Wants and Woes

There are many things in the world which we want. However, no matter how much money you have or how great your grades are or how many friends you have, it is human nature to desire more. What about that friend who seemingly gets everything they want? Yes, them too, even more-so than most.

Now, I’m not talking about objects. Tangible things are easy. If you want a new pair of shoes or to lose a couple pounds, no problem. You can get those things alone. The sticky part comes when what you want depends on other people.

Girls are specialists in wanting what, or more specifically who, they can’t have. Once a girl sets her focus on one person, it takes everything short of the jaws of life to rip her from her idea of who that person is. Why is this? Because girls are eternal optimists. We think that we can reach any goal or get any person we want if we try hard enough. So, girls wear their prettiest clothing and put on their fakest smiles and act their most appealing, hoping to get the attention of one person who most likely isn’t even looking. And that’s a difficult concept to accept. However, it’s a very real fact of life that some people in your life just won’t pay that much attention to you. Sorry to break it to you.

Whether the object of a female’s affection is interested in someone else or merely not interested in them for whatever reason or no reason at all, no manicure or $300 pair of heels is going to change that fact.

We have all grown up being told that everyone is beautiful and you can do anything you set your mind to. However, as committed as you are and as smart as you are and as anything as you are, no one on this earth has the ability to alter the emotions of those around us. Hard as we may try, it simply cannot be done. Therefore, girls will pine for way too long over a version of reality that probably will never exist.

Now, this isn’t to say that guys don’t do the same thing. boys certainly want things and people they can’t have. They’re just less passive about it. Whereas girls will subtly drop hints or silently admire from afar, boys are more likely to act on their desires. And at least on this issue, I’m giving credit to the boys, as they hold strong in the face of rejection and at least get an answer. When you take a shot, you know beyond a shadow of a doubt whether or not you have a chance. And as much as rejection and the embarrassment that can accompany this effort is painful to experience, that embarrassment and rejection and pain is fleeting. You can move on much more quickly and completely knowing that nothing you could’ve done would change this outcome. But pining, hopping that minor superficial changes will pique someone interest is torturous, and it is long term. It is indecisive. The eternal “what if” is much more damaging than a one-time “oh well.”

Here, we have something to learn from the boys. Girls need to get over their fears of rejection and embrace the possibility of embarrassment as the price of possible happiness. Do the risks really outweigh the reward?

Courting Courtesy

Okay, let’s just put it out there. Girls are pretty much the worst when it comes to flirting so I’ll try and explain some things (although honestly who really knows we don’t make sense.)

Right off the bat, the most important thing to learn about girls is the difference between flirting and trying to not be mean. I’ll admit, it’s very difficult to tell which is which, and don’t think that’s unintentional. Girls have an inherent desire to be nice; we don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. And, in all honesty, we like to be complimented so we’re reluctant to turn someone away especially if we don’t think we’re causing any harm. (Again, girls suck, I know.) However, while girls will not blatantly turn a guy away, we will not condone advances. Here are some examples of how girls will respond to unwanted advances:

“Aw, thank you!”

“You’re so nice!”

and my personal favorite…

the ever-so elegant, ” 🙂 ”

So, if you’re trying to chat up a girl and all of her responses sound like these ones, I apologize but you should probably direct your efforts elsewhere.

Now, you may be asking yourself why girls continue to respond when they know they’re being hit on, and as terrible as it is, a girl will do it because a) she doesn’t want to hurt your feelings, b) she likes the attention c) she doesn’t know how to tell you to stop or c) she’s sort of involved with someone else but they’re not exclusive and she wants to keep her options open.

If you are in this sort of a situation, it will inevitably change into the girl not wanting to talk to you and not wanting you to talk to her anymore, and it’s not for any particular reason. Now, whether this occurrence is a result of the fading of a relationship you had with her or because she was never interested in you, the consequences are the same. A girl who wants you to leave her alone will initially leave long periods between text messages or phone calls, only to respond eventually with some drawn-out apology because she feels bad for ignoring you. But eventually, they will stop responding all together.

It is important to note that girls (at least mature girls with any sort of moral compass) by no means intend to hurt you or think anything less of you. Everything a girl does is justified in her mind. No girl will do anything that she thinks will cause negative consequences. “No harm, no foul” means green light in the girl world.

As much as I, along with many other people, try to understand girl world and the enigma that is the female brain, I do not claim to take any of this as fact. There is no full understanding of the female brain because every girl is different and reacts differently to certain situations. These are merely observations I’ve made and trends that I’ve noticed that give me some solace in regard to my understanding of my own species. But let’s be honest, there’s no understanding us. Sorry boys. (and girls)

 

Modern Misogyny

Apparently I’m late in discovering this, but I just watched the speech given by Emma Watson to the UN launching the new “He for She” gender inequality campaign, and it really got me thinking about the role of gender in modern society. (I will link the video at the end if you want to watch it. I recommend you do.)

We’ve all heard the countless rants about feminism and man-hating and the battle of the sexes, but I don’t want to talk about that. I want to talk about gender inequality in the setting we relate to, in the college scene.

Gender inequality plagues our existence throughout our entire lives, in one way or another. In college, however, it is intangible. This gender inequality exists (for the most part) in how we are viewed. For instance, the stigma that comes from “being emotional.” Girls are notorious for sharing emotions or as it is so fondly referred to, “being dramatic.” Now, I will be the first to tell you that emotions can be incredibly irritating, whether they are your own or someone else’s. Nonetheless, emotions (especially at our age) are a big part of life and cannot be cast aside. While it is generally accepted that girls will share their feelings, guys are expected to suppress everything they feel. It is wrong for a guy to be upset. It is wrong for a guy to even be too happy. And it is especially wrong for a guy to be hung up on a girl. Somewhere along the line we developed this idea that having any real sense of emotion is a form of weakness, and is automatically a feminine quality. Now I will agree that it appears as though women are naturally more in touch with their emotions, but is it really nature? Or has it just been instilled in the minds of men that they are not supposed to show emotion?

Another commonplace of college-life gender inequality is that which presents itself approximately three sentences into every conversation, “What’s your major?” Somehow we have all gained this idea that women are supposed to have certain jobs separate from men. And such an outdated mindset this is. Every time I have heard a girl mention that she is studying engineering or medicine or any other “difficult” major, the overwhelming reaction is that of surprise, and with no justification I can possibly imagine would be valid. Male-dominated fields are rumored to have different standards for women just to gain a female presence in the field. For the life of me, I could not explain to you why there still are certain parameters in the minds of the general population which limit what women (or men for that matter) are capable of doing, however they are still very real in modern society.

Granted, the progress we have made in America regarding social equality, gender and otherwise, has been remarkable. There was a long period of time in which women could not even dream to go to college, let alone have the freedom to choose their own course of study. However, we are not done. There is still a long way to go before we can say that men and women in America are treated equally.

 

As promised, here is Emma Watson’s speech for the He for She campaign launch (it’s worth a watch, I promise)

Carbohydrate Catharsis

Girls are, by designs, creatures of heartbreak. We are inherently vulnerable to the torment which comes from investing too much into our relationships with other people. It is all but inevitable that someone or something down the line is going to break us. And the problem with that is, of course, how do we deal with it? Well, fear not, I have the fix for your girl problems. (Guys, pay attention too! This will come in handy!)

Problem: Girl Feud: So you got in a fight with one of your girlfriends. It happens to the best of us. You know you can’t possibly stay mad at her for very long and the same is true for her, but, for now, the silent treatment really sucks. So what do you do to ease the pain?

Solution: Action Film and Chinese Food. Grab one of your (preferably non-mutual) friends and sit down with your favorite msg-enriched carb-protein combo and delve into 2 and a half hours of muscular guys performing manly feats. Trust me, you’ll quickly forget all about how Ashley and Sarah didn’t invite you out last week.

 

Problem: Rejection.  This is a tough one. Maybe you were just broken up with. Maybe you saw the guy you have a crush on flirting with some random girl (and does he think she’s prettier than you?!!) Maybe that guy you’ve been talking to you hasn’t texted you all day even though it’s already 9pm and he texts you everyday and maybe he’s just busy but how long does it take to send a text message???? Either way, your self esteem has taken a hit due to the actions of other people and you can’t control it.

Solution: John Tucker Must Die and Pizza. The ultimate heartbreak combo. Because you’re feeling slightly less than emotionally stable and somewhere in your mind you resonate with the girls who just want revenge on the stupid boy who hurt them (and you secretly want to be Brittany Snow, admit it.) So have that fourth slice of grease-slathered deliciousness because who are you trying to impress anyway?

 

Problem: That darn second X-Chromosome. Has it been four weeks already? Yup, it has. You think you’d get used to that visit from Mother Nature, yet somehow it’s a whole new horror each month. Welcome that time when all you do is wish you were a man and constantly want to lay in bed and whine. I mean I guess it could be worse…. you could be pregnant. But nonetheless, you feel ugly, you have no motivation to put pants on, and there is nothing short of a satanic entity desperately clawing at your abdomen trying to get out.

Solution: A bag of Reese’s peanut butter cups and a Nicholas Sparks film. Let’s face it. You’re emotional and in very literal pain. Fighting it is only going to make it worse. So, pull out your comfiest blanket and favorite candy and let the emotions roll as you watch beautiful people face all sorts of insurmountable odds to be with one another. This is the only time you will allow yourself to fully delve into the sappiness, so just let it happen. Keep your tissues close and wait to drown in your emotions. Oddly enough, it’ll make you feel better.