Contacts and glasses and men, oh my!
I was talking to a few different (female) friends about this over the weekend, and they all agreed in some ways with this notion: men like women they feel like they can "help" or be useful to in some way; that it somehow makes them feel more manly and competent and valuable.
So, I have a few different thoughts about this:
*First, I go back and forth on whether it's bad for me to want to seem less intellectual to someone (at least upon first meeting them). Because, on one hand, am I hiding a part of myself that's really there, just to please a man? That would be tragic and oppressive and wrong. But on the other hand, if it's something I sometimes use as a defense mechanism, maybe it's good to let other aspects of my personality come through, instead of just the smart/intellectual thing.
*Second, I am deeply DEEPLY opposed to women faking helplessness, or not learning to do things they really could do on their own, just so they can keep their "need" for a man's help alive. I am very self-sufficient in a lot of ways, but at the same time there are lots of vulnerabilities that I have where another person's help, love, and encouragement are like water to a parched throat. We all do need people for something or another, sometimes it's tangible, sometimes not--and the point is not to pretend we are weak in ways we are actually strong, but to be willing to be more open with what our true neediness is. That is what I need to work on, in a big way.
*Third, here are some questions about the whole thing: Is the desire to be "useful" and "helpful" something essential to a man's character, and how God made him to be? Is this desire less pronounced in women (on the whole), and if so, why? Does this attitude of "helpfulness" communicate an implicit hierarchy or patriarchy, or not? Are men as willing to receive help for their needs from women, and is that a problem that can be fixed, or just a reality to live with? Why does this whole mating thing have to be so complicated? Why do competent, smart, capable, thoughtful, strong, Christian men always seem to choose fragile, bland, pretty, small, traditionally girly, trophy wives who do not challenge them? Okay. No need to get personal. No need to come off as bitter--because honestly, I'm not bitter, just more curious at this point about the dynamics. Because I smell a rat in the soup; but don't know what kind of rat it is.
After writing all of this, it's pretty clear that just wearing contacts is not going to get me anywhere. Alas.