I recently read an article in the Globe and Mail by Margaret Wente about the current state of the dating scene for straight women. She mentioned in the article that if you were a gender and women’s studies major that you probably were not going to like what she had to say. Granted, I am a GWST major, however, I tend to disagree with the third wave feminism movement especially, more radical feminists so I decided to read on.
You should read the article yourself, but in summary, Wente’s basic argument is that since women no longer need men to care for them and are more sexually available, men are less likely to be interested in long-term relationships. Don’t get me wrong, she thinks women’s freedom is great but, it does change the way relationships work. I do agree with this and think it is important that we begin to create a new dynamic between men and women in romantic relationships. However, she seems to reduce men down to their sexuality and need for orgasm and I believe men deserve more credit than that. Also, she uses the phrase “why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?” Which I have always taken issue with for obvious reasons.
I think she is correct about how online dating has a more prominent focus on hook up culture, and one night stands than actual relationships. It also seems to be that the platform is most of the time targeted to men. I have nothing against online dating, in fact, I have several dating apps on my phone right now but you do have to be careful with who you speak to. Even I, who always makes it very clear that I am looking for a long-term relationship can be targeted by some questionable individuals who will reduce me to a talking vagina.
So how do we fight this? I think it’s high time we demand more from each other regardless of gender and not assume everyone you meet is interested in only sex and if the person in question says that they want more we should respect that and not make them feel bad or old-fashioned about it. If you want to just hook up that’s fine if it works for you but don’t try to pressure me into it.
Now I want to know what you guys think. Is the idea of long-term relationships dead? Is it the same in same-sex relationships? What do you think we should do differently? My hope for this column is to start productive conversations about these complicated issues. I will be starting a Facebook page and hope to carry on the conversation there.