At my job this week, I overheard a conversation that I thought was humorous. There was a discussion about talking to women between two co-workers of the opposite sex. The guy was expressing how he had not mentioned his interest in another one of his female co-workers because she did not appear interested. The other however, a woman encouraged him to say something anyway, justifying the attempt by saying,
"Women like to be chased. That’s how we are.”
The man subsequently replied in jest,
“No, women like to be chased men they like. If they’re not interested, it’s called stalking.”
I thought that this was so funny that I posted on Facebook. No sooner had I done so that I immediately got a response criticizing the sentiment. The author said that women do not like being chased and that men doing so should quit immediately. She added that if there were women who did enjoy being chased, that the rest of the gender who did not enjoy it wanted them to stop encouraging it.
Another woman then posted that its ‘girls’ who enjoy the chase, and that it comes from their upbringing. If they continue to do so as adults, then it becomes mind games with men. This paired with past conversations I've had displayed that there was a variance of opinion among women
Often times I have heard that women want men to pursue them, that it showed confidence and security in themselves as men to take care of their families and show love; this view was expressed by other women. Most often I've witnessed this in religious and more conservative leaning communities, as a recent article about 8,000 Nigerian Muslim women marching in the Gusau city demonstrates. The reason being they were demanding husbands, with government help. Their religious and cultural tradition has a statue that husbands provide finical support. If there are no husbands, it leaves many women in poor. It’s a part of the natural and/or religious order of the world. ( http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-24301983)
Feminists here may find such notions archaic, repressive, and uneducated. They can be very active and successful women, without the aid or need of men. Yet, these ideas seem to come from their own, not from men trying to maintain control. There are still ‘Juliets’ out there looking for their Romeos to sweep them from their balconies.
As polar as these views are, there is also a commonality. Neither party likes being grouped as being a part of the other, fellow women or not. Just as one my online friends didn't appreciate other women perpetuating the idea that women like being chased, there have also been other women who said that they do not appreciate being seen as feminist who don’t want any help, affection, or gentlemanly behavior from men. They want the men who open doors and put a little more ‘omf’ into the relationship, and bear the authority.
I don’t justify stalking or any behavior that involves forcing anyone’s will against what they don’t want to do. However, if both proponents on the other side of our species want men to treat and see them in a light that they believe to be correct, they must also deal with the messages we get that communicate the exact opposite from within their own ranks.