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Friday, July 9, 2010

Caution: Rant Ahead

You've been warned.

Today, one of my friends got a really infuriating piece of advice regarding male-folk, relationship-type situations. It went something like this:

"You should just accept that chivalry is dead and go after what you want. You shouldn't wait on him, because he's not going to come after you."


This piece of advice came from, shocker, a male-type person. Now, in all fairness, there is one *tiny* glimmer of a good piece of advice in there -- that we should be go-getters and doers and not just stand around picking our fingernails. Empowerment! I am Woman, Hear me Arrrrgh! Or something.

(Hey, if I'm going to chant anything, it's going to be ARRRRGH, like a pirate. Not RAWWWR. RAWWWR isn't fear-inducing. Psh.)


Now here's where my rant comes in.

I've noticed a pattern in the menfolk I and my female counterparts interact with. There seems to be an epidemic of sorts. An epidemic of faultlessness. Example:

Girl and Boy start texting. (Because, really, how else does one have a relationship nowadays? Wait -- people still TALK? On their PHONES? I didn't know my phone could do that...)

Girl and Boy text for quite awhile. Say, a few months.

Boy tells Girl, quite frequently, that he does not want a girlfriend and is happy single. Girl continues texting him anyway.

Boy also, quite frequently, tells Girl how amazing/beautiful/wonderful/smart she is. Many compliments are heaped upon her, and even a few I've-never-met-anyone-like-you's.

Girl starts falling for Boy.

Boy continues to tell Girl all kinds of compliments.

Girl eventually comes to a very maddening resolution wherein Boy either 1) ends communication rather abruptly or 2) Girl "makes a move" on Boy and Boy refuses her. Here is where Boy claims faultlessness. His defense:

"I told you I didn't want a relationship from the start. YOU'RE the one who got it in your mind that I wanted more. I told you I didn't want anything."

In essence, "This is your fault. I'm not at fault in this. You can't be angry with me, because I told you well ahead of time. You only have yourself to blame."

Boy gets away with the whole "getting the milk for free" thing while Girl gets left with a hollow mix of "Well, he DID tell me..." and "But he said I was beautiful! He said he'd never met anyone like me! He talked to me for HOURS!"

Which brings me back to the previous piece of infuriating advice. My response to said piece of advice was a huge, resounding "COP-OUT!"

Much of the actions of my friends' boyfriends and male acquaintances and male dating buddies center around this need to be faultless. Some deep, gnawing fear of being RESPONSIBLE for something, whether that something be Girl's heart or their own future. These menfolk, for whatever reason, seem to be driven solely by this horrific repulsion to being held accountable for their actions. They'd rather have their decisions made for them or find a way to pin it all on us, the womenfolk.

Previous infuriating piece of advice translated: "Your standards are too high. You expect too much out of us. YOU need to be the one to change. Not us."

Why should WE be the ones to change our mindsets? Why should WE be the ones to relinquish our chivalry dreams? Why should we settle for responsibility-fearing blob-boys who leach decisions out of us like they're still five-year-old's and we're their mothers? Mayda Del Valle said it best. We are NOT your mothers. And I don't want some dependent, indecisive, scared little child as my partner. I don't want a slave -- I want a BOYFRIEND. I want a CHAMPION.

To which the rebuttal is often: "Men aren't perfect!"

I KNOW. Good god almighty, do I EVER know. I don't want perfect. I've had perfect, and it really isn't all it's cracked up to be. Mostly an ego so big there's hardly room for it, him, and me in the same bed.

I'm not asking for perfect. I'm asking for decisive. I'm asking for strength and loyalty. I'm asking for an independent co-existence, a mutual decision to be together yet know that neither person is entirely dependent on the other.

If I can be these things -- strong, decisive, loyal -- as the lack of such things in my male counterparts has forced me to be, then I KNOW it is possible for these same male counterparts to step up. It is not too much to ask. And I will not feel ashamed or "overstepping my bounds" for asking it. I want my chivalry back.

And I will wait for a man to come along who can give me the truth of how much he can really love me.


Neurotic Workaholic said...

Great post! I definitely can relate; I've met guys who gave me mixed signals, so that I could never figure them out. Finally, I just cut off contact with them; I don't like being in the dark.

Jade said...

Arrrgh! Yes, yes, yes.

But. Don't lose faith completely because good men do still exist. Truly. And you're right, you shouldn't have to lower your standards. Ever.

Some men are made from snails and puppy-dog tails and other men are made from win. It will be all worth it when you find one of the latter because you do deserve a champion. Everyone does.

Meghan S. said...

That's the perfect word to describe 99% of men - INdecisive!!! It's maddening sometimes!

Tara Maya said...

Oh my.

Think this is new? No, no my friend. Oldest excuse in the book. Ok, Top Ten, at least.

Case in point. Picture, if you will, a small restaurant by the sea, candle light, a couple. He tells her, "I'm not the the house-with-a-picket fence kind of guy. I'm a wanderer, a free soul." Can't settle down, has tragic backstory to explain his fear of intimacy, blah blah blah.

In between telling her this, he is also telling her, "You're different, I can be myself with you, I"ve never had a friend like you," blah blah blah.

Result: He has, officially, "warned" her that he does not want a committed, monogamous relationship; BUT done it in such a way that her only thought is I CAN BE THE ONE TO CHANGE HIS MIND.

Circumstances (not) beyond his control it easy for her to "accidentally" spend the night with him.

Let's skip the gruesome details and cut to the finale. A month later she finds out that he has slept with NINE women she knows, two of them close friends of hers, all within the year she's known him, all without her having a clue.

But, you know, not his fault, because he warned her this was the kind of guy he was.

Hm. I seem to have gone off on a tangent. Hopefully, this kind of behavior has nothing whatsoever to do with your post.

Just be aware some improve with age. And some DON'T.

Renee Collins said...

I have to admit, I DO NOT get the whole texting-rather-than-talking thing. It takes up so much more time, and you end up saying so much less! What gives?

Natalie Whipple said...

Holla, girl. And there are good guys out there. Not enough, but you'll find one! And you're right—he won't be perfect but he'll at least TRY.

Wyman Stewart said...

"Morticia, I love it when you rant."

Angela A said...

Absolutely. It's worse in high school.

Dara said...

Very true. I also think this is a generational problem--or at least a problem specifically within the younger generations. It seems like plenty of people in our generation--and our parents' generation too--think responsibility is for anyone BUT them. (I blame it on the whole hippie movement :P)

Chivalry isn't dead. They are out there. I think some men are afraid to be chivalrous because of the rampant feminism now, afraid that they may offend (once again, a product of our ridiculous post-modern society). I think the problem won't be solved though until parents actually take the time to raise their kids and stop letting TV do it. Much of this has to do with how the man in question was raised.