Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Rescue Me: Because Aretha Franklin Said So

I can’t stand when females intentionally use the “damsel in distress” routine. It is painful having to watch grown women act like idiots to win a guy's affection. They play dumb then giggle flirtatiously when he swoops in with his inspiring answer, thereby validating his mental superiority. Really ladies? Your fake stupidity makes your man feel accomplished, huh? You must be so proud.

But men are suckers for this and I can’t really blame them. In a society struggling to define what true masculinity is these guys are grasping at straws. Opening a jar for his girlfriend becomes the masculine equivalent of slaying a fire-breathing dragon. Traditional gender roles have become so ingrained that men have to feel needed and assisting a troubled female is a sure way to do that.

Because if we don‘t need them, how are they supposed to feel worth it?

What I am coming to terms with is that I kind of admire that me-Tarzan you-Jane gallantry and, dare I say it, would like a man to treat me like a distressed damsel once in a while. I want someone to care about me enough to also feel protective of me. And yes, that sound you just heard was the collective scream of thousands of angry feminists.

I am as independent and pro-equality as they come but I would never suggest that women and men are physically or spiritually identical. Men and women and everything in between are different on a biological and physiological level, and thank goodness for that. If men and women were the same I wouldn’t have anything to write about. So here is some common knowledge. Men, on average, are physically larger and stronger than women. Men are good at focusing on a task. They take charge and get the job done. That is how their brain works. Certainly sounds like someone I want taking my side if things get rough.

If I come home in a hysterical state because some pervert tried to molest me on the subway, I want my man to say he plans to scour the city, find the guy, and proceed to kick his ass. This chivalrous exhibition would for all intents and purposes not be very helpful (or practical) but it would demonstrate how valuable I am to him. As annoying and irrational as it may be for the guys, our self-esteem needs a boost once in a while. We need to know you care about what happens to us.

We need to be reminded that we’re worth it too.

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