Monday, April 8, 2013

An Open Letter To Men of the Modern World

Dear (Straight) Men of the Modern World,

Hi.

We need to have a talk.

Calm down, I realize that sentence is pretty loaded and usually means some seriously uncomfortable conversation but take deep breaths, you aren't in trouble, I promise. I just feel that as we get to know each other more, I should make a few things clear.

Society has this funny way of mucking up our heads and expectations and I wanted to lend you a hand with some of that because I'd like to co-exist with you fairly peacefully and maybe even settle down with one of you and get a puppy or something.

So hear me out, I come in peace.

1. I'm a very face-value person. "No" does not mean "try harder". When you ignore a sincere request, it tells me you're disrespectful of my wishes, even when that request is, "Please let me pay for my own food." You may feel like you're being generous, but it feels extremely patronizing to be on the receiving end.

2. When I say, "I want to just be friends," this is not intended to be an insult. I respect you, I want you to have what's best for you--including someone whose heart does all those flip-flops or whatever when you walk by. I can't control if I feel that or not, but I can control how honest I am about what I'm feeling.

3. Please stop using the phrase "friend-zone". Being my friend is an extremely special thing. I hold my friends in a very high regard. If you want to treat it like I've demoted you to being a second-class citizen because I don't want to sleep with you, we should not be friends. There is the door. Please move through it.

4. Being a feminist means I want us to be both treated like human beings, it does not mean that I bear ill-feelings toward you. You don't have to walk around eggshells around me. I don't bite. ...unless you're into that. Or if you steal my food without asking.

5. Regardless of possible age-gap, do not talk to me like you're my father. Ever. I have two parents that did a fine job of raising me.

6. Monogamy is not a kind of wood.

7. Compliments, as long as they are sincere, are awesome and encouraged. Yes, I am a confident woman who knows when I look good--that doesn't mean I don't want to hear you verbally confirm it.

8. If you want out of a relationship, tell me. Yes, it sucks when one person is still into another but they aren't feeling it, but you aren't 'protecting' anyone by pretending. And you aren't as good at pretending as you seem to flatter yourself to be.

9. Contrary to societal belief, not all women are looking for 'the one' every time. One make-out session does not a relationship make. Until we have talked about it, I am going to assume there was no commitment there.

10. My male friends should not all need to be gay for you to not feel threatened. Just because a man likes vagina generally does not mean he wants mine specifically. Chill out. If you're that paranoid, we may need to talk about how you feel towards your straight female friends as you may be projecting your feelings onto me. Additionally, please respect that even if someone thinks of themselves as your competition for my affections, remember that I decide if they're competition, not either of you.

These are just a few talking points that I feel were important to get out in the open. I really appreciate that we were able to talk about this. Thanks for listening and continue to be awesome.

Love,

A woman of the modern world.

8 comments:

  1. Well stated.

    A few of your points remind me of a friend of mine, whose boyfriend at the time accused her of having an affair with me because we hugged (although I can be an enthusiastic hugger).

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    1. I had an ex who had similar issues. Coincidentally, it was him that was cheating on me. Go figure, huh?

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  2. I love it when people are honest with each other about how they are feeling. If there isn't anything there, respect each others time and heart(they are both valuable)and let them know.

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  3. Well said madam, it is always important for these things to be upfront and talked about in the beginning of the any relationship be it romantic or platonic. I have been in relationships where they stated that these things were the SOP for the relationship but were in fact only in place as far as the other person deemed it appropriate. Meaning that I was bound by it which is completely fine as it is how I work, but they could violate it whenever and however they chose. I try to function on the base assumption that all relationships I have are based upon respect above all else. It seems more and more that this "Old fashion" mind set is becoming less and less common sense which makes me sad but also drives me to continue living it as hard as I can. It warms my heart to hear others that follow the same basic kinds of guidelines for their lives. You sound like a wonderful person to sit down and discuss the universe and it's component parts, should we ever meet I would greatly enjoy picking your brain. Live happy and may today be the least enjoyable in your life.

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  4. I really have a lot of respect for this. I wish I could meet a girl more like this. Thanks for the encouragement.

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  5. Hey Modern Woman,

    Lists, they make me happy, so I'll just respond to the post in the same format. ;P

    1) It's sad that 'this' is a reasonable request when it should be an assumed truth. :? (Though I will admit that I like to pay for things when I go out with my friends... Male and Female... so everyone can be mad at me in equal measure. I try not to be 'pushy' about it though. ;P)

    2) I cannot imagine how 'Let's be Friends' is ever a bad thing. Sure one may be looking for more... but that's definitely 'their' problem, and it's better to have those cards on the table than to have either party assuming the wrong thing.

    3) Re: (2) and yeah... if someone places value on their relationship with you based solely on how physical you're willing to get with them, then yeah...

    4) I 'Personally' don't find that the term "Feminist" is well enough defined to use as an "Identifier", but the 'Spirit' of it is sound, so even attempting to make that point tends to illicit more debate than it's worth. ;? I think that at least 'some' of the negative reaction to that term is an unfortunate result of the lack of either a "Clear Focus" or a "Clear Definition" for it. (And the rest of it is ignorance and or the reason 'for' it. ;P)

    5) Heh, I feel that this is as much you as it is 'them' I'm afraid. Unless someone specifically indicates that they're trying to reach out to you as a daughter, then it's your impression that matters here. I know people of both genders that just naturally come across as 'Parenting', without intending to. It's up to you how you take that. ;P

    6) Man... if only I were more visually artistic! I tried to Google Image a result that could have playfully argued that point... but Monogamy Wood doesn't turn up anything fun. :(

    7) Only when appropriate of course, right?... (Referencing this article http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/psysociety/2013/04/02/benevolent-sexism/ ) ;P

    8) This is a thing?! I guess... if someone is very passive about things it might be hard for them to express their lack of interest any longer... but that's an entirely separate range of of discussions starting with... discussion... it's important. O.o!

    9) It's interesting to read this. I guess I don't hang around the same kind of circles as I wouldn't have thought 'this' was a thing either. o.O!

    10) Truth! I cannot for the life of me understand guys that seem to think they're the only men in the world who should find their partners attractive (And this applies the other way as well... 'this' conversation is about men. ;P). What is that saying about your partner eh? And if they don't trust you to manage yourself well in a situation where another guy may be interested in you, then 'that' says something about how they feel about the relationship. Sure, insecurities may be 'natural', but I wouldn't ever want to be in a relationship with someone that I had to be worried wasn't interested enough make intelligent choices when others expressed an interest. ;?

    Thanks for taking the time to bring these talking points up. ;P

    Sincerely,

    Just Some Guy

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    1. I probably should have worded 5 better, as a few people seem to have misunderstood what I was talking about. I don't literally mean this person is trying to be my father. What I'm referring to is an authoritative tone--that honestly I will often get from men and women but abundantly in men I have dated--that is used only when to tell me that I'm doing something they feel could be done better or incorrect. I probably should have worded it as, "Regardless if you're older than I am, I can live my own life" or something, so I will admit that is on me.

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  6. Fair enough :)

    Sincerely,
    Straight Man of the Modern World

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