In a recent Jezebel article called Dating Sites Encourage Men to Be Interesting, Women to Be Doormats, Lindy West writes: Women: be willing to change yourselves to make men like you. Men: Be yourself and the ladies will find you. West s money quote: Him, him, him. Make sure you listen to him!
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Ask him questions! He worked really hard on this date! And he s paying for it, apparently! You want him to feel great about the date, don t you? He deserves your UNDIVIDED ATTENTION. West is reacting negatively to dating advice given to women on eHarmony. Pointers like: Anyone want to argue with that advice? Sounds vaguely familiar to the advice that I ve been giving for nearly ten years. Things like: Again, this is good advice to men. So if the advice to women is good and the advice to men is good, what seems to be the problem here? Well, what seems to drive the author crazy is that the advice to men and women is different. Let s think about why that would be. Hmmm 6. Men and women ARE different. It s that 7. As such, giving men tools to stand out when actively approaching women makes sense, since they re far more likely to be ignored. And telling women to give guys a break especially men who aren t too marketing and online-dating savvy is also sensible advice. But acknowledging that would completely undermine the vitriol of the piece and the undercurrent of sexism that the author is looking to find.
So really, it doesn t matter that eHarmony is actually giving good advice that would be generally effective for most men and women. All that matters is that she got to be snarky about the patriarchy. It ll blow you away. Read the full Jezebel article. And feel free to share your thoughts below. And before I close, I just wrote a newsletter about this concept as well. The gist of it is that, in my experience having written more online dating profiles (for better or worse) than anyone on the planet the most important thing you can express in a profile (whether you re a man or a woman) is what the READER gets out of dating you. In other words, it IS about HIM, HIM, HIM. And his profile if it s well-done should be about YOU, YOU, YOU. People who list their resumes still don t understand that this is not how people connect emotionally to strangers. I commented a lot on that article, that particular author sort of drives me nuts. I got a lot of grief, in particular, about the fact that I allow men to pay whenever they offer, apparently it makes me anti-feminist. As I understand it, eHarmony is a dating web-site aimed at somewhat conservative christian population. All progressive women who don t like to be told where to go for the dinner date, have their food ordered for them, paid for and treated in other old fashioned ways can definitely join some other dating service. . Problem solvedThat s an interesting take, because the gist I d always gotten from dating profiles on sites such as Chemistry, PlentyOfFish, and Match, was sell yourself! Make a great first impression! Which I will admit, was a bit of a turnoff when I d read some guys profiles, they d go on and on about how great they are, how busy they are, yadda yadda and I d sit there and go, yeah you sound like a selfish prick. NEXT! My question though is, how do you go about writing a profile about what a person would get out of dating you, without sounding like, Dating ME would be the best thing ever in your life, and I m about to give you a 65 page list of reasons as to why?
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Because that to me would be a turnoff too, I d sit there and think well my goodness, if you re so awesome, then you don t need anyone else because you re just so in love with yourself. Heather, although your question was directed to Evan, I d like to suggest that you, if you re not already familiar with it, come up with an elevator speech. I just find it interesting how quickly a lot of people (especially men) are willing to reject social conditioning arguments as extreme, while seemingly having no problem with overarching biologically-driven arguments. Bring up what you view as socially created gender stereotypes, and you re an ideologue. Chalk up nearly everything to biological differences, and you re preaching the truth. A load of bullshit in my book. I guess i ll start off with the gibberish humour language. She lost me at us thinkin womens and didn t really get me back with dillions or menz. However I did keep reading for the sake of argument The one general thing I noticed about this girl is that she doesn t seem to understand that men z and women s are different! Aside from the fact that they get a z and we get a s. Men and women want, need, desire, do, say, and think different things! Especially if you re not willing to give a person those things. She seems very angry at the idea that a man might want to feel important enough to be listened to, thanked for his efforts, not harshly judged, and feel like he is the most important person TO YOU on your date WITH HIM. Hey, maybe we re not all that different after all because I know this is what women want! She seems to forget that people on eharmony are SERIOUSLY seeking out a lifetime partner. Men and women both. Eharmony is not a notorious booty call website. They are not advising women to drive 85 miles for a booty call. They are advising women to open their minds to more options when seeking out their life partner. They are saying hey, your future husband might appreciate it if you did this, this and this.
It will be much easier to find him if youdid this, this and this. Nowhere did I read change who you are and morph into a doormat. But hey, maybe it would be nice if women were a little more welcoming. 😉 Sorry cheesy joke. In the end I actually find the article mildly insulting. I practiced all those things eharmony advised when I was dating, and still do mostly with my bf. Call me a doormat lady? I believe i m an intelligent woman, and I have my head on straight. I am definitely no doormat as I won t take shit treatment from anyone. I am a strong, take charge woman with a good career, I own (and completely renovated with my own hands) a 8 unit apt building, I can check my oil, change a tire and operate power tools. Delicate flower my ass! Just because I believe in being feminine with my man, and treating him with kindness and respect. Pfft. I don t buy it. Yep I agree with you. My boyfriend will tell you that I am a very sassy, strong, no-nonsense kind of girl who can and will take care of herself when needed, and will call people on their bullshit. But I also allow him to pay for me, and when he wants to do stuff for me, I allow him to, so he feels needed and wanted by me. So re-learning how to be feminine and allowing my guy to take the lead, is hard to do sometimes. But I m getting there. 🙂Doormat, my ass.
Hmmpf. I am not going to change who I am as a woman, but I can also be a little more feminine and make my guy feel like he s needed, every now and again. Consider the source, eHarmony has their own agenda. (For example, I went on eHarmony once. When I stated my status as divorced, they asked for the name of the judge in my divorce and the date and county where my divorce was filed. Needless to say, I clicked away immediately, I was so creeped out by that). While I agree with Evan s take, and I disagree with much of the Jezebel article, it IS still annoying for any woman with half a brain, to read that type of advice where women are told to be patient and men are told to move on quickly. Then again, at sites like Nerve. #9 Andrew #5 SS, I couldn t have said it better myself, EXACTLY! Funny too how people s outlooks and opinions change after having children 🙂Better education for folks is to teach men and women about how they are at the instinctual level (why they do and think the things they do) and about the opposite sex. Then each can stop getting so irritated and frustrated with each other since these are instinctual aspects that CANNOT be controlled. Focus more on personality, beliefs, character, values those things are changeable and unique to each of us and how those might affect instinctual behaviors. My two cents! I m sincerely hoping this whole article was written tongue-in-cheek and as a joke! Additionally, I wish we could do away with this mindset that how someone else behaves, whether it be man or woman, or even what someone else advises, threatens you or your entire gender in any way. What kind of a woman is rude enough to express such bile when a man has the audacity to pay for her? I don t know how you can see that generous gesture as anything other than what it is a kind and considerate attempt to win you over. This author is free to move away from E-Harmony s advice and pursue her fiercely independent neo-liberal worldview, but I think we all know she ll most likely be alone for a long time. I m cracking up that Evan posted an article from Jezebel since they tend to dislike men who tell women what to do or who dare to tell women that they are wrong. At Jezebel, that amounts to misogyny, and I ve seen commenters refer to him as such and suggest that Jezebel take him on.
So the commenting section(and many of the articles) basically read like a bunch of 66 year olds who just read a Gloria Steinem bio. Very entitled, very myopic, and very ignorant bunch but I guess extreme youth and privilege b/c they are always convinced they are right and get a lot of easily researched facts wrong (both in articles and in comments). They represent women who have every advantage in the world but want to crow that the world hates all women, and any time a woman doesn t win/succeed/get chosen/gets criticized, it s sexism(and mind you, this is true even when the women in question is being racist, classist, and xenophobic). And that drives me nuts.