If there's one place I tend to see a lot of ridiculous advice filled with stereotypes, it's in dating advice pieces. When I go to check my email over at Hotmail, the start screen usually links to one or two. If I'm bored enough and the titles sound suitably ridiculous, I might read them just to see what kind of awful advice is given within. Today's links represent very common pearls of pseudo wisdom on offer in these types of articles.
While I admire the fact that MSN's Dating section seemingly strives to have articles addressing both the male and female side of each topic they've chosen to highlight, often these pieces simply fall back upon tired cliché. Today's advice is one piece on five places never to take a man on a date, and five places never to bring a woman.
Right away, I expected some stereotypes, but these pieces really came through on that front.
From the "Don't take a woman here!" piece:
- Sports bars
- Theme parks
- Chain restaurants
- Gross-out comedies
- Meeting your mother
Who is this woman kidding? One of the best dates I've ever had took place partly at a TGIFriday's, where my boyfriend specially requested a table from where I could see the TVs over the bar and be able to keep up now and then with my baseball team in the playoffs that night. Even though he hates baseball.
Theme parks? Says who? I know several women who'd love to go to a theme park. I've been to Disney World four times. I've been to Disneyland Paris, which is actually also a popular date destination for French youths. If my guy took me to a theme park, I'd have fun. It's certainly different and cute. It isn't patronizing like this writer makes it sound.
Paintball would be fun! Not as a first date, but if you're together for a while, it's certainly something different to get in the trenches and have a bit of friendly competition. I find that friendly competition with each other creates sexual tension, and that's often rewarded very nicely later.
Gross-out comedies? It depends on what you mean. I'm far more disturbed and grossed out by horror films. Comedies, if they're good, are fun. Maybe men and women have somewhat different general preferences, but we are still human and share a whole lot more than we differ on.
"Meeting your mother" is misleading. The writer talks about spending copious amounts of time with the man's mother. Who wants to spend copious amounts of time with your significant other (male or female)'s parents, especially on a date? This one is nonsensical.
Saying one should "never" take a woman to these places is so ridiculous. Do you know what might lead to an increased chance of dating success? Knowing your date's interests. My boyfriend knew that I loved baseball, and when he asked for that table with the view of the game, he showed me that. Someone who takes the time to get to know me would also know that I enjoy theme parks and am casual about all sorts of movies.
Overall, the writer of this piece just comes off as shallow, sexist, snobby, and extremely prissy. Maybe you might be, Nicole Kristal, but the majority of women are not.
Part II tomorrow.