As I said in my original post inspired by the first article, I think that some women wish to believe that men are threatened or intimidated by women who speak their mind or who are upfront about their sexual tendencies and desires. Conversely, many men like to tell themselves that women are threatened by a man who knows what he wants and goes after it or who doesn’t tolerate nonsense.
Neither is true. What makes us take a step back from people like this isn’t their supposed confidence or assertiveness. It’s the slight twinge in our guts that we fell when we sense or see an inconsistency. We’re not intimidated by the person. We become fearful or hesitant. The situation and dynamic has now become unsafe. Accusing someone of being “intimidated” by something implies that they are insecure somehow. That’s a nice go-to place for those who like to cling to certain narratives, ones where they have some profound hold or affect on the other person.
Getting back to the original article, I want everyone here to imagine this scenario. You go out with someone, everything clicks and you have this great night. The next day you send them a text and tell them how much fun you had and look forward to doing it again. Their immediate response is this:
“Just to be clear…I’m not looking for a relationship.”
Where does your mind go? I’d bet most people would be hurt or embarrassed or at least confused.
What I want to know is how the situation in this article is any different than the example I gave above.I guess that’s what bothers me about both of these pieces. The author is completely discounting the perception and feelings of the guy. I’m in no way trying to imply that the guy probably didn’t let his douchebag flag fly. But I really want people to consider the two scenarios and tell me how they differ.
If he positioned himself as “boyfriend material” by doing things that “boyfriends” do, then slapped a disclaimer on the relationship, he’d be called deceptive or a time waster. So how is that any different than a woman who presents herself sexually in some way? If she’s talking about sex and discussing her sexual proclivities publicly, isn’t she then presenting herself as someone who wants to have sex? Can we agree on that? Nobody is saying that she’s expected to put out immediately. But then, nobody said that the man is expected to commit immediately. Yet women will quickly slam a guy for selling himself as one thing and then abruptly reminding the woman that he’s actually not what she thinks based on what he’s put out there.
The problem here isn’t the laying down of a specific boundary. The problem is both the manner in which the boundary is set and whether or not that stated boundary is consistent with the person’s actions. That’s a very important point that I think many people, including the author of these pieces, is missing. If some guy takes me on a date and breaks out the “we” word and the “next times” and spends 8 hours with me walking in the moonlight, and then tells me the next day out of the blue that he doesn’t want a relationship, I’m going to think one thing – inconsistent. I’m also going to think that this person isn’t safe because how he just expressed himself was abrupt and abrasive. Who wants to subject themselves to possible emotional harm?
Whether it’s advertising or presenting yourself as relationship material or sexual in some way, why is it okay for women to feel strung along or mislead, but men aren’t?