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.