I read a lot of men’s dating advice.
It’s all part of the job. I need to know what men are telling other men about how to date women.
For me, it’s the other half of the puzzle.
We can focus on all the ways in which we as women seek love, but we can’t forget the struggles of men who are trying—and failing—to ask us out.
If there’s anything we can do to help men feel stronger and more confident in the dating arena, then we should do it.
When more men have the courage to ask women out, we ALL benefit.
But the mathematics is still a mystery to me:
So many men want to find a woman but can’t.
So many women want to find a man but can’t.
Why can’t we just find each other? Why is it so hard?
Insecurity gets in the way. We doubt ourselves. We’re afraid to risk rejection.
So we stay silent. We sneak a peek, but we don’t flirt. We don’t trust one another that much.
In that cloud of insecurity and doubt, our heads get confused. We’ve done our part. So why are we still alone? Why the injustice? Who’s to blame?
The opposite sex, of course.
She sighs over her chardonnay.
I know why I’m alone. It’s because men don’t appreciate a good woman when they see one. I’m too good for these guys.”
Just a few feet away at the bar, he gulps his beer.
I know why I’m alone. It’s because women don’t appreciate me. I’m too good for them.”
And that conclusion is the beginning of very, very bad things.
Case in point:
The manosphere is a delightful place of joyful men celebrating their masculinity.
It’s more like a hangout for guys who like to blame women.
They’re not misogynists—at least, they don’t think they are.
They just think that the world has been designed to cater to women, and they’re taking some of their power back.
(You don’t have to say anything. I can see your gaping mouths from here.)
Yes, women control the world, and they’ve made men their slaves. They’ve turned warriors and kings into personal shoppers and playthings. They control the men of the world with emotional blackmail, manipulation, and crocodile tears.
Most men have been too brainwashed to see it, but here’s the red pill. Take it, and wake up to the truth.
(I’m so over The Matrix. It’s been 17 years, okay? It was cool when Morpheus offered Neo the choice of a red pill or a blue one, but our metaphors must go marching on.)
The manosphere loves The Matrix.
It embraces the idea that we could be living out our lives in what amounts to a computer simulation, a comfortable fiction instead of the cold hard truth of man’s subservience to the machine.
In this new reality, the patriarchy is a lie. Masculine values lie crushed under stiletto heels, and the alphas are beginning to awaken.
Alpha males are men who refuse to apologize for masculine dominance.
They see through women’s efforts to control them. They refuse to submit to feminine wiles. As a result, they enjoy all the female admiration, attention, affection, and strokes they desire.
That’s the goal for the men of the manosphere:
To become alphas, and rule the world.
And that’s where I give up.
I know it’s hard for men to meet a good woman.
I can see that we women aren’t the only gender in the equation.
Men struggle, too. They can end up with partners who don’t respect them, just as we can end up with partners who don’t respect us.
But surely the answer is not seeking power and control over the opposite sex.
When you have all the power, you’re invincible. Alpha males can’t be hurt. They aim to reach the pinnacle of indifference, where nothing a woman does can ever hurt them again.
That sounds awfully familiar.
In the aftermath of a breakup, the notion of a “pinnacle of indifference” sounds pretty good to me, too. Want to give me control over the entire male race? I’ll take it.
But that’s my pain talking. That’s the voice of hurt and fury and shame. It’s the ancient rule of retaliation: “You hurt me—now I’m gonna hurt you.”
It’s the lowest part of us, and it’s not just a male thing.
All of us have wished that love could just be a game. We’d win every time if only we knew the tricks. We’d rig the system in our favor. We’d never have to feel vulnerable again. We’d never allow a man get to us. We’d twine him around our pinkie finger and decide whether to let him dangle.
There’s only one problem:
If you’re looking for power, you won’t find love.
They’re mutually exclusive.
So maybe our insecurities aren’t what keeps us apart.
Maybe the reason we’re not all paired up right now is that we confuse power over one another with love for one another.
And we’d rather have the power. Especially when we’re feeling hurt.
We look for ways to make men crave us, become addicted to us, and willingly sign up to be our love slaves.
Our desire for power makes us a lot like the men of the manosphere. We find ourselves on top, in control, and very, very lonely.
Going back to that sad woman sighing into her chardonnay…
Maybe she should just put down her glass, saunter up to the bar, and slip an arm around that lonely guy staring into his beer. “It’s okay,” she might say. “I know how it feels.”
He raises his eyes. She smiles and leans down. She whispers into his ear:
We’re in this together.”