I think I see what you mean about askers and choosers. I was referring to the way the dating "game" is generally structured and commonly understood by both sides. Beneath the surface of the game, the power dynamics are quite different.

I also must concede that the patriarchy that oppresses all of us, though too ancient to be spoken of as if it had been planfully created by anyone, is a system that grew in the context of male rule.

FWIW, my understanding is that much of it can be traced back to Greece, to the era when the ancient female chthonic deities (the fates, the furies) were supplanted by the Olympian patriarchy. It was obvious that female magic was far more powerful than anything men could do, and the strongmen running what passed for government in those days couldn't tolerate it. But it's been a LONG time since my college philosophy days, and you may be far more knowledgeable than I.

There are two points where I think I disagree, though if carefully unpacked we might find out otherwise. First, in spite of the danger in the way toxic masculinity affects many men, I don't think it is fair or reasonable to suggest (if you are suggesting this) that the average man is a criminal beneath the surface and likely to assault a woman who declines to give him what he wants.

And second, I can't imagine what you mean when you say women have no power, or that they are not capable of abusing men. I suffered years of verbal and psychological abuse from a woman I was married to. I understood the roots of her jealous insecurities, which made it even harder for me to fight back or find a way to defend myself, but my wounds were deep and the scars are permanent.

Retired psychologist, wordsmith, teacher, MFA candidate. Buy me coffee: ko-fi.com/edrobson. ecrobson@gmail.com

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