Patria-Kaye Aarons: Animal instinct vs animal approach
It must have been a heck of a slow news day in Australia last week.
Chris Gayle flirted with a female journalist on live TV and the whole world got their panties in a bother. To me, it's a little extreme.
Was Chris crass? Yes.
Was his advance ill-timed? Absolutely.
Was the story worthy of headlines internationally? Not a box cover!
I, too, will dedicate my column this week to this whole Chris Gayle saga (at the risk of giving it more news time than I feel it actually deserves). I will, however, focus less on the incident and more on the big issue it highlighted in my mind: Men don't know how to approach women, and women don't know how to politely say no.
I am always in search of the rainbow. Though not going as far as to say, "Big up, Chris. Yu a gyalis" and pat him on the back, I will give him credit for actually asking her out. It drives me nuts how many men today won't muster the courage to actually ask a woman out. They stand there playing coy and waiting for you to make the first move.
NO NEED TO MAN UP
Online dating has become the order of the day. Why? Most online dating sites have negated the need for men to man up. A man will not, and actually in most cases cannot, talk to you until and unless you have given a clear indication that you like his profile first. Then and only then, safe from rejection, will he approach ... with caution.
At bars and parties, the new normal is for a man to wait for a woman to approach him!
I am not OK with this. Romance is in recession. For whatever reason, men no longer pursue women. More commonly, it happens the other way around. I am not OK with this.
Many before me made the distinction between Chris' intent and his execution. Collectively, we have little problem with his wanting to take a pretty girl out for drinks, and saying so. The issue is the how.
And it isn't something Chris alone is guilty of. It's a nationwide epidemic. Chris' horrible pickup line and arrogance with it highlighted an instance in which we have failed our boys - and girls.
Man and woman, the twain shall meet. But how do we get there?
Inner-city men have been vilified for being rough, summoning women they desire both in the dancehall and on the streets in a most barbaric way. And it pains my heart that even with their animal approaches, the women come. But it's not an uptown-vs-downtown thing. Uptown men are no more respectful and uptown women are no less receptive.
I remember being on campus and hearing, "Pssstttt."
No sound ever irked me as much as 'psssssttt'. As far back as 2000, I remember thinking how crazy it was that I was surrounded by academics, on the island's prime research institution, in the midst of learned folks, and the mating call was still 'pssssst', followed by the standard, "Come here nuh."
For what! You want to talk to me and I must come to you!?!? Are you mad? Our men need relearning about how to approach a woman. We need some debonair grandfathers to step up and show the young lads how it should be done.
Maybe sex education should not just be about sex, but should also coach the young people about appropriate lead-ups to starting relationships.
Maybe sex ed should teach our girls never to answer to 'pssssst', should teach them that some advances should not be responded to.
And perhaps we should teach our girls how to turn down a gentlemanly advance without bruising the man's ego. Nice guys have been turned down in not-so-nice ways, and that, too, is part of the problem. Men have lost their balls because they have been crushed so often in the past by ungracious women. It's an equally important lesson to teach.
Let's fix this. Sure, we need to satisfy our animal instincts, but we are, in fact, people. Time to evolve from the animal approach.