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I Love You, Let's Meet » the ladies are angry

the ladies are angry

I seem to be reading a lot of stories like these lately, and keep wondering, why doesn’t everyone just listen to me on this one so we can all get along?
As I’ve said/written a lot, but dammit, the world has not put aside its Vogues and GQs to heed me, our bafflement and disappointment with each other would shrink dramatically if we simply dropped the outdated gender roles. We all have jobs. We all like sex. We all want someone we like talking to. We don’t need husbands and wives to be supporters and unpaid domestics. A guy is right to mind paying for a woman who makes as much as he does. A woman is right to mind she’s supposed to pretend she doesn’t want to sleep with a guy or be elusive or look perfect or any of that other “feminine” crap.

Feminism’s been brilliantly tarred as unsexy, unhip, man-hating, but it seems so obvious that more equality would make everyone happier. Less striving for femininity and masculinity, more for humanity. I’m continually perplexed by how few people are on board with me here, like suddenly they won’t want to have sex or be able to fall in love if they shed stupid old courting rituals that haven’t made sense in decades — and seem to be leaving everybody pissed at each other. I can still like wearing a pretty dress; I can still like big muscular sweaty man bodies and getting fucked hard; I can still like non-sex vive la differences like they can fix the broken cabinet but they don’t even know that they’re upset about something until you draw it out of them. And so can you! You can still enjoy heterosex a lot without acting some self-limiting way outside of bed — or expecting the other person to.

I’m adding in a fantastic quote from Laura Miller of salon.com and New York Times, from Ann Powers’ book Weird Like Us. This says it so well: “Romance is all about imagining yourself in a certain role without admitting it. You want to think, ‘I am the kind of person who gets flowers, I am the kind of person who drives men wild with desire.’ If that’s what you’re getting out of your relationships, it doesn’t seem like intimacy. It’s a fantasy about yourself that you’re using the other person to achieve.'”

I was floored by the eloquence and obviousness of this point — and yet it’s radically unpopular.

2 Comments so far

  1. karen on January 30th, 2007

    “But be sure to be yourself. If you’re a giving person, give. If you’re into cooking, cook. If you’re busy, stay busy. If you’re not into sports, don’t fake it. And watch your alcohol intake.”

    Nice. All these rules about how to act, and then this fake caveat, “but be sure to be yourself.” And she couldn’t even stick with it, she had to throw another rule in there. Be yourself, unless you like to drink. Or dress provocatively. Or, y’know, be yourself.

    She bemoans the “oh well that didn’t work out — next!” attitude yet advises “If you don’t receive flowers by the fourth date, dump him?” I foresee a complete cessation of fifth dates in America.

  2. virginia on January 30th, 2007

    It’s true! The article was such a weird mix of sensible/be-yourself and outdated/controlling/bossy like “he better give me flowers.”

    The flowers thing in particular reminds me of a quote I love so much from Laura Miller, I’m going to put it up in the body of the post.