Archive for July, 2013

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committed.

July 10, 2013

I realize my last several posts have been very “rant-ish”. And perhaps I should just stop reading the Atlantic.

This kind of article – or rather the comments that come with an article like this – make me sad. The article itself isn’t bad. It points out an expectation mismatch (somewhat unsurprisingly) and points to the fact that couples that live together before engagement tend to have worse marriages (also somewhat old news). What gets me is the comments. Apparently living together is apparently the new way to get girls to sleep with you. Well, in case you didn’t know – there are a lot of women out there who will sleep with guys without living with them. Amazing, right?

Beyond that, I was surprised at how many comments seemed to indicate that marriage is a bad deal for the males. Is it really because guys look at marriage and think “…but the divorce could be so bad for me”? Do men really have this fear that women are going to rip them off and that they’re somehow getting the short end of the stick? In fact, one of the comments goes on to say all the “cards” that women apparently hold are having babies, lying about abuse, or asking for help with chores. So are we arguing that you shouldn’t choose to marry a lying, cheating, lazy person? Because I totally agree. If you’re living with a guy who keeps dragging out the expectation of getting married and isn’t committed – I think that counts as lying, possibly cheating and totally lazy (or at least mostly unreliable). And I think I’ve seen more women give things up for relationships than guys; the girls I know have almost always been the ones to move, change jobs, deal with employment gaps, etc. But boo hoo because as a man you might have to pay some extra money (that no doubt, you are probably making more than your female now-single-mother ex).

Anyway, not to get too hung up on one comment. I am totally for people who don’t want to get married or have kids. If you’re happy being single – wonderful. If you’re happy being in a committed relationship but not getting married – awesome. If you’re happy married without children – that’s great too. But if you’re living for years with a woman who wants to get married and have kids – unless this topic has magically never come up – yes, it’s expected that you’re getting there. Otherwise, yes, it’s a huge waste of time. If I suddenly found out at 33 that guy I’ve been living with for 5 years doesn’t really want to get married – what am I suppose to do? Scramble to find a guy, get married and have a kid in two years? Are these people not adults? Is there no conversation about expectations once a relationship hits a certain point? Am I a weirdly excessive planner with my life?

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politics and appearances.

July 3, 2013

So this in The Atlantic. The title’s a little misleading. It’s not so much whether or not describing women politicians’ clothes is sexist, but whether doing is harmful for their likability. The article mentions a study that when describing an identical man and woman with similarly positive/negative/neutral terms, people rated the man and woman similarly.

There’s nothing inherently sexist or wrong about describing how a woman looks. I think the concern is more that women’s appearances are judged much more harshly in our society than men. The Atlantic article ends that journalists “shouldn’t be banned from noticing the carefully managed visual signals candidates of both sexes send.” And I would say that culture has trained women to try to manage a zillion different visual cues. Should I wear a dress or a skirt or pants. How short is too short? If I wear a long skirt, is that unprofessional? Should my hair be short or long? Worn up or down? Are flats to dowdy? What’s the right heel height? Black or brown or nude or navy or something else? Nylons? Is red lipstick too much? Have I waxed my eyebrows? I feel like any choice a woman makes, it can be portrayed negatively. Even mentioning it calls it out as something of note. Then let’s look at a male counterpart. Should we discuss his dark pants and button down shirt and most likely solid or striped tie? His conservative hair being too grey? Why does no one ask male politicians who makes their suits?

But this study only applied very general adjectives – “disheveled and sloppy”, “fit and stylish”, or descriptions of color. And if somehow journalists could always apply similar adjectives to men and women – more power to them. Women’s clothes however offer so many options for descriptions. And more options means more chances to color someone’s opinion. Are you really going to pass on mentioning Hillary’s bright cobalt blue jacket? Or Michele Obama’s sleeveless designer dress?

As you can see – I’m not sold on this study.