Fight the system, Not the people

Most of us were raised in a system that supports male privilege, to an extent that many believe that a man continuously chasing you only is something to be appreciated, valued and respected. I have found that telling a guy no often scares me because I never know how that guy is going to react, because by virtue of the system we were raised in and me being the object of his desire, he is therefore entitled to get the kind of reaction from me that HE wants.

 

It would seem that there are many men who are of the belief that a woman saying no, often means she is saying yes and that is because we have been raised to believe that women are meant to be chased by men, and that men are to continue chasing until they get what they want, which in this case is the woman.

 

“Most women I met led me to believe it’s widely practiced (no means yes) and I was raised thinking that no means no; but for a while I had thought that (ne means yes) because women led me to believe this, until I met you, and you made it clear in no uncertain terms what no means. If you have been exposed to 10 girls; and of the 10 8 initially said no but eventually relented it’s safe to assume that most women you come across more likely than not mean yes later when they say no.” – Tebogo

 

“The reason why a lot of guys don’t accept no, a lot of guys are confused. You have those females who really mean no and get annoyed when a guy continues to chase; and then you have those who criticize a guy for accepting no and not chasing – he didn’t try hard enough, he wants something easy.”  – Tre

 

Our dating conventions have always been dictated to us. From the time of Knights courting maidens, to reed dances, to arranged marriages, our behaviour is governed by convention. I tried to play hard to get a few times because I was told that easy girls are not valuable girls and I really wanted to be valued. My behaviour was informed by convention, a convention formed by our parental generation trying to control brewing teenage sexual activity.

 

If a man can honestly tell me that my sexual history and availability does not sway how favourably he sees me then I will no longer endorse playing hard to get. Until such a time I will conform to whatever protects my integrity, according to the social instruction of the time.

 

We live in a generation where many people feel that a woman’s place is to be silent and to accept the unwanted attention of any man that throws things her way. We are told that it is acceptable to be the object of desire for any man, and that we are supposed to be receptive of it, and decline is a gracious manner. The moment I say no, I am being gracious. When you continue to try force me to change my mind by continuously chasing me, you therefore put me in a corner and thus make me feel like I need to defend myself and it shouldn’t be that way. I am direct, my no is no. Another women’s no, might mean yes. It is therefore up to you to encourage her to be direct about her feelings and it is on her to refrain from being coy and open up to you about what she’s thinking and / or feeling. It is also the responsibility of the woman to be direct with men because that leaves less room for confusion, and maybe the lack of directness stems from the fear of how a guy might react, but it is necessary.

 

Don’t challenge women and their tendency to toy with yes and no, challenge the social structure that tells them to send mixed signals. Teach women that they can be themselves and encourage other men to join the movement of socially emancipated women. If you truly support clear and directness in women, tell them that whether they say yes within the first 5 minutes or the next 5 weeks that it has no bearing on her personal quality and that it does not sway your opinion of her. Say it, believe it and truly own it. Never complain about an easy woman in your life again. If the system that is designed to benefit you is confusing you, overthrow it. It starts with you.

 

You can follow me on twitter: @MzLee_

Co-Written with: Sadie Rhode ( @SadieWiggles )

 

Ogilvy & Mather Dubai – Powerful Ads Use Real Google Searches to Show the Scope of Sexism Worldwide Simple visual for inequality: http://www.adweek.com/adfreak/powerful-ads-use-real-google-searches-show-scope-sexism-worldwide-153235

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