All The Single Ladies: Dating a Man With Children?

dating-relationship-man-with-kidsBeing on the dating scene, I’ve been reconsidering what characteristics I desire in a partner and which are absolute deal breakers. A situation I’ve come across more and more lately are men with a child or children. Divorcees, single fathers, or men who parent part-time, they identify themselves in various ways. Dating these men comes with the implicit agreement that you will be meeting and eventually spending your time with a person under the age of eighteen.

Until now I never considered a man having children to be problematic. After all, there all sorts of families, many of them featuring stepchildren. I’m now realizing that the situation is far more complex than it may at first appear. Men with children, rightfully, can prioritize their children. As a woman in the beginning stages of a relationship, it can be off-putting to know that you are in second place by default. Then there is the issue of having the relationship become long-term and essentially becoming a stepmother and assuming all the responsibilities of mommy long before having any children of your own. And of course there are the issues that can arise with the child’s mother. She is free to interrupt your plans with emergencies, call at odd hours, and otherwise impose.

Dating a man with children has its upsides. Such a man is likely more stable, responsible, and past the stage of having his world center around his selfish needs. A woman can be assured that such a man will make a good father because he already is one. In many cases he is more than capable of sustaining a long-term committed relationship because he likely has already been in one.

Is the extra work of dating a man with kids worth it, however? Single women without children, I’m interested in your thoughts in particular. Other women and men are also welcome.

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Why The Man Has to Chase, Part Two

black-woman-phone-laughingThree years ago I wrote Article Response: Why The Man Has to Chase. Since then the post has received over 100 comments on why men should or should not be the ones to pursue women for a romantic relationship. A few comments claimed that people should be more open-minded and not be so old-fashioned; women should be able to pursue men when they want.

I agree. Women should be allowed to pursue a man that they are interested in. However, this idea brings to mind one question: why wouldn’t a man chase, if he were interested? Wouldn’t he want to go after what he wanted?

To understand, women: imagine, you meet a man you like. 

You are mesmerized by his presence and dream of the things you will see and do together. When not with him, you often think of him. Would you then choose not to contact or be around this same man? Would you choose to do most other things over spending time with them? Of course not.

Interest and liking of a person is naturally followed by a desire to be in their presence — physically, emotionally, mentally. Disinterest or ambivalence, on the other hand, leads to a lack of desire to be in a person’s presence.

Many women have experience the barrage of contact from a man who is interested in them. Calls, texts, the man finding ways to show up where they are. Sometimes the situation may not be extreme but the general tendency of the man is to seek out ways to spend time with their love interest.

So another strong reason why a man should pursue a woman is quite simply because if he were interested, he would pursue.

Having a man chase doesn’t mean a woman simply waits around and does nothing. It can mean allowing a man to take the initiative once interest is established. Enthusiastically responding to his contact and keeping communication going is good, as is occasionally initiating contact. Pursuing and eagerly contacting a man who isn’t showing reciprocal interest, however, could easily result in undesirable circumstances, as discussed in Part One.

So once again, women, let a man pursue you. You won’t be sorry if you do.

Why I Like Hillary Clinton

hillary-clinton

Hillary Clinton 2016? Yes, please.

To some people, the name Hillary Clinton brings to mind images of an uptight, sarcastic, diabolic tyrant who will stop at nothing to get what she wants. On the other hand, to me Hillary Clinton is an admirable, respectable politician who embodies many of the qualities of an ideal leader.

Some of these qualities are the same qualities which have turned Hillary into the type of villain usually left for dictators and greedy CEOs. However, these traits leave no question in my mind that Hillary is suited for large-scale leadership in a difficult time and as I backed Hillary Clinton for United States president in 2008, I will do so again in 2016.

  1. She is passionate

Critics call Hillary Clinton power-hungry and single-minded. I won’t disagree; I’m certain Hillary wants to be successful and a well-known leader, and is dedicated to this mission. However, I don’t hold it against her and even consider her tenacity to be valuable in a future leader. We need someone who believes strongly in their goals and is willing to see them through, no matter what.

     2. She is willing to face opposition

Hillary Clinton is arguably the most disliked and controversial politicians of the past decade, outside of the presidents. There are countless campaigns, articles, groups, and websites against Hillary. When she lost the 2008 presidential primary to our current president, Barack Obama, people all over the country breathed a collective sigh of relief, “Thank goodness.”

Much of the opposition to Hillary’s candidacy seems to stem from the simple fact that she
is a woman. In fact, in a Gallup survey conducted earlier this year the second most hillary-president-2016common reason given by American opposed to Hillary Clinton as U.S. president was that they don’t want a female president. For a woman vying for the presidency, that’s disheartening, to say the least.

Yet Hillary bravely faces this daily opposition and remains committed to her ideals. She’s put herself in the spotlight to be criticized yet again because her goals are so important to her. This is to be respected, if not admired.

    3. She has progressive ideals

Hillary Clinton’s liberal political ideology more closely aligns with mine than the majority of candidates. She has championed ideals I consider important, such as women’s rights, educational reform, and health care.

   4. She is intelligent

Whether or not you agree with Hillary’s tactics, you can’t deny that Hillary is an intelligent woman who has carved out a unique place for herself in American history. Accomplished lawyer, senator, first lady, and the first woman with a serious bid for the American presidency. A person does not happen on these positions by accident — it takes intelligence and foresight.

  5.  She is authentic

She’s nakedly ambitious. She’s secretive. She’s cunning. So what? She’s a politician. I would prefer a leader who is honest about what they care about, what they don’t care about, and what bothers them than a politician who vacillates to remain in the good graces of everyone. On the way to accomplishing anything noteworthy, a person may alienate some. Hillary expects that and accepts that, and won’t change strategy to appease those who disagree.

Now, do I agree with all of Hillary Clinton’s past decisions and views? No. Do I think that she is the only candidate worthy of the presidency? No. However, I do like her as a person, and consider her a worthy of the Oval Office.

Nope, Not Buying It Lululemon

lululemon-thighs-rhymeOkay, okay, Lululemon — you win! I will never even think of buying one piece of your overpriced clothing.

Athletic apparel brand Lululemon has, once again, turned off their consumer base by making insensitive, belittling comments about women’s bodies. Not too long ago the brand was forced to recall some of its yoga pants after customers complained that the pants became see-through when worn. In response, Lululemon founder Chip Wilson blamed women for the recall, claiming that “Quite frankly, some women’s bodies just actually don’t work” with the pants; it’s because of “rubbing through the thighs, how much pressure is there over time.” In other words, “Hey, you big-thighed/overweight/bottom-heavy women, please stop wearing our pants. You’re killing them! They’re meant for slim women.”

As if it couldn’t get worse, their latest “Huh?” commentary comes from their location in Bethesda, Maryland. For the holidays the store decided to play on Wilson’s comments about women’s thighs with a lovely poem in their front window: “Cups of Chai/Apple Pies/Rubbing Thighs” This, on top of comments by former employees that the company discriminates against bigger sizes and wants to be the go-to brand for the “fit” and stylish.”

Lulu is clearly suffering from an incurable case of foot (thigh?)-in-mouth syndrome. As anyone could have predicted, Chip Wilson took back his comments after a petition was lululemon-shares-fallcirculated, demanding that he apologize for his words, and the Maryland store promptly removed their window rhyme, adding that they were “deeply sorry”. But what are they really sorry about? Making hurtful, disparaging comments about women or the dollars that they see slipping from their hands? Moreover, the damage has been done and their shares continue to fall.

Now, some ask, what’s the big deal about their comments? Why should those who have extra weight or bigger bottoms wear stretchy, tight pants material? Why can’t a brand be particular about its customers?

This issue is bigger than the right of women with big thighs to wear trendy yoga pants. The issue is one of a culture which green-lights a negative, shaming attitude toward women and their bodies which don’t fit its idea of beautiful. When comments like this are made, all women are affected by the perpetuation of thinking which values (and devalues) women based solely on their outward appearance. Even the slimmest of women are made to wonder what flaws of theirs people are secretly laughing at, as they have another plain salad for lunch. Women who are attempting to work out and be healthy should be encouraged, not shamed.

So, nope, not buying it Lululemon. Not buying your numerous apologies after making hurtful, sexist comments about the women who made you into a multi-million dollar company. And definitely not buying your poor quality, $90+ Spandex.

A Look Into the Mind of a Woman

daily-life-of-womanNote: This is a (mostly) satirical post

Adam, Eve. Regis, Kelly. Men, women. There are many similarities between the two, yet many differences. Members of both genders complain that the other is hard to understand or get along with. This could be a legitimate complaint and that’s why here I present a quick and fun guide for men to the opposite gender, women. These ideas are reflective of the thoughts, behavior, and attitudes of some women, not necessarily all.

-It’s not PMS. It’s you

Before you conclude that a woman who is irritable or cranky must be having premenstrual symptoms, check to see if you’re not the cause of her less-than-happy attitude.

-Your looks do count

You may have all the confidence and money, but never get the idea that your appearance doesn’t matter. Looks do count, to a greater or lesser extent, to all women. The theory that women are not visual is simply not true. Now go put on a nice suit!

-Men and women are still not equal

No, despite all the gains that have been made in gender equality, men still have advantages over women in many areas of life. Don’t act so surprised and quit complaining about affirmative action for women.

-Marriage isn’t just a formality

Wondering why women see marriage as the goal of relationships? It’s because marriage has real benefits, both tangible and intangible. marriage is symbolic of a true desire for commitment and devotion to another person. So that idea you had about living together in perfectly unwedded bliss? Time to find a better idea.

-Women dressing up is not about men

In case you thought that women were wearing those stiletto heels and perfect make-up just to impress you, think again. Women dress to impress themselves, and other women.

-Pick-up lines are more than annoying

Being approached day after day with the same cheesy, generic pick-up lines can be tiresome. An honest, but confident approach would be appreciated, but ultimately who a man is, determines whether a woman will reciprocate interest or not.

-A little caring goes a long way

It’s been said before, but showing you are genuinely interested in a woman and her life and interests can go a long way, whether you’re male or female. Everyone likes to feel appreciated.

-Every woman is unique

I know — this is a guide about how women think, right? Yes, but although women have some general characteristics in common, all women are different. Any attempts to put all women in one box will fail because each women comes with her own quirks, interests, and bothers. All just for you.

Now, those are my thoughts. Any women reading have anything they’d like to add to this list? This could become a never-ending guide for the other half of our species.

Open Question: Should Women Pursue Men?

equal-courtshipSince publishing the response article Why the Man Has to Chase I’ve received several comments and emails from men and women alike explaining why, or why not, they agree with the premise of the post. For the most part, the men who have written in do not agree with the idea that while women can initiate contact, women are more successful in dating and relationships if they leave the pursuing and chasing to men.

In contrast, the vast majority of women who have given their responses agree with the article and have given their experiences with dating that support the theory behind it. In the females’ experience, for a variety of reasons, pursuing men they have found attractive has been mostly unsuccessful.

Now, I ask readers, considering all factors: your experiences, personal beliefs, and any others: do you think women should pursue men?

One part of my view is contained in the earlier post — no, women should not pursue men because men don’t want to be chased. Men, if they’re interested, will show this interest in some way, thus making chasing men unnecessary.

However, the idealist in me does believe that women should pursue men. After all, this makes securing the man she finds the most attractive, easier, instead of choosing from the men who show interest. In a world without gender bias and norms, women would and should approach men. Unfortunately, we do not live in that world.

What is your view? Should women pursue men or not?

Do Men Like Curvy Women?

curvy-woman-attractiveSkinny, thick, slim, thin, full-figured.

…Curvy.

It is often said that men like curvy women — “Only a dog wants a bone.” Some women deride a decidedly skinny female form as boyish and less sexually appealing than the curvy silhouette. While popular culture features mostly thinner figured, many women and men alike praise the curvy figure as more natural to women, suggesting that it shows youth and fertility.

Those who disagree with this view mock such praise as invention of overweight women to feel better about the fact that their figures are not highlighted as beautiful. But what sort of figure do men truly find the most attractive — does the curvy form stand above all? And what exactly is “curvy”?

Shape vs. Size

A curvy figure is defined as one without a straight, continuous surface; a curvy woman has a shape which is rounded or contoured. Thus, curvy is a shape rather than a size, as some would believe — a woman can be curvy and thin, or curvy and heavy, and everything in between.

A better indicator of curviness, some say, is bust size (the larger, the curvier) and the Waist-Hip Ratio (WHR): the waist measurement divided by the hip measurement. The ideal WHR is said to be 0.7 or less, usually corresponding to a a hip measurement that is 10 inches larger than the waist. In combination with a larger bust size, this equals the revered hourglass figure, one of the rarest figures in Western society.

Body Mass Index vs Waist-Hip Ratio

If anyone was looking for proof of the reliability of the WHR in determining beauty, many studies have tied the ideal WHR of 0.7 to overall attractiveness, across cultures and centuries. However, other studies suggest that while WHR might be an important factor in judging female attractiveness, overall body size as indicated by the Body Mass Index (BMI) might be just as important, if not more.

In the United Kingdom, a large study containing over 700 men found that, among women of all sizes and shapes, BMI was a better indicator a woman’s being deemed attractive than her WHR. Men were presented with real images of female figures and asked to rate their attractiveness. They found that WHR, in other words, curviness, only accounted for a quarter of a female’s attractiveness rating while BMI was much more indicative. And the most attractive BMI was found to be 20.8 — a lower BMI than most women and roughly equivalent to a trim US size 4.

A smaller study, conducted in the US among male students also found that BMI was a stronger indicator of males’ perception of a female’s attractiveness than WHR. This time WHR accounted for only 2 percent of a female’s attractiveness rating, while BMI accounted for 75 percent. Again, the most attractive BMI was found to be the lower 19-20, on the edge of healthy weight.

Which Wins?

So do men like curvy women or do they prefer thinner figures? It’s likely that many variables must be taken into account and there will never be a definitive answer that stands the test of time and culture. Researchers believe that WHR is a biologically wired feature of attractiveness while BMI is a socially ingrained determinant of attractiveness, hence its leaning towards the more lauded thinner figure.

In the end, no size or shape has ever been considered attractive by all men studied, and an individual’s perceptions may not always be in line with what society believes should be the most attractive figure.

“I Have No Female Friends”, Part 2

woman-envyTo round up this month’s attempts by women to set back the Women’s Movement and themselves, this is an article response to another blogger’s thoughts on the original post “I Have No Female Friends”.

The response is entitled, Women Who Don’t Have Female Friends, and begins:

Earlier this week I found these blog posts about women who say they don’t have female friends. It reminded me of a discussion forum I found online some time ago with a similar discussion about women who say they don’t get along with women. In both cases, the discussion about these women was negative and full of assumptions about women who say these things.

After which the author proceeds to make countless negative statements and assumptions about women as a group, and numerous other amazing statements.

-“The majority of women don’t feel good about themselves.”

Besides that this is an overreaching statement, it is contradicting the entire post — to make a post deriding assumptions, then proceed to make your own.

It doesn’t seem to occur to the author, or she fails to mention, that her superior and belittling attitude towards women might be noticed by them, and disliked by them. If all people would believe that women don’t feel good about themselves, the author would find herself in a bad position.

-“I think saying men and women are not that different is PC bullschitt. Men and women are different, whether it’s because of society or biology or a mix. It’s fine to admit that.”

I think saying men and women are totally different is conservative and closed-minded. I would never say men and women do not have their differences but painting them as two sub-species is not something I’d ever do, and not something I’d expect from any intelligent and open-minded person. Experience and research tells me they aren’t nearly as different in their basic motivations as our brains would like to make them out to be.

To use the author’s own example, there are logical women and emotional men. A person’s outward behavior does not always or even usually reflect who inwardly are. Yes men and women are socialized differently, but those differences may affect only the social. Men lean toward the rational because that’s what’s accepted and expected of them, but their core personality may be quite different.

-“I feel good about who I am because I know I’m intelligent, talented, a good person and so on…the biggest thing with women, I’d say, is more than half of heterosexual ones strike me as not thinking they’re complete or good enough if they don’t have a man or a husband.”

The problem with this statement is that it is a judgment against women who have a strong desire for love, as if that is wrong. Everyone has something they wouldn’t feel complete without, and the love of a man doesn’t seem any worse than others. But whether it is wrong or not is not so important. What is glaring is that in a post about how judging other women is wrong, there is so much judging.

-“Personally, I’d love to find even just one woman who can talk football all day–I really would. Sure, there are women out there who like football. It’s not even unusual to find women who love football. I just simply have never known another woman who lives and breathes football”

The author needs an award because she loves football. Unlike every other woman on earth, she likes football, and that makes her truly unique.

It’s ironic that the author is in fact, feeding right into the original hypothesis that women who claim to have female friends feel that they are “special” and different from other women, and these differences make them better.

-“I understand that some of the women over at the blog link try to make a distinction between women who seem proud of not having female friends and other women who don’t have female friends, but it seems like a half-hearted attempt… As far as I read, they also failed to state or point out that saying you don’t have female friends sometimes is…well…simply a statement of fact.”

“As far as I read” would be the key statement here.

That “I have no female friends” is a statement of fact for a woman saying it was never in question, the question was why. Why do they make these statements and what sort of mindset do they have?

Judging from this response and the author’s own words, the author didn’t actually read the article or the comments following. This might have come in handy, in making stronger arguments against the original article; arguments that didn’t prove the point.

Note: All snark in this post was intentionally kept to a bare minimum

Cameron Diaz Tells Us: Women Want to Be Objectified

cameron-diazThe latest in controversial celebrity comments: Cameron Diaz, in the UK’s Sunday Times.

In a recent interview, the actress made a bold statement about the sexual objectification of women. In doing so, she offered up a glaring example of how an over-sexualized culture can influence the way women view themselves and their self-worth, and a classic case of self-objectification:

Says Diaz:

I think every woman does want to be objectified. There’s a little part of you at all times that hopes to be somewhat objectified, and I think it’s healthy…I’m a woman, I know how to handle myself. I know what I feel comfortable doing and I know my sexuality.

It’s empowering. I’m not some young girl with the photographer going, ‘Will you take your clothes off?’ I’m like, ‘How does this look?’ They’re like, ‘Today we’re not going to put anything other than bras and heels on you,’ and I’m like, ‘These heels are not high enough.'”

While many have their own opinions of what Cameron said and what her statements mean, her thoughts for me bring to mind a few ideas on the issue of female objectification.

Objectified Does Not Equal “Sexy”

Inherent in the definition of objectification is dehumanization and depersonalization. When a person is objectified, they are viewed as not a person but an object, lacking in humanity and merely a means to an end in satisfying the objectifier’s desires, usually sexual.

In other words, it’s not about you, your womanhood, or your attractiveness. It’s about what you — or rather, your body — can arouse in the viewer. Not anymore human than a well-made piece of art. All a sexually objectified woman is worth is her ability to entice and once that worth is lost, which it inevitably will be, her worth is also lost.

Objectification Is Not Empowerment

Cameron may believe that posing in undergarments and sky-high heels makes her a liberated and empowered 21st century woman but in fact it is just the opposite.

Having women flaunt their “sexiness” by displaying their bodies in very little clothing is our culture’s way of keeping women disempowered: at their mercy, with no power except what little may be given to her by men, for a short amount of time. In modern culture, the image of the disempowered woman is not the happy homemaker but Playboy’s Playmate of the Year.

Speak for Yourself, Then Stop

Do women like to be objectified? I haven’t done a worldwide survey, but my guesses are no. But whether they do or not is beside a major issue many have with Cameron’s statement — a person should never assume that their thoughts and desires are universal.

Had Cameron said that she alone enjoyed being objectified, perhaps she would have lost all credibility and been ridiculed, but her interview wouldn’t have been nearly as controversial. However, in extending her beliefs to every woman; insisting that they are reflective of all women, she entered into new territory. Claiming that every woman secretly hopes to be objectified and encouraging women to think of this desire as healthy is not only brazen but dangerous in a culture where women are still thought of as the lesser gender.

What do you think of Cameron Diaz’s statements? Agree or disagree?

See also:

Women vs. the “Sexy” Woman

kate-upton-GQ In past posts, the phenomenon of competition and hostility among women was discussed. There are many theories on why women seem to dislike and compete with other women, a very popular one being that women are simply born to view other women as competition. Another, as discussed in the book Catfight, is that a competitive atmosphere is created by the gender roles placed on women and the human desire for inclusion.

There is another aspect to the reality of female competition — certain women tend to be excluded and hated more than others. These types of women can have female friends, but often they attract mistrust and ill will by other women. They are what I have dubbed the “Sexy” Woman.

The “Sexy” Woman

The Sexy Woman is a woman who draws attention to her sexuality and sees it one of her more attractive qualities, if not her only attractive quality. She can even be explicit about her desire and ability to draw others — particularly men — to her, with her “assets”. To the Sexy Woman, using what you were born with (or bought) to get ahead in life is no different from using your intelligence, hard work or talent. The Sexy Woman’s looks and body are herself. In other words, she objectifies herself.

As a result, the Sexy Woman is usually very popular with men, in the most basic of ways, and has male friends. With women, she is ignored, at best and notorious, at worst. Given this, she considers men to be more understanding and less hateful than women. She does not go out of her way to be friendly with women, but likes the companionship of men.

Don’t Hate Me Because I’m Beautiful?

The Battle of Women vs. the Sexy Woman is thought to be the classic tale of women being envious of the most beautiful woman. The Sexy Woman too believes that it is her beautiful face and body that cause women to hate her. Yet the situation is much more complex than mere beauty.

The Sexy Woman can be pretty or even beautiful, but it does not seem to be her appearance that cause women to be suspicious of or dislike her. Other women, who are just as “sexy” and good-looking, are loved and admired by their fellow women, and get along with them well. What separates them from the Sexy Woman is their attitude and presentation. Whereas the Sexy Woman calls attention to her sexuality and wants to be known for her attractiveness, other women are less forward about their looks, and do not view them as their most redeeming asset.

Hate It or Love It, or Hate It

The real question is what makes women so uncomfortable with the openness of the Sexy Woman? Why does her willingness to be objectified make women consider her unworthy of a kind word? Maybe her overt sexuality reminds other women of the pressure placed on them to be sexy and conventionally attractive. Maybe she is just another airhead. Or maybe we’ll never know.

See also: