As an unmarried 32-year-old I obviously am no expert but I find strategizing in relationships a la Rules of the Game is manipulative, overly defensive, and self-serving. I can understand how it can be important not to just jump right in the deep end with unrestrained optimism and I can understand why wearing your heart on your sleeve all the time could invite heartbreak, but I don't like the idea of hard and fast rules aimed at self-protection like Women should'nt say 'I love you' first. I think, in my mind, I file this sorta thing under "thinking too hard" and "using your head when you should be using your heart" and "silly social rules that perpetuate a static and essentialized notion of gender and that reinforce traditional gender roles in heterosexual courtship." Okay why does feminist theory get into my musings about everything. Anyways, it is an interesting topic. What's been your experience?


Anonymous said...

I always thought it was crazy shit too. I mean, hello WOMEN! Let's wake up and be better than following some traditional rules crap... and then.... one of my closest friends who is a girl acted totally in that way (unrestrained optimism, the works). She tried a couple of rules and it worked for her. I couldnt believe it. And then I thought, what if this girl needed this intermediary step of having rules in order maybe to realize later her own (stronger) feminine identity? I mean, ok there are dumb rules, but the one about not bending over backwards to the guy was healthy for her. That one realization of her being able to say "no" allowed her to say more "no's" to men and, eventually, more "yes's" to herself. What if we feminists are discounting these rules just because WE dont seem to need them to make that leap to self? Are we being arrogant?

Fumbling said...

thanks for the comment it was an interesting read! Good for your friend. I think you're right in that some people are already too giving of themselves and need those rules to help them hold back a little to avoid getting hurt. But I think the people who actually buy books like Rules of the Game are the type to want to manipulate people and situations selfishly to avoid any risk of getting hurt.