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If 40 Is The New 30, Are Women The New Men?

by sanjanakumar (writer), New York City, October 21, 2008

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Have the dynamics in the relationships between men and women taken a 180 turn?

Over the past year or so I have noticed a significant shift in the way men and women are in personal relationships.  It appears as though the men have become the female in the relationship.   The men that my friends and I have met and developed personal relationships with over the past year or so have become the antithesis of what they were 10 years ago. 

For example, last year St. Patick’s Day, my friends and I went out to the bars to celebrate the holiday.  We happened to meet a few guys and ended up hanging out with them for the rest of the evening.  One of my friends ended up going home with one of the guys we met.  It was going to be a one-night stand. No big deal until the following conversation transpired.  Just before the “act” was going to happen, the guy informed my friend that he didn’t want to be just a one night stand and that he wanted her to respect him in the morning.  Huh?  What guy would EVER say that?  This is the same guy that 10 years ago probably hooked up with some girl that said the exact same thing to him.  His reaction was probably that he was so turned off by that comment that he would have joked around with his buddies the next day.  Since when do guys care whether a woman respects them in the morning?  Since when do guys not want a one night stand? 

It boggles the mind that men say they say they want an independent women,  they want the woman to take initiatives and make the plans, they want the woman to make the big bucks and they claim they want women who actually communicates with them but when push comes to shove, is this what they really want?  If a women doesn’t agree with what a man is saying or expects him to  answers to her questions (after being repeatedly told that when she doesn’t answer his questions, she is being “typical”),  this woman is being pushy or aggressive.  Why is it ok for a man to give a woman a hard time but when a woman calls a man out on his lack of reciprocation, she is pushy and a turn off?  Men say they don’t want to play games but this clearly isn’t the truth.  They want to be able to dominate the relationship, the conversations, and whatever else in the relationship, and still expect the woman to just go along with it.  And yet, men have become the clingy and needy ones in the relationship.  They are the ones that need to see and talk to the woman every day.  It is now the single female who wants to go to the gym or out for drinks with her friends after work without having to explain herself to a guy or get grief from the guy because she is out with her friends.   

I have a friend whose boyfriend told her that he wouldn’t marry her until she had $100k saved up.  Oh and this money is so he can start his own business.  Excuse me?  My friend is earning her own money and can do whatever the heck she wants with it, but if she wants to marry him, she needs to have a dowry?  What is he contributing to the relationship?

I know another guy who expects the woman to pay her own way every time they go out, or if he pays, he makes a huge deal about the fact that he paid and before she can even say thank you, he tells her to thank him.  I would say a majority of my friends don’t mind taking turns paying the bill on a date but when the guy expects it, this is where the problem begins.  We all work hard for our money and we all choose how we spend it.  And guess what, women are still NOT being paid for equal work.  If a guy asks a woman out, he should plan to pay and similarily, if a woman asks a guy out she should pay.  These are the dating rules of the 21st Century.     

On another note, I live in NYC and take public transportation daily.  In my recent observations, if there is an elderly person or a pregnant woman who would like to sit down, guess who it is that gives up their seat for this person?  Is it the 20 year old man who could probably stand for a couple of stops without getting tired?  No.  Is it the married man who has a wife who was probably pregnant at some point in time?  No.  It is the 30-something year old woman who relinquishes her seat for someone who needs it more than her.  In fact, I have even witnessed a situation where there was a man and woman with a child who were monopolizing a whole section on the subway car.  A woman in her late 20’s politely asked if she could sit down since clearly there was enough room.  Do you know what this “man” said?  No.  Flat out NO.  I thought to myself  that his response was extremely rude.  There was PLENTY of room for him to move himself over to make room for a fellow commuter.  Trust me when I say this is the same person that if the situation was reversed, he would have been talking so loudly so that everyone on the train could hear the injustice that had been inflicted upon him.

So in essence, men want the woman to be the man but in reality what they really want is for the woman to still be the second class citizen bowing to their wishes but take on all of the financial burden and decision making.



About the Writer

sanjanakumar is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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16 comments on If 40 Is The New 30, Are Women The New Men?

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By travelingseth on October 21, 2008 at 03:36 pm

Can't say I 100% agree with this.  Women are the new men, to a degree.  Yes, men can be selfish assholes and you gave some prime examples.  But so can women.  And if women are becoming more like men (wanting no-strings casul sex, making more money, etc.), how can you bemoan so loudly men becoming more like women (valuing intimacy, wanting financial security from a mate)?  If the gender lines of this behavior are getting blurred, it makes less and less sense to bash a particular gender.  Why not just bash the behavior?

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By Sharlene Hardin on October 21, 2008 at 03:42 pm

The problem I've encountered as a single 40-something year old independent woman is the intimidation factor.  I honestly do not need a man in my life to be happy (which is what they say they want).  So consequently, I will not tolerate passive aggressiveness or behavior that demeans or berates me in anyway. 

What I'm finding with the guys I've been seeing recently tends to be the same; their actions don't match their words.  And since I've had to be MOM and DAD for long enough (which as one of my closest friends describes it) I need to be with a man who can be a bigger man. 

This last guy even told me how much it bothered him knowing that I didn't need him, I explained that for me it's not so much the need as the want.  I wanted him in my life but he wanted someone who lived closer so he didn't have to drive.  And when he finally opened up to tell me what he really wanted (unlike what he posted as his online persona) he wanted a traditional 1950's housewife who would cater to his ever whim. 

Now that's not to say that I have a problem being able to treat a man like the king of the castle but there is an unconsciousness in these men of late when they find out how much money I make (not from me telling them but seeing the type of life I lead) that tends to make them feel somewhat emasculated by it. 

One of my ex's even called me his "Cash Cow."  Of course this is only one of many reasons why he's an ex, but ultimately it comes down to respect.   It shouldn't matter who is the bigger man in the relationship, it shouldn't matter who makes more money, but do we like and respect each other.

For me, I'm realizing that mutual respect is getting harder and harder to achieve when there are so many men out there, as well as women, who struggle with respecting themselves let alone knowing how to respect others.  I think it's also this same lack of respect that is leading to the twenty-something generations attitude of entitlement. 

But that's my $.02.  I do have to say that I really like the way Lisa Kudrow's Character respected herself in PS ~ I love you.  She asked several questions, are you married, are you gay, do you have a job, and then would kiss them to see if there was something there (and moved on if she didn't like any of their answers).  But then again, that only tends to work if the guys are actually willing to talk to you :) Either way, it made me laugh.

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By Sharlene Hardin on October 21, 2008 at 03:46 pm

Well put Seth, character is key :)

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By sanjanakumar on October 21, 2008 at 04:51 pm

Sharlene, I liked your comments especially about respect. I think its amazing that men demand women's respect and yet if everytime she tries to talk the man shuts her down like a 5 year old child and dictates what she should say and how she should say it...why should she respect him?  How about men respecting women and their thoughts and opinions?

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By 'Mean' Mike Duffau on October 21, 2008 at 05:00 pm

that guy wanted her to respect him after a one-night stand....wtf? as far as going out, i do the paying unless me and her decide in advance whose gonna pay or dutch or whatever...i dont feel confortable when the gal pays. this is a funny story champ, but true and i noticed alot of pansys in this town(l.a.)

dig the AC/DC tune called 'shes got balls'

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By Sharlene Hardin on October 21, 2008 at 06:41 pm

While I hate to disagree with my friend Morgana, but.... Morgana, dear, I really feel like it's a change in evolution.  Since the gender lines have become so blurred and the population of the planet is hugely over populated, not all men are needed to be the alpha males as previously needed. 

I realize it's a touchy subject for some but for me I feel like humanity is continuing to evolve and change.  Physical chemistry attributes and attraction which have long been identifiable with male/female roles, is seemingly giving way to same sex attractions, in the way that a pond of entirely male frogs will eventually evolve a female species. 

Am I saying that same thing is happening now, NO.  But it's hard to deny that character traits in certain male/females are in a somewhat reverse evolution (along with some physical attraction traits for others). 

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By Sharlene Hardin on October 21, 2008 at 06:43 pm

PS Mean Mike, I love that AC/DC song, it makes me laugh every time I hear it (and one of my favorite songs to sing out loud)

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By Sharlene Hardin on October 21, 2008 at 06:44 pm

Okay thanks for clarifying :)

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By sanjanakumar on October 21, 2008 at 07:04 pm

I wish more men would admit that they are to blame :-)

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By AmyO on October 21, 2008 at 07:22 pm

All I know is I am very lucky to have found a man that respects me, supports me and listens to me... well except for when football or his PS3 is on... but that is a totally different article!! :) Good one Sanjana

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By Sharlene Hardin on October 21, 2008 at 07:24 pm

I would rather see more men and women accept personal responsibility in relationships instead of blaming others for attracting the disasters they find themselves in. It's like the Laws of attraction; if you are a hot mess, you'll attract a HOT mess ;)  WE must Go forth and FIX ourselves first, then let the laws of attractiveness will work themselves out for all the right reasons.  (Well that's how I see it anyway).

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By AmyO on October 21, 2008 at 07:28 pm

You are definitely right Sharlene. You can never love anyone else if you don't love yourself first. Just like nobody else will "fix you". I see a lot of people falling into that trap and then casting blame on everyone else (especially the guy) when it doesn't work out.

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By sanjanakumar on October 21, 2008 at 08:10 pm

Hahaha Dr.Garry, what is this the 12 steps in personal relationships??  I didn't realize this article would invoke alot of comments..wow!

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By CCNY on October 25, 2008 at 07:26 pm

I agree with Seth, to make that kind of a judgment based on only a few cherry-picked experiences like the ones you mentioned, where the guys are obviously jerks, seems a little much.  Ride that same train not 10 minutes later and you may see a man give up a seat to a woman, pregnant or not.  I see it all the time on the LIRR, and I do it all the time.  I can also testify that when I rode the trains with my sons in a stroller, no one ever gave me a seat either.  I chalked it up to 'hey, people are tired and a little uncaring,' but never thought it was because I was a man.

You could easily have written an article about how packs of women cast themselves as the "Sex and The City" crew, and act like self-absorbed jackasses, taking the bull (the man) by the horns, somehow being empowered by being the belittler rather than the one belittled.  The first anecdote sounds like you're proud that the sensitive guy comes off as less of a man because he doesn't want a one-nighter, like the girl is more evolved because she's a 'Samantha.'  That's pretty dark...

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By Seema Upadhyay on October 26, 2008 at 04:21 am

Good article. I agree with U fully, I have gone through it myself. Men love independent women but once they get into a relationship the same independence becomes a reason for the break up. How I wish men could go through the pains that we women have to endure whether its childbirth or other things. Good article. Hope to read more.Cheers!!!!!! to women power :-)

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By Sharlene Hardin on October 26, 2008 at 11:47 am

I agree with you Julian, my soon to be 21 year old Son is now spending more time with my Father because his own Dad does not play an active role in my son's life.  

I also agree with J&T that this is not indicitive of all men, it's just something that I seem to be noticing in the men around me and the lives of my friends around me.

I'm pretty lucky that my son has developed such a close bond with my Dad because my Dad is a really good man (as is my brother and even my brother-in-law).  I know it can't be easy for my son to be living in a house that is absent a positive male role model, but I really am grateful that is he is making the most of the one's he does have available to him. 

Again Sanja, good topic and great comments.

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