I am a product of two movements: the civil rights movement and the feminist movement. One implored me to be proud of my race, not take any sh*t, not to back down without a fight, and I could achieve anything I want regardless of my skin color. The other taught me that my gender was on no consequence, I can do it all for and BY myself, I don’t need a bra or shave (in the extreme case), and not to take any sh*t and I can achieve anything I want regardless of my sex.
But, I feel, only the latter has destroyed my dating life for the worse.
Before you all call me a “traitor to the chromosome”, hear me out. In our quest to be “independent”, have we isolated and allowed men to “not be men”? Have we allowed men to expect us to just be “Miss Independent”, picking up the tab, making the decisions, and not taking the “lead” in a relationship? And when I say “lead”, I don’t mean the “submit to me woman” kind. I mean, the, “let me make a choice of ANY kind”. From planning the date to establishing what the relationship “is”, men will often ask “So…what do YOU think?”. Have we silenced men with our forceful independence, to the point where they don’t know what the fuck to be in a relationship? Stuck between a man-child and a man…..not knowing where to turn UNLESS they get guidance from some women (mama, grandmamma, girlfried, etc). Too afraid to put their foot down sometimes without seeming like a pig. We strike out at them in our defensiveness, roaring “I am woman” without acknowledging that they are man. And when he does have a misstep, something not super grave, our sister-warriors will rally and say “GIRL..let that sorry em-eff GO!!” No one is ever worthy. And if we find someone and it doesn’t work, we are quick to yell out that our “education/finances/and overall good looks and STRENGTH” INTIMADATED them. We scream we don’t want kids because they will “hold us back” until we realize at 40 we have no legacy left.
I think of my generation of women, women who were raised on the yellowing pages of Gloria Steinem’s Ms. Magazine, Madonna’s “material girl” attitude, and Janet Jackson yelling out for “Control”., who are lost on the art of “dating”. In our efforts to regain control, to strike out a niche for ourselves in society, have we irevocaably damaged the ideas of dating? I’m not saying to back to the days of the 1950s. But just a balance. The same girls screaming “I don’t need no man! Im independent” are lonely. They want a man but for what?? If they are so independent, aside from sex, what do you need a man for? We say we want a man who is “a man”, but how is that possible when you won’t let him BE a man. You are planning the dates. You are paying for the trips. You are establishing WHAT the relationship will be before he’s ready at all. Why are you taking the lead, fall back! Why are you texting HIM to death?? Or calling HIM to death? Let the dude just BE and if he doesn’t know HOW to be “a dude”, then let him roll. I think we are a generation of women who claim to have found themselves but are totally lost. We can fry up the bacon....put it in a pan.....and are eating it alone (or with a cat). Because we just won't learn to let go of control.
I admit, I am a bit old-fashioned. I get so so TIRED of being the one to plan the dates. Having to wait TOO LONG for the guy to reach for his wallet. Being the one to call first. Trying to work myself around HIS schedule. Not anymore. I just refuse. And in speaking to my guy friends, those who are a bit old fashioned too and the want to be wanted a little, needed a little, and allowed to make the first move. Men want someone to make them feel….wanted. Not someone who is too busy “acting and asserting their sexuality” to appreciate them.
But we women, products of the feminist generation are impatient to a fault. We want it now. We want the man..the job..even the baby..NOW! We won’t wait worth a damn. Impatience is killing our love lives. I’m guilty of that. I’m trying to reform myself.
As a new generation of generation Y girls, so self absorbed emerge, what will be the future of dating? Will we prosper or will we fail? How will men adjust? Will their prospects be less and less in finding men who are a little bit modern and a little bit old fashioned?
Am I wrong? I dunno….who knows. As a self-proclaimed feminist/womanist, I’m just trying to find my Prince Charming..who’ll ride shotgun on my horse sometimes and let me be soft and girly.
I guess I gotta re-learn how to date. The feminist in my is fighting it.
But I just wanna fly :)