Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Gentlemen, Please!

A blog that I follow has been doing a 15 minute challenge for the past few months, when it’s a blogger’s turn, they just write for 15 minutes only. This way they are putting out posts more frequently, but they are also not getting into a tizzy because it’s so time consuming.
I’m going to attempt this method, in hopes that I will be able to keep people updated a lot better, and share with you all the cool things I learn and feel should be passed on. 

So, here I am up in Wyoming. I had some interesting things happen when I moved up here. Mainly that I discovered that multiple people, of the masculine persuasion, had wanted to date me back in Tennessee, but never did anything about it. Or said anything , until it was too late. 

Now, this in itself is an interesting phenomenon, but I’m going to talk about a recurring thing that has come up over and over again during my infrequent dating experiences. It’s something that kind of bothers me. 

One of these gentlemen in Tennessee told me he never got around to asking me on a date because I’m “intimidating” and “strong willed”. Now I’ve been called both of those before, by guys who wanted to date me, but just never did.  

What does “intimidating” really mean though? It means: threatening, bullying, terrifying, aggressive. That doesn’t sound too pleasant, now does it. Why can’t a guy just say that a girl makes him a bit nervous instead of calling her threatening and a bully? If I come off as those negative attributes, then tell me I’m ‘threatening’. If you aren’t asking out a girl because it’s intimidating, is it really you just being nervous? Why can’t you say it that way?

As for “strong willed”, it means: determined, obstinate, headstrong, uncompromising. I am the first person to admit that I can be stubborn. But, what I think the guys here are trying to say, and I will quote one of my best guy friends on this, is : “You’re confident. You know what you want out of life, you have values and standards. And you’re not going to let a guy change that about you.” 

Why is this negatively labeled as ‘strong willed’? It sounds like a pretty good thing to me to have standards and values, and know them and yourself well enough to not let a guy come along and you abandon them because he doesn’t get them. 

Come on guys! Put on your big girl panties, and start to look at women in a positive light. It will take some work to find the right labels for that girl, but it’s going to go over way better when you call her ‘confident’ instead of ‘strong willed’ or ‘intimidating’.

Also, just so you all don’t think badly of this Tennessee guy who called me those things, he first said that I was ‘nice’.  I’m going to assume he’s referring to my interactions with others, I’m a nice person. Which I'm taking as a compliment. 

p.s. Several studies have been done along these lines where a list of attributes are given to people. They are asked whether the attribute is desirable or undesirable in a man. The same list of attributes are given and the same question is asked about a woman. Interestingly, the words that are labeled as desirable in a man are often listed as undesirable in a woman. But if the word used is a synonym or has the same meaning, sometimes the desirability shifts from just a man to a woman also. An example would be the intimidating/ confident pairing. Intimidating is good in a man, but not in a woman. Confident however shows positively in women as well as men. 

Sorry I can’t give you a reference right now, I learned about it in my undergrad Human Sexuality course though.  (15 minutes are up!)