The Battle of the Sexes Needs a Truce

The Battle of the Sexes Needs a Truce

“Where have all the good men gone?”
“Why is it so hard to find a girl who is wife material?”
“Marriage is a tool of oppression from the patriarchy.” 
“Women just keep you down and distract you from your ambitions.”
“If she’s got a dog she’s either trying to replace a baby or a husband, avoid her.”
“A guy with navy blue sheets is a huge red flag.” 
“She’s fine, but she’s just a bit of a ‘pick-me’ girl.” 
“He’s lovely, but he’s just too nice” 
“He just wants me for my body.”
“She’s just using me for my money.”

We know phrases like these all too well. All men are pigs and all women are dogs, and what a zoo we have found ourselves in as a result. Everywhere you go, you will hear echoes of this same inter-gender animosity. Podcasts like "Call Her Daddy" and subreddits like “r/FemaleDatingStrategy” give advice to young women on how to outwit and defeat their male opponents in the battlefield of modern dating. On the other side of the trenches, personalities like Andrew Tate similarly extoll ways to get an upper hand in the dating market and avoid being pinned down by women. 

What both sides have in common seems to be a strong desire to assert their own power over the opposite sex, lest they succumb to the evils of the patriarchy or the shackles of the longhouse, respectively. 

Yet neither of the sexes wants to take responsibility for the predicament in which we find ourselves. Vitriolic finger-pointing occurs whenever the topic of broken gender relations is brought up. Women say: “Men are the reason the dating pool is in shambles. After all, they have oppressed us for years, and they expect us to go back to the same sexist dynamics as the past.” Men respond: “Women are less faithful and less willing to be homemakers than they’ve ever been in history, and yet they blame us for failing to meet their needs; it's incredibly hypocritical.” 

This sort of finger-pointing is harming both men and women. We need a ceasefire in the battle of the sexes. 

We must acknowledge how society has lied to both men and women since they were boys and girls—lies that have done nothing but bring about disharmony between the sexes. In seeking to empower young girls, parents and teachers have de-emphasized the innate differences between the sexes. And, any differences between the sexes were explained in terms of how men had historically oppressed women, rather than the unique and valuable characteristics that men and women inherently possess.

Meanwhile, a young generation of men had been instructed to view (traditional) masculinity as “toxic,” and a generation of young women to believe that (traditional) femininity is “weak” and “less than.” If girls can do everything the boys can, why do you even need a boyfriend? Or more classically, we hear the slogan: “You don’t need a prince to save you.” 

In truth, men and women alike still crave love—they want to be wanted. And so, after scaring men and women away from traditional notions of love and intimacy, the only form of intimacy that remains is a diffuse version exemplified by our modern dating scene and hookup culture.

In this new dating market—the battlefield of the sexes—winning is of the utmost importance. When one's self-worth is deeply tied to how physically desirable they feel, success on this battlefield means being worthy of “love.” It is no wonder, then, that people would do anything to “win” at love, even if it means denigrating the opposite sex. Whereas tradition enforced selflessness, modernity has placed the self above all else.

This problem stems from our shrinking attention spans. In a society where instant gratification reigns supreme, intimacy is no exception, and it is much easier to write off a romantic prospect than to take the time to build one. Once sex became divorced from marriage and commitment, it was only a matter of time before it was divorced from love and meaning. We tried to free men and women from “societal expectations,” from objectification, from being used. Instead, we amplified all those problems by creating a hostile dating scene (if you can call it dating at all).

So how do we resolve the battle of the sexes? One way is to boycott hookup culture and restore the “chase” to romance. Almost anything worth having in this life is worth pursuing, working for, and waiting for. It is one thing to be admired by the opposite sex because they find you attractive one drunken night at a frat party. It is another thing to know that someone is willing to put in the time and effort to earn your affection. 

So kill your pride. Ask a girl out—and buy her flowers. Let a guy hold the door for you—and say “thank you.” Sit next to that cute guy in your class—and actually get to know him. Just go talk to her—and ask her about more than which classes she’s in this quarter.

Most importantly, don’t hold unrealistic expectations. You can respect yourself while still being open-minded. Sure, everyone has preferences, but always be willing to go out on a date. Don’t toe the gender-party line simply for the sake of solidarity. Be normal; it’s not that deep. Draw up the terms of an armistice over dinner and a movie. Because it turns out that by giving up some ground, both men and women may find that they gain so much more…

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