Friday, April 22, 2016

Feminist Dating Problems

Found  this gem a few days ago. Let's play "Polly," shall we?

Dear Polly,

I'm an outspoken feminist stand-up comedian and I find that this is pretty far outside what most men are looking for. I hang around with smart, funny men all the time as part of my profession, and I noticed that the women they date aren't like me. They date quiet, hot "fuck dolls" who are good at being supportive. Or preschool teachers who are sweet and have "mom" written all over them. I've had sex with a bunch of them, but they could never see me as "girlfriend material." And I get it. By all measures I'm not a "lady." Men don't feel masculine around me.

I'm a pretty direct woman who has wanted to reject "the rules." I've tried to be vulnerable and real with men that I'm interested in, and more often than not, this sends them running for the hills. I'm starting to think that there is something to this whole, like, mysterious being-hard-to-get thing. But it's just not who I am. Even if I did play this game, I would still have a body of work anyone could easily Google about being a feminist, sex-positive woman. Kinda takes the mystery out.

I go on online dates with guys here in New York, and although I try to be kind and funny and discuss common interests, it rarely turns into a second date. I look fine — I'm not a total babe, but more attractive than many people I see having happy relationships. I know not to ask about kids on a first date, and I brush my hair and wear lipstick and all that stuff. I've tried letting them pursue it (they don't), not having sex with guys quickly (which has turned into not having sex at all). The result is that I'm lonely and horny. 

I'm killing it in my career by all measures. I've been on TV a few times for stand-up, which is hard to do. I have a ton of great opportunities in front of me. But this ironically only makes it harder. I think a lot of men are intimidated by this. 

I try not to let my self-esteem be affected by this, but at the same time, it's super hard to be constantly rejected. I know from reading your columns about not trying to make it work with guys who are ambivalent ... but I don't feel like there's a ton of great, ready-for-commitment men I'm rejecting. That's not the problem, I don't think.

What's a heterosexual feminist lady supposed to do? How much of gender norms do you need to conform to in order to find a partner? Do I let them pay for lunch? Do I follow the advice about never texting a guy and letting them be the one to pursue it? Because that stuff sort of makes me barf.

Also, as a not-so-side note, seeing the women that men choose kinda makes me hate men a little. I don't want to believe that every guy is interested in silent fuck-doll types, but it seems that way to me, and it's really painful. I had a really misogynist dad and that doesn't help anything at all. 

I feel like between my dysfunctional family and my lack of ability and desire to perform my gender role in a traditional way, there's like a manual that everyone else got and I haven't read it yet. I have a feeling you'll tell me not to try to change myself. And that it's better to have a life alone rather than being in an unhealthy relationship with someone who isn't a good fit. And I guess I believe that, but I really want the real thing. I want to have kids, I want to be loved. I want to have the loving family that I never got growing up. I'm turning 34, and I'm starting to believe it's not gonna happen.

So how do I do this? Do I have to change what I'm doing? How can I not hate men in the process? 

Be nice.
Be kind.
Be sweet.
Be happy.

Get three out of four, and you'll be married within a year.

In other words, don't be a feminist if you want a husband.

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