Have to acknowledge up front that this entry isn’t really about double standards and hypocrisy. It is about standards, though, I suppose. I was listening to the @Stage_Right show the other night, and he had a guest on, @mrjondavid (Jon David Kahn) who referred to various attempts he’d made to date liberals. It called to mind a conversation I had with my sisters several years ago. We were eating dinner in Austin, in a restaurant with a view out onto the street. A Smart Car pulled up outside and my one sister remarked on how “cute” it was. I made the off-hand comment that it would be a deal-breaker for me. Meaning I could never date a guy who drove a Smart Car. This was met with much consternation on her part. I realized that, in a certain respect, it sounded harsh perhaps, or judgmental. But no…no…any attempt I made to conjure up an image of Mr. Smart Car was the mental equivalent of a cold shower.
Yes, I did wonder to myself why exactly that was. I think most people will intuitively understand where I’m coming from with it. But it does raise some interesting questions about dating and stereotypes. I’ll just be blunt here: To me, a guy who drives a Smart Car is likely overly eco-conscious, which means he’s also likely quite liberal. On top of that, the statement he appears to be making with his auto choice is, “Look at me! Aren’t I cute?!” Hey, sorry – I’m not into guys who want to come off as “cute”. Don’t get me wrong – some guys are unbearably cute. In a puppyish sort of way. And that’s okay. But there’s something distinctly eeeesh about a guy who actively pursues the perception of cute. Also, from a practical standpoint, I don’t live a Smart Car kind of life. I have a kid. And while, technically, I’m not a soccer mom, I am a mom who enjoys being able to haul not only said kid around, but also said kid’s friends and/or my bike and/or the dog, etc. I don’t see that working well in an enclosed golf cart.
But to my first point there — a guy who’s liberal. Setting aside the fact that I’ve placed myself in indefinite Time Out from dating, why wouldn’t I want to date a guy who’s a liberal? It isn’t purely concern that ideological differences might create unnecessary strife between us. I co-exist just fine with my liberal family and friends. No, it’s down a little deeper than that. I think what it really comes down to is this: Liberal men tend to buy into the whole progressive ideal of gender fungibility. The anti-heteronormativity meme which frowns on men being men and women being women. They also tend to buy into the notion of government being the answer to all problems. Which, to me, means they lean towards being followers, rather than leaders. There are no liberal sheepdogs.
It may be an unfair generalization to make, but it is quite difficult for me to envision a liberal cowboy. I simply cannot reconcile the image of a man who’s strong and confident and capable and self-assured but thinks peddling around a Fred Flinstone mobile is cool. I am a strong, independent, capable, intelligent female. Any fella who’s gonna dance with me better be ready, willing and able to lead that. And I don’t see Mr. Smart Car as a likely candidate. So, no, I don’t believe I’ll be dating any liberals — either as a sociological experiment, or as an attempt to bridge the gap. I’ll hang with the cowboys, thanks.