When you meet a guy and he finally accepts that you will be keeping your panties on he can become a really good friend. You can have very interesting conversations with him about the male point of view and he may even share some of their secrets on relationships with you. Such was the case when I had a “not so friendly” discussion with a male friend about the alleged competition among women.
This male friend was a New Yorker and worked on Wall Street. He was here in Houston for a week on a business trip. We had several dinners scheduled for the week as it was his first visit to H-Town and I wanted to introduce him to some of our great cuisine. Now, just to make it clear, he was only a friend. Even though we were both single when we first met a couple of years previously in Atlanta, he had married since that time so that was a game changer. Since we both worked in IT and were members of the same IT technical community, we kept in touch mostly about work.
So, here he was in Houston. We had a nice dinner and the conversation flowed well. Then he made a statement that grabbed my full attention. He was telling me about the dynamic atmosphere of working on Wall Street. He mentioned that the women all dressed their very best every day because they were always in competition. At that point, I asked the naïve question, “In competition? For what?” He laughed and said, “They are in competition for a man.” I laughed and told him I did not believe that was the reason they dressed well. He reiterated his point. I told him he was mistaken if he thought that every woman competes with another one for a man.
Well, at that point he became condescending. He told me that I did not understand so he needed to make it clear for me with an example.
He said, “What if you are dating a man that is dating 2 other women? Wouldn’t you compete with them for his full attention?”
I asked, “So, in this scenario, am I aware that he is dating the 2 other women?”
He replied, “Yes, he told you about it.”
I replied, “Ok. Well, now he is only dating 2 women instead of 3.”
He said, “No, wait. He hasn’t made up his mind yet.”
I replied, “Yes, but I have made up MY mind.”
He became exasperated. “No, you don’t understand, he hasn’t made a choice, yet.”
I replied with laughter. “No, YOU don’t understand. I have a choice, too. I choose not to be included in his choices.”
He looked at me for a long moment and then said, “Forget it. You are not trying to understand.”
I drove him back to his hotel keeping the conversation on trivial subjects. However, I noticed he was unusually quiet. I knew it was because of our enlightening conversation. The next day he called to tell me that there had been a change in his schedule and he would not be able to make the remainder of our dinners. I never heard from him again. I have no regrets about that conversation. I have no regrets about losing that friendship. I discovered that he was a male chauvinist. He discovered that not only was I a Southern Belle with Cowgirl spunk but a Feminist, too!
I refuse to believe that a group of well-dressed and intelligent women working in one of the most dynamic environments in the U.S are spending their valuable time competing for a man. I refuse to believe that any woman is competing with another one for a man. Now, I know there are some unhealthy relations between women and it may seem that it is about a man. However, if you look deeper, usually you will find there are other underlying issues possibly related to self-awareness, emotional issues, depression, etc. This is where the focus should be – on the root cause and not on the symptom.
We should never tolerate negative “blanket” statements about female behavior in our hearing. As women, we are as varied as snowflakes and the motivations that shape our actions are the same.
Do you believe that women compete with one another for the attention of a man?