And you’ve again made an assumption. All through high school I had no pursuers or dates of any kind. In college, it was only marginally better. It wasn’t that I was waiting to have my pick. Mostly, I had no options at all. And the sociological construct that says that boys have to do all the pursuing and that it’s unseemly or out of line if girls do any is part and parcel of patriarchy. It wasn’t invented by women. So, I just had to sit there hoping that someone would ask me or pick me — which for the most part they didn’t. I had to be entirely passive about it and kind of wait for the phone to ring and many other women experience the exact same thing. To imagine that all or even most women have choices and options galore is to misunderstand women and female experience.

And what about the fact that women (even really attractive, desirable ones) become largely invisible after about age 40? They don’t count anymore because youthful beauty is the only desirable state — in fact it stokes a billion dollar business for plastic surgery, cosmetics, weight loss clinics, etc., etc.

I’m not denying that it must be hard for all of the pressure to be on men to be initiators, particularly when they are more quiet, introverted or otherwise insecure, but that doesn’t mean that it’s all roses for females. And feminists don’t deny that there are double standards. In fact, the vast majority of them are well aware of how patriarchal norms hurt boys and men too. The patriarchy is really what you are mad at. It set’s up as a hierarchy for men, where only a small portion get to be on the top of the pile, with rigid rules about what a successful masculine guy is going to look like and be and then punishes and mocks any males who can’t achieve this. Sure, there’s some evolutionary biology in there about selecting the most suitable mate you can get, but men do this also and as my article on earning potential pointed out, studies show that what both men and women value most is a caring and compassionate partner.

And that’s the part that you keep missing. Confidence is sexy to both men and women, and so a man who is naturally more shy or awkward doesn’t immediately stand out. But that’s also something that a guy can work on and learn. My husband spent his teen years reading GQ magazine trying to learn how to be a more polished kind of guy because he was a band geek and didn’t want to be stuck there his whole life. He learned manners and how to dress better. He learned how to be more sophisticated and confident without being cocky. He actively worked on improving his appearance and learned how to talk to women more easily. It wasn’t all handed to him on some genetic platter. He worked really hard at it.

And the same with Roger, my first boyfriend with the thick glasses. He got to know and like who he really was, and to understand that he did have something to offer a girl like me, and so when he offered it with that confidence in himself, I saw it too. I saw past the nerdy exterior to the good person that he was and felt very attracted to it. And it didn’t hurt that noone else was asking either….. We worked together and got to know each other as friends and that made it easier to have it bloom into more.

None of this is easy or simple — I get that, but it’s also not the reductive paradigm that you’ve made it out to be. And what does being bitter about women actually give you? You keep drinking the poison and expecting the other person to die. It’s never going to happen. You could write about or otherwise express how difficult some of your experiences have been and perhaps offer constructive ideas about things that might help other young men, but the angry, feminist-blaming, MRA kind of stuff that you do write is never going to make you happier or bring you loving connection with a woman/women. Perhaps you care more about the holiness of your crusade than having a better life, but as I ask clients all the time, “Do you want to be right or do you want to be connected and in relationship with the other person?” It’s something to think about……

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Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

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