A while back I participated in a panel discussion in San Francisco called, "What Is He Thinking?" Basically, I and two other guys were panelists volleying and parrying myriad points and opinions regarding matters of the heart. It was standing room only and as is typically the case when people are passionate about their perspectives, things got pretty heated at times.
If this particular audience, which was 100% female, was in any way an accurate indication of what women supposedly know about men, my job at SMF is fairly safe. When I sit on these panels or do interviews or speak publically anywhere, certain topics and queries are addressed time and time again. But it was after this particular event where I had one of my most heated debates with a woman who basically told me I didn't know a thing about men because I vehemently disagreed with a bit of advice she had given one of her friends.
Her take on the modern professional woman maintaining her independence and how that self-sufficiency was intimidating to men wasn't exactly a fresh take. But okay, there was validity to her point. But unfortunately, she took it a step further.
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"So I told my friend she needed to stop coming off so independent. Men don't want a woman who can take care of herself. Their egos can't handle it. So you need to play that down."
I've encountered this bit of nonsensical logic before, but for some reason, it just got to me this time. You see, the only time bad advice is truly, actually bad….is when someone takes it. Example:
PERSON A: "Hey, I just rolled around in 5 gallons of gasoline….I sure could go for a cigarette. Perhaps I should wait to change clothes though.
PERSON B: "Aw man, don't worry about that. Hey, you should try my new lighter…you smoke Newports? Oh wow….dude, you just burst into flames. Cool."
So I responded to this woman by making the case that there are indeed many, many men who are intimidated or scared off by the so-called "independent woman." But there are just as many who love and adore that very same woman. Is there some granular truth to the notion that downplaying those attributes assists in drawing in guys?
But why would you want those particular guys? It's a strategy reeking of desperation and disingenuousness. I've got two daughters and there's not a snowball's chance in the Arizona heat that I'd ever ask them to "dumb it down" for some guy.
I mean sure, you could play that game for a while. But if you're really that strong woman that aspect of your personality is going to be exposed at some point. So why waste your time? This line of thinking is cynical and insulting to all parties.