Neofeminism, in regard to relationships

DISCLAIMER: This really has nothing to do with Egypt. I know this is supposed to be a travel blog, but it's become much for than that since I started it in the summer of 2008. If you don't give a damn about my relationships, or my beliefs, or anything other than interesting facts about the pyramids and the state of affairs in the Middle East, feel free so skip this post.

In case you don't know me, or haven't talked to me for more than ten minutes, I'm something of a feminist. Not so much an "I hate men, don't shave my legs, think Hooters is degrading, and never want to get married" feminist...rather than pointing out negative aspects, I would rather take a more ambitious approach. Girls rule [I'm a child of the Spice Girls generation]! Men and women are equal, and I will fight for women's rights to prove it. If women can use their bodies to exploit men's weaknesses, whether in Playboy, or James Bond, or Hooters, and they feel okay about that, more power to them! But all of that has nothing to do with the thought that occurred to me on the bus tonight.

In light of a recent failed romantic endeavor, which I spent nearly six months laying groundwork for, constantly flirting, hinting, and overall enjoying the slow, torturous chase, I came to a conclusion: As much as I enjoy pursuing men, as much fun as it is, no relationship which began with me initiating the chase has ever gone much of anywhere, been healthy or fulfilling. The problem therein is that I've always felt as if me choosing a man I know I must chase will prevent me from becoming some sort of a prize; if a man chases a woman, once he succeeds, hasn't she merely become something that he has won, thanks to his persistence and charm? Watching entirely too much Aladdin as a child [which probably contributed to my love of the Arab world, distorted as the facts in that movie are] taught me that I as a woman am "not a prize to be won". So, what goes wrong when I engage in the chase? What makes things go awry? The answer is simple..much the same as a woman who has been pursued feels when she finally acquieses to the persistent male, a man who has been pursued feels as if he has done you a favor in giving you a chance, and when things do not work out, the pursuer often bears the blame.

I am not referring to any one incident, but rather my collective romantic experience. But which is preferable? Feeling as if you are a trophy, or being treated by a man as if he had done you a favor? I'm not entirely sure. But if you look at my personal history, all my great loves have been men that pursued me, and all of my biggest failures have resulted from me taking on the traditional role of a man- pursuing, initiating the chase. As much as I hate to admit it, maybe some of my forward-thinking ideas about women being able to assume men's roles do not, can not, apply to every aspect of life. I am not entirely comfortable with this idea. In fact, it is making my head spin. Perhaps it's just me. At any rate, we'll return to this subject when I've thought more on it.

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