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|Written by D.W. Richards|
|Saturday, 23 April 2011 19:41|
With great frequency when I open my web browser, which defaults to MSN, there will be some type of relationship management article directed, exclusively, at a straight audience. If population statistics are to be trusted, and we believe that MSN is trying to represent them, one would expect that at least 10% of the time these articles would be directed at a LGBT readership. However, to be fair, perhaps I am the only gay individual whose web browser defaults to MSN and therefore addressing the full spectrum of human sexual orientation really isn't warranted. And lacking any supporting statistics to suggest otherwise, who am I to judge?
In keeping with the (let's not assume biased) tradition as set forth by MSN, I too wish to contribute to the seemingly endless plethora of dating assistance being provided to the straight community by addressing a glaring error of omission.
I have never seen the topic of sexism mentioned in any other dating advice article, and I don't understand why that would be the case. Sexist comments happen. They can be a mood killer and should be avoided.
To be clear, I'm not referring to a man's sexist comments inadvertently directed at women but rather a woman's sexist comments naively directed at men. This type of sexism isn't addressed as frequently as the male-created kind, and being a man who once dated women, this is what I know.
To simplify for the sake of this particular article, and by simplify I mean pigeon-hole, I will divide the women I have dated into two distinct camps. The first are the women who, while attracted to the male body and male sexuality, have issues with the male gender. They are complicated, tirade-prone and seemingly unhappy ladies. The other category I will simply label as "fans of men". These are the women that would join in, with the Weather Girls as they belt out their 70's disco classic 'It's Raining Men'. It is to the latter group that I write.
So that we have a shared understanding of what I am talking about with regard to sexist slip-ups let me give you a hypothetical scenario. A woman parks her sexy sports car and as she is getting out a handsome man who is passing by comments, sincerely: "Nice car! Your husband must have a great job." This is the kind of sexist comment that drives women crazy, and the man who says it would be wise to think about what he is assuming about this person.
I think we are all familiar with the sexist comments that men are known to make, but fewer among us realize that sexist comments made by women can do the same kind of harm to men. Some examples of equivalent female miss-steps which have actually been said to me by women (though not necessarily about me) include:
1) "A cashier is no job for a man."
2) "When the woman of the house is happy, then the house is happy."
3) "I'm just not used to a man who can't do home repair. My father was so handy."
If you do not see an issue with one or more of the above - you've got your work cut out for you. I can help. If nothing else, avoid generalized statements. It sounds simple enough but it is not. Everyone makes generalizations, and it is sometimes difficult to see where your generalizations come from. My point it is that sexist remarks will happen from time to time. Don't become obsessively on guard but it is something to keep in mind. Think carefully about the way you see the opposite sex and then ask yourself if you would be happy if they saw you through that same lens. If the answer is no, it might be time to reexamine your biases. It is also perhaps a suggestion for some tolerance when the shoe is on the other foot. Taking my above car scenario, if the woman is single and she finds the man attractive she could respond with: "Actually I'm not married. Would you like to take a closer look at my car?" Make fabulous lemonade from lemons my dear, it's the gay man way.