If women are gold diggers, are men the new women?
Psst… you. Yes, you! When did your boyfriend become your girlfriend?
Admit it. How many times have you wondered who was really wearing the pants in your relationship? Never? Really? Okay, not even when he wore skinny jeans that were skinnier than yours? Not even when you reached into your purse to pay for his gas, his lunch, or his cell bill? Still no? What about the time when he told you he was just not in the ‘mood’. Hmmm… maybe that rings a bell.
Men are wonderful. Personally I know I can’t live without them, but somehow our roles, which should have blended or even blurred after the women’s liberation movement, are slowly reversing. How? Well for one, money, the great equalizer, is now a weapon in the battle of the sexes.
One male friend of mine never (and I mean never) pays for the first date (to think of it, not the second, third or fourth either). Jeff claims he isn’t cheap; in fact, he says he does this to show his utmost respect for women. Most of the ‘lucky’ women he dates make more money than him, so naturally in appreciation of the women’s accomplishments, he allows them to pay his way.
As lame as it may sound, Jeff may have a point. Women regularly outnumber men every year at UWI. More education means more money… duh! So men with lesser paying jobs may just feel a tad entitled to keep their ‘ka ching’ to themselves.
‘It isn’t just about who makes more, but who is willing to ‘give’ more’
Another friend of mine lets his girlfriend provide for him, and his children (who are not hers, and who are also cared for by their mother). Gas or groceries, she’s got it. The thing is, girlfriend works for the ‘exact same’ salary as he does. So clearly it isn’t just about who makes more, but who is willing to ‘give’ more.
Women are more sensitive to any perceived shortcomings, and are always willing to lend a hand (blame that pesky maternal instinct). He can’t go to Zen with you because funds are low? No problem; you can pay for the both of you. He doesn’t have a car? No problem; you can pick him up, and drop him back. He has nothing to wear? You can pick up a new Aeropostal tee at the mall can’t you? Then you foot the drinks tab at the club, and don’t forget the rounds for his partners, and the burgers afterwards. You can easily justify this by reminding yourself the poor darling works for less than half your salary, right? Or does the validation lie in exerting a certain level of control through finances or securing his affection through gifts?
‘Money seems to be the axis on which your love spins’
When I was growing up, I had a boyfriend who dumped me for a girl who bought him KFC after lessons every Friday (it still hurts, please don’t laugh). I was devastated, but I also remembered thinking, “What can I do to get money so I could buy him boxes and boxes of ‘dead'”. I told my sister (couldn’t tell my mother; she woulda hit me one tap and ask me what she really sending me lessons for… man or books). My sister sagely pointed out that not once in our three-month relationship (lengthy by high school standards) did he buy me as much as a sweetie, and I was the girl, so he was supposed to run me down.
While I no longer subscribe to the view that men should be the pursuers (it’s fun to be the hunter at times), I still hold fast to the view that you get what you pay for. So if your relationship is all one-sided, he sends credit me requests 24/7 (and he still doesn’t call you), and if every greeting is followed by ‘baby ah need…’, you need to move on, because money seems to be the axis on which your love spins.
Back in the day, men were the hunters, and women were pursued, but today women are the ones doing the fighting and, sadly, money is the weapon of choice.
It doesn’t matter if you make more money, or have a better education or even if you simply don’t want to lose him. Self-respect is worth more than a dozen men (except one man, Johnny Depp; I will lose my self-respect any day for that man).
So the next time he calls you for a loan, ride, or a box ah ‘dead’, steups and hug up your pillow instead. Your pillow might not give you good loving, but at least you know where it is at all times. Too many times, hearts are broken by men who leave us for whatever suits their fancy, or regardless of what we do to try to hold on to them.
Everywhere we turn, we hear the cliché ‘a good man is hard to find’, but is a good man easy to buy? Just because you ‘take care’ of your man or spend lavishly on gifts for him, it doesn’t mean he’ll behave any differently to if he were the one with more financial power.
I asked a male acquaintance whose girlfriend buys him tonnes of gifts, if her generosity changes his reaction when, for example, she comes home after a bad day at the office and takes it out on him. Is he meek or does he rage back? His response, “I am a man I doh have to take that shit!”, speaks volumes. Clearly, while men are enjoying the benefits of being ‘kept’, they still retain the remnants of a bygone era when man was “Mister Man”.
Men are not the new women. We are the women in the relationship.
While the days of women being cosseted and ‘kept’ are long gone, one’s sense of powerlessness shouldn’t be replaced by another. You deserve to be loved for you, not just what you can provide.
So the next time your ‘boyfriend’ throws a hissy fit for some trinket (my friend Lia’s boyfriend told her if she doesn’t buy him a Nintendo Wii, he will just ask his ex), reach for some testicular fortitude, and tell him to shove it. After all that’s the manly thing to do.