In 2018, women march through streets, holding placards and chastising those who stand in the way of equality.
In 2018, women are saying Times Up, Me Too and bringing to light every situation in where the power balance between them and others has fallen significantly out of their favour and have caused them often irreparable harm.
In 2018, a man asked me out for dinner whilst standing 4cms away from him in an elevator and was met the with the response,
Instead of the pre-2018 rhetoric of, 'sorry I have a boyfriend/here's a fake number/please don't kill me if I turn you down.'
So why is it, in 2018, that some of us STILL hold up out-dated traditions when it comes to relationships that not only halt progress towards equality but actively shift it out of our favour?
Pre-2018 daters used this tactic because: dating bloggers, women's glossies and men's 'pick up' advice books suggested that we understand that the people we are trying to date really are interested when they play 'hard to get'.
When we turn them down repeatedly.
When we don't show any interest.
When we actively say, 'no thank you.'
When we don't pick up the phone.
That means we want them.
Is it any wonder then, that there is a generation of entitled people? When 'no means no' isn't really the case? Where there is a belief that, 'no actually means yes please but it's Opposite Day'.
2018 daters are leaving the games behind. Because in this current climate, where we are ALL learning about consent and the attitudes to relationships - playing hard to get actually reinforces the belief that no doesn't really mean no.
In 2018, daters are going for what they want with strength, confidence and ferocity because ain't nobody go time for waiting for 3 days to send a text.
What are the arguments that people give for why you shouldn't boff someone over the first coffee?
And why are all of these arguments against first dating mating COMPLETELY MISOGYNISTIC?
Pre-2018 (waaay pre - you'd hope- really but y'know), we didn't want to people to think bad of us for liking sex. We weren't THAT clued up on safe sex and we really, really took it upon ourselves to make sure we didn't get raped or murdered.
But not in 2018, Janet. Because in 2018, we know that a person's sexual history or choices bears no resemblance to who they are as a person. That your GP REALLY likes it when his wife wees on him. And your high-school teacher can still teach you algebra even though she enjoys sending nude photos to her boyfriend and your best mate, who you've known since primary school bloody loves a pegging.
We all love sex and are becoming bolder in our voices to share that love. Education is progressing and the responsibility for ensuring that sex (on the first date or whenever) is safe lies with all parties involved.
Above all else, in this post-Weinsten era we no longer accept an onus on us to protect ourselves from being harmed - we're throwing that onto the rapists, murderers and abusers to ensure THEY are responsible for not murdering, raping or abusing anyone.
Jesus fuck do we know how the gender pay gap benefits (mainly straight, white) men but really - does that mean they should pay for all first dates ever as a way to shift that balance back? Abso not.
Throughout history, paying on the first date was seen as some sort of code for; he likes me, he's interested, he earns more (or he wants sex) BUT WE NEED TO MAKE NEW HISTORY.
HOW is equality going to progress if it doesn't go both ways? How are people going to see each other as equal when a ridiculous construct like who pays for what remains in place?
WHY do we put stock into whether a man pays or not as a quality we want in our men? When we should be looking more deeply at how they treat other people, how much emotional labour they are capable of undertaking or more simply - which way they vote, whether they identify as feminist and how much they tip.
And in 2018, how can you identify as a feminist if you would discount a man purely over whether he offers to pay or not? Does that then give them free reign to judge us on equally ridiculous caveats?
The Nice Guy finishes last. Women love a bad boy.
Messages we were fed growing up that reinforce toxic masculinity.
Beliefs that reinforce that a man showing sensitivity, keenness and emotional awareness is less of a man than Daniel, the guy who fucked someone else in the bathroom on your second date and pretended he forgot your name when you texted him to ask about that second date.
We've forgiven, allowed and cultured shitty behaviour in men for far too long.
The mantra of 'boys should be boys' backs up the notion that men shouldn't appear too nice as they will always be left on the bench.
NOT IN 2018, QUEENS.
Because in a day where allegations against our favourite Hollywood bad-boys and stories of abuse that we suffer from arseholes on a daily basis continually come to light, we work together to re-write this narrative.
We date nice men.
We seek to build relationships with feminists. With guys who are open to their inbuilt notions of masculinity being challenged and with men who do not display behaviours that are the foundations of rape culture in a bid to woo us.
This year, we question WHY we hold these archaic notions of romance and relationships and seek to better our understanding of the progression of equality.
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