What the Meme Really Means

While I prefer Twitter over Facebook these days as it seems less political, every once in a while some meme or another crops up that makes me say something.

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Truly, I do try to avoid politics, but this wasn’t even about politics. Someone chose to post a meme they thought was funny.

It wasn’t.

I will not repost it here as I find it repugnant. But you’ve seen the meme before. It basically shows a conventionally beautiful female with the caption: girls I want to date. Then it shows another girl, usually fat, that says: girls that want to date me. Then, the poster laments why he doesn’t have a significant other.

The only amusing part of this was when someone snagged the picture of the girl he said wanted to date him, and replied back that no, in fact, she didn’t want to date him, either.

If you’re reading this blog, you probably understand. You get that the above meme reduces women to an object, a trophy. This is not romantic or endearing, despite what some might thing.

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See, the thing is, the person posting the meme believes he deserves a conventionally pretty significant other. He is owed this.

Here’s the thing, though. The person that posted that meme has already told me a couple of things about himself.

  • He must not be conventionally attractive himself. I’ve seen the guys at Gold’s gym. They never seem to have a dearth of conventionally pretty women to date.
  • He’s shallow. I think this speaks for itself.
  • He’s probably a jerk. Why do I say this? Because he’s objectifying women. Demanding something as his right when he has no right. I instantly wonder what else he things he’s entitled to that he doesn’t think he should have to work to get.
  • He probably won’t care about my needs. If someone must meet a certain mark of physical beauty to even consider dating, I doubt he’ll be there when the chips are down.

 

To me, the kind of person that feels okay posting this meme is illustrating his blatant entitlement. This is one of the seeds of rape culture in America today. Too many people think they are owed access to another human being’s body, time, and affections. That this is their entitlement for simply living, rather than something they need to be worthy of, something they need to earn.

I posted a while back that there’s a lot you can learn by reading in romance novels even if they aren’t your favorite genre. Sure, you’ll find doctors, dukes, and billionaires in them. You’ll also find school teachers, detectives, and bar owners.

Some of the key things you’ll find regardless of the male lead’s profession is that he cares about the heroine, wants her to be happy, and sees to her pleasure as well as his. He falls in love with her for who she is, even if that means she’s got kids from another marriage, is going through a messy divorce, or is not conventionally beautiful.

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Or appearance. 

My in-laws have been married fifty-one years. Neither of them look like they did when they got married, but they’re still together. Because they built the bonds talked about in a romance novel, not the ones based on looking hot in string bikini.

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5 thoughts on “What the Meme Really Means

  1. I wonder if these kind of ‘jokes’ are meant to make other guys think he’s more ‘successful’ than he really is? What a strange and rather sad mindset. 🙁

  2. I’ve often wondered if they even realize what they’re saying. If they understand that the meme is similar to equating women to cars. “I want a sleek Porsche with Italian leather seats, but all I can get is a Ford Escort.”

    Maybe I’m over-thinking this. it happens sometimes 🙂 But it just smacks of viewing women as objects, not people.

  3. Excellent points. I noticed your blog because of Tara Sparling’s post this week. Full disclosure, I was raised a classic chauvinist, which is to say you would NEVER make such a remark, even in jest, as it would be impolite and unbecoming. Or actually, I did once or twice when young, but promptly got the notion slapped out of me (through whacks on the back of the head, a la Gibbs to Dinozo), before it could settle into a habit. So to me this is a prime sign of a boy, rather than a man: and without mentors to show us the way, we are running out of men fast.

    I sometimes wonder if maybe men and women start from exactly the same amount of self-esteem (which is to say, close to zero). And the difference is that men react to that feeling of unworthiness by rising up and demanding more (often without working to be worthy of it). Of course I don’t know but the puffed up denial sounds about right for us with the Y chromosome. As for women, I would veer into stereotype to suggest what their reaction often/usually/always is, but it certainly isn’t the same.

    Which means of course that the meme appeals to and amuses males more than females, I’d say no question about that. It’s not helping, but they honestly don’t seem to think it’s personal… I bet you a quarter the guy who created that meme thinks one nice (good looking) woman out there will take an interest in him now!

    1. You make some really interesting points. Perhaps it does have a lot to do with mentoring all the way around.

      I would say rather than men reacting based on the Y chromosome, that perhaps it’s also how they’re mentored and rewarded. The classic girls are bossy but men are leaders, and rewarded accordingly.

      I bet you’re also right that the guy who wrote it didn’t find it offensive and hoped it worked!

      I appreciate the insightful reply. Gives me something more to think about.

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