If anything is constant, its change.
The recent “next big thing” regarding sexual harassment and sexual assault seems to have run its course, and is now being eclipsed and shoved back into the shadows… as eventually happens to all “next big things”… by the next “next big thing”, school mass shootings and teen protests and marches and “die-ins”. Which is not a small topic, not saying or implying that at all. Be that as it may, the issues of sex and gender and respect haven’t gone away and are still as relevant as ever.
Along those lines, I have read several articles and individual stories about how men should be more in tune with women and the signs that the women are giving. Really! Now there’s a no-win scenario for men! If a man interprets his advances to be ok, and she wakes up the next morning with doubt and/or regret, he’s possibly called onto the carpet later for having misread her signs of disapproval… or, it can even be her lack of signs of lack of approval… as approval, and he gets in trouble for it. She’s viewed sympathetically, she’s the victim. He’s the bad guy, the “masher”, and his reputation will forever have that lingering over him and everything he does, even if the accusations are proven absolutely false.
On the flip side, if she does want him to make a move, and he plays it cautious and does nothing… for not jumping in when when she claims she was practically begging for it… he gets ridiculed for that, too. At least this time it’s only ridicule, not legal action, but still…
There’s a strong disconnect here. On the one hand, women are saying they want men to be open and honest and to talk and to communicate and to, well, be honest. Women want men to respect them. That’s reasonable. I’m down with that. Yet I’m not sensing an equal honesty and respect expectation in return. Which brings us to something that women do that I suspect they will still defend as legitimate…
“Playing Hard To Get”
I call BS. I call hypocrisy. Ladies, if you say you want openness and honesty and respect from men, and for men to give up their shady and deceitful ways, then you need to meet them half way and do the same. From now on, when a guy expresses interest in you, if you are honestly interested in return, you have to act like you’re interested. If a man asks you for coffee or for a date, if you’re interested then you have to say ‘yes’, and you have to say it the first time. No beating around the bush. No acting aloof. No making him work for it because you think it’s cute, or you want him to prove it to you so you can bask in the glow of a good ego stroking. You say you want openness and honesty and respect… then act like it.
This is silly, right? I’m being tongue-in-cheek, right? Ok, granted, it’s not on the same level of seriousness and repugnance that assault and rape is, but it feeds into the overall scenario and is quite serious in its own way. If you start with psychological games, then you have set the tone and really shouldn’t be surprised when misinterpretations happen later on. The tone of interaction in relationships is set in the beginning, so that hopefully the more serious issues such as abuse and rape become less common. No regret.
Do an internet search and you will find many articles about playing hard to get. The vast majority of them basically say it’s effective… to a point… then go on and try to teach how to do it properly without going too far. This is boneheaded advice, in my opinion. There are other points-of-view, albeit in the minority, such as this one I found, where the author makes very good points and gives examples why playing hard to get is self-defeating…
Quote from link above:
The problem with the chase is that it creates the illusion of having chemistry.
I guess the bottom line is that if you want respect, you need to respect. Respect is not earned, as some defensively (and mistakenly) like to believe, but it can be lost. Don’t lose it before you even start.
It’s time for things to change, and it’s a two-way street. The status quo is no longer acceptable. Fair is fair. Be an advocate for positive change.