Friday, May 30, 2014
Thursday, May 29, 2014
There has been much recent debate on the subject of gender politics in the wake of the most recent school shooting, and I feel compelled to weigh in on the discussion for two reasons; First, my kids are growing up, becoming interested in makeup and co-ed parties and socializing with the opposite sex in general. My son has a disability which may impact him socially, I hear a lot of kids with his particular condition suffer from loneliness, and I’d hate to see any of my kids handle the challenges of the teen years inappropriately, through violence, promiscuity, or any of the other pitfalls kids encounter growing up. Secondly, due to my work as a cartoonist for Marvel and DC comic books, I know that I am a role model for many young men, some of whom may currently be dealing with issues regarding dating, sex, love, etc. So I thought I’d share what I’ve learned about female relationships over the decades.
When I was a high school student, I struggled with many of the desires and feelings of inadequacy expressed by mass murderer Elliott Rodger in his multiple manifestos. While I never contemplated violence or self-harm, I can understand the pain of being rejected by a woman I wished to date. Sometimes you’re going to try to chat up a girl or woman, and she’s not going to be interested. Happens to the best of us. I know a girl who turned down George Clooney. I’m sure George bounced back just as I did. Violence is NEVER an option. EVER. Anyway, when I was a teen I was fascinated by a certain type of girl. Fashionable, fun, cute popular ladies. I was just as bizarre them as I am now. I’m a weird guy with crazy habits, messy hair, and plenty of other disturbing qualities. My early attempts to enrapture the aforementioned hotties were predictable failures. While I was disappointed, and my ego was bruised, I can assure you that all parties involved continued breathing for years afterward.
Now, when I assure you young guys out there who are currently enduring pain and rejection that the situation can be remedied, I speak from experience. It really isn’t that hard. Here’s what I did;
First of all, DON’T KNOCK THE FRIEND ZONE! I keep reading comments from guys who insist that chicks are wrong for “friend zoning” dudes instead of giving up the gold. You’re getting it backwards. Most of the girlfriends I’ve had were introduced to me by a female friend. Women are much more likely to be interested in you if another woman recommends you. The fact that you are able to have women for friends shows that you’re not a creep. I met my wife through a nice girl we both knew. This friend talked me up to her pal before introducing us, saying she knew a cool funny single guy with a good job. On impulse, they rang my doorbell, getting me out of bed. I answered the door groggy and unwashed in a dirty undershirt, and promptly locked myself out of the building because I wasn’t wearing pants. Despite this awful first impression, I ended up married to this new acquaintance. At the same time I dated her, I was also dating a woman I’d met a week earlier at a party thrown by animator Nina Paley, who is a friend. The fact that I was friends with our hostess, a super cool artist, and also seemed to be well-liked by other folks at the party was enough to get the cutest girl at the party to leave with me that night. Ruben Bolling tells the story to this day. My point is, “The Friend Zone” is what opened up these other opportunities. Be friends with women first.
Getting back to my disappointing high school years, I was rejected many times by the type of women I was attracted to. Sometimes I was too shy to talk, other times, I just had an awkward approach, or maybe my conversational skills failed. Rather than getting angry and blaming the women, calling them names, or cursing them as “stuck up,” I took a step back and analyzed the situation objectively. If they didn’t want me, WHY not? What kind of guys were they looking for? What did they want from a guy? I TALKED to girls, and found out what attracted them to a guy. For example, since I wanted to date fashionable girls, maybe I should wear better styled clothes and get a haircut. Maybe instead of talking about my comic book collection, I could talk about a common taste in Rock music or films. I found out from a bodybuilder who stole a girlfriend of mine that lots of girls like muscles. So I got him to teach me weight lifting. I noticed that my sense of humor was a great ice-breaker. So I told more jokes and funny anecdotes.
My point is this; Look at the type of girls you want, and see what kind of guys they date, the be that kind of guy. Elliot Rogers was obsessed with “Blonde sorority girls”. Not really my type, not really my scene, but if that’s what you like, find out what kind of guys they date. If they only like frat guys (which seems logical), then pledge a frat and go to frat parties. If they like football players, join the team. Don’t sit around calling sorority blondes “phony” because none of them want to date a gun-obsessed chatroom lurker. By the way, if a woman doesn’t want to date me, I DON’T WANT HER ANY MORE! The fact that she can’t see how cool I am is a MAJOR turn-off to me. Think about following that same thought pattern, fellas. Really.
When I moved to Los Angeles and became a writer/producer for Warner Bros, I met a lot of beautiful actresses and models. As you might expect, I found many of them attractive, and wanted to date some of them. I met many of them through work and parties, and socialized with quite a few beautiful and often famous women. I eventually discovered an interesting thing; I had very little in common with models and actresses, and if I were to be completely honest, I’ve never met one who I’d want for a girlfriend. Lest I offend any of my model/actress pals, I want to clarify that you’re delightful people and I love you, but just as friends. (Thank heavens models and actresses aren’t tremendously insecure or self-obsessed, or I’d be in trouble for saying this. Ahem.)
This brings me to the last point I really want to make. As I matured and had dated enough women to become a subject of speculation, gossip and rumor which continues to this day, I came to the most important realization I’d now like to share with you young men; When I really sat down and analyzed WHY I wanted to date the enviable beauties and “popular” girls, the models, the blondes, etc, I had to admit that it wasn’t because we had anything in common, not because I enjoyed their company, and not even that they were sexually attractive to me. The ONLY reason I wanted these women was because OTHER guys would envy me. I remember complaining to my bros about a girlfriend who was treating me badly. She was rude, insulting, didn’t seem to care much about my feelings at all. I told my guy friends that I really wanted to dump her, but every guy would say, “Dude! Are you kidding? she’s hot!” So I allowed this woman to abuse me for another few months and I grew more miserable, sticking around just because the guys were envious.
I’ve been with my current girlfriend for a year and a half. Before that I was single and dating around for about three years. Since I was single, I dated all kinds of women, hoping to find another serious relationship, because I happen to prefer having a steady girlfriend. Anyway, when I was dating, I went out with all kinds of women, all kinds of looks, all kinds of races, all kinds of professions, and ranging in age from young to middle-aged. The woman I finally chose was the one I most enjoyed spending time with. To the surprise of many of my peers, she is the same age as I am. She likes art and photography, we love going to the gym together, we watch movies together, we love playing computer games together. I wouldn’t trade her for a million blonde sorority babes.
Posted by Kyle Baker at 6:18 PM