Wednesday, February 01, 2006

WARNING: The following is a misogynistic rant. May not be suitable for easily offended readers, or people without a sense of humor.

Here at William & Mary, we have a little shindig called the Charter Day Gala. It's a celebration of the grant of a charter by the King and Queen of England to the College, and there's a dance and speeches (this year's is by the Hon. Tim Kaine), etc. So, basically, an alumni fundraiser and an excuse to break out a dark suit and power tie. I asked a friend of mine to said dance, after the girl I was originaly going with realized she had to work on that evening. This morning, upon returning from P-Chem, I found the following IM waiting for me:

"Look, I know we'd just be going [to the dance] as friends, but I don't think it's a good idea. The guy I dated last semester just told me (last night) that he still really likes me, and I'm trying to work things out with him and be sensitive towards him, and I don't think going to a dance with another guy, even a non-romantic interest, would be beneficial to the situation."

Now, a bunch of you know that I harbor some various woman-hating tendencies among the rather large quantity of regard I have for the fairer sex. I'm going to do my best to shelve those for the following post, but I make no promises.

I can't decide whether it's just here at W & M or if it's like this everywhere--but girls seem to take male attention waaaaay too seriously. Ladies, if a guy asks you to a dance, it doesn't necessarily mean he wants to marry you. Now, it's a fair bet that if he asks you to a dance, he might welcome some affection--but that doesn't mean he's going to force himself on you either. And when he asks you to a dance, with a simple "Hey, want to go to the Charter Day thing with me," the polite thing to do is NOT to give him your life story but merely answer with a cordial "yes" or "no." Imagine if I asked a girl to a dance this way:

"Look, I just recently got out of a six-month relationship with a girl who was probably the first person I've ever really loved. I'm still broken up about it but I really want to go to the Gala, even if I'm less interested in you as a person than I am in the fact that you're a reasonably attractive female with whom I'd like to spend some time. So, want to go to the dance with me?"

Assuming this girl isn't a frothing lunatic, she'd be moving in the general direction of away by this point. And I wouldn't blame her. So here's the double standard: the girl is allowed not only to give you way more information about her personal life than you ever wanted in the first place, but if you display any sign of annoyance, displeasure, confusion, etc., with her verbose refusal, you're being a chauvinist pig who isn't respecting her feelings.

So, my advice to girls (for the little that it's worth ) is: if you really want men to respect your feelings, as you so strongly assert, assume that we have them as well. We may not show it outright, but that's because we've been conned into believing that the woman is always right and to express any form of disapproval with the system above is emblematic of a typical patriarchal mode of oppression.

(As an aside: what this girl didn't know, because I had the sense not to tell her, is that the dissolution of my own relationship has given me more emotional issues to deal with than ever. I didn't inflict those issues on her because they had nothing to do with her. I wish she'd done the same.)

To wrap up: I don't have anything against women in particular. What bugs me is this assault-defense tactic of a girl telling a guy that 1) she's not interested in him but that 2) she has some emotional/mental reason for not doing so, so she's really not responsible for the pain caused by cutting him off at the knees. It leaves the guy in the natural bind of wondering what the right response is. Do I get angry or express sympathy? My gut feeling on this is: neither. The guy should leave her alone until she can figure out her own issues--of which the only one affecting him is her severe defensiveness at merely being asked to a fargin' dance.


Blogger ML said...

" I don't think going to a dance with another guy, even a non-romantic interest, would be beneficial to the situation."

Short version - I think this situation has more to do with one particular girl than women in general.

Long version:
What struck me was not that she gave you too much information, but that she was willing to cancel a non-date dance invite because her previous BF might misunderstand. She's either honest with you and not honest with him ("Previous BF, you're acting like a jerk about this" might be her thought) or she's not being honest with herself ("I want to date Previous BF so badly I'm willing to agree to any ridiculous demands he dreams up"). Oh - third choice: he's asked her to the dance and she wants to cancel with you but she's too embarrassed about the whole situation to admit that to you. If she were more mature she could just tell him he should have asked her before she accepted with someone else. Bear in mind my days of dating two guys at once were thirty years ago. Just my two cents. --Andrew's Mom

12:39 PM  
Blogger Gryffilion said...

I would disagree about it being about one girl in particular, except that I have gotten variations on this theme. It's even happened when I ask girls out for coffee--which is the most innocuous type of date that I'm aware of. If this sort of response had happened once or twice, I might be inclined to agree--but I have gotten reactions like too many times to think that's it not representative of something deeper.

Although I would agree that maturity has a large part to play in it.

12:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree it's probably a maturity issue.

One thing I noticed about girls is that they like to keep one boy in reserve, just in case...

Hey, you could have a blank contract to sign: this is a non-binding invitation for coffee. It does not require anything other than showing up with a cup in your hand. Conversation preferable but optional.

Jeez, what a crock...unfortunately, many women are simply dishonest with themselves when it comes to this kind of thing.

Start collecting dead flowers.

1:22 PM  
Blogger Gryffilion said...

No matter what, it spells "something I don't want to mess around with."

5:40 PM  

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