re not respecting them at all. And if you decide not to ‘wife them up’, I’m pretty sure they’re not ALL THAT disappointed.
So, correct me if I’m wrong. Basically, if a woman returns your advance — which, I dare say, you decided to make without worry of losing her respect, or your humanity, or a chance at a future — your SELF-RESPECT forces you to discard her, because you’ve lost respect for her, because of her choice to make the same choice you, yourself, made.. Do you realize this makes ABSOLUTELY NO FUCKING SENSE?
MEN, I know most of you aren’t like this. But, a lot of you are fathers. Clearly, this is still a prevalent notion regarding single women and dating, and it’s archaic, and it’s damaging and degrading and WRONG. It is telling women that on a date, SHE WILL BE PROPOSITIONED, but that SHE MUST SAY NO or she is no longer worthy of basic, human respect. (But be careful, because saying no is not respectful, either.)
It’s telling women that, while YOUR sexuality is natural, and expected, and right, HERS is an unnatural, ugly thing that should be suppressed. I got that message at 16, and I’m getting it at 43. Men friends tell me they appreciate a sexually empowered woman, but honestly, that’s not what’s coming through.
And I don’t want my daughter to experience this humiliation, and I don’t want my son to impart it.
So if you have a son, teach him how unfair it is to expect something from a woman that he doesn’t also expect from himself. And if you have a daughter, teach her that a man who DOES lose respect for her for doing exactly what he’s doing himself is no one she needs to give a second glance to.
In fact, taking into account all that is forthcoming politically in the next 4 years, teach them twice.
We are, ALL OF US, better than this.