Wednesday, April 20, 2011

On Settling

Me, embracing my natural hair texture- frizzy.

Feministe ripped apart a pair of articles about how women should "settle" for men they don't particularly like or feel attracted to because ZOMG!marriage and ZOMG!dyingalonewithyourcats and other such things that feminism exists because of. (Honestly, a feminist's work is never done.) Actually, the first article was about the men you should settle for, including men with bad hygiene, the second is how to make yourself into someone a man will settle for. Did you know that being a successful woman puts you in the category of women men settle for? Neither did I. (Never, ever done.)

I would like to make a point about settling: it's seriously fucking disrespectful to the person you are settling for. It's hard to think of something more disrespectful.

I have been the settlee. I know? Shocking, right? I'm fabulous! I am the hawtness, mostly of the mind, and snarky and cynical and obsessed with sci fi and video games- who doesn't want that?

Ha! Well, lots of people, and that's okay. I don't want most people, either. That's why romantic love is special, because it is not something you can find with just anyone. Love isn't like finding a lab partner- you! you're breathing, get over here!- it requires so much more than just basic compatibility, although it requires that, too.

Anyway, I have been the settlee, and it sucks. It hurts to know that someone is constantly having to overlook what they don't like about you. Yes, I know, relationships always require overlooking flaws and annoying habits, but this is bigger and more basic than that. There was something about me, namely my face, that he just couldn't find beautiful. Oh, and my height, he preferred tall women. And my hair, brown is so common. And my breasts. They're really not all that large. At all*. I'm not a supermodel, but I do expect that the person who claims to love me and want to be with me would find me beautiful despite all that.

Settling hurts the person being settled for, and more than that, it deprives them of the opportunity to find someone who wouldn't be settling for them. Someone who looks at them and sees beauty, someone who loves their sense of humor, someone who considers their geekery a turn on instead of something to be overlooked. That's not kind at all. That's just selfishness. That's just saying I want companionship/sex/marriage/whatever and fuck what's good for zir, I'm getting what I want.

Yeah, just don't do that to people. It's not right.

*Basically, he wanted a cynical Victoria's Secret model with a sarcastic streak, raised on Star Trek. All I can say is good luck with that one, buddy.


  1. Basically, he wanted a cynical Victoria's Secret model with a sarcastic streak, raised on Star Trek.

    Sounds like that guy will get himself a mail ordered bride someday.

  2. Funny story, he's a Lutheran minister now.

    I'm cynical for a good reason. Many good reasons.

  3. He's a Lutheran minister now, but did he get the mail order bride? LOL!

    What a putz! I've heard of this settling thing. I confess I don't get it. I read some article somewhere that said a woman should always settle because then you know the man will feel grateful to have you and treat you like a queen. That the biggest pile of crap I've ever heard.

    I don't want anyone to "settle" for me and I don't want to feel like I'm "settling". You should both feel like your getting a good deal. It's called mutual respect. Duhuuuh!

  4. I've got a friend who basically has a laundry list of all the things he wants in a woman. It pretty much boils down to Victoria's Secret model with a post-graduate degree and a very large bank account.

    He also decided to go to law school after he got his Bachelor's because it's a good degree that opens a lot of doors. When his law degree left him with no open doors and six figures in debt he decided to get a MBA. From a very expensive school. He still dreams of all the things he'll do and the places he'll go when everything finally clicks.

    Then you've got me. I have a BA in History and Religious Studies from a school I picked because it was the cheapest in Illinois. I'll never have lawyer or MBA income potential (probably. That's somewhat predicated on the fact that I don't want to be corporate for any longer than necessary). My overall debt load is also somewhere in the neighborhood of half my gross yearly income and most of that is tied up in the car I bought last year. My assets are currently somewhat higher than my debts.

    So...I'm driving a Mazda 6 instead of a BMW 5 series. But I like my car and I (usually) like my life. In the grand scheme of things, I'm winning even though I don't have the fancy degrees and their attendant income potential.

    My list of things for a woman, meanwhile: intelligent, interesting, attractive. I basically want to be with someone I can have conversations with and who I would like to see, y'know, naked. I don't have this big, long list of what she has to be and do and look like. I know what I like when I see it. I also know better than to grab the first woman that comes along.

    There's a vast gulf between settling and being realistic. Some people simply cannot comprehend the difference.

  5. Realistic is fine. Most of us are not going to be or fuck rock stars and supermodels. It's looking at someone and thinking, "Well, I guess. 70% isn't that bad. I suppose."

  6. Wow … that’s a lot of hair. Also, purdy.

    (Probably clueless question: Isn’t it risky to reveal your true appearance publicly like this, given your not-so-subtle, not-entirely-flattering feedback towards your employer and such?)

  7. Realistic is fine. Most of us are not going to be or fuck rock stars and supermodels. It's looking at someone and thinking, "Well, I guess. 70% isn't that bad. I suppose."

    I get the impression there was a failure of communication there.

    My point is that my friend undoubtedly thinks that I'm "settling." I'm saying, "There's no point in chasing after something I'll never catch, assuming I even find it. So why not inject a bit of realism?"

  8. is there just SOMETHING with porphyria, that none of us EVER look as old as we really are?

  9. I like the hair. Settling is stupid, I have been both the settler and the settlee at different times, both suck.

  10. This is why I like reading blogs. I have felt in the past that there was something wrong with settling (for the settlee. For the settler tis obvious enough) but I could never articulate it. Now it seems obvious. Thank you.


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