Equality is defined the state of being equal, especially in status, rights, and opportunities. Equal is further defined as being the same in quantity, size, degree, or value and having the ability or resources to meet (a challenge). Women want to be considered equal to men. They want the same status, rights, and opportunities. I agree that they should be. But when it comes to dating and relationships, many women do not want to be equals. They want to maintain these gender roles. They just won’t admit it because they don’t view their demands and wants from a man as a product of gender roles.
In regards to dating, when women complain about chivalry, they are ascribing to a gender role. Chivalry suggests that a man has to do certain things for a woman that he is trying to court. That a woman only needs to sit back and allow a man to woo them. If you really wanted equality, you would also feel compelled to court a man. Now there’s nothing wrong with a man being chivalrous and I am not objecting to a man courting a woman. I am simply saying that if you want equality, then why is there such a big fuss about a woman courting a man? Why can’t a woman see a man that she likes and pursue him? I’ve heard consistently that it is not in good taste for a woman to approach a man. That it is the man’s job to chase after the woman and obtain her interest. But isn’t this a gender differentiation? Aren’t we stating that the expectations for men and women when it comes to dating are different? Where’s the equality at?
A man is supposed to be the provider? This is a gender role. Doesn’t this go against the concept of equality between genders? Why can’t the woman be the breadwinner or head of the household? Why are we still considering women who financially provide for their able-bodied boyfriends or husbands idiots? Why is it acceptable for a man to take care of a woman who doesn’t work? Yes, I still hear the phrase “If your woman is still working, then you have some more work to do.”
We need to admit that we are selective with what gender roles we want to enforce and which ones we want to discard. Women want more say in relationships. Women do not want to be submissive to their husbands. Women want to be independent. But women still want to be catered to. There are still things that women expect men to do in relationships simply because they are men.
Now there are some women who are defying the traditional gender roles in relationships and I applaud them. They are asking men out on dates. They are paying for these dates. Since they are the established ones, once they get serious, they are letting their boyfriends move in with them. Some of you are reading this with your face twisted, full of disgust. All this confirms to me is that you truly are not ready for relationship equality. You still want to be the woman with all of the rights that men in relationships have without the man’s responsibility in a relationship. That’s not how equality works. You don’t want equality. You want more power without having more responsibility.
You want to have a partnership without taking on the roles and duties that were traditionally reserved for a man. You want to have the right to not cook, clean, sex him, or do any of the traditional woman duties without being judged for it. And you wouldn’t mind if the man you dated took on some of these responsibilities. After all, you’re not a slave and these gender roles are sexist. But, you still expect for doors to be held open for you, your dates to be paid for, your man to do all of the handywork, and for some of you, to be able to support you financially. And if he doesn’t, then he’s not being a man. But didn’t you just say that gender roles are sexist?
So what is it going to be? Are we going to keep these gender roles? Are we going to get rid of all gender roles and truly be equals when it comes to dating and relationships? Or are you ladies going to be honest and say that you want your cake and eat it. You want the changes that will benefit you. You never wanted to be equals when it came to relationships. You just didn’t want to be pigeonholed into a gender oriented relationship role. So why should we?
Written by Bryant A. Buntin
Contributing Writer at Code Red Flag
Author of the novel Dear Women I Haven’t Slept With
Contributing Editor at Don Diva Magazine