I like the folks over at Jezebel. I think they have willingly undertaken a necessary, but borderline-Sisyphean task of altering cultural, biological and societal stereotypes that have been built up over the entirety of human existence. (Women. Always rearrangin’ the (metaphorical) furniture.)
They recently laid down an edict, publishing the “New Rules for Men.” While I agree with them (example: A woman can ask you on date), I find it just a little absurd that the “New Rules For Men” are coming from a site which covers Emmy’s fashion like Encyclopedia Brown combing a crime site, then screams whenever someone else makes an assumption based off a stereotype. But you know, whatevs. We’re cool. Which is why I’m CERTAIN they will agree entirely with the “New Rules for Women.”
1. We can’t be female feminists, so don’t make us try.
Hugo Schwyzer is the perfect example of this: A man attempts to subvert every natural male impulse within his body and, well… we all saw where that guy wound up. We have dicks and they control us more often than we’d like. Seriously, ask us about it. We will earnestly admit that. “We don’t like the things our dick makes us do.” But asking us to control the way our penis interplays with our brain is no less absurd than me telling you not to menstruate this weekend because I have the apartment to myself.
2. If you want to split the check, say it at the beginning of the date.
As courtship is currently understood, a women offering to pay after a check arrives is a hollow gesture. You know that. I know that. And yet we still willingly participate in this stupid Kabuki. It will never be taken seriously if the offer isn’t given seriously. And right now, it is assumed that the end-of-date offer isn’t a genuine gesture. So if you want to split a date—or pay—say so at the beginning. Before a single tapa has been ordered. That way, the offer is out there, and when the bill arrives, you are now actually reiterating and reaffirming your desire. Men are all for letting you pay. But if you want to, you can’t keep making the same offer we’ve seen. It won’t work that way.
3. We are trying. Cut us some slack.
There are horrible males out there who believe a woman should literally be chained to the stove because if she leaves the house her tiny brain will forget she put a pot pie in the oven and then the crust might be slightly overdone. These men are 65. Most of us — even if we hate burnt dough — believe in equality and women’s rights. So while I apologize for old, white males, remember they are our fathers. And they ingrained in us their shitty beliefs. We are fighting to overcome them, so realize that occasionally defaulting back to them isn’t MISOGYNY. We are aware when we are wrong. We don’t need to be hit in the head for it.
4. You should play fantasy football.
I’m serious. This is a severely underutilized path to equality. The woman I respect most is the one who just beat my ass 170.2-75.4 with a team she drafted entirely. But it’s not about winning. It’s about participating in something as equals, which fantasy football allows you to do. And respect in one aspect of life correlates to respect in another. I guarantee there is a science study that proves this. But for now just take my word. And don’t think for a second you need to know jack shit about football to play. You don’t even need to even have an interest. I am in two fantasy leagues and last Sunday, I watched four episodes of Breaking Bad instead of a single game. And I made the playoffs last year.
5. You don’t have to be a “woman,” but understand why we want that.
It’s the whole, weird Oedipus-thing. It’s kind of gross and hard to explain but men are attracted to motherly qualities like tenderness and warmth that we aren’t able to actually clamor for because of masculinity. So when we say “I like when you cook me breakfast,” we are really saying “I miss the loving embrace of my mother and wish I was still six but know I’ll never get back that safe, happy feeling—but asking you to recreate it is the only way I know how.” Saying a woman should be a woman doesn’t have anything to do with us not wanting them as CEOs or Presidents. It’s just that their progress takes us back to that September morning when we were 10 and our mother explained to us what a latch-key kid was.