Act like a lady, think like a man

I was amused to discover recently that there is such a thing as ‘fun feminism’. I wondered just how dreary the old feminism had to be to warrant the ‘fun’ tag that has been so conspicuously latched onto the new one. Usually, when you think feminism, you think battleaxe. Well, at least I do, and this despite being a feminist myself. Feminism conjures images of a toughened, hard woman, who doesn’t take crap from any man. A woman who can lay bricks, drive a long-distance trailer and bench press 200kgs. A woman who fights for her rights, with the emphasis being on fight. A woman who doesn’t compromise her feministic values.

Fun feminism on the other hand is all about compromise. It’s a movement that has positioned itself right in the centre of the middle ground, taking the stance that a lady has the right to choose whether she wants to be an independent woman or a Stepford Wife, a slut or a saint. Rather than take the unyielding stance that a woman’s rights cannot be negotiated, fun feminism maintains that a woman has ownership over her body and can decide to do with it what she pleases. Even if that means being subservient to a man or turning your temple into a brothel. Fun feminism is all about defining your own reality without having to stick to the rules of old feminism, many of which demand that a woman be treated with respect by everyone, be they male or female, and including herself.

I say all this to put this question into context: As a self-respecting woman, is there ever a situation that allows you too make the first move? An old feminist might argue that anything a man can do, a woman can do better. And therefore, if a man can make the first move, then so can a woman. A fun feminist on the other hand would probably argue that women should do what makes them comfortable, so if making the first move is your thing, then go ahead and do it. If not, don’t.

Sound arguments, both. But the truth of the matter is that when it comes to making moves, it’s not your personal preferences that you should take precedence. You need to think about what you want, not how you feel.

I took a media management course recently. In the people management section, there was a whole chapter dedicated to managing your boss. Even if you’ve never actively reflected upon it, if you have a boss, you are managing her (or him). You might be failing at it, but you are definitely doing it. Of course, the aim is to manage your boss successfully so that she can do the same with you. The idea is to create an enabling environment for your superiors so that they in turn, can create an enabling environment for you.

The same applies when it comes to men. To bag one, you need to manage one. And to manage one, you need to understand how he operates. Men, generally, want to court a woman. As ridiculous as it sounds, if you present yourself as a fait accompli, without them having to work for it, they will find a way to shove you in the bargain basket, with a discount label stuck firmly to your forehead. In other words, if they didn’t pay a price (not necessarily in monetary terms) then you’re not worth it. And they can do better. Obviously, that is not always the case. There are some men who appreciate a strong woman who identifies a man she wants and goes after him. I just don’t know any.

Lucky for us, it’s all the same thing when you really think about it. Show me a woman who doesn’t know what she wants and I’ll show you a free and fair election. Women will usually know what they want. What we’re not always sure about is how to get it. When it comes to ‘getting’ a man, the direct approach might is not the most efficient. You do have the option to go to him, but if you can get him to come to you, all the better.