Some time ago I wrote Inside-out Penis about how young men expect women to be like them. I think my thoughts were on, but I didn’t express them all that well. Lately, I’ve been wasting precious minutes on OkCupid’s Dating Advice forum. One prolific poster, WhigLite, seems to take offense anytime someone posts anything that isn’t gender-neutral. He started a thread complaining about this tendency where I saw this:
WhigLite:This has to do with the ubiquity of threads of late that only address themselves to one sex, as if everyone of one sex is a lil dee dee dee (“Listen boys”) or as if someone has advice about hetero relationships that for some reason has a ton to say about guys, but absolutely nothing to help gals in their relationships.
Even when the advice is different, hardly ever is advice to guys going to have no complement.
I don’t even get the nature of the complaint here. You’re dealing with a forum where romantically frustrated people complain and ask for help. Then, other people make fun of them and try to help them, in that order. Sometimes frustrated people blame the other gender for their troubles, as if they’re not the one doing anything wrong. Knowing this and knowing that boys and girls really are different, I can’t wrap my head around how someone could be offended by gender-specific threads or demand that gender-specific advice come in complementary pairs.
Dark_N_Romantic: Actually, if one can’t discuss relationships period with both genders, should one even be trying to be in a relationship?
WhigLite: That was a big part of my point. It’s symptomatic of seeing the other gender’s members as alien, and that perspective will impede lasting connections. When one has that disease, s/he ought to bench herself/himself long enough to rid herself/himself of it!
First, not everyone is all that concerned with “lasting connections.” OKCupid members are allowed to specify that they’re looking for any of the following: new friends, long-term dating, short term dating, activity partners (whatever that means), long-distance penpals, and everyones favorite – casual sex. Some folks are just there for the forums. I took issue with his use of the word “disease”, but his response implies that we’re not on completely different pages, as we are.
WhigLite: I find the bigger error – at least in terms of its prevalence here – is blowing up minor differences into huge ones, treating genders as not just slightly different but divided by a vast expanse that makes their members incomprehensible to those of the opposite camp, and then talking accordingly. That would seem the mindset – conscious or tacit – behind increasingly directing advice at only one gender, when either (1) it applies to both (with minor alterations), or (2) it applies to one, but has an obvious complement that could be included in an expanded discussion.
The sexes are far more different than modern popular culture tells us. We are not incomprehensible to each other. It is possible for men to understand women better than most women, and I’m sure the reverse is true. Let’s look at some of the gender-specific threads on the Dating Advice Forum.
First, I see “Why do nice guys lose?” These “Nice Guy” threads are so common that they inspire tons of parodies and assloads of insults. Perhaps Whig thinks there should be “Nice People” threads, but it is well understood by many that nice girls do not have the same problems finding mates that nice guys do. It is also understood that the complement to a “Nice Guy” thread is a “Fat Girl” thread, as these are the women that do have the same sort of trouble. Maybe it would be better to title a thread “Why do nice guys and fat girls lose?”, although I don’t see much point in that. Useful advice for a nice guy is not at all helpful to a fat girl and vice versa. For the record that advice is, “Quit whining and be a man, you fucking pussy!” and “Lay off the HFCS, fatty!” Interestingly, there is much more of a consensus on the former than the latter. Fat girls are often told that being fat is perfectly fine because there are plenty of men who prefer them, which is about the most disgusting pretty lie I’ve ever seen. Anyway, I’ve addressed this before.
Next, we have “Why do guys not look at inner beauty instead of outer?” This is almost a fat girl thread, except that the poster is a gay male. Still, it pretty much fits the bill as we’re dealing with someone who’s upset with how nature works, specifically that men are attracted to physical beauty. I don’t want to speak much for the gay male population, but they certainly are at least as much into looks as straight men. I’ve been propositioned by men who only had to see me to know they wanted me. My God, I wish women worked that way! The funny thing is that most of the people who responded to this post just assumed the poster was a girl. You can’t really tell from his picture. Making this thread gender-neutral would be stupid, but WhigLite actually popped in to point out stereotyping, which is apparently a bad thing.
Fourth, there’s a curious thread titled “Guys who date Homely girls.” The poster here feels that she’s better looking than the girls who are dating the guys she likes. This is interesting, because it’s an unusual complaint from a girl and because I have some experience with this . Once upon a time, I was with someone who I now consider insufficiently physically attractive, and we both got looks of disapproval from other women when out in public. It may be that this thread’s starter has a somewhat inflated self-image. She might well be described as homely.
I have more to say on this topic. Right now, I’m being out-shouted in the fat girl thread.