What happened to the days when a boy would throw his coat down in the mud so that a lady might pass over? Were they a fantasy or did chivalry really exist at some point? ...
Women have wanted to be treated as equals for generations, but now that we live in this "liberated" new millenium, I have to wonder if we have been a tad hasty ...
Going dutch at a dinner and taking charge of the parallel parking are my rewards.
Of course I want to be treated as an equal, fight my own battles and wear the pants, but I would relinquish all that when I am left footsore and jacketless and my cab is stolen by a rowdy group of boys on a Saturday night...
An older man will hold the door open for his date, he will pay for dinner and will hold her chair while she sits down. All this may seem a bit outdated, but it still has its place in the modern dating scene.
A typical date these days can consist of you picking the guy up from his house, paying for yourself at the movies and dinner at McDonald's drive-thru on the way home - plus an invitation to come inside on the first date.
... it would be refreshing to meet an old-fashioned man.
Young men are different to women, but they do not feel compelled to place us on a pedestal.
It seems a lot of young men think that women will be offended or feel degraded if they treat them differently ...
Forget the metrosexual hairstyles, the Tsubi jeans and expensive aftershave; try listening to our conversation and being content with the anticipation of hitting that home run, not smacking the ball out of the park on the first date. (Good manners get you everywhere, 1/09/06)
Andrea is wrestling with some big issues here. She makes clear that what she wants romantically is a traditional recognition of gender difference, in which men treat her with special courtesy as a woman rather than diffidently as one of the guys. She isn't impressed by a metrosexual attention to grooming, but by an old-fashioned masculine chivalry.
At the same time, she still expresses some support for the independent modern girl ethos. She writes, for instance, that she wants to "fight my own battles and wear the pants".
She seems to be aware of the conflict between her old-fashioned romantic wants and her modern girl philosophy, but she leaves this unresolved in her article - perhaps because it's not easy to find a resolution.
It would be helpful if young women like Andrea Burns were more aware of the psychological adaptations men have to make to get along with the independent modern girl.
What happens if a man really comes to believe that women are independent and don't need masculine support? There is a kind of psychological chain reaction to this, in which the older categories of the mind gradually collapse and aren't easily reconstructed (meaning that men are unlikely to "swap over" in their mindsets, between the traditional and the modern, as readily as women might expect them to).
Most men start out with masculine instincts toward women, of the kind which Andrea Burns is looking for romantically. But if men inhabit a culture infused with the idea that women don't need masculine support, then it's possible for men to be forced toward a new mentality. Men will look to answer the question of what they are to do when the masculine connection to women appears lost.
For some men, the answer might be to direct the masculine drives elsewhere: into work, or sports or even masculine friendships. Over time, though, a lot of men will respond to a female individualism with their own masculine one: they will try to get what they can for themselves out of the new situation.
They might look to the apparent advantages of not being expected to be a provider (the opportunity for more creative work or part-time work); or, if they aren't expected to be traditional husband material in their 20s, they might see an advantage in being a player and scoring those home runs with many partners.
Remember too the imagery presented to young men today. How many times are men exposed to representations of "kick-ass" type of women, who kick-box or wield machine-guns, with the "deal" being that these women will redeem their attractiveness to men by acting sexy? Too many times for the cultural ideal of male gallantry to survive intact.
Anyway, what I would suggest to Andrea Burns is that women would get further if, instead of sending mixed messages, they opted more decisively to expect and appreciate the masculine support of men.
A traditionally masculine man can always be worked on by a woman to get what she wants in terms of independence, but there's not much women can do to get what they want romantically from men, once men have made the psychological adaptations to an independent girl culture.