January 13, 2013

No Big Whoop, But I Was Quoted In the New York Times

The New York Times did a piece on whether courtship is dead.

The gist of the article is that technology and hookup culture has made everyone into lazy, hyper-casual, clueless idiot zombies. Here's my two cents:

Yes, I had to invoke "Dance Moms." What can I say? Abby Lee is a compelling figure.

I've already shared my thoughts on the dreaded "Is anything fun going on tonight?" and the "Hey" texts so it was fun to gab about it to the Gray Lady. What do you guys think? Is courtship truly dead? Tell me in the comments!


Anonymous said...

Congratulations on making it into the NY Times. Here's one man's response to your quotes.

Your comments in the Times article imply that young men are mostly to blame for the demise of traditional dating. Yet, some of that blame must be shared by young women. You twice refer to young men's queries and texts as annoying. Then, you disparage men again with comments about Netflix and men's inability to compose a coherent message. This is followed up with a rather dismissive comment, "What does he think I'm doing?" The tone of your comments bespeaks of an arrogance I encounter daily from women in my walk of life, in the media, the workplace, academia, etc.

In your "two cents" you mention the ingredients of successful courtship. What is preventing women from moving on these conditions? Changing social and economic circumstances reveal a new "playing field." Despite women's growing economic and social power and autonomy, they desire equality in relationships but still want to be treated special. Many men hear this as a mixed message. I spent a couple of years on Match.com and in the dating scene.

Add to this, women's tendency towards entitlement and to set unrealistic expectations and demands, arbitrarily change the rules of what is acceptable, and present an unwillingness to compromise or accept responsibility for parts of a relationship problem or say they are sorry. Our culture now prefers to dismiss and chide the relationship needs of men and their sometimes clumsiness but well intentioned behavior in courtship and relationships.

I see young mens' nonchalant attitudes and unwillingness to spend time on courtship as a form of resistence to these trends. The effort is not worth it nor appreciated.

Relationships are messy. I have a wonderful one due to mine and my partner's ability to recogniize each other's strengths. We take turns leading. We take actions that affirm and show true empathy for each other. We admit our shortcomings and parts in the relationship. In the need, we hold mutual respect for each other.


Solo4114 said...

Yes, and many women seem to prefer it that way. I tend to call a girl to ask her out, which I've found with some women gets a less than enthusiastic response. By this, I mean that they won't answer, I'll leave a message, and then they won't call back -- they'll text back. Thus, what could be accomplished in 5 minutes over the phone takes 20 minutes of back and forth via text. Or longer, if she takes her time responding to the texts.

I find texting to be impersonal, particularly for making plans. Moreover, for anything else, it lacks vocal inflection, which can be critical in actually understanding what someone's saying. And yeah, that includes even through use of smileys and such.

But people seem to prefer the more hands-off approach to communication. While I can sort of see this as legit with your friends when it's something casual like "Hey, we're headed to Dirty Frank's in, like, 20 min. You in?" But when you're making plans in the context of dating? Where you still don't really know the person? Not cool. Yes, calling someone on the phone has the potential to be uncomfortable. Put on your grownup pants and fucking do it anyway.

Moreover, I think the "hands off" approach to communicating makes it easier to depersonalize people, which in turn makes it far easier to be self-indulgently flaky about stuff. When all you're dealing with is text on a screen rather than a real person who probably has feelings and such, who cares? You can be rude to them and what's the worst they'll do? Send you a nasty text back that you can ignore? On the other hand, I tend to think it's harder to be casually flaky and blow people off when you've already established that there's a voice -- which belongs to a person -- on the other end of that line.

So, yeah, not a fan of the texting approach to courtship. Not in the least.

lakewallywhat87 said...

Literally laughed out loud at your comment. Replace Dance Moms with The Bachelor and that's what I'm usually doing every time an OKC "hey, what's up" message come through.

How hard is it to be creative?!

Anonymous said...

Dance Moms and The Bachelor? Not sure I understand.

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