Wednesday, January 21, 2009

He's Just Not That Into You..Or Yet Another Way to Ruin a Woman's Self Esteem

Sometimes I want to start a workshop for women where I teach them to have some self esteem, especially towards men. I really can't believe the things I hear women say sometimes. If I taught junior high girls, or if I had a daughter/s (god forbid) I would want them to not let men turn them into spineless, insecure blobs. (Like those New York high school girls you always see cutting class during the day to make out with boys on the train...if that were my daughter I would say "Honey, if you're going to ruin your life could you please not do it for a boy?")

Even my friends whose ambition and confidence by far surpass mine turn into these obsessive, insecure puppets if there's a man around, and then will call me crying for an hour just because a guy doesn't like them. I mean, I feel bad, but why does nothing else in your life warrant such a response?

This is sort of why I really get annoyed with the book and subsequent movie titled He's Just Not That Into You. The Sex and the City episode was funny, but the book was just a how to manual on destroying a woman's self esteem and any sense of empowerment in terms of heterosexual dating.
I mean, I once knew a woman who went on an internet date with some guy and when he never called her again proceeded to call him like ten times afterwards, thinking maybe he was in a plane crash or something. In such a scenario, yes, she needed to be told that a guy wasn't into her. But other than that, humans send mixed signals all the time. Maybe I'm wrong, as my knowledge about heterosexual dating is entirely second hand, but I'm pretty sure men will send out mixed signals if they're not sure you like them. Most sane people are not going to knock you over the head with attention calling you every five seconds. If someone is into you, and you ignore them, they're going to pull back.

I really can't stand how women are taught to be so damn passive, just waiting for a man to come along like getting struck by lightening, god forbid they ever try making the first move.
I really laugh when I read magazines like Cosmo that teach you to be completely passive in relationships and rather than saying things explicitly you ought to play games. For example, while browsing my friends issue I read the following advice:
If you want a man to ask him to marry you, cook him asparagus and potatoes.
If you want a man you are just friends to consider dating you should give him mexican food followed by ice cream, because the food will make him think you have a firey, passionate personality, and the ice cream will make him think of your mouth (or something like that, it's the issue with Lauren Conrad on the cover.)
I was just like yes, heaven forbid you actually try talking to someone you're in a relationship with about the prospect of marriage, just cook him food and try sending him subliminal signals.

Honestly, I think men are the ones who need to be told to scale things back. So many men seem to have the idea that persistence is the way to get a girl to like you, and if she says no, you need to just keep trying until she caves in. It's happened to me a few times where some guy will get my number, either through a friend or because they happen to share a mutual friend and I don't want to come off as rude, and I won't answer their voicemails or texts, but they will keep calling and texting as if perhaps I was temporarily blind and deaf, or lost my cell phone for an entire month. I want to say, hello, get the message, I don't like you. If there are women out there who happen to have the guts to be a little forward now and then, (I mean, within the boundaries of being reasonable) then I say good for them. They don't need a book and movie telling them men don't like them after all.

I might see the movie though, just because I happen to like Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Connelly, Jennifer Aniston, Scarlett Johansson, Ginnifer Goodwin, and Justin Long. But honestly, seeing Barrymore blubbering in the previews about getting rejected wasn't a pretty picture

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