Do Traditional Dating/Gender Roles Still Exist? #atwys

I read a blog post the other day that I’ve been meaning to write about but life has just gotten in the way. femi

Anywhoo, this is the blog post and here’s an excerpt.

I read an article today on a fellow bloggers Facebook page that was titled 8 Things Women Just Don’t Do Anymore (that they should!) and it was quite an interesting read. Now, maybe I was just raised right or maybe it’s because I am not a burn-your-bra man hating feminist, or maybe both, but I absolutely agree with the article. Now before you go throwing your burning bras at me or take my Vag card away (or whatever it is that female hating feminists do), hear me out.

Men will start being men, when women start acting like women! And before you say that those that live in glass whore houses shouldn’t throw stilettos (or however the saying goes), I actually do each and every thing on that list except for my potty mouth. In my defense, I can clean up my dirty mouth in appropriate situations.

I cook and I serve the meals when I cook, I clean, I take care of myself, I compliment my lover when appropriate, I dress for the occasion, and I do my best to anticipate the needs of my loved ones.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for a woman getting an education, working and being her own person, but believe it or now I also have very conservative views when it comes to gender roles, children and marriage. As women, we need to stop emasculating our men and start empowering them to be…men!

I think what stuck with me the most about this post is that it reminded me of me just a few years ago. I was one of those, “I don’t identify as a feminist” types, too, as I had similar ideas of what that meant. Then I branched out a bit and started to immerse myself more in the writings and teaching of other writers and began to realize that my world view was actually astonishingly narrow. I’ve been accused of being a bit of a turn coat by the manosphere, especially because I briefly wrote for xoJane and other similar websites. First, I’ve never been a follower in my life, and I don’t plan on starting to be any time soon. I’ve always made my own decisions and formulated my own opinions. It just took me longer to understand the big picture. What never motivated me was the need for male approval. Which is what I think motivates this particular blogger linked above. My insights were based on my experiences, but because I had never experienced any of the things so often bandied about in feminist forums, I dismissed them. Then I broached out of my little comfort zone and interacted with people who weren’t your typical dating blog types. I also began to grow exhausted by the same language and assertions being thrown about by the red pill/MRA community. Women are the gate keepers of sex. Men are the gatekeepers of commitment. Yes. We heard you. Mind you, as I’ve said before, I think there are problematic aspects to both sides. But what I know now that I didn’t know then was that the complaints we’d hear about the patriarchy and misogyny were far more widespread than I had realized. Staying in a little bubble prevented me from seeing that.

There will always be people that I lean too close to one side or the other. I can’t prevent that. Some people think I automatically side with men because I have issues with women. I’m sure to some degree they are correct. I do have issues with certain types of women just like I have issues with certain types of men. What I do here is try to present The Big Picture by speaking for whatever side is not represented in the OP’s letter.  It just so happens, since a large majority of the people submitting letters are women, I’m often presenting the man’s POV. I push for accountability and self-awareness and critical thinking.  That’s the goal.

Moving on…

As I said in my comment on her blog, it would behoove her to understand the general premise of feminism before trying to tear it down. I’m going to tread lightly here because I feel as though I still have quite a bit to learn. Get this: you can get married and take his last name and still be a feminist. You can enjoy dressing up and cooking and taking care of your man and still be a feminist. All being a feminist means is that you believe in choice and equality.

What this blogger doesn’t seem to understand is that feminism is part of the reason why she can write a blog about all the sex she has. It’s feminism that has assisted her in developing a sexual persona without feeling she has to apologize for it. No feminism, no bloggy blog about how she loves porn and has all kinds of wild and crazy sex.

The overall issue I had with her post is that she, like most dating bloggers who haven’t a fucking clue about the issues they’re talking about, is talking out of both sides of her mouth. She doesn’t like the changes in traditional gender roles and thinks feminism is all about being a man hater, but she takes advantage of both of those ideologies whenever possible. She can demean men by calling them “pansies” if they take too long getting dressed, but other women shouldn’t get perturbed if a guy tries to open the door for them. Women can take on what are widely considered masculine traits like cursing and being sexually assertive, but they should never have to pay for a meal on a first date. Because, see, they’re women. (I mean, seriously, can we please get past that one? Offer to pay your share. He probably won’t let you because he knows you’ll think he’s a douche. Contribute financially in some way and just get the fuck over it already.) A man should stand up for his principles and assert himself, but women shouldn’t. Except when they should, like when you want to write a blog post detailing how twee men and butch women have become.

The majority of women I know are unhappy because they want a man who is a man… they want Rhett Butler. Now there’s man who knew how to spew those love words and woo a girl, but who would duel in the street if he felt you dishonored him or his family. Swooooon… oh those old-fashioned Southern gentlemen.

And herein lies the real issue. I believe the reason why so many men and women have warped ideas of masculinity and femininity is that they are basing those ideas on FICTIONAL FUCKING CHARACTERS and stories they’ve heard from friends who are almost certainly lying to some degree. The fantasy never matches up to reality, hence why so many people can never find what they’re looking for.

Just as there are no real dating rules anymore, there are really no traditional gender roles anymore. As the dating landscape changes, so do certain societal rules about what is considered masculine or feminine, appropriate or inappropriate. Either change with them, or continue to struggle and get weeded out of the pool.

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56 Responses to “Do Traditional Dating/Gender Roles Still Exist? #atwys”

  1. DrivingMeNutes Says:

    “…they want a man who is a man… they want Rhett Butler.”

    Ha. The irony is that only the old queens even understand that reference.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

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    • fuzzilla Says:

      I had an image of Brett Butler in my head and got all confused.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

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      • DrivingMeNutes Says:

        Which leads me to Gerard Butler. Now there’s a man who is a man to whom we can aspire. I’m sure he always pays.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

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    • LostSailor Says:

      What? The kids these days haven’t seen “Gone with the Wind”?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

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      • mindstar Says:

        Nor “Casablanca”, nor “High Noon”, nor “Ben Hur”, nor “Bell, Book and Candle” etc., etc. Sometimes I weep for the youth of America.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

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        • fuzzilla Says:

          Ha ha ha…I’m “the youth of America”…I know who Rhett Butler is, I was just tired/brain fart.

          I have met people out in the country who legitimately never heard of Lou Reed or David Bowie.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

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  2. mindstar Says:

    The problem is there is no agreement as to what constitutes feminism.

    Thus legitimate complaints about the need for childcare at places of employment or for identical pay for identical work get mixed in which complaints about cat calling (hated if its by lower/working class men embraced with open arms if it’s by wealthy successful men) or so-called micro aggressions.

    As long as some women are seen as demanding both equality and privlege it will be seen as hypocritical..

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    • fuzzilla Says:

      **(hated if its by lower/working class men embraced with open arms if it’s by wealthy successful men)**

      In a word: No. If they’re some jagoff who just wants you for boobies and sex it doesn’t really matter if they’re a CEO or a barista.

      The thing that infuriates me when (some) men talk about feminism is purporting to know what a woman experiences when by definition they have absolutely no clue (nor can they).

      I have absolutely no clue what it’s like to be black, so when someone who does speaks up, I shut the fuck up and listen to them, I don’t dispute the validity of their experience because I haven’t personally experienced it (which would be a batshit crazy argument to make since, by definition, I *can’t* know or have that experience). Sure, they can be black (or a woman) and also be crazy or stupid, and I’m allowed to disagree with them – but you cannot disagree with what someone’s direct personal experience is. It just is. If it makes you uncomfortable – oh well. That’s your problem, bro.

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      • Joey Giraud Says:

        “I have absolutely no clue what it’s like to be black”

        Dear God, I’ve been assuming for years that you are black.

        —-

        “The thing that infuriates me when (some) men talk about feminism is purporting to know what a woman experiences when by definition they have absolutely no clue (nor can they).”

        Sure they can have a clue, lots of women have plenty to say about the matter.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

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  3. PGHGal Says:

    Some women (and men) equate feminism with “man-hating,” which simply isn’t true. You are absolutely right that feminism insanity choice and equality. Good on you for recognizing that. I adore men and am a proud feminist. The two are not incompatible.

    On that same token, some men don’t give a shit about any of the things she mentioned from that article. I know a couple of”house husband” type guys who enjoy cooking and cleaning for their families. Hell, my grandfather was a decorated homicide detective in Miami (you’d call him “alpha” in modern lexicon) and he did ALL of the cooking in our home. He loved it and he is the one who taught me to cook. She’s just humble bragging about how awesome she thinks she is. It’s silly.

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    • PGHGal Says:

      Insanity = is about. Damned auto correct!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

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    • mgm531 Says:

      As man I’ve never seen the objection of a segment of our society simply asking for the freedom and equality to choose the life that they want to lead, which is what I’ve always equated feminism to be. Whether you are gay, straight, black white, male or female who wouldn’t want the freedom to pursue the same choices or opportunities as anybody else without discrimination. Isn’t that what feminism is about? It’s the freedom to choose to be the stay at home mom if a woman chooses to do or be the career woman if a stay at home is not her thing. It’s the freedom for a woman to choose to be a scientist or a teacher or a professional athlete and not be discriminated against or judged for the choice she makes. Isn’t that what most people want in their life — the freedom to choose their own destiny and be responsible with whatever lifes choice they make? I don’t see that as feminist issue, but just an all round equality issue, regardless of gender or race or sexual orientation.

      Where I see the conflict and confusion is the issue around gender roles, but gender roles and feminism are not one in the same. Sure, feminsim can be an influence on gender roles and how they change and adapt to modern day life, but then so are dozens of other factors such as the economy, education and professional mobility. Feminism is just one influencer of many in the ongoing debate of gender roles. It is not scourge of men and the ‘manosphere’ because in my mind feminism has nothing more to do with men than does gay rights or civil rights. Therefore as a man I see no reason to view feminism as a threat.

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      • Joey Giraud Says:

        There are as many different notions of “Feminism” as there are notions of “Christianity.”

        I think if you spend a bit of time on Jezebel, you’ll see a side of contemporary Feminism that has little to do with “simply asking for the freedom and equality to choose the life that they want to lead.” Nothing simple about it, and they’re not asking.

        You’ve come a long way baby, from Mother Jones and Betty Freiden.

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  4. jane Says:

    Ooh that article gets me a bit steamed up. I identify as a feminist but I think that word in itself has gotten so muddled, everyone has their own definition of it. I believe in feminism giving women choice and validation to make ‘being a woman’ mean whatever you want it to, and not be judged for it.

    I seeth at being told ‘women should act like women’. What exactly is a woman supposed to be? Who decides that? Just because its the way things used to be or the way things are commonly done? I might like to cook and stay fit, but thats not something Im doing because ‘women should’ – I can pick and choose what roles and interests fit ME. I happen to a woman but that doesnt force unto me any set of requirements. You be a woman or a man how YOU decide it fits you – pick and choose the traditions (or modernities) that fit your personal definition.

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  5. LostSailor Says:

    Actually, I didn’t really find much objectionable in the linked article; once you get past the bad writing and overblown language, she’s really not saying much that hasn’t been said here many times. And the vast majority of it was addressed to men about semi-traditional “gender roles” that are really just kind of common sense, especially if he wants to be attractive to women:

    — don’t live in your parents’ basement playing video games all day through your 20 or into your 30s

    — dress nicely. Saggy jeans, ragged shorts, and a My Little Pony or Call of Duty T-shirt doesn’t cut it.

    — be courteous

    — be confident and assertive. Don’t be a mewling, sensitive, new-age, Nice Guy®

    It’s not that women want Rhett Butler (besides, who dates Civil War veterans these days? it’s almost discriminatory the way they’re ignored by women) because they’re idealizing impossible fictional characters and basing their standards on fictions, but they want the characteristics that the character embodied: a confident, assertive, teasingly humorous gentleman. That’s hardly a radical notion. Margaret Mitchell didn’t create an impossibly fictional man, she created a character based on real-world traits. People can be masculine or feminine without being fantasy.

    Yes, Boston Single does obliquely attempt a mild indictment of women and feminism, but I don’t see where it rises to the level that “She doesn’t like the changes in traditional gender roles and thinks feminism is all about being a man hater”.

    Which brings me to the heart of the post:

    it would behoove her to understand the general premise of feminism before trying to tear it down. Get this: you can get married and take his last name and still be a feminist. You can enjoy dressing up and cooking and taking care of your man and still be a feminist. All being a feminist means is that you believe in choice and equality.

    Which illustrates a problem with modern, Third Wave feminism: it’s like the fabled Chinese Menu where you can choose a definition from Column A, an ideology from Column B, and an activist stance from Column C. Yes, the dictionary defines feminism as the theory of political, economic, and social equality of the sexes. But Third Wave feminism goes far beyond that. Just read Jezebel or XOJane.

    So which feminism should Boston Single understand the premise of before trying to “tear it down” (which I didn’t see her article doing)? Is the the “feminism” of the average American woman who generally agrees with the dictionary definition and enjoys the freedom she has in this society, but who doesn’t identify as “feminist” and still thinks “men should be men”? Is it the feminism that still argues for more “rights” and more services that benefit women yet still think men should keep some traditional roles, like paying for dates, when it’s convenient? Is it the feminism of the gender-studies Social Justice Warrior who thinks that masculinity itself is a “toxic” social construct and must be eliminated before the Patriarchy can fall and usher in a feminist utopia? Is it the feminism of the more extreme Radical Feminists who consider all men as innately and irretrievably violent, who exclude Transwomen because they’re really still men, and who advocate complete separation of the sexes and/or culling of the male population to a more manageable level of 10%?

    All of those are “feminism.” And this wide continuum of feminism means that there is no one “feminism” for Boston Single to understand. And it allows a convenient escape valve if a woman’s feminism is questioned: “well that’s not real feminism, not my feminism, I’m not like those feminists! Educate yourself!”

    In dating, it’s not that “there are no real rules” anymore, it’s that they’re more like fluid guidelines that you don’t know you’ve transgressed until you’ve been sent packing. And traditional gender roles most certainly do still exist, it’s just that there are now many more options to choose from.

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    • D. Says:

      I didn’t know the TTAB approved Nice Guys’ trademark application.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

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    • C Says:

      Great response!

      The subject of feminism is complex. We have all benefited from the women who marched for women’s suffrage and reproductive rights but admittedly I know little about what the current feminist movement is about and even less about its obscure outliers. I really don’t think it was the authors intention to take any serious stance about feminism especially not on a dating blog.

      As for traditional gender roles, I think some form of gender roles/attributes and seduction will always exist and those attributes and roles will in some way resemble historically popular figures.

      Fictional or not, some characteristics are hot and timeless. As an example, one theme that keeps being revisited throughout written history is the idea of a masculine manly man who has honor, integrity and is willing to give his life for his beliefs and in defense of his family. Pretty sure 10 thousand years from now, women will still think that’s hot and men will still admire it. I cant think of a single example of a weak and whiny man who was hot. I cant speak for men, but it seems to me like historically there has been admiration for young, vulnerable, caring women with sex appeal.

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      • Chester Says:

        Yes, those “timeless” attributes are hardwired into respective male and female genes. But feminism has tried to dupe men and women into thinking these things don’t exist. Some men have been duped into thinking that a manly man is no longer sexy. This has resulted in men and women trying to deny an aspect of their own sexuality.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 6

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        • C Says:

          Men are following the feminist movement? I’m not sure I agree. If something is working against you, why keep doing it? I would think it similar to those horrid pixie hair cuts that swing into fashion once every 10 years. Men think they are ugly, women think they are cute. They last about 10 minutes and then the trend returns to wearing long hair.

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      • LostSailor Says:

        [A}dmittedly I know little about what the current feminist movement is about and even less about its obscure outliers. I really don’t think it was the authors intention to take any serious stance about feminism especially not on a dating blog.

        I agree with the second part of that, and this will be my last comment here (yeah, I comment out of order). This really isn’t the right forum for this discussion, though obviously of interest to the commentariat here.

        I think a lot of people know little about what the current feminist movement is about. And it’s easy to dismiss as “outliers” some of what is actual current feminist thought.

        For a variety of reasons, tangentially to do with my job, I’ve read quite a bit of recent feminist writing and checked out some of the seminal works of the past. Dworkin and Mary Daly, though deceased, are still quietly influential. Gender Studies is the hot field and is definitely anti-masculinity if not “man-hating.” It’s a distinction without a difference.

        The current “rape culture” movement is instructive. The incidence of rape in this country is 60% less than it was in 1995. In that period, there has been a concerted effort, starting with researcher Mary Koss in the late 80s and into the 90s, to expand the definition of rape to the point where researchers will decide for respondents to surveys whether there experiences were rape or not, regardless of what the respondent women think. This has slowly crept into national surveys by the DOJ, FBI and CDC.

        It’s no coincidence that the current “rape culture” movement is on college campuses. The standards for what constitutes rape or sexual assault are vague and conflated, the threshold of proof is the minimal possible, and the process for determining fault are biased. The only goal I can perceive is to turn drunken sex and perhaps bad decisions into rape cases where a young man’s life is ruined on flimsy evidence.

        Dartmouth, under fire by activists and the DOE, just today announce a new policy that any sexual infraction, defined as, to quote, “‘unwanted or unwelcome touching of a sexual nature’ that occurs without clear and unambiguous consent” results in automatic expulsion. So if in a crowded bar, I bump into a woman and hit her breast with my elbow, I would potentially be liable for expulsion. Think that’s absurd? It fits the definition.

        In good conscience, I could never advise any young man to enroll in Dartmouth if it has this policy. His life could be potentially ruined on a whim and corrupt adjudication system.

        This is the face of modern feminism. Are you still on-board?

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        • C Says:

          This is very surprising. Now that I think of it (and I realize my personal experience is very anecdotal) but if rape statistics are as high as they are, why don’t I have any close friends who have been raped?

          But what is there to gain from terrorizing young men with rape charges?

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          • mindstar Says:

            Simple to make men ashamed of being men.

            Read some of the stuff out there. Some of the writers classify masculine behavior as a mental disease.

            If a woman has consensual sex with a man and the next morning decides she’s unhappy with her decision to have sex she can cry rape. It’s sounds bizaare but read what’s going on on college campuses today.

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            • C Says:

              That’s a pretty weird dynamic but stranger things have happened.

              As for women crying rape, I actually went on a couple of dates with a guy who had that happen to him in college. I’m not sure I believe that a girl had been raped if she went ahead and spent the night with her attacker and acted cheery in the morning. It sounded like alcohol induced buyers remorse.

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              • mindstar Says:

                Under the standards the government is pushing and the progams at many colleges that would qualify as rape.

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        • Yvonne Says:

          ” So if in a crowded bar, I bump into a woman and hit her breast with my elbow, I would potentially be liable for expulsion.”

          That is absurd and you know it.

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          • LostSailor Says:

            Actually, Yvonne, given the current rape hysteria on college and university campuses, all it takes is a feminist and activist to make this happen. The policy is so vague, that an accidental breast bump in a bar could easily result in expulsion under a zero-tolerance policy.

            An activist gets bumped in the breast, screams, “this guy just groped me!!”, her “sisters” all immediately chime in that they saw it…and scene. A claim of groping, eager witnesses, no defense, and a policy of automatic expulsion based on a preponderance of evidence standard (50.0001% more likely than not) at a college under Federal investigation for laxity in dealing with sexual assault…

            A perfect storm. The activists just want to make a point (not caring at all about what happens to a man) and the college wants to burnish it’s reputation. Done deal.

            Fortunately, the policy is not likely to stand. Just yesterday I read a report from United Educators, a firm that specializes in insuring colleges and universities on claims paid to schools who lost lawsuits on sexual assaults.

            Half of the suits were filed by people (men) accused and “found responsible” but they won 75% of the time (read: they were railroaded and/or innocent) for a payout of $26 million. Most of those cases were about biased or unfair adjudication procedures. So once the current hysteria dies down, schools should implement more honest processes for getting to the truth. Because, as the saying goes, money talks, bullshit walks.

            Interestingly (though unsurprisingly) 92% of these instances involved alcohol or drugs and 2/3 of the accusers were freshmen (and 33% had documented prior mental-health issues). So, kids who are away from home for the first time in an environment where alcohol flows freely make bad choices. Who would have thunk it? Now they have feminist activists telling them that they can blame someone else if they regret those bad choices….

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  6. Michelle Says:

    Where is the parallel list talking about all the old fashioned things men don’t do anymore, like committing to marriage right away and not prioritizing sexual variety before settling down? That would be foolish and absurd right? I’m about as feminist as they come and though I’d happily cook a meal for a guy I like, I’d do it out of kindness and not because I think it’s my job. That’s what I take issue with in that horseshit article. We’ve moved way past training men to feel entitled to being served by women and we’re all better off for it. Now when a guy gets a nice meal cooked for him, it’s appreciated as the gift it is and not something he is owed. Feminism has made women better in the sense that along with men, women are learning to see service and committment from the opposite as a gift and not a guraantee or an entitlement. This forces everyone to earn the love they want and not take it as a given.

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    • mindstar Says:

      Men changed their behavior in response to women’s changes in behavior.

      “When looking for a life partner, my advice to women is date all of them: the bad boys, the cool boys, the commitment-phobic boys, the crazy boys. But do not marry them. The things that make the bad boys sexy do not make them good husbands. When it comes time to settle down, find someone who wants an equal partner. Someone who thinks women should be smart, opinionated and ambitious. Someone who values fairness and expects or, even better, wants to do his share in the home. These men exist and, trust me, over time, nothing is sexier.”

      ― Sheryl Sandberg, Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead

      No much sense in committing to marriage in those circumstances

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      • C Says:

        Sorry but don’t a lot of men do the same thing (i.e. date the 18 year old, the crazy chick, the stripper, etc…) and then marry the church going “girl next door”?

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    • LostSailor Says:

      Where is the parallel list talking about all the old fashioned things men don’t do anymore, like committing to marriage right away and not prioritizing sexual variety before settling down?

      There was a link, I think at the bottom of the article, to just such a list. Though I don’t think prioritizing sexual variety before settling down was ever a part of it.

      But as Mindstar points out, men are just reacting rationally to the environment they find themselves in after the feminist-generated “sexual revolution.” Sometimes that takes on forms that feminists don’t like or don’t approve of. This is what I see in a call that men should adhere to certain types of “traditional” roles while adapting to new roles that feminism wants from them.

      But feminism needs to do a much better job of selling this. Stary-eyed platitudes that feminism makes both men and women “better” and “service is a gift” don’t really cut it. I did nearly all of the daily cooking and meal preparation (as well as laundry and much cleaning) throughout my marriage. It didn’t seem to make a difference. If there’s no payoff, why make the effort?

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      • Michelle Says:

        Haha it’s a starry eyed platitude that service is a gift? You must be a joy to serve then.

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      • Michelle Says:

        You married someone ungrateful, it doesn’t lessen what service means in a relationship.

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        • LostSailor Says:

          Sorry, Michelle, but you don’t get to characterize my ex. She wasn’t ungrateful; our ultimate issues were different ones and we’re still friends.

          My point is that especially in a marriage it’s not a “gift” to prepare a meal, or do the laundry, or sweep the floor. And the idea that it is a “gift” is indeed a starry-eyed platitude. Marriage is a complex web of interrelated promises and obligations. Feminists don’t like that. They especially don’t like the idea that a woman, or a wife, can be obligated to a man, or a husband, in any way. (By comparison, most feminists I’ve read seem to have no problem with the idea that men, and husbands, are still obligated to women, or wives.)

          I was and remain very thankful if someone–a date, girlfriend, or wife–makes an effort on my behalf, whether that’s cooking dinner. I don’t see that as “being served.”

          There’s an odd quirk of feminism in this area. Betty Friedan started it and it’s something that I think is at the toxic heart of feminism. It still crops up quite frequently. It’s the idea that “patriarchy” (men) didn’t value a housewife’s labor, which gave rise to the concept of “unpaid domestic labor.” Which is based on the metric that if something doesn’t result in a paycheck, it’s worthless. The oddity is that feminism adopted this supposedly “patriarchal” idea wholesale. You find the “unpaid domestic labor” in every story complaining that women do the majority of domestic chores and that must change (don’t look to closely at the statistics or the truth will be revealed).

          Ignore the grotesque insult of that idea to the millions of people who volunteer millions of “unpaid” hours every year. Sorry, but doing “domestic labor” is a fucking part of living life. No one pays me to cook my own food, clean my own apartment, wash my own clothes. But that’s not feminism’s point: if there is any imbalance in domestic chores of a couple where the woman is doing more, it’s being done in the “service” of a man and therefore unacceptable discrimination and oppression. If a man does more of the indoor chores, well, that’s okay, but don’t expect any acknowledgment.

          And that’s the crux. If men make the effort to meet feminist expectations and there’s no acknowledgment, no appreciation, no payoff, why the hell should men bother. But with feminism, that’s actually the point. Feminists would accept but not really approve of the idea that a woman doing something for a man as a “gift of service” worthy of appreciation and acclaim, but would utterly reject that a man doing something for a woman is a gift, it’s only proper because in a feminist world, men should serve and not expect appreciation, it’s only just recompense.

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          • Michelle Says:

            You’re contradicting yourself. You reject the idea that service is a gift then complain that men serving women domestically isn’t or wouldn’t be appreciated enough. 1. In order to appreciate it wouldn’t you have to see it as something not guaranteed but gifted to you out of kindness and good character? 2. You lived first hand what caused women to reject domesticity in the first place, so I’m baffled how you criticize anti domestic sentiments.
            To tack on to one of my previous comments about how women have changed: one other way that feminism leaves room to make women better is that on the quest to attain status and financial success, some women are coming around to seeing first hand just how hard men have it in the world and how brutal failure to achieve can be. Men can’t get quite the same kind of empathy from women who aren’t out there in the race with them and who live their challenges as well.

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            • LostSailor Says:

              No contradiction. It doesn’t have to be a “gift” to be appreciated. But, since feminism tends to reduce these things to a binary economic exchange and hate the idea of mutual obligations–or obligations at all–I’m not surprised that a feminist would consider the concept of making a meal for someone other than herself a “gift.” The real surprise is she know how to cook at all.

              As for women in the workplace being made “better” by realizing that the working world is “hard” and that failure is “brutal,” the end result isn’t better women or more empathy for working men, it’s a claim of discrimination and a demand that success be given them in the name of equality. Here’s a deal: I’ll get behind quotas for women on corporate boards as long as there are similar quotas for women on oil rigs and in coal mines…

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    • NASHWC Says:

      Google much? Guess not :(http://www.examiner.com/list/8-things-men-just-don-t-do-anymore-that-they-should

      As to your other odd comments ..
      1) “committing to marriage right away and not prioritizing sexual variety before settling down?” – you missed the boat I guess. As a man, I can tell you that good men (and I should know) as a rule quickly commit to a woman he perceives as ‘wife’ material (re: 8 things women don’t do anymore)
      2) “training men to feel entitled to being served by women” – this is an assertion I’ve only heard from women, never from ANY man or even any mainstream media outlet .. EVER. I suspect you’ve been picking the wrong men.
      3) “Feminism has made women better in the sense that along with men, women are learning to see service and committment [sic] from the opposite as a gift and not a guraantee [sic] or an entitlement. This forces everyone to earn the love they want and not take it as a given.” – so wrong on this one. This has practically nothing to do with women. Feminism has simply tricked women into thinking they can act like a man and still be treated like a woman. Doesn’t work that way. Oh, and love isn’t ‘earned’, it’s freely given.

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  7. Chester Says:

    The original article doesn’t even mention the F word. (although the second article did mention feminism). Whatever you’re definition of Feminism is, as Lost Sailor summarized above, it has impacted much more than it set out to do.
    In the process, both male roles and female roles have be criticized. Men have been portrayed as evil people. Lots of hate and resentment between the sexes has resulted from this. Some men feel guilty about being a man; and some men are not proud of being a man. This is very sad. Some women are not proud of being women; this is also sad. Some women really hate men as a result. Some women here really want a man but they don’t want to do anything that will please the man – and they wonder why they are single.

    Michelle’s comment is well taken but I think the sense of entitlement has shifted where women now feel entitled to everything. They want to be equal where it benefits them and they want the traditional when it benefits them. One of the reasons there are so many single women in NYC is because of this sense of entitlement.

    There are Women’s studies programs in every university where women feed on each other’s hate of men. They are paid to dedicate their lives in convincing the world how awful women have it in this world and how much men hate them. That is their job. We only hear one very biased side of the argument. I think as much harm as good was done.

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    • Michelle Says:

      Yes, many women are overly entitled these days and the feminist driven change in gender dynamics have made it to where those women either keep themselves single because they won’t grow, or they smarten up and realize they’re not owed commitment and invest in making themselves worthy of it by being a quality partner. That’s not a gendered thing, both sexes have to rise to that challenge.

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  8. Erine Says:

    I think it’s about a balance between a woman having equality as compared to a man. But also maintaining certain feminine sides such as taking care of her appearance, wearing feminine clothing and makeup, being able to be charming and flirtatious, etc. some gender roles were not forced onto us, they are natural and dictated by evolution. We can fight all we want the fact that a new mother spends more time with a newborn than the father but noone can change the fact that woman carries pregnancy, goes into labor, or breast feeds of she can. Now after the baby is a bit bigger, the notion that the mother should stay at home and provide home comfort to the family irritates me beyond any limit. The notion that a woman’s place is largely at home cooking and raising a child or , if they can afford help in the house, runs the household, is ridiculous, unless the woman wants it and it’s just how she is. There are so many women who are far more talented, skilled, smarter and have so much more to share with the world than heir men, that this whole concept that a woman’s place is at home is extremely annoying.
    However denying that women and men will never and should never act the exact same way is like trying to break a wall with one’a head.
    In dating, I think a woman should be feminine, that is if she wants to have a good dating and personal life. Or she could be an empowered feminist who refuses to wear dresses and heels and flirt but she will be alone and jaded.
    In my own life, it has always been a balance, I’m very independent and constantly talk about that and how I will never be a housewife but I also flirted, smiled, exercised my femininity both in my looks and my behavior and overall had a pretty successful NYC dating life. Definitely never a shortage of male attention that went beyond sex. I do remember initiating the conversation with two of my future boyfriends at social events. According to them they didn’t approach me first because they thought I was so beautiful they didn’t know how to approach me. Once the first step was made I let them do all the work (sometimes I was too hard to get which ones backfired big time in a very serious and important relationship).

    I sincerely believe that in terms of dynamic between people once they have a first date should lean towards more activity on a guy’s part. If he doesn’t call, doesn’t ask you out and consistently show interest, it simply means he isn’t into the woman. Again in my dating life, interested men always let me know they were and I never had to sit by the phone once soon the guess work if they were into me. On the other hand, I see with two of my girlfriends, they initiate all contact, they try to set up dates, they do the guess work of whether or my the guy is into them – and it always ends up the same, the men just fade.

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  9. JulesP Says:

    “Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for a woman getting an education, working and being her own person,” …

    You know… I actually expected this jewel of a comment to be followed by..
    “some of my best friends are women..”

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  10. John Says:

    I think traditional dating rules still exist. For instance, as the guy, I am expected to pay for all first dates and a whole bunch more after that. Are there some really cool women who start kicking in right away? Yes, but they are the exception so the paying rules still exist.

    As the guy, I find myself initiating the follow up phone call after that first date more so than the woman following up with me. Are there some really cool women who are more proactive and follow up first? Yes but they are the exception so the follow up rules still exist.

    For every Moxie trying to convince women that its OK to pay for some dates in the beginning or sending a thank you text the next day, there are many other bloggers advising sticking to the “the guy has to wine and dine you and call you to make the plans”.

    I was talking to my female cousins last weekend at a family function (both in their 30s). When I asked one of them why she didn’t bring her boyfriend of 6 months that I had already met, she said she isn’t seeing him as much because he wants her to start paying for some things. My other cousin heartily agreed she should dump him. I didn’t say a word although I had to bite my lip.

    The traditional dating rules are alive and well. I have personally experienced it and have heard many anecdotes both in real life and on this blog that its the guys job to fund things and be the one to do the courting in the first few months.

    Moxie, I think you know that as well. You mentioned earlier this year when talking to a dude who was unsure of meeting you that you are an “OKCupids guy’s wet dream” because you don’t believe in that stuff. And while I agree that is awesome, you wouldn’t have phrased it that way if you knew that women paying and following up on her own was the norm.

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  11. Arbee Says:

    Feminism is simply humanism. Not sure why it started being seen as man-hating because it never has meant that! If you do some research about feminism, you will see it has always been about equal rights and equal treatment of women, as well as women valuing themselves. It’s never been anti-men; it’s pro-women, which is very different.

    I am proud to call myself a feminist and I absolutely love men. The two have nothing to do with each other.

    And men can be feminists too – and that doesn’t mean they are emasculated or wimpy in the relationship. It simply means they value women as equals. Those are the most secure men out there.

    Gloria Steinem was asked recently, “What would you tell a young woman these days who says she is for equal treatment of women but she is not a feminist?” Her response was, “I would tell her to find a dictionary.”

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  12. mindstar Says:

    “It’s never been anti-men” Arbee why don’t you read some of the statements of the Radical Feminists or the Social Warrior types Lost Sailor alluded to above before you make such a blanket assertion.

    When I am told that by merely being born a male I am an inherant threat and danger to women or when I listen to women say that any penetrative sexual act is rape I will certainly find feminism to be anti-male

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    • D. Says:

      Or you could find the individual making such a statement to be anti-male, and not necessarily representative of all feminists.

      I mean, really, pick any ideology you please. You’ll always have your extremists, militants, and zealots. Doesn’t mean the whole ideology is corrupted because some assholes claim it.

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      • LostSailor Says:

        That’s the problem with the slippery nature of “what is feminism.” Anyone can point to one part in one situation and the more radical parts in others. Unfortunately the radicals were at the core of the founding of Second Wave and that core still permeates Women’s Studies and especially Gender Studies programs today. The “assholes” are part of the ideology and are the one’s driving its future.

        The vast majority of women in this country if asked would agree with what they think is “feminism” even if they increasingly won’t identify as “feminists.” And I agree with them, with the dictionary definition I mentioned. But that’s not it. I doubt you’ve read much if any of modern feminist “scholarship” or you might have a different opinion.

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  13. Nicole Says:

    Articles like the ones Moxie linked drive me crazy. Both lists just seem like basic requirements for being a functioning grown-up human being and halfway decent partner. The lists for men and women aren’t really that different – be able to take care of yourself and put some energy into making your partner feel special. But of course it’s all broken down into women’s rules vs men’s rules, because there’s nothing like a battle of the sexes to generate page views.

    Are there seriously men out there who don’t hold doors for people behind them? For that matter, are there any women out there who don’t hold doors for people right behind them? I realize I’m in the south, where door holding is an art with extremely well defined social norms, but… Does anyone think holding the door for elderly folks is optional? These are just … things decent people do.

    I feel like these articles are just trying to convince women that men are pathetic losers, and to convince men that women are entitled bitches. When in reality, I bet very few of us know anyone, male or female, who can’t manage to dress themselves and cook a nice meal once in a while.

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  14. Chester Says:

    100 years ago, men were the workhorse of the family. Working 12 hours per day in nasty factory working conditions while women stayed home. It was also a more physical world. The safest city street were probably akin to harlem or bronx with 1/3 the lighting, no 911, no cell phone, no phones. Women would have been crazy to want these jobs that most men had.
    Later, men started to automate jobs and the jobs became easier and later more glamorous – that’s when women became envious of these jobs.
    Feminism tries to paint a picture of a conspiracy that occurred among all men to keep women down for the last 2000 years. Most institutions like marriage, etc were created to protect women. Feminism has tried to twist it around like it was created to control them..
    Feminism is very anti-male and distorts the truth creating a lot of hate and resentment in women.

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    • Abby Says:

      Your history is a little off. The reason women went into the workforce was not because we were envious of a glamorous easier automated job, we went into the workforce because we had to. World War II took our men to war and our women to the factories. When the war was over many women continued in the workforce either because they had to, or because they could. We were suddenly the most powerful country on the planet and we were booming. The jobs were there. Many women of course went back home and started our baby boom and continued on as homemakers. And today working mothers and stay at home moms still have unresolved issues with each other. But that’s a conversation for another day.

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      • Lucy Says:

        Even before WW2, women worked because they had to. Then mainly middle class women in the nineteenth century were able to forego work for respectability but this was not possible for the poorest of people. Perhaps inequality is more obvious the more privileged you are.

        I remember when studying my History degree and learning about historiography, this brought up some interesting perspectives. Some might argue that when women are discussed as categories in history, it actually alienates them from having any agency. Whereas by understanding the entire context of history and their world, we appreciate them as individuals and discover that they had more opportunities than people appreciate. Studying any period in time, history is not the black and white world some feminists make it out to be. In the past, some feminist scholars have done a particularly bad job of writing medieval history, for instance.

        I rambled but the point is that feminists can sometimes present an unsophisticated understanding of how the world works or used to work.

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  15. bbdawg Says:

    It’s hard to latch on to something like “feminism” and be clear about it all in a blog post. To me it comes down to 2 things. There is “feminism”which speaks of women’s rights in the workplace, career, contraception, abortion, etc…that is basic and every developed country has addressed that, at least to some extent, legally and otherwise.

    The other very different issue is dating and “feminism” as it has been interpreted online in regards to dating. I personally believe – after being raised to be “independent” and “career minded” that we have thrown out the baby with the bath water.

    I believe there is such a thing as “gender roles” and that they aren’t so easily erased or truly fabricated. It seems foolish to press on the idea that women can act just like men and get results when it doesn’t work that way – in dating. Here’s how you use reason: you look at the results. The results aren’t encouraging. So much so that there are people who make a career out of helping accomplished career women date (see Evan Katz’ blog).

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  16. Howard Says:

    We are all actors on the stage of life, and we do play roles, whether we wish to accept that or not. And this goes way beyond the dynamics of male/female relationships. We start life by being helpless and dependent upon protection. We go through so many stages of life playing so many roles, we almost at times wonder who is the real “us”.

    The historical male/female roles were often quite different from what is put out there by the feminist movement. A closer examination of historical fact shows that women were not as subservient as often postulated. While women suffered much discrimination from society as a whole, within the family dynamic or a male-female relationship, women were empowered enough for the concept of the strong dependable woman to have traveled down to to us.

    And I think this is where feminism went astray. In spite of what went on outside, within family structures or male/female relationships, people got it right in terms of equity. Of course there were cases where the prevailing discriminatory mindset of those times invaded the family structure, and women suffered the results of that. But there are enough stories of the highly respected family matriarch, to convince me that there were many more equitable male/female relationships, than ones with severely skewed power dynamics.

    Feminism was absolutely important in leveling the playing field in terms of what happened with women professionally and in society as a whole. When feminism decided to invade male/female relationships and family structures en masse, the results were disruptive. And we are currently dealing with that disruption.

    All demands upon men to fulfill new roles, have to be equally matched by women being willing to do the same. Women, also have to be willing to embrace the things they like, in spite of what feminism says about those things. But most importantly, women and men must fully embrace that they need each other, and be willing to do the heavy lifting to make things happen in terms of connecting.

    There was a guy who wrote in recently about women not liking “Nice Guys”. The general consensus on this blog was that women disliked weak men, not nice guys. So the ideal of the strong man as the desired partner is alive and well. So with feminism thrown into the mix, a serious disconnect is suddenly created.

    I recall reading a story of a super feminist who finally admitted that she couldn’t have an orgasm with a man that she didn’t see as strong and virile. It took her much work, going against all the things she previously believed, to finally have a relationship with someone who made her feel completely fulfilled.

    In spite of all that I have said above, I believe we live in exciting times where we can all be more to each other. I often tell my friends that my significant other is my Queen, my sister, my baby, my mommy, my best friend, my confidante, my excitement, my comfort and so much more. She pretty much describes me in similar terms of being able to run the gamut of all those similar male-equivalent roles.

    That is the brave new wonderful world we have, that takes us to a place beyond what I think many of our forebears were too narrow to imagine, investigate and pursue. If we are going to do feminism, let’s go beyond that, and fully explore the gamut of who we are and each be willing to evolve and connect more to each other.

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    • LostSailor Says:

      Yeah, I’ve read Brave New World and as I recall it didn’t end well…

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    • NASHWC Says:

      “I often tell my friends that my significant other is my Queen, my sister, my baby, my mommy, my best friend, my confidante, my excitement, my comfort and so much more”

      Howard, we are kindred spirits in this respect. Bravo! :)

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  17. Lucy Says:

    I don’t think you can talk as much about gender dynamics in a romantic relationship – it’s more human dynamics. Some women are seen as homebodies, what might be called ‘traditional’. It doesn’t mean they don’t believe in gender equality. Some women have high-flying careers and might not be seen as so traditional by comparison. However the high-flying career woman might in actuality prioritise her family life more than the other woman. It is, in effect, a difference in lifestyle choices and values. Once you are in a relationship, I don’t think gender division comes into play so much as long as you have shared values about how you think the relationship should be.

    However when it comes to the courtship phase, I do believe there is strong case for biology. I definitely believe that men prefer being the pursuers because that is the way that nature intended. That may not sound so feminist to some people but I have tried to defy this rule with little success. It’s hard to draw the lines of how much ‘chasing’ a woman ought to do but that’s another discussion. You can’t put too much down to gender differences – that’s when you miss some real understanding of how relationships work. It’s not black and white, more shades of grey.

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