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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

June 11, 2013 at 7:00 AM

Seattle’s dating scene

Gender roles

Danielle Campoamor commits the amateur fallacy of extrapolating too much from her own experiences — she has scraped the bottom of the barrel when it comes to local men. [“Seattle’s dysfunctional dating scene,” Opinion, June 8.]

More than that, her nostalgia for the “northern, hardworking, truck-driving” men of her Alaskan hometown, with “confidence in their veins and courage in their one-liners” betrays the limitations of the primitive patriarchal gender roles associated with the model of dating and relationships she describes.

The notion that men are expected to engage in courtship rituals like picking up the check after securing a phone number — all of this wordlessly assumed — are reflective of an outdated set of expectations. More women than ever are the primary breadwinner in their family, and while still not equal to those of men (patriarchy again), the wages of women in the workforce have never been higher.

This raises an important question: Is the check about the money, or about attention from the opposite sex? Campoamor snidely observes that men in the Pacific Northwest need the Internet as a buffer; perhaps men see the Web as a nonthreatening way to pay women that kind of attention.

Or perhaps she’s simply never been laughed at for approaching a member of the opposite sex.

Edmund Trangen, Seattle

Send me an email

While I sympathize with Danielle Campoamor, she doesn’t seem to understand what approaching an unknown woman cold really means.

When I see a woman who attracts me at a party or in a bar, I will offer to buy her a drink or perhaps make a remark to attract her attention. What I am really asking in the approach is, “Am I good enough to interest you, or should I just buzz off?” She, then, will spend maybe one second checking me out and make a decision based on my clothing and whatever I have just said.

Do that very often and unless you are very handsome or obviously very wealthy, your ego is shredded a little bit more each time.

This is true for a woman approaching a man as well, but the social rules are such that a guy will date a woman he regards as second-rate just so he has a date. Most women seem perfectly OK with sitting at home with a cup of tea and the TV Guide if there is no one in their life who rings that bell.

So now that Campoamor and I have stated our positions on this, if she wants to date a guy who is probably old enough to be her grandfather and lives sixty 60 miles from Seattle, tell her to drop me an email!

John Amos, Lacey

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