Over a year ago, I wrote a post called “Are Men Still Hunting?”. I had read a really interesting article about “herbivore men” and it got me thinking about how social and dating structures are now in a world with technology. About a month after, my blog made it to Reddit, and I’m sure you can imagine what happened from there. I started receiving a lot of angry comments. Angry comments I could handle, but rude, mean and disrespectful comments got me to a point where I would just “approve” them but not actually read them (everyone’s entitled to their opinion, first speech blah blah blah). I had comments about how I was dumb, a social justice warrior (which I assume isn’t a good thing), a narcissist, I have a big forehead (that part is true), and how men are switching to prostitutes (I’m not going to even try to unpack that).
But last week a friend saw the comments and texted me about them. Honestly, I kind of forgot about it because I wasn’t really paying attention to them. But it made me want to go back and actually read through in more detail. While some were offensive, there were others that were well thought out disagreements that didn’t include personal attacks or general misogyny. With these well thought out disagreements, I actually found myself agreeing with a lot of what they said. So, while I still believe that there are “herbivore men” (not all) and that men could still benefit from approaching women, I think it’s now time to discuss what “carnivorous women” are doing that are preventing men from being the “aggressors” we sometimes want them to be.
(I’m really into lists right now, so just work with me)
What I Agree With
- When Women Say They Aren’t Being Approached, They Are Just Focused on Men that Meet Their Look Requirements.
I agree, but I think this is (1) across genders and (2) a factor of our society.
Guys base just as much of their initial decision to approach or not approach, or choose someone on an online dating site, based on height, fitness, profession, etc. We’re all a bit superficial. I try not to be. I actually don’t like “Chads” because I do think they seem douchey. I am looking for someone who’s nice and intelligent over looks, because looks fade and I’ve actually found that really attractive guys are usually dicks and can’t carry a conversation. But I’m not a saint. I definitely judge on looks. For anyone to say they don’t, would be a lie. If I see a guy online and he looks hot, but his profile sounds a little blah or dumb, I’d probably give him the benefit of the doubt. Is it right? No, of course not. Does it mean I wouldn’t want to have a nice conversation with a guy at a bar that doesn’t meet those “look” factors? No.
But that leads me to my second point. Society. I think it used to be that people would go out and actually talk to people outside of their immediate group. So even if someone didn’t necessarily meet your physical requirements, they had a chance to show you who they were before you “rejected them”. But now we don’t do that. I don’t even talk to other women that aren’t part of my group when we’re out. If a random woman came up to talk to me at a bar, I’d think she was “creepy” too. I’m a bit antisocial that way, but I also think those have become acceptable behavior and thoughts. I wish I was a more social and inviting person. I probably wouldn’t have this problem as much.
- Women Think That Men That Approach Them Are Aggressive
I feel like it is common nowadays to use a lot of words for effect without taking the actual definitions into consideration. I described above how if a random woman came up to me and started a conversation I would find her creepy. Is that the right word? No. Are men that approach women actually considered “ready or likely to attack” (the definition for aggressive)? No. These are poor choices of words. I do agree that as a gender, women should work on reserving some words for egregious cases.
- Women Have Made Men Fear Approaching Women, Due to Rejection
Like I said in the first point, I recognize that women are much less receptive to men approaching and starting a conversation. This is something we 100% need to work on. In our defense, I think it’s because most women have had guys that start talking to us at a bar, seem like they are interested, but really their only goal is to sleep with us and never call again. This certainly isn’t all men, but has made us skeptical of men approaching us. We don’t know who is actually interested in talking with us and getting to know us as human beings. Wanting to be slept with, but never contacted again, is rejection. And we’re all afraid of it. It hurts. It makes us doubt ourselves. But it’s also a part of life. I’ve been rejected more times than I can remember, and I’m sure I’ve rejected (knowingly and unknowingly) the same amount.
I would also like to say, in my own personal defense, that I regularly tell women that are adamant about never texting a guy first, that that’s poor strategy. Men are human too. While women are afraid of being rejected, looking stupid, or having this guy call us a “crazy stalker”, guys are afraid of the same things. We all need to do our part to help change this system.
What I Don’t Agree With
- Men Need to Be Afraid of Women Screaming “Rape”.
The percentage of women that make false rape claims is incredibly low. It is actually highly more likely that a woman is sexually assaulted and never reports than makes a false claim. I know that’s a comment that got thrown out a lot in the comments. And I’m not saying it doesn’t happen. It does and it is despicable. BUT this is in no way a common occurrence and should in no way stop you from approaching a woman you find interesting or attractive. Also, let’s try to stop spreading the lie that women are always lying about rape. It’s not productive for either gender.
Now, is this dating situation something that any of us can actually control or change? Probably not. Am I going to continue to bitch about things like dating and men? Yes. Are men going to continue to bitch about things like dating and women? Yes. But I do think reasonable conversations can be had about this topic instead of resulting to pure negativity and trolling.