Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Cinderella's man seems strangely at ease

In the name of fairness and thoroughness, I must mention that the Nation newspaper ran a follow-up article to the one we discussed here last week, written by the same author. This one was much more succinct. Apparently, heterosexual men don't need as much advice on how to bag a partner as their female counterparts do. The author introduces the piece with a story he heard from a 'gorgeous lady' (I guess if she had looked like crap the story would be rendered irrelevant) of how some guy who had invited her to a movie paid for himself and bounced, leaving her to cover her own ticket. The horror. Sure this guy was rude, but only insofar as he was the one doing the inviting and didn't offer to pay, or at least didn't let her know in advance that he was planning to go splitsies.

Five instructions then follow. I'll list them for you:

Look good!
Be romantic!
Be confident!
Be flexible!
Be prepared!

Even with the couple lines of explanation that follow, these are a lot more vague and non-specific than the instructions meant for women, which included warnings like "don't bleed his pocket", "don't disrespect him" and other rules framing women's behaviour almost wholly as it relates to men. The men's instructions, on the other hand, are largely just a "be the best you" guide, a kind of self-improvement tome that comes in handy whether there's a woman around or not. Even the photos used couldn't be more telling. Last week's photo featured a woman gazing lovingly and eagerly at her man; this week's photo is of a single man: relaxed, laying back and listening to music. This thing is too easy. No doubt the writer and editors thought that publishing both pieces, even though they're both from a Christian man, was equitable and inclusive. But given the nature of this second article, excluding it altogether would have been a smarter move.

Beyond 'yawn', I've not much more to say about it, but I thought I'd give it a mention by way of follow-up.

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