Patriarchy, the idea that men call all the shots and women are just deal with it, is a hell of a drug. It informs everything we see as normal and expected. It can also drive us crazy. Imagine how many girls out there are waiting for some dude to make the first move even though they are perfectly capable of doing it themselves, just because they think that that’s the guy’s job. What about the fact that it’s seen as emasculating for a woman to propose to her BF? Like, it’s 2016, and we still think that it’s weird for a woman to do that? If you don’t believe me, look at the Twitter replies to this Secret ad; people called it everything from “gay” to “against God’s law.” Sheesh:
— Secret Deodorant (@SecretDeodorant) May 23, 2016
In the grand scheme of things, there are more important issues regarding gender inequality and injustice than some ultra hetero debate about whether the girl or the guy pays for a dinner date. Women are paid less than their male counterparts, a disparity which is even more stark when we break things down by race. Many states are still trying to cut off abortion access. Transgender black women are being murdered on the regular. So, when we compare all of these monumental issues to whether or not a girl should make the first move in asking a guy out, it seems a little petty. But I will say this: Addressing and challenging gender norms is always important work. Reminding women that they have more power than they think they do is important, especially when we’re talking about intimate relationships with other people.
If you’re honest with yourself, you might think of yourself as someone who believes in challenging gender norms, but you still can’t help but think that there are certain roles that women should play, and roles that men should play. Don’t believe me? See if you low key believe that guys should do these seven things in relationships. Maybe you’ll pass the test.
Making The First MoveI made the first move on my current BF and I'm so glad I did. I'm more forward than he is, so who knows if we would have even ended up together if I didn't do that. Some guys are nervous, and it's your job to take action, not just wait for them!
Paying For EverythingAs someone who is trying to save my money, I have no problem with anyone buying something for me instead of money coming out of my own pocket. But that aside, it's really not so bad to treat a dude every now and then. Like, it's really not the end of the world. Treat your dude to lunch or something. The fact that this is seen as some big affront to gender roles is silly.
Deciding To Heat Things UpSex is unfairly seen as only something a dude can initiate. LOL, um, girls get horny too. So it's a little ridiculous that we're always encountering this image--especially in pop culture--of a guy asking to take things to the sexy level while the girl is all unsure and nervous. Yo, sometimes the girl is the one who is ready to heat things up, and she'll make that known. If you're in that position now, don't hesitate. Let your partner know how you're feeling and see how he responds!
Defining The RelationshipAgain, this isn't a ship that is controlled by the one and only captain, your boyfriend. Nope, you are both at the helm, and you both have an influence on the direction your relationship goes. Do not wait for the dude you're seeing to figure out what you two are. It's as easy as this: "Er, so, what are we?" I've done it, and it's a little scary, but it was well worth it because who knows how long the confusion would have gone on for if I didn't!
Saying 'I Love You'Even I'm guilty of this one. I felt it in my heart for my BF, but I was way too afraid to say it and would have rather kept my mouth shut and potentially never wait to hear him say those words...than risk doing it myself to a less than ideal reply. I honestly think that it's unfair of us to expect men to be more at ease with saying the L word. They might try to play it off all cool, but trust me, they're scared to death, too.
ProposingWhether it's a legit marriage proposal or a promposal, shouldn't we be beyond this expectation that it's a man's job to decide that he's going to take the lead and progress the relationship to the next level? Why can't a girl do a really cool promposal video that goes viral? It's the 21st century, y'all...
Saying Sweet NothingsI know that we're meant to think it's especially sweet when a guy pulls out the charm, but girls can be super charming and have a way with words, too. More lovey dovey texts from girls, please! Make your man blush like crazy.
Which of these things have you done taken the lead on? Do you think that any of these things really are the responsibility of a guy? Tell us in the comments!