one of Dear Abby's responses this morning had me so annoyed that i felt the need to send her a response.
this was the original letter:
Dear Abby: I haven't had a boyfriend for a while now, and I'm not sure why. I play video games, sports and do things that boys think girls would never do (like paint-balling or bungee jumping).
I get compliments on my looks as well. But for some reason, whenever I get a crush on a guy, he says it would be "weird" because I'm a "really good friend." What am I doing wrong?
-- Boyfriendless in Connecticut
Dear Boyfriendless: It may be that "guys" see you as one of them. And because of it, they don't consider you in a romantic way. Therefore, it's time to emphasize your feminine side and present yourself in a different light. This may mean temporarily downplaying your involvement in boys' sports and paintball games, and amping up your "girlishness." Give it a try and see what happens.
this is my response:
I found your advice to Boyfriendless in Connecticut to be off the mark. You advised her to emphasize her feminine side more, and try downplaying her involvement in boyish sports, just to see what happens.
What would happen if she did that and managed to attract a boyfriend? It would be a bait-and-switch. The new boyfriend would think he was getting someone more feminine, and would get disappointed when she showed her true tomboy self. It's not fair to a potential boyfriend to get an inaccurate picture of the girl he is considering dating, only to realize the truth when he becomes invested in her.
It's also not fair to her to feel like she has to lower her involvement in things she likes just to have a chance at a man's affections. The fact that she enjoys things like video games and paintball is not shameful, and not something she should be forced to hide. She should keep enjoying the things that she enjoys, for the sake of her own happiness and for the sake of living authentically.
What she should do is try to meet new people. She should get involved in organizations or volunteering, or go out to concerts or festivals. The more people she meets, the more likely it's going to be that she will meet somebody who likes her for who she is and also likes her romantically.
my response is a little nicer and more tactful than what i was originally going to write--given that my original plan was to just rant about this advice here in my blog. then, i decided--this advice was so terrible that i needed to tell Dear Abby so. of course, a scathing rant would get me nowhere, whereas a nicely worded letter may cause her to see the error of her ways. we'll see if she replies.