I read today’s Dear Abby and had to get up and look out the window, to make sure I hadn’t been catapulted back to the 1950’s.
DEAR ABBY: I haven’t had a boyfriend for a while now, and I’m not sure why. Everyone says I’m cool, funny and outgoing. I play video games, sports, and do things that boys think girls would never do (like paintballing in the woods or bungee jumping over and over again).
All my guy friends think I’m awesome, and I do get compliments on my looks as well. I’m not a tomboy, I wear nice clothes and some makeup, but for some reason, whenever I get a crush on a guy, he says it would be “weird” because I’m a “really good friend.”
What am I doing wrong? I love who I am and so do boys. So why don’t they think I could be “girlfriend material”? — BOYFRIENDLESS IN CONNECTICUT
DEAR BOYFRIENDLESS: It may be that “guys” see you as one of them. And because of it, they don’t consider you in a romantic way. Therefore, it’s time to emphasize your feminine side and present yourself in a different light. This may mean temporarily downplaying your involvement in boys’ sports and paintball games, and amping up your “girlishness.” Give it a try and see what happens.
What the devil kind of answer is that? Not one I’d want my daughter to hear, that’s for sure. I really like the implication in the next-to-last sentence: “girlishness” is all but a shout-out for “weakness,” to protect the boys’ widdle bitty egos. Since the writer already stated she wears nice clothes and makeup, obviously the only thing left for her to do is act “feminine” (i.e., deferential and stupid).
This is NOT a message anyone needs to hear, least of all a teenage girl. I hope Jeanne Phillips gets slammed for this, because she certainly deserves to be. The proper response should have been as follows.
Dear Boyfriendless: Human beings have a universal need to be loved. However, it is never a good idea to sacrifice one’s accomplishments and individuality to attract a mate. If the boys you are interested in have difficulties getting past your athleticism to see you as a potential girlfriend, that is their problem, not yours. Don’t force yourself to become someone you are not to land a boyfriend. In time, someone will come along who will love everything you are and can do, and then you will both be happy.