I don’t spend a lot of thought on straight dating but it’s a pretty live subject in some parts of the gendersphere, so the issue comes up a lot. Commenter Daisy had this insightful bit to say:
My opinion–lots of women get upset when men approach them for the same reason I do, they would rather do the approaching themselves. But they don’t have the guts to do this or greatly fear social disapproval, so they direct this anger about this situation (their anger at themselves, and anger at the typical gender-defined social-situation wherein the men do approaching) towards men. As a young woman, I did this too. I would get furious when men approached me, all out of proportion to the situation. It was only when I moved to San Francisco and met the Samois ladies (including the infamous Pat Califia, wooo!… and hir then-paramour, Gayle Rubin) that I had this carefully explained to me.
(I was part of the Plexus newspaper staff and lived in a collective household, and one of the women was Samois, so they had MEETINGS in my HOUSE… if you think this didn’t blow my little Ohio-hayseed mind back in 1981, think again, LOL.) This was when I got to see the whole “feminist sex war” debacle up close and personal, since the first volley was when Samois was expelled from the San Francisco Women’s Building… FOR NOTHING! But I digress…
These Samois women would take the man’s side and told me, the reason you are mad is that you are angry AT YOURSELF. I knew in my heart that they were right.
This says a lot about a lot. I think a lot of the resistance you are finally seeing in men to a lot of what feminist analysis is the sense that a lot of it blames men for women’s actions, or inactions. There is a male supremacist bias that has crept into feminists analysis since the 70s. I know why this is, it is always hard to identify let alone reject the comfortable poisonous indoctrination we grow up with, but it just has to be done.
Demonization is the process of blaming someone else for your own evil, or just even your mistakes. In order to be able to say “the devil made me do it” the Devil has to exist, so you invent him. It is all about avoiding accountability and responsibility – a false freedom, an ultimately destructive bid for power.
I cured this by taking charge of the situation. A man who approached me was instantly off any list (and always has been), but I tried to be very nice about it. Not his fault. But never never never as a single woman did I sit around and “wish someone would talk to me”… I learned to be very direct. It helped that I considered it a feminist imperative. (I would like that to BECOME a feminist imperative.)
But a few years ago, I was on a feminist email list and I was pretty harshly attacked for blithely announcing “if you don’t like waiting around for a phone call, then get off your butt and approach him”–because most women are (for lack of a better word, okay) “bottoms” in a relationship and they felt that approaching a man sent the wrong message, that they were dom when they were not. I wondered if they were right, too.
Making the approach – by way of comparison here’s an observation from when it’s all men. Back when I was spending time in gay bars I almost never saw the usual approach-chat up-preen-reject pattern that I had seen earlier in straight bars. The reason was simple – lack of designated approachers. Without that designation, no one took it upon themselves to approach because by approaching you declared an interest when the other guy hadn’t yet. You were taking a risk he didn’t have to, and everyone naturally wanted to be the guy getting approached. Besides, it was flattering. The guy approaching got none of that.
So can a woman approach a man without being considered, you know, a top? If you are a top, no problem, but most women are not.
Most women are not – that is almost certainly an accurate statement of the situation as it stands. But stop and ask how many of those women had their top-ness beaten out of them by society during their gender socialization years. Gender policing is a thing.
- The Woman Card - May 2, 2016
- Frat boy bachelorettes and the invasion of gay bars - April 15, 2016
- “Not my kid….” - February 22, 2016