[Woman up!] Make a move, ask him out!
MANILA, Philippines – I’m quite sure that we women— whether in our youth or some or a few times later in our lives — have contemplated asking someone out on a date.
Perhaps many of us didn’t push through with the thought or plan, not exactly because of the fear of being rejected, but simply because we, women, are not expected to do so. Men have always been perceived as the ones who should do the asking and the pursuing, and we are expected to wait to be asked.
Really?! Times are different now. At this stage of our evolution, we can already decide for ourselves, and be able to choose who we want to give some of our precious time to. So I say: "Woman up! Go ahead and ask them out!"
Here's why I think it’s about time we do.
1. The idea is more acceptable than you think. I’ve asked around. I’ve consulted friends, colleagues in showbiz, young ones and grown-ups. Those I talked to didn’t object to the prospect of a woman doing the asking. We all actually find it exciting! Some guys even said that it relieves them of a lot of pressure and actually feels flattering. A number of the males I interviewed said they’d welcome the invitation. In general, most of my friends declared, “Yeah, it’s about time!”
2. It shows confidence and is sexy. If we are truly a progressive society, then a woman shouldn’t be frowned upon when she invites someone she's interested in to have lunch or coffee or even dinner with her.
Doing the asking is not an “act of desperation” on her part, neither does it mean that she's a slut or that she's easy. Actually, it shows confidence and maturity. It takes intelligence and some generous amount of sense of humor and inventiveness (creativity?) to do this and all of that sums up to sexy!
Bottom line, only someone who is very secure of her personality is willing to risk facing the consequences.
3. If you don’t try you’ll never know. In a raffle or a lottery, to get even the slightest possibility of winning – you have to buy a ticket, make a bet, TAKE A CHANCE!
Asking someone out is kind of the same way. If you don’t ask, the answer will always be “No.” But if you make that big step, then you instantly have a 50% chance of getting a favorable outcome.
4. It’s liberating. We shouldn’t be limited by the roles set by other people or ourselves. We are responsible for our own happiness. If you want to invite someone out, then by all means put yourself out there! You should be free to do so without judgment.
Women, we need to take a proactive stance; we should not sit and wait for fate. Fate may never come.
If you’re the guy being asked, be open to the invitation. Heck, accept! You know how it feels to be in her shoes. If you, the guy, feel nervous about asking for a date, imagine how doubly nerve-wracking it is for her.
At the end of the day, it’s not about social perceptions but about the desire to reach out to another human being.
5. In the end, what’s the worst that could happen? Getting turned down. That’s not so bad, isn’t it? I mean, we’ve encountered worse situations in life before and we’ve always managed to get through them with humor and dignity.
To my dear sisters I say, if you meet someone who is worth the effort of asking out and taking that risk, go ahead, ASK HIM OUT! If that doesn't work out, at least you found out for yourself. Now you have time to give the next one a chance. Life’s too short to be fearful or indecisive. – Angel
Let’s get one thing straight. There’s absolutely nothing wrong if a woman ask a man on a date/ or actually makes the first move, whether it’s casual or an intimate relationship.
In any relationship based on equality and respect, that is free from dominance by either partner, both people should be engaging participants. Something as simple as a woman asking a man out should feel natural.
When we go outside the boundaries of what is accepted within our social norms, one is easily judged. When a woman simply makes a “move” on a guy, as in something as basic as asking a guy out on a date, people don’t really feel a girl/woman should ever initiate. The double standard sets in. The woman is seen “aggressive,” “easy,” or called a “slut” while the guy is “macho,” “manly” “confident” a “playboy.”
When the Spaniards came to colonize the Philippines, patriarchal upbringing was born. The “Maria Clara” image of the Filipino woman was expected, “meek” and “submissive.” These patriarchal values and image of what is “feminine” are still inherent in our everyday interactions, particularly with men. Women are afraid to be more participative in the process of asking a guy out with the thought of having to face endless criticism, labeling and assumptions based on social structures.
We often hear “it’s just the way it is,” “it’s always been this way,” but people should start opening their eyes, ears and mind to the fact that women have the same right to choose to make the first move.
Making the first move won’t take out the “man” in a guy, and neither will it make the woman appear as if she’s “wearing the pants” or become less of a woman.
Women have been tied to gender roles, and women should be more aware that we are capable of managing our relationships the way we deemed fit and not according to sexist and gender bias misconceptions.
We can start practicing gender-fair relations. There are times it’ll be the woman and other times the guy. It’s an exchange, a constant receiving and giving.
That goes for paying the bill, too. We should be economically independent women and men. It’s not a sin to pay for the bill. Hey, it’s great if he wants to but it isn’t an obligation. I read once that “obligation breeds guilt and dependency, while choice fosters love and independence.” There is no “boss” in any relationship. One gender isn’t superior over the other.
Simply asking a guy out actually shows great promise in having a healthy relationship. It’s the beginning of mutual respect.
So when you want to ask a guy out, make the move and let go of oppressive gender roles. And if he actually turns you down and says no, it’s okay. Appreciate it when it’s a straightforward honest answer. You might have wanted to go out with him but if the answer you got isn’t what you expected, remember it is not essential to your self worth. – Nikki
Angel Aquino is a mom, model, host, and award-winning actress. Her broad range of work has her starring in everything from indie to mainstream projects, including 2013’s On The Job and Ang Huling Cha-cha ni Anita, for which she won an acting award at the 2013 CineFilipino film festival. She is a graduate of UP Baguio, where she studied journalism.
Nikki Luna is an artist, graduate of UP Diliman Fine Arts and took her art residency at the Cooper Union in New York, She is also the founder of non-profit organization StartARTproject providing art workshops to women and youth victims of human rights violations. Her women advocacies are endeavors she is currently studying in depth in her MA in Women and Development Studies in UP.
Angel and Nikki support the rights of women and the LGBT community through their various projects and advocacies.
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