Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Friday Links

Here are a few things from around the web that may interest you:

“Science reveals 7 secrets to an amazing relationship”

Eek: “Women graduates ‘desperately’ freeze eggs over ‘lack of men'”

It’s Not Just Mike Pence. Americans Are Wary of Being Alone With the Opposite Sex.

Related: “Can men and women be just good friends? Tell us what you think”

“The House Has a New ‘No Sleeveless’ Dress Code for Women”

“The Women’s March Organizers Are Holding a Protest Against the NRA”

“I’m No Longer Dating People Who Are ‘Relationship Material'”

Thank you to those who submitted links for me to include. If you see something around the web you think DW readers would appreciate, please send me a link to [email protected] and if it’s a fit, I’ll include it in Friday’s round-up. Thanks!

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23 comments… add one
  • avatar

    csp July 7, 2017, 12:30 pm

    This might be a forum topic – but honestly, I do not hang out with men anymore. I have been married for 10 years and I do have coworkers that I talk to and we eat lunch from time to time. But honestly, I used to hang out with guys and they all slid away while my female relationships are rock solid.

    These articles are very interesting because I do feel like this happens with married friends with kids. It is the wives hang and the husbands hang and we go to our sexist corners. Thoughts?

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy July 7, 2017, 12:57 pm

      Oh yeah – almost all the family get-togethers we go to, there’s this weird separation by sex where the men kind of hang out on one side (of the apartment/house/yard/what have you) and the women on the other. There are exceptions to this, but I’d say like 85% of the time, this is how it natural breaks down, which is a shame because I enjoy the company of guys and I know Drew enjoys the company of women and neither of us feels jealous or threatened and I don’t understand why, in our groups of friends where most people seem like us in that regard, this weird separation of the sexes keeps happening. I was at a back yard hang out the other day where one of the moms sat next to me and literally said, “Can we make this the women’s section and let the men folk stay over by the grill?” And I think it was kind of tongue-in-cheek, but I’m pretty sure she was also being serious, and I thought it was a little weird.

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      • avatar

        csp July 7, 2017, 7:31 pm

        Right! Like I am a liberated feminist, married to a feminist and our friends are so thoughtful and progressive but this weird division showed up at parties. I can’t explain it but everyone seems to like it.

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    • avatar

      RedroverRedrover July 7, 2017, 1:06 pm

      Really? I still have my guy friends. I mean, I see them way less than I used to, but the same is true of my female friends. And I don’t see the gender separation at get-togethers either. We all mix and match, whether it’s family or friends. The only time I remember it happening was last Christmas with my husband’s family, when after dinner we started getting into pregnancy talk (my SIL was pregnant and I’d had a baby that year), and it turned into period talk (and talking about my niece who is 11 and approaching it), and the guys eventually all took off, lol.

      But that was really my only experience with a gender split at a family get-together. And among friends it never happens. My husband’s best friend is a woman, and in that friend group I like his best friend, her husband, and one of the other guys the best, so that’s who he and I hang around with the most. But it’s really whatever/whoever’s around, you just hang, gender doesn’t matter.

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      • avatar

        csp July 7, 2017, 7:34 pm

        So I think family parties can be a little different though I have found that this happens when a sport is on TV then the men watch tv and the women talk in another room.

        I am speaking about my friends who are all parents. That is when I noticed it happened. We will be at a party either with kids or even without kids and everyone splits along gender lines about 30 minutes into a party. And it is striking.

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      • avatar

        RedRoverRedRover July 7, 2017, 9:10 pm

        All of our friends have kids too. We still don’t do the split. It’s more of, who gets stuck going down to the basement to watch the kids this time? Lol. And down there are usually 2-3 parents at a time, mixed gender. Everyone else is upstairs, again mixed. (The kids want to go to the basements, btw, we’re not forcing them down there. That’s where all the toys are 🙂

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    • avatar

      ktfran July 7, 2017, 1:14 pm

      Surprisingly (because I’m from small town Midwest) this is only partly true in my circles.

      At family gatherings, there is occasionally separation, but when it comes to playing games, everyone, both genders plus kids participates. We’re big on lawn, board and card games. I think the separation happened more when I was a kid. It doesn’t anymore.

      Same at BBQs or parties or dinner with friends. Sometimes there might be a little separation, but it’s rare that there is a hard split between males and females. Like, I’m trying to remember this happening in the last couple of years and it hasn’t.

      A few years ago, one of my closest friends was having one of many going away dinners. We were all friends with this couple, better friends with the female, but that night she had a show. The male came out with us no problem and nobody thought it was weird.

      Ooh, although a few weeks ago, my mom’s entire side was on a family trip and when the fiance and I went day drinking with two cousins and their husbands, there was a little separation going on. But maybe it’s because we only see each other once or maybe twice a year and were catching up?

      Sorry for the rambling. My conclusion in my groups is that sometimes it happens but more times, it doesn’t.

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      • avatar

        ktfran July 7, 2017, 1:19 pm

        Also, the fiance and I both have friends of the opposite sex and both of us are fine with it. Like, I can’t imagine not being cool with it.

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      • avatar

        csp July 7, 2017, 7:37 pm

        So i totally agree if there is an activity that it doesn’t happen. But if there is like drinking and mingling. It just slowly happens.

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      • avatar

        ktfran July 9, 2017, 2:46 pm

        Ooh. Only one couple has kids. And most of us have a partner now and it’s still a comingling affair. I’d say my group of friends is more like redrovers.

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    • avatar

      d2 July 7, 2017, 10:05 pm

      I am a male and my closest friends have always been female. At parties where men and women gravitate to separate groups, more often than not, I end up with the women’s group. But then nobody ever accused me of being normal…

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    • avatar

      dinoceros July 9, 2017, 12:26 pm

      I haven’t experienced this yet. In my friend groups, we all hang out as a group. There may be side conversations, but it’s not really split among gender. Perhaps if two wives are close friends and have stuff to talk about and the husbands are just kind of left out, they might talk to each other, but only because they’d be sitting in silence.

      My family may split off sometimes, but even then, usually someone else wanders into the group. Like I was chatting with my female cousins and their mom, and my cousins’ grandpa came in and sat with us. Or the men were out talking about someone’s new car, and my teenage cousin went out and joined them. I know that in my family, there are some hobbies and interests that may go along traditional gender lines, but there’s usually always someone of another gender who ends up being interested in the conversation too. On the other side of my family, there’s only two women (me and my mom), so it’s pretty much always mixed because we are spending our time catching up with others.

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  • veritek33

    veritek33 July 7, 2017, 3:32 pm

    Regarding the dress code article: as stupid as it is, it’s not uncommon. Missouri and I believe California and Illinois (I have friends that work there that’s the only reason I mention those two states) have dress codes in their legislatures that say something about “appropriate” attire for women including staff and reporters (not sure about visitors – Missouri doesn’t police visitors attire – but dear lord don’t ever try to take a water bottle into the chambers…).

    In Missouri it extends to staff and reporters. I’ve never actually seen a reporter turned away. They have been offered sweaters or blazers on occasion but I can’t recall anyone being turned away. A coworker from long ago stepped onto the senate floor in a dress that showed her shoulders and she was just given a warning later and in private. It’s dumb but it’s nothing new for some states at least. I think Paul Ryan is just enforcing it when and where he chooses.

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    • Copa

      Copa July 7, 2017, 4:46 pm

      This isn’t quite the same, but when I was in law school, I was reprimanded by a (old, white, male) judge for wearing a pant suit when I should have been in a *skirt* suit. Because skirts are appropriate attire for women, and I would not have been allowed to argue in front of him looking like I did, he said. Another time, I was told that the red blouse I had on under my blazer was too flashy and distracting. So yeah, not terribly surprised, not uncommon. I don’t practice, but still work in the legal field, and sometimes have to be at business or political events. I truly dread dressing for any days at work that require me to be around (old, white, male) people who might disagree with what I’m wearing. So, I choose to err on the side of dressing a little too stodgy every time. As recently as a few weeks ago, I was on the receiving end of several remarks about a black sheath dress with sleeves that I wore at a work event. (Made by our director, who, though not an attorney, is an older white man.)

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    • avatar

      RedRoverRedRover July 7, 2017, 9:13 pm

      I was doing a project for one of our customers in North Carolina, near Charlotte. The customer had a rule that female employees were not allowed to wear open-toe shoes. That’s all I’d brought, so I wore them. I wasn’t about to go out and buy new shoes, especially since I thought the rule was ridiculous. And I wasn’t technically an employee anyway, so screw them. I can’t believe this is still a thing anywhere. I’d never heard of it till then.

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  • avatar

    Emmy July 8, 2017, 3:30 am

    I’m slightly bemused by the people who think it’s inappropriate to have *work meetings* with members of the opposite sex… I don’t like the idea you can’t have dinner with them either, but each to their own: I won’t force anyone into dinners with friends. But how do you run a workplace if half your workforce can’t meet the other half unsupervised?!?!

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    • avatar

      RedroverRedrover July 8, 2017, 12:17 pm

      That was totally bizarre, and as the article points out, it puts women at a real disadvantage (since most of the time the people in power are men). I’ve never even thought twice about having a meeting alone with a man. I probably had 10 of them this week. I work with mostly men, so if I wasn’t allowed to have meetings with them I’d pretty much have to quit my job. I don’t know how women in STEM (which I am) can possibly be successful if they work somewhere that it’s not appropriate for women to have solo meetings with men.

      I also find it weird that so many think it’s inappropriate to have dinner. I’ve had one on one dinners with friends, coworkers, etc and it’s never been a problem. So has my husband. The thought that it will just automatically lead to us cheating on our spouses is asinine. Of course I would never recommend going out alone with someone who you actually do have feelings for – don’t put yourself in a position where you might cheat. But otherwise, I don’t see how it makes any difference whatsoever what gender your friend or coworker is when you go out for lunch or dinner or drinks.

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    • avatar

      dinoceros July 9, 2017, 12:21 pm

      I was meeting with a co-worker, and our meeting ended around lunch time, so we went to get lunch. I can tell you that if he had indicated that he couldn’t get lunch with me because there might be romantic connotations, THAT would have seemed much more inappropriate that he was even going there with it.

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    • avatar

      K July 10, 2017, 10:55 am

      Exactly! I also work in STEM, and my managers have all been men, that I’ve met with privately on a regular basis. And I have a yearly work trip with my male boss, where we have to travel on a plane together, work a trade show together for a couple of days, and *gasp* eat breakfast and dinner alone together for 3 days in a row!

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  • Miel

    Miel July 9, 2017, 11:08 am

    The male-female friendship article is just so…. heteronormative! I stopped to think about it for a second, and four out of my six closest friends are men (and I don’t count my long-term boyfriend here). Three of them are gay, one is straight, and I believe the two women are straight (still some ambiguity here).

    Those articles go on and on and on about “men” and “women”, assuming that those men and women could possibly be sexually attracted to each other. But my gay male friends ARE men and there’s no other option than a platonic friendship with them. Their sexuality doesn’t change the fact that they are men! And some of my female friends could be lesbian, and I would still be friend with them. When I go to the symphony followed by a glass of wine at the bar with a male friend of mine, I don’t care what people assume when they see us, I don’t care about the appearances. He’s gay, it’s not advertised on his forehead, and that’s it.

    Oh and I do have a close male friend who’s straight. I used to have a crush on him, but he didn’t, and we have moved onto a non-ambiguous platonic friendship and wow, have I been to restaurants alone with him! We went to Prague just the two of us together. We’ve been to coffee shops and restaurants and movie theaters and we’ve paid the bill for each other, and we’ve done all of this while we were in a relationship with other people. I really don’t understand how so many people think that would be “impossible” or “improper” or “dangerous” or whatever.

    And I haven’t even started talking about my work place. I’m an graduate student in engineering. How often do you think I’m alone, in the lab, with the door closed, sometimes in complete darkness, with another male? Like, on a regular basis.

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    • avatar

      RedRoverRedRover July 9, 2017, 12:21 pm

      I thought the same thing about being heteronormative. Specifically, that gay people have friends their own gender ALL THE TIME, even though that’s the gender they are actually attracted to. And it’s considered totally normal and appropriate? I guess because it’s ok for straights? If we go by the “rules” it should be that a gay man can only be alone with women, but I guess those women better be gay too because if they were straight they couldn’t be alone with a man. And vice versa for gay women. And bisexual people in a relationship can’t be alone with anyone else, ever. Just their partner.

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy July 9, 2017, 12:23 pm

      Same here. Three of my closest friends are gay men and all these articles about men-women platonic friendships don’t apply to us bc they assume a level or risk of sexual attraction. People are just so weird about male-female friendships. One of my best friends (one of the gay men) was visiting over mother’s day weekend and Drew sort of gave me the weekend “off” so I could have some down time with my friend. He and I spent a day just hanging out around the neighborhood — getting brunch, getting pedicures, getting drinks, going shopping — and we ran into quite a few acquaintances of mine who sort of side-eyed me for being with another man on mother’s day instead of with my family. Like, I’m sure if I’d been with a female friend, no one would have thought twice (i’d just be another mom taking a day to enjoy some downtime with a girlfriend). But me with a man who isn’t my husband? Scandalous!

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  • avatar

    dinoceros July 9, 2017, 12:33 pm

    The article about not dating someone who is “relationship material” bothers me. I think it’s one that purposely ignores what certain terms or phrases actually mean for the purpose of acting like she’s being super original and subversive. To me, relationship material means somebody who is mature, got their life together, and is interested in/ready for a relationship. She’s taking it to mean that they look good on paper. Of course, dating someone solely because they look good on paper isn’t going to turn out that great.

    I’m a little crabby because I’m getting tired of articles that have the “we’re going to flip that myth on its head” tone and then turn out to be giving common knowledge. I’d be happy to read an article or essay where someone is giving their take on a common issue, but I’d rather they be upfront about the fact that it’s not an original thought.

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