I’m loving the new feminist movement of 2015. Women are more than just housekeepers; we are soldiers, policemen, and maybe even The President of the United States of America! We have progressed in many areas, but have women really progressed romantically? In more recent times it’s more common than ever before for women to make the first move. Some prefer the traditional way; that men should always approach women. Some believe that women can approach men just as easily, especially if done correctly. This brings two questions to debate: 1. Is it OK for a woman to approach a man? and 2. Should the way a woman approaches the man differ from the way a man approaches a man?
Let’s explore the first question; in my opinion, I believe women should be able to approach men, however, there is a correct way to do it. We as women are so far advanced in 2015, it should not matter who approaches who.
Personally, I’ve had more luck when men approach me. Now, I don’t know if the reasoning is my fault or America’s traditional mindset. It’s difficult to tell. My friends and I have debated this over and over. Does attraction play a part? What about setting? Are guys still uncomfortable with a bold girls? Well, whether I’m ugly or not, my bold personality has caused discomfort for sure, however, many of the guys I spoke with were OK with girls approaching them.
Mass media major, Thomas Wright says, “I don’t feel as if women approaching men is an issue, especially in this age characterized by a movement towards gender equality. Nonetheless, I do feel as if it is the man’s job to be the chaser.”
Exercise physiology graduate Tayler Thatcher says, “I would encourage women to approach men more often. “
Computer science graduate Reggie Daniel declares, “I personally don’t believe in setting double standards that say men can do one thing and women another. A woman might run into a man that she’s interested in but he may be a little shy.”
Many of the girls who I talked to had mixed feelings about approaching guys
Psychology major Cherish Brent says, “I personally prefer that the man approach the woman simply because of the way I was brought up. It might even have a bit to do with the biblical standpoint ‘he that findeth a good woman…’. However, just because that is my personal preference, I don’t see anything wrong with a woman approaching a man. In today’s society I see it happening more and more. All in all, it depends on what the man is comfortable with. Some men might feel emasculated by it while others may be flattered.”
Musical artist Jasmine Robinson says “I’ve personally never approached a guy but I do think that it’s okay for women to approach a guy.”
Nursing major, Jamani Swift says, “In this day and age, I would say that it’s fine to approach a man, especially with the mixed signals most people put out.”
Cherish has a point, biblically, we may be destined to wait for a man to approach us, but there’s nothing wrong with a little push, right? Men are clueless sometimes! And I agree with Jamani in the sense that sometimes men and women struggle with expressing and determining whether they like or dislike someone, so why not make it obvious if you can’t tell? Sometimes people are shy or afraid of rejection and they may need clarity.
Next, there’s the approach. I wouldn’t say women will find success in “Cat-Calling” men or walking right up to them saying, “Hey, can I have your number?”, or something like that. Most men don’t feel as though women approaching them is the weird part, it’s the execution. When women do approach men it should be more subtle rather than obvious.
Jamani continues, “Depending on the circumstance, a woman can use a pick-up line or casually make conversation until the message is received.”
Jasmine claims, “Starting [a conversation] in a similar way that a guy would by “giving a compliment” or something…when the female is extra confident, she will at least peak an interest. Bottom line though, whether it’s a girl or guy, always try because you can only get a yes or no but by not trying, it’s a definite no.”
Tayler suggests, “It can be as simple as striking up a conversation. It would be cool if girls tried pick up lines on guys.”
Thomas adds, “If a woman were to approach a man with interest, I feel that it should be in a subtle yet clever way. Nothing too strong but just enough to let him know that she has an eye out for him.”
But why is that? Why should women be subtle and men be stronger? I’ve had a man stop his car and try to hit on me while stopped at a red light in front of everyone. Not to say this approach is acceptable but why is it a normality for men to be bold and for women to not be? That’s where women who are like me have problems. I can be a bit too bold with my approach with people I’m interested in, whether it’s friends or potential guys. Either men think I’m mean or they’re turned off by it.
Reggie chimes in, “That single “hey” might be all he needs to step up and court her…a woman should approach a man no differently than how a man would respectfully approach a woman; casual conversation, lunch dates, doing activities together and getting to know each other better.”
I asked my parents to chime in to divert from the younger generation.
My Dad, who’s a corrections officer and army veteran, says, “I don’t see anything wrong with a woman approaching a man as long as she isn’t being crazy. She can casually start a conversation and give him her number to show interest.”
My Mom, who’s a respiratory therapist, felt the opposite, “Absolutely not! That’s what’s wrong with this generation. That’s why chivalry is dead. The men are now punks, they don’t want to chase or open doors for you anymore. Women are too fast.”
Even though she may have been harsh, there is some truth to it. If women start approaching men as commonly as men approach women, will we lose chivalry in return? Will men stop being gentlemen? I sure hope not! I would love to be able to approach men without negative reactions but I also love when a man gives me his coat and opens the door for me. How do we find that balance?
What I learned today is that we are approaching an age where women approach men more often but we have to keep in mind the issues that come with it. Our approach may be different or perhaps we’ll even lose some chivalry along the way, so now we have to determine if it’s worth it. In a perfect world, my Prince Charming will confidently come right up to me and be honest with his intentions and we would go from there. But if I knew my Prince Charming didn’t see my interest in him, I also wouldn’t mind batting an eye. Ladies? Men? What do you think?