A bit of all of the above, probably. But there’s another reason for these rants, one that is far less understood. Let’s call it gender bait and switch. Never before in history have men been matched up with women who are so much their equal—socially, professionally, and sexually. By the time they reach their twenties, they have years of experience with women as equal competitors—in school, on soccer fields, and even in bed. They very reasonably assume that the women they are meeting at a bar or café or gym are after the same things they are: financial independence, career success, toned triceps, and sex.
That’s the bait; here comes the switch. Women may want equality at the conference table and treadmill. But when it comes to sex and dating, they aren’t so sure. The might hook up as freely as a Duke athlete. Or, they might want men to play Greatest Generation gentleman. Yes, they want men to pay for dinner, call for dates—a writer at the popular dating website The Frisky titled a recent piece “Call me and ask me out for a damn date!”—and open doors for them. A lot of men wonder: “WTF??!” Why should they do the asking? Why should they pay for dinner? After all, they are equals and in any case, the woman a guy is asking out probably has more cash in her pocket than he does; recent female graduates are making more than males in most large cities.
Wow. So you mean women are not some monolithic bloc with one set of personalities, needs and desires? We're not all the same? How perfectly odd. I mean, who could possibly deal with the fact that each woman is an individual who will enjoy different activities and like different people and have different needs and expectations? That is too much to ask! How can men possible interact with us without knowing, in advance, exactly what we'll want? How can they be expected to navigate the minefield of individuality? It isn't fair!
Also, seriously, your source is The Frisky? I will now take this time to laugh, laugh and then dream of releasing 100 angry badgers into your bathroom while you are showering***.
Honestly, I have no idea what dating is like today, though I don't think Ms. Hymowitz does either. Are dating norms amongst a certain set in New York City the same as dating norms in rural Tennessee****? I doubt it. Are the dating norms of college students the same as those 35 and above? Again, I doubt it. My point is, just because some women in some age groups in some socioeconomic positions don't ask men out or expect men to pay for a date doesn't mean all women do.
I have asked men out. Just a casual, "Hey, you wanna see this movie?", but I asked them. I also considered it rude not to pay for the popcorn if he paid for the tickets or vice versa. We're both enjoying ourselves, we should both contribute. Then again, I've never dated a rich guy, either. I might feel differently about it if he had significantly more money than me. I'd expect the man to feel the same way if I were the one with wads of cash to throw around.
Apparently, Ms. Hymowitz lives in a little bubble of perfect society, since she totally failed to recognize that while feminism has made enormous strides in the way women are regarded or treated, there is still a huge amount of misogyny, patriarchy and kyriarchy at play in the US and it impacts dating heavily. Men want to fuck, women want to marry. Men fix stuff, women talk. Men are studs, women are sluts. Men are breadwinners, women should stay home with the babies. Oh, and if she's wearing a short skirt, or drunk, or smiled at your in passing once, she totally wanted it.
That's a lot to navigate. I'd say it makes dating difficult, but it makes life difficult. Dating is a subset of life.
Far worse in the bait and switch category is women’s stated preference for nice guys and actual attraction to bad boys. Now, clearly this is not true for all women. Many, maybe even most, want a guy with the sweetness of a Jimmy Stewart and sensitivity of Ashley Wilkes. But enough of them are partial to the Charlie Sheens of this world that one popular dating guru, David DeAngleo, lists “Being Too Much of a Nice Guy” as No. 1 in his “Ten Most Dangerous Mistakes Men Make With Women.” At a website with the evocative name Relationshit.com, (“Brutally honest dating advice for the cynical, bitter, and jaded,” and sociological cousin of Dating-is-Hell.com) the most highly trafficked pages are those asking the question why women don’t like good guys.
PlayStations and Internet porn? For a lot of guys, they seem like the better way.
So, some few women say that they want one thing, but actually want another, and some website says something, therefore video games and porn. Seriously, Hymowitz? That's pathetic. And so are you.