Have you ever met “Ms. Choose Me?”
Chances are, you have.
Ms. Choose Me is the woman who constantly goes out of her way to present herself as a “higher form” of woman who deserves male respect and appreciation because she is “more evolved” than other women. Ms. Choose Me will let everyone know that, unlike other women, she doesn’t engage in the behaviors that “men” hate. Ms. Choose Me presents herself as a rarity that should be received with tons of praise, because she thinks and behaves in a manner congruent with male patriarchal respectability politics. Ms. Choose Me likes to say sh*t like:
“I don’t go to the club that much anymore. I mean, what dude wants a woman who’s up in them kinda spots every week?”
“I have more male friends than female friends, because these chicks out here are too much damn drama!”
“These thots need to learn how to dress respectfully, and maybe they’ll find a good dude!”
“Women need to learn how to shut up and stop nagging their men so damn much!”
Can some of those statements be considered harmless and factual? Of course—when viewed in a vacuum.
But Ms. Choose Me isn’t saying these things in a vacuum, she’s saying them to impress any man who hears how closely her views are in consonance with his own. I used to appreciate her when I was juvenile, but the more I matured, the more I realized how unattractive it is.
I don’t believe that wisdom necessarily comes with age. I think wisdom accompanies an enduring curiosity. I subscribe to this ideology because when I look back on my younger self, and I think about how my boys and I use to treat young women, I realize the difference between those of us who treat women differently today and those of us who treat women the same is steeped in how we view women as a whole.
Back in the days, as young boys, we searched for girls who would provide us with two main things: acquiescence and affirmation. We wanted girls who affirmed our collective purview of gender, relationships, societal issues, etc., and we also wanted girls who would do what we wanted. This meant the girls who would be the most popular with us were the ones most apt to coddling our inept-masculinity, were least likely to call us out on our BS, and were most eager to gain our affection (whether romantically or platonically).
As I matured, I desired women who exuded self-confidence. Whether they were lovers or friends, I greatly admired women who not only knew themselves but, more importantly, understood the pernicious effects of restricting and reshaping their lives, thoughts and desires to adapt to the ideological box that they believed men wanted them to fit in. I realized that my boys and I were, to a large extent, responsible for the creation of the Ms. Choose Mes out here, due to our collective reticence to deal with women we couldn’t control.
While I once had a Drake-mentality, whining about the girl who used to call me on my cellphone, I now realize that there’s actually a lot to admire about the girl who started wearing less and goin’ out more with glasses of champagne out on the dance floor—not because of her chosen lifestyle, but because she chose her lifestyle.
The problem with being Ms. Choose Me is that we men tend to do a terrible job of following the restrictive boundaries we set for women, therefore making it nearly pointless for a woman to chase that type of attention. At the end of the day, be you, unapologetically, because there’s an immense satisfaction in going through life without attempting to live up to someone else’s standards.
And, coincidentally, that’s also what mature men find attractive.
Lincoln Anthony Blades blogs daily on his site, ThisIsYourConscious.com. He’s author of the book, “You’re Not A Victim, You’re A Volunteer.” He can be reached on Twitter @lincolnablades and on Facebook at Lincoln Anthony Blades.