In the spirit of gross gender generalizations and unsolicited dating advice, I’d like to take a moment and write one for the men who continue to walk on the eggshells laid by some of us womenfolk.
I’ve read a lot of feminist rhetoric on TC, and while much of it can be insightful and thought provoking, I think it’s time we had a little conversation about how we modern women should start redefining what we “expect” out of our male counterparts.
So without further ado, this listicle goes a little something like this…
1. Girls, you can’t have it both ways.
This one should be the most obvious, but for some reason it seems lost on many of my sisters today. You don’t get to expect that a man treat you as equal (which is non-negotiable, I mean it’s 2014, c’mon) and then demand to be treated like a kept woman. If you (rightfully) get angry at a man who assumes that it is your lot in life to stay at home to take care of him, then he should have every right to get angry at you for expecting it is his equally arbitrary responsibility to take care of you financially. No. You’re a grown woman. You take care of yourself.
2. Stop measuring love in units of shiny things with other peoples’ names.
Please excuse the hyperbole, but nothing tests my composure more than hearing some entitled female drone on about how any man she dates must buy her nice things and provide her with a lifestyle full of overpriced shit.
Ladies, do you really need me to tell you that a relationship cannot be measured by shopping trips and credit-card swipes? You would think this wouldn’t be necessary, but that is sadly not the case. A lot of women still like to measure a man’s love by the number of designer gifts he bestows upon them. I don’t personally associate with females like this, but I somehow still hear this tripe all too often when at salons/spas/parties/whatever area filled with girl talk.
Honey, you do not “deserve” anything. You earn things because, again, you’re a grown-ass human, and that’s how life works.
3. Stop perpetuating “the crazy.”
If you ask a man you’re dating today what his last girlfriend was like, 80% of the time the answer seems to be, “She was crazy.” I’m sure that some of this can be attributed to a lack of communication between genders or a man who doesn’t want to admit his indiscretions outright, but much of it can rightfully be attributed to women being just plain crazy-ass bitches. So…maybe it’s time we cut that out?
On one of my first dates with my current boyfriend, I was running downstairs to the grocery store from his apartment to get something he needed to finish cooking when he turned to me as I walk out and said, “Try to not make a copy of those keys so you can break in later and go through my things.”
He played it off as a joke, but he wasn’t entirely kidding. This was a real thing that had previously happened to him. This is just one anecdote of many I’ve heard of “crazy girls” acting irrationally, causing scenes, going through their boyfriends’ phones, reading their emails, questioning their friends, accusing men of cheating at the slightest hint of communicating with another female, etc. Frankly, crazy girls, I’m tired of cleaning up after you.
If you feel you have to behave this way, you are: a) incredibly insecure and need to fix yourself; or b) you can’t trust this person and should not be dating them.
The bottom line here, ladies, is that if you won’t tolerate this behavior from a man, why do you think it’s OK or cute for you to act this way? If you don’t want to be controlled by your partner, stop trying to control your partner.
4. “Getting ready” does not qualify as putting in effort.
If you want a man to put in effort for you, you should be prepared to do the same. Putting on nice clothes and spending two hours on your hair and makeup does not count. You do these things to impress him, but let’s be honest; they’re mostly for you.
I might lose some of you old-fashioned folks here, but you should take your man out for dates, too (which you pay for). Make him dinner. Surprise him with gifts or experiences just because. Do little things to make sure he feels loved and knows that he is important to you. Let him be the little spoon every now and then.
This is just another one of those mutual respect things. If you expect these behaviors out of the man in your relationship, you should expect to do these things as well.
5. Let him have friends that are girls.
I know that I will probably lose many of you here, but hear me out. If your fella had female friends before you, why do you think he should push them aside if you aren’t willing to give up your male friends? If you get angry when your male friends start to ignore you when dating someone new, why do you think that it’s OK to force a man to do this to his female friends?
He is likely going to physically be in places with other women. He might have female friends. He probably even has female coworkers. He might have to call one of these ladies from time to time or may meet them in a real-life social scenario. Chill out about this. Again, if a man taking issue with your guy friends would piss you off, you shouldn’t expect this to go down smoothly if you want to shove it down your man’s throat.
I respect that people have many different philosophies on whether or not men and women can be platonic friends (I clearly believe they can) and to what degree it is appropriate, but this is absolutely an area where you and your partner must be on the same page. Like many other areas of a relationship, you cannot force your beliefs about this topic on your partner because it will only breed resentment and end in trouble.
6. If you want to be taken seriously at work, take yourself seriously at work.
You don’t get to go to work in a tiny skirt, speak purely in sentences featuring upward inflected endings, flip your hair, flirt and act like an airhead if you then wish to rightfully complain when you can’t seem to get ahead in your career. If you define yourself as the office bimbo through your actions and men don’t take you seriously, you will have to deal with the reputation you’ve created. You can use your looks to garner favor if you’d like (hey, they’re your tits!), but don’t be surprised when you get looked over for promotions because you come off as dumb.
All of this advice comes out of love for my fellow females, as well as my love for men. You are welcome to take it or leave it. I feel compelled to write about this because as I find myself increasingly impassioned to champion feminist causes, I cannot help but to be annoyed with the way many women choose to behave today.
I am tired of seeing my male friends disrespected and used as much as I am tired of dealing with the wreckage that horribly behaved females from the past have wreaked on my current relationship. In some ways my basic human compassion and courtesy comes off as me being a rock-star girlfriend, but in other ways I feel like I’m unfairly challenged by ill-conditioned responses from previous “crazy bitches.”
We are not princesses. We are not dolls. And men certainly do not owe us anything more than mutual respect. We cannot choose to argue against the double standards we dislike if we wish to cling tightly to the double standards that we might think work to our advantage.
Ladies, for the good of us all and the progress of our society as a whole, please start treating your relationships with men as the equal partnerships you say you want, and stop using double standards to your advantage. That behavior is only impeding progress across the board.