I have been teaching reproductive health for over 21 years, and whenever we get to the section on relationships I often comment that the best template to follow when looking at relationships is to examine same-sex couples.
This is not always met with enthusiasm, until I explain.
In a same sex relationship, there is no division of duties based on anatomy. It is based on ability and desire. There is no gender role playing, no stereotype of what men do and what women do, there is just two people bringing their skill set to a relationship without the baggage of anatomy.
As an educator I have noticed how complicated dating has become for everyone. In fact, it really isn’t called dating anymore. Some examples of what it can be called are hanging out, going out, and hooking up. There’s on-line dating, and for those of you that may not want a commitment but are interested in a quick booty call there is Tinder. It is exhausting. And with all the advances we have made with respect to gender equality, I am still seeing a huge disconnect in the younger generations when it comes to dating. What I mean by disconnect is this: Women want to be considered equals. And they should. The problem arises when women want to be considered equals UNTIL they go out with someone. At that very moment they start to take a backseat, especially if this is a heterosexual encounter. For instance, they expect to be asked out. They do not do the asking. They expect to be picked up. They think the door should be held open for them. Some might even think their male date should order for them. They expect the tab to be paid by their male date. They expect that he should call her the next day, or that night, or text her soon. And if this first date turns into a relationship, they will continue to expect that. Why? Because that is how it is supposed to be.
Wait, what? Does that even make sense?
I was watching a short video clip by Matthew Hussey. He’s the fella whose tag line is “Get the Guy”. I don’t know much about him, so I can’t even tell you if I agree with everything he says or does. I can tell you though, that the clip I watched was exactly what I am trying to say in this blog. You can watch that short clip here. To summarize this clip, he is giving a presentation when he fields a questions from the audience about who pays for the date? The person explains that she thinks her boyfriend should pay when they go out. Matthew Hussey explains to her that by expecting that of her boyfriend, she is telling him that her time is worth more than his. Personally, I see it differently. What I think she is telling her boyfriend is that “I am helpless, can’t fend for myself, and need a man to take care of me”. Whichever message resonates with you, neither one bodes well for women. Hussey goes on to say that you should treat your partner like you treat your best friend. Spot on. You wouldn’t ask your best friend to always pay when you went out and if you did, you probably wouldn’t be best buds for long.
So why am I writing about this? Because it irks me to no end to see women play both cards. It does not cut both ways. Women (and I am one) want to be part of the big picture and they should be given equal opportunity to do that, but they should not expect a man to hold the door open for them as they walk into the board room.