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When it comes to women, how is it that we can take a trip to the Moon, but somehow approaching men or taking the first step in a romantic relationship still falls out of our jurisdiction?
Dropping hints, expressing through actions, and caring for the person you like is fine, but the real question is, why go through the drill when you can just say it out loud and call the shots? While it might sound doable in theory, very few of us can actually consider risking putting ourselves out there.
On the surface, part of the problem seems to be the deeply rooted patriarchal way of life, which has conditioned us into thinking that proposing and asking someone out is a man’s job. He is supposed to take risks. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg. There is much more to this than what meets the eyes.
Most women don’t prefer approaching men for casual or committed relationships because they fear that by putting themselves out there, they will make themselves vulnerable. Fear of rejection governs this reluctance of open expression. But guess what! Men too go through all the same dilemmas before approaching women.
There is always an uncertainty of getting rejected. But, for every “what if she says no,” there is always a “maybe she will say yes”.
Haven’t you ever been in a situation where you are out partying with your friends and you spot a super cute guy looking at you and before you know it, you end up spending the entire night just exchanging timid smiles and waiting for him to ask you out, but he never does? Now imagine, you could have changed that with just a “Hey! Would you like to join me on the dance floor?”
Most women focus all their attention in dropping hints and sending subtle messages when they are ready to get married. Most of us sit around hoping that the guy we love will catch the hints and propose.
“I would make hidden moves. Not like I would go to him and say something, I’ll try to send him hints,” a woman told Feministaa.
To be clear, this has nothing to do with being a feminist. Even women who thrive for an equal and just society, sometimes fall prey to the ideas that the society keeps repeating and reasserting, till they start sounding like facts. Things like, “Only desperate women approach men”, “wait and let the right guy approach you” or “Men don’t like it when a woman start’s playing the man’s role”.
Let’s keep the whole “women approach men on dating apps all the time” debate out of the picture for now, because let’s face it, an unanswered text message is any day easier to handle than getting rejected by a real live person, possibly publically. However, if vulnerability is the sole problem, then you need to give it another shot. What if we tell you that’s less likely to happen? Men actually appreciate women who make the first move.
To prove this, team Feministaa tried to find out how men would react to women asking them out or proposing to them. And ladies, the result was positive, reassuring and delightful. When given a hypothetical situation, guys found the thought of girls approaching them very exciting.
“I would be really happy and excited that someone found me attractive enough to come up to me and ask me out. I would be really glad, given the society that we live In, I would be really happy,” a man replied.
Admitting that he would feel shy if a girl approached him, a guy said, “I would be pretty excited. I would love it. We definitely need that change, so, I would definitely encourage that. If a girl approaches me, I would feel shy at first but I would definitely love it.”
Feeling excited just thinking about it, another guy said, “Something like this does not happen to a lot of men, so if a girl comes up and talks to you, it is a big thing. It will be surprising and will be really happy. I would probably be thinking about it at night a lot.”
And if you are worried about society, bugged by a question that Indians are subjected to time and again – “Log Kya Kahenge” – don’t be, because it seems like men don’t either.
“I would definitely hear her out and wouldn’t care about what society thinks,” a guy said.
“If a girl came and approached me, I would welcome that. If a woman comes up to me, it would be easier to know her more. Instead of focusing all my time into approaching her. If I had a crush on her too, I would be really happy to know that she likes me too,” another said.
Yes, they said all this on record and that’s all the encouragement you need to take a lead.
That being said, the apprehensions around approaching men also manifest from the fear of being made fun of. While it might feel utterly humiliating, in that moment remind yourself that in ‘FRIENDS’ season 9, Pheobe was booed out of an NBA stadium after she publically proposed mike. But we all know how that story ends – Happily ever after.
If you are still looking for inspiration, a more relatable one, as part of this project, Feministaa interviewed a woman who proposed a man for marriage six years back, and he is now her husband. Another happy ending.
Stories like these motivate you into doing what you always wanted to but couldn’t find the strength and inspiration to. Women are managing multinational corporations, leading major scientific researches, raising our voice against inequality, living our lives on our terms, but we still won’t ask our crushes out on dates, or the love of our life to marry us. Women have never been the ones who sit around and wait for things to happen, we have a history of asking for what we want. Why stop now? Go ask the guy out instead of waiting for him to make the move. It’s empowering to choose.