Feminism. I talk about this subject a lot in my entries because it interests me the same way that religion and philosophy interested me back in my college days. Back then, I was of a different mindset with respect to the genders: I mostly didn’t give a damn. I did not care much for the gender roles or, for that matter, thought too deeply about them. In fact, I didn’t even follow most of the traditional gender roles established by previous generations whether within my own Chinese culture or Western culture. I just stood by a simple motto: “Treat everyone with respect and be kind to others. Do no wrong unto others and just be a good person overall.” Fairly simple, right? It’s what I grew up with–more or less. Back then, I just associated with whoever treated me the same way I treated them and, in hindsight, unfortunately, very few of them belonged to the female gender. It just happened that way, given my introverted-leaning tendencies and the female’s desire to be around guys who were more of the active, jock types. Odd balls like myself rarely got along with people but I managed to meet and befriend a few close friends throughout middle school, high school and well into college. But feminism wasn’t an issue to me when I attended college. At the time, I associated feminism with Gender Studies, Ethnic Studies, and Women Studies, a niche field for those who cared about learning and extrapolating the experiences of said genders and races. And while I did take a couple of courses in Gender and Ethnic Studies, the issues that they talked about didn’t really appeal to me because I couldn’t really relate. Sure, being of a specific gender or race may yield certain very unsavory aspects but that’s life. Life isn’t perfect and it isn’t meant to be. I was of the mindset that if being of a specific gender or race was that bad, why not just do something about it rather than taking courses in them to merely “read, talk and write” about them? So to me, at the time, it just seemed like an utter waste of time and money to read, talk, and write about them.
Fast forward a few years later, I had finished college, gotten a part time job at a bookstore, and things just seemed to have carried on without a hitch for the most part. I hadn’t realize that feminism was making big waves, upsetting one’s at that, with the gender roles. It wasn’t until much later when I had caught the first glimpse of what a lot of guys have been moping about with respect to the dating scene. Now, let me interject for a moment here. The whole idea of dating didn’t really appeal to me back in high school and college. I didn’t care much for it. Like I said before, I just hung out with folks that I got along with. I wasn’t actively seeking to get laid like so many of my peers and contemporaries when I was “ripe” to do so. I just didn’t care. I just wanted to learn and expand my horizons in the knowledge department back then. And the gals who would later become my girlfriends were all by happenstance. Not planned. Back then, I’ve never gone on dates with anyone. I just hung out with a bunch of people with similar interests and values. It had never occurred to me that I was dating any gal that I just happened to have been spending a lot of time with. Having said that, let’s fast forward to Joanne, who I’ve met through mutual friends within the arcade community. She was the first gal ever where I had realize that there was something deeply wrong with women’s behaviors with respect to the dating rules and social norms. Granted, she and I weren’t dating, in any formally established fashion (that’s often times how a lot of dating occurs anyway) but we did spend a lot of time together and she did seem to like me a lot and vice versa but upon expressing my feelings for her, she said that she did not hold such feelings for me and saw me as a brother. Now, social convention says that if it’s a case of unrequited love, it is perfectly fine to end things right then and there. The ensuing “friendship” that would take place after is just for show and it would be treated like a “no harm done, no foul” sort of situation. We would continue to remain friendly towards each other but neither party is obligated to continue talking to each other. Those are the rules but she didn’t follow those social conventions. In fact, it was as if she believed that no such rules were in place and insisted that I remain sweet towards her when I am under no such obligation. Her subsequent behaviors after-the-fact where I ultimately marked her off as batshit crazy only served to solidify my original theory behind her behaviors.
At first, I thought that she was a fluke. You know, one of those situations where you encounter one bad egg in a batch of relatively good people. Her best friend wasn’t any better. If anything, her best friend was about the same in many regards. So then I thought, maybe it’s because of the age difference which may explain away many of the seemingly unconventional behaviors. So then I tried seeing a gal who was closer to my age than the previous two and she too was batshit crazy in her own right. Then I tried seeing a couple of women at my age or older and they too were batshit crazy but in a different way. Instead of batshit emotionally crazy like the two young ones and even the one that was closer to my age, the one’s at my age or older had these unusually high expectations of personal qualities and checklists of material things that I must possess if I were to stand a chance of having anything long-term with these women. So….after I had figured that out, I dropped them like a hot potato fresh out of the oven.
It’s…different. This new dating scene. It was only after these women that I began re-assessing myself and what has been happening with society at large. And for the first time in a very long time, that’s when I came across feminism again–not academic feminism as I knew it when I attended college, no. That feminism has evolved quite a bit in just the past decade. This current abomination is nothing like the academic feminism that I learned about back in college. Very different, in fact. And when this evolved form of feminism is affecting large swaths of society and I experience it firsthand, it does make me wonder what’s going on. And that’s pretty much when I started backtracking and learning what I had previously not given much thought to see at what point exactly this boiled over and became mainstream. And based on all of my research so far, supposedly, this has been going on since the 1960’s. Some blogs even go so far as say that it has always been around (for many centuries) but the extremist aspects of feminism never took traction until the 1960’s and 1970’s which is when the birth control pill and hippy free sex was openly and actively encouraged. I would say that during that time period, the 60’s and 70’s, there were multiple competing forms of feminism fighting for supremacy but only two of them ever gained any media attention. One was the extremist version (the bra burning, “down with men” and “down with evil patriarchy” types) that’s always been around but society at large had kept it at bay for many centuries. And then there was another form of feminism that took some of the more extreme views of feminism and modified it into an easier-to-swallow form that also encompassed many of the happy, feel good, “for equality of the sexes” elements that traditional academic feminism was known for and melded them into one. In a way, feminism is much like how Christianity had a kind of reformation wherein the Protestants created the New Testament and made their religion more palatable for the masses. Feminism, during this time period, was undergoing a kind of reformation in the 60’s and 70’s like Christianity had undergone something similar many centuries ago to make their less savory aspects of the movement more palatable and thus increasing their followers by the droves. It can be said then that this brand of feminism was still in its infancy in the 60’s and 70’s. It carried onto the 80’s and 90’s where they would refine and stamp out the weakest links of the movement culminating into the 2000’s wherein feminism would take a turn for the worst and veering way off course into what is now considered Present Day Feminism.
And once upon a time, there used to be just one brand of Christianity: the Catholics. It wasn’t until the reformation that gave birth to the Protestants and then centuries later, various sects and sub sects had formed as a result of that. Now, there are over 10,000 unique denominations with scores of thousands more sub sects between these thousands of “flavors” of Christianity. I think that feminism, as a movement, is at that point where Christianity had just broken up into two distinct sects and those two sects are further breaking up into different flavors. And you can see this happening right now. There are now “feminists” who call themselves humanists rather than feminists–these are the types of feminists who really believe in equality of the sexes without any special treatment or handicaps for the female gender. Then there is Present Day Feminism that wants to do away with traditional gender roles and the social construct on which it was built upon. And between these two camps, the former camp (the Humanist Feminists) has a number of subdivisions. One subdivision wants to go back to the traditional gender roles while doing away with or relaxing many of the the more restrictive aspects of each gender role. Another subdivision wants to bring back the traditional gender roles as it was for many centuries ago. In the latter camp (the Present Day Feminists), one subdivision wants to do away with traditional gender roles for only one sex, the female sex, while enforcing traditional gender roles for the male sex only. Then there’s another subdivision that wants to do away with all social constructs (and along with it, all the social rules) creating a “unisex” or “gender neutral” playing ground between the genders and remove the special treatments and handicaps afforded to women. And here’s where it gets interesting (if the previous one’s weren’t interesting in and of themselves), there’s this new subdivision that I’ve just caught a glimpse of very recently who are of the mindset that they want to do away with all social constructs but still insist on keeping all the special treatments and handicaps afforded to women.
All of these changes going on in the feminist movement are having very real effects on the dating scene and how men and women ought to behave around each other in general. The only two groups that benefit from all of this are men and women who want only no-strings attached sex with as many different partners as possible and rest assured, in the male camp, there are no shortage of those type of men. And only more recently (as in the past decade), the female figures are not that far off from the men. And you can plainly see this by casually scouring the dating profiles of women ages 35 and up with an OkCupid or Plenty Of Fish account that has something along the lines of “Not looking for sex or FWB or a fling” written somewhere on their profile. These are the very women who just had a bunch of NSA, one night stands, fuck buddies, friends with benefits and what have you very, very recently and got burned by each and every one of them at some later point in time, usually sooner rather than later. And more often than not, these are the same women who drank the Feminist Kool-Aid that told them that they could have it all, if they only tried hard enough. But for those that want a monogamous, long-term relationship? Yea…you’d probably have a higher chance of getting attacked by a shark or getting stung by a bee than landing a monogamous, long-term relationship these days. This is especially true if you’re a woman who has a high powered job bringing in a salary that is close to six-figures or a woman of an unusually high intelligence with various Master’s and PhD’s under your belt. The odds are strongly against you if you fall under either category, which incidentally, is the majority of women these days. If you’re a guy, you’re pretty much shit out of luck if you’re not earning close to six figures or have a blue collared job. As a guy, you’re gonna have to get used to the idea that sex is the only thing you’ll ever get in large quantities at any given time, which for most guys, this doesn’t sound like such a bad proposition but for those that want something more than mere bodily pleasure? The odds are even more stacked against you than the women’s odds of finding a man who wants to be in a monogamous, long-term relationship. So there you have it. This is the state of the current dating scene.