Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Why You're Not Married...Yet: You're a Dude (Chapter 9)

Onto chapter nine of Tracy McMillan's self-help book Why You're Not Married...Yet. So, if you're not a bitchy, shallow, slutty, crazy, selfish, lying mess who hates herself-- then maybe you're a: DUDE.

A Single Girl's Perspective (20 LA Wannabe)
We’re almost at the end! This chapter focuses mostly on masculine and feminine energy and how there needs to be both in a relationship because opposites attract. I completely had Paula Abdul’s song Opposites Attract and the music video of her and the cartoon cat in my head while reading this chapter. Anyway, McMillan encourages us to shift towards feminine energy if we naturally have a masculine energy.

According to her, inner feminine energy is more important to men than physical beauty. What does that mean exactly? It’s about being rooted in the feminine aspects of life. This energy is soft, wild, unpredictable, beautiful, and more than anything wants to love. This is in contrast to masculine energy that wants to conquer and win and thinks instead of feels. While women may need masculine energy to succeed in their careers and achieve their goals, in relationships they need to make the switch to feminine energy. The qualities that may help you succeed professionally will mess up your love life.

Why is this? Because, both people in a relationship cannot play the same role. So to be more specific, what should women do to make this change? First, they must be willing to need a man because men want to be useful to you. Her next tip, stop arguing. If you’re arguing with a man you’re trying to be “right” and giving off masculine energy. And last but not least, open up. Basically soften your demeanor and don’t keep trying to protect yourself from men, instead join them. And how do you do this? Through trust of course.

She insists that this advice is not encouraging you to be “girly,” but is about being receptive and vulnerable and allowing the feminine energy to replace masculine energy.

I feel like I’ve heard TV matchmakers give this advice a lot, although they usually tell women to stop switching gender roles and let the man be the man, which can be exceptionally difficult for successful women who have earned success by using their masculine energy. But does anyone else feel like this is kind of code for McMillan saying not to be stubborn? Don’t fight for what you want. Be amenable to your partner? Don’t men also like strong confident women?

I agree with McMillan’s basic points. Opposites attract and for the most part the man needs to feel like a man. But how realistic is it to continue to play these roles throughout a relationship or even a marriage?  Experts also usually say that you set your relationship precedent when you start dating. So if you’re only giving off your feminine energy to hook the man, what will happen when one day your masculine energy creeps out? Which it will in any long-term relationship.

While we, as strong women, can work on being more open, this seems a little bit like asking a leopard to change its spots. Wouldn’t the man rather know that we have this masculine energy in the beginning instead of being surprised nine months down the line when we can’t contain ourselves any longer?

Like the rest of McMillan’s advice, I think that this information is helpful to a certain degree but that if taken to the extreme it can do more harm than good. Because if we don’t show a man who we really are and they eventually see it and don’t like it, we will have wasted a ton of time pretending to be someone we aren’t and we’ll still end up back on the couch alone on a Saturday night or maybe even doing a bad rendition of Paula Abdul karaoke on a drunken single girls night.

A Married Girl's Perspective (Saaara)
Like most of McMillan's book thus far, I had a mixed reaction to this chapter. I get what she's saying. The more independent us ladies get when it comes to our careers and our lives in general, the more "masculine" we become. And the more we seem like we don't need a man at all, the less attractive we become to men. (Spoiler alert: In chapter ten, she tells us that men are attracted to women who are going to be okay without them. Confusing much?) Anyway.

I see where McMi's coming from. Guys want to feel needed. And they are attracted to feminine energy. They want someone with a nurturing side. But the truth of the matter is-- women are becoming more successful and more independent and maybe as time goes on, dudes are the ones that need to evolve and adjust to that a little more. Personally, I prefer what Sheryl Sandberg's been saying in recent interviews promoting her book. Women who want to be successful in their careers need to find a 50/50 partnership in a spouse. Word.

I'll be honest. I definitely have that masculine side that McMi describes. I want to weigh in on everything. I generally think I'm right and I'll keep an argument going until my husband's exhausted and just gives in. But I still think my feminine side is alive and kicking. I cry at the drop of a hat and need someone to carry my heavy luggage for me. But McMillan's advice did speak to me a little bit. Basically, her method for channeling our feminine side is to "soften." That, I can and need to do. 

One of the places McMi and I don't see eye to eye in this chapter is her advice that a woman should never make the first move with a guy. I just don't understand this perspective. I guess I see her point that we shouldn't be the pursuer (unless we live in Norway, of course). We shouldn't be the one actively calling the guy, making dates, always being the first to text, etc. I'm cool with that. BUT more power to us if we see a cute guy at a party or at a bar and WE go up to THEM. I'm not saying approach them and be psychotically aggressive. I'm just saying go up to them and say something cute and flirty. I promise. If a guy is attracted to you, he's not going to be less attracted to you, because you walked up to him and started a conversation. If anything, he'll be MORE attracted to you.  Ask any dude. I asked all the dudes I'm Facebook friends with and here were some of their responses (click on the image to enlarge):
I'm obviously biased when it comes to this issue, because I went up to my husband. If I hadn't, then who the hell knows where I'd be today.  Side note, Tracy McMillan is SUPER hot, so I have a feeling the reason she's so appalled by the notion of a woman going up to a man is because she's never had to do it.

Anyway, McMillan also mentions Beyonce in this chapter and how her songs encapsulate the masculine energy she's referring to-- Independent woman, Single Ladies, Run the World (Girls). But that got me thinking. Beyonce. I mean, did you see her half time performance at the Super Bowl? Strong, powerful, totally hot and sexy. And yet she's calling her next tour Mrs. Carter. Beyonce has managed to balance her feminine side with her stronger masculine side.  McMillan could have boiled this chapter down to one piece of advice:

Be more like Beyonce.

2 comments:

  1. I am confused with this chapter. Is the book supposed to be applied all around the world or only in America?
    How am I supposed to channel my feminine energy while making the first move?
    I think I am damned to stay single just because of that book!

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  2. I don't think Tracy McMillan has much experience with international dating so I wouldn't focus too much on her advice. I mean-- making the first move AND making a guy feel nurtured and taken care of just feels like way more work than it's worth!

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