I started writing this on March 10th. I decided to post it, because, I’ll keep staring at rather than publish it. Here goes:
You may remember a personal diatribe that I wrote on this almost two years ago. At the time, I was not a happy camper here at SLU at least not in the relationships variety. I’ve been told that part of the college experience is getting involved in extracurricular activities. I am proud to say that I participate in two extracurricular activities, both of which play to my passions. I write for the campus newspaper The University News, and at SLU TV where I anchor daily news updates, and anchor and report for the campus newscast, SLU News 22. That part of my life is fine, for the most part, and I feel I’m doing well academically this semester (I might need to buckle down a bit more in the second half of the semester). Dating is an extracurricular activity, and I’m not very good at it…maybe I should withdraw from that activity?
What I want to revisit is the problems with women on campus. It’s not really a problem, but largely a common miscommunication between myself and any number of women on campus in a given week. What gave rise to this revisiting is the discussion of identity (so I could say this blog entry isn’t procrastination, but actually helping me understand Chapter 5 in the Intercultural Communication book).
More after the bump:
Are male communication norms and female communication norms intercultural?
If you look at what I said in October of 2007, I’d say yes:
To summarize, I get treated pretty roughly by women. Not all the time. Just here. I don’t know what they are looking for that I don’t have, but for me, being here has not been that fun, unless you like spending a lot of time by yourself. This is one of the main reasons I’ve shied away from dating. I don’t want to get a women pissed off because my suggestion about going for a coffee has been misconstrued as a the modern equivalen of cro-magnon man crowning a woman over the head and dragging her off to a cave for a lifelong prison of chasing children around and domestic servitude. A coffee is just a coffee. No marrital strings attached.
For example, say ‘hello.’ The response I get is usally silence. Not your normal quiet silence. That icey one you get after you’ve had a really bad argument with somebody. Problem is, I’ve never met you before. There is very little reason for hostility one would think. I’ve learned not look in a women’s direction unless there is something important to say. Any thing else seems lke a bad idea.
So, you ask, has anything changed since then? Yes and No. I work with women all the time on classwork now. That however, doesn’t address two key problems: Dating and communication in general. I suppose it helps to be seen by approximately 8 to 12 thousand students in week (combining newscasts with updates), or being seen in print, to help integrate you into the environment. For certain, I do get looked at more often. I’m still not quite sure whether this is good or bad, yet. Thus far, I have only been asked about being seen on TV once, and and it was by a guy who I was interviewing for a newspaper story. Wrap your head around that. Another major change is that I do a considerable amount of texting now, something I used to not do. I’m still not terribly good at it (slow and steady is best), but can type a reasonably well put together message in few minutes.
Still not certain on the dating thing, though. I’ve actually began mulling that idea, even though I might be falling into another trap:
As a guy that’s never been out a date, asked out about a dozen girls in high school, and got turned down by girls about a dozen times, I sometimes wonder if I should harbor any resentment becuase of that. Sometimes, yes, other times, no. Long story short, I’ve not asked anyone out since 2002. Not likely to for a while. I don’t fancy my head be bitten off because I want to have coffee with attractive women, or more simply work with you on a project.
Questions I’ve asked myself on this were: “Should I?”;” What the hell am I thinking? This is a bad idea.”;”I’m asking her out for coffee to get to know her better, not proposing marriage.” I’ve even thought “How hard can it be?” Those of you that have watched BBC2’s “Top Gear” and heard Jeremy Clarkson utter this should already know that that is probably the worst thing to say. Usually all hell breaks loose after that.
Naturally, I haven’t gone through with it…yet. More on that later…
More on Texting
Now, I’m new to this texting thing, so naturally I receive more of them than I send. So I don’t fully understand the etiquette involved. If you text a woman, and she doesn’t respond, is that bad sign? Could a harmless message about midterms be misconstrued as undying love? Or stalking?
Perhaps I’m misreading the intricacies of the differences of communication in men and women. No news is good news? No News is bad news? Should I even care? I understand that texting is a like a form of computer mediated communication, like this blog you’re reading. Some of the things I type may not be understood because the intricacies of speech don’t translate as well into written word.
More Bad Ideas
One of the fears I’ve had about the original post was that I would have come off as a male chauvinist, something I’m not. Although this didn’t help:
I am a gentleman, however. I hold door open. However in our post women’s revolution egalitarian society (that has yet to appear), I have gotten a myriad of reactions, ranging from ‘thank you’ to outright scowls. Still, I do it, becuase, I was raised, again by a woman, to do things like that.
Ow. That certainly may disrupt feminist sensitivities, and rightly so. Perhaps the missing key, I think…Or is it something else? Random thought: is holding doors open a proper thing to do, or is it upholding the patriarchal society? Food for thought.
Dilemma, Part Deux
Back to my dilemma. I’ve gotten some pretty bad ideas in my life, and most of them involved women. No, not their fault, mine. A new potential minefield is showing interest in people you work with. In and of itself, not a particular problem at a university paper or TV station, but a real issue in the workplace. We have some wiggle room here, but not much. Let’s say for example that you think that you should get to know a person you work with better, how do you approach that, without it coming off a bit wrong? Or how do you approach the fact you may actually want to take that person out on a date? Should you? I don’t know. If anybody has any ideas, I’m all ears.