Womans role in dating
When Vice President Mike Pence said that he wouldn’t dine alone with any woman except his wife, the backlash was immediate: Pence’s puritanical resistance to unchaperoned chit-chat with women at work was seen as discriminatory and antiquated.While the office is a common place for men and women to develop relationships (the term “work wife” has slipped quietly into the “this sounds sexist” class of phrases), some men are chronic befrienders of women in and out of the office.“It really is easier for me to just be casual with women, and eventually become friends, rather than dudes,” he says of his platonic friendships.“Maybe that's a problem on my part.”Tom isn’t the only one who has noticed the gender imbalance of his relationships.Tom, 27, first noticed that his friendships were skewing womanward in college.Since then, he’s found it even more difficult to make male friends.Those men aren’t necessarily the emotional parasites that Hamlett describes.
But Hamlett’s essay doesn’t address the men who recognize the importance of emotional sharing, and who seek that out not just from one woman but from a network of friends.Thus, Hamlett theorized, men save their emotional sharing for their partner, whereas women are more likely to share their feelings with a network of therapists and friends.Hamlett cites one man, who started a “men’s group” to create a non-threatening space to share feelings.“That opens up a different kind of relationship, which is more apt to lead to a platonic friendship than ever before.”Friendships between superiors and subordinates are still rare today—in times, when bosses were mostly male and women primarily reported to them, platonic friendships at work were even more unlikely.Now we expect men to make themselves available to female co-workers as friends and mentors, and vice versa.
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While I disagree with Hamlett’s implication that men are incapable of “unpaid emotional labor” in their relationships—I have scream-cried my feelings at many, many men—I do see where the archetypal male friendship, which is built on sports and beer, might preclude the airing of feelings.