G.L.Piggy [at] gmail.com
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A woman named Amie Longmire has a piece up at Good Men Project which just can’t go untouched. It’s truly awful and has no place at a site which is theoretically supposed to be a gathering spot for men to talk about how to be good (or something).
Longmire’s piece has the assumptive title “How to Date Me: A Field Guide for Men”. It is an 8 point list of things that men should or should not do if they want to date Amie Longmire who teaches writing classes at Biola University, a private evangelical Christian university in Southern California.
The list contains her expectations, preferences, and “don’ts”. She wants to spend the first date to get to know the man she’s on a date with. She doesn’t like drama (who admits that they do?). She claims that everyone, including men, make lists of what their ideal partner should look like. Let go of the list, man, which you probably didn’t make but which Longmire assumes you’ve made because she’s made them before. She’s not an object. Don’t freak out after the date – more projection. Be a gentleman and treat her like a lady even though she was raised by her father to be fiercely independent. In other words, dance monkey, dance but do it without stepping on her toes. And here’s the gut shot – dynamic characters only!:
I teach college writing courses and I find myself telling my students the same thing over and over. A story where nothing happens and the character never changes cannot be counted as a story at all. I want the story of my life to be filled with adventure, growth, laughter, love, risk, and whimsy. I think God’s imagination for my future is immeasurably larger than anything I could come up with on my own. I’m looking to spend my life with someone, possibly you, in such a way that when our lives merge, we are a force of nature the likes of which the world has never seen. This is a tall order, not for the faint of heart. Only dynamic characters should apply.
So there at GMP, a site for men, is an article written by a woman about what she thinks men should do to appeal only to her. What’s the point of the piece? How does something so superficial and banal find a home at the website? And important outside the purpose of the website, why should any man try to fix himself to this list just to date Amie Longmire?
Now, there aren’t many circumstances under which I would say that this type of list would be tolerable. Only if the woman was smoking hot would this list not leave an indelible stain on her permanent record. Only then would a man just yadda, yadda through such a list and not really care about the self-indugence underlying it. We might still be annoyed by the expression of female privilege, but we’d understand that the woman is in high enough demand that she can create lists to weed out poor candidates. By hinting that there is more to her than just looks – dating her is a “tall order” – Longmire hints that she is the type of catch that most men are looking for:
Neither are you and I promise not to treat you like one. I’ll give you a tip. Most men are not chatting me up because they think I look smart. I live in Los Angeles. I’m tall. I’m blonde. I like to wear cowgirl boots. But there is so much more to me than these superficial things. You’ll win my attention and respect pretty quick if you can make me laugh and ask me intelligent questions.