It has been an even longer while since my last blurb and for that I apologise. I wasn’t planning this at all, but a friend of mine recently posted a link on Facebook to this article. It addresses the trend of men’s from society as they “give up” on women, unsure as to what their roles are in society and due to changing female roles.
I had no idea I felt so strongly about some of these statements until I began writing a comment/response on the article’s page and found that I had suddenly written a short essay. I have become increasingly intrigued with the social expectations, standards and relationships among people, but especially between men and women , to the point where I will most likely be producing a thesis that allows me to explore some of these themes, particularly as they related to the world of online or digital dating.
So, without further ado, I present to you my response to and thoughts on this article. These ideas are solely my own, influenced by conversations among friends and the bits and bobs I have learned over the years of my life. They are in no way conclusions of legitimate research, merely my take on the understanding of the situation and how some personal experiences have influenced me. I openly welcome comments and responses as I am very curious to hear what others have to say on the topic.
This article has been a very interesting read, although there are certainly somethings I disagree with – particularly some comments on the schooling. I understand that girls obviously started performing well and were given better opportunities in which to succeed, but to imply their opportunities were better than those offered to the boys is a bit much considering all that was happening is girls were being given a chance EQUAL to what males had enjoyed from decades/centuries ago. In this way, yes, feminism changed things, but I think it’s a bit far-fetched to blame this much on feminism. I personally think, if anything, it proved how much women deserved these chances because they were clearly so willing and dedicated to do well that they began to overshadow the now lacklustre efforts that boys were demonstrating.
As a result of what I, and I’m sure many others, believe are feminism successes – such as equal rights to education and better or equal pay and job opportunities for women – many women have diverged from the “traditional” female societal role. Rather than becoming a housewife and stay at home mother, many women have opted to pursue their education in search for a meaningful and fulfilling career. As a result, many women are getting married and having children later in life than ever before, thus delaying that “settle-down” relationship, in the hopes that when they do settle down they will have a career equally as important as their mate’s.
So is it really fair for men to say that they are “giving up” on women, largely because an increasing number of women just want sex, and that this makes them “poor relationship material”? Isn’t this just a teeny bit hypocritical, considering this has been a dilemma for women for decades, possibly even centuries, as a many men just wanted to be the “player”, the “stud”, bragging to their friends about how many chicks they’ve slept with? Why, then, is it so bad and unacceptable that women should wish to experience this same casual attitude towards sex? I think the answer to this lies largely in the double standard still present today, derived out of traditional and now predominantly out-dated ideas of what men’s and women’s roles are or should be in society.
All of that being said, fellow girlfriends and I have often discussed the fact that none of us are ever (if rarely) approached anymore in person by a guy. We couldn’t understand why, until we spoke to guy friends who said that every time they tried, they were labeled as a “creep” and usually rejected with unnecessarily harsh responses. I’m from a small place where you don’t generally approach someone you don’t know and where relationships emerged out of pre-existing friendships. You can probably understand my shock and skepticism when I moved to a big city and experienced multiple guys hitting on me in a single week. Until then, I thought that only happened in cheesy romance movies! Looking back, yes, a few of them were very chivalrous and polite, however sadly, (and this is where the “creep” label comes in) the majority of these interactions began in the middle of the street with something along the lines of, “Damn girl, that ass looks fine! Can I get your number?” No, sir, you may not!
It’s certainly sad to see a decline in the number of men approaching women, however I think really, the people to blame, are the real creeps, the men who approach women in the manner just described, and the (hopefully very few?) women who approve of such approaches and thus encourage them to continue. Speaking as a self-respecting woman, one such interaction can make you question almost every future approach, to the point where you pass on the good guys because you don’t even hear them out; as they approach you, all you’re stuck thinking is, “Oh shit, is he another one of the creeps?”
Concluding, I think that, yes, the roles of men and women in society have certainly never been so blurry, especially with the growing emergence and acceptance of non-traditional ideas and families. I do not, however, think that these changes should be an excuse for men to shy away and “give up” on women. Women are equally challenged by these blurred lines as they often struggle to find the sweet spot between negotiating a career path and initiating a family life to please society’s expectations.