• February 28, 2015
  • By PR Dept
  • Comments Off on What feminist NYC women really want in a man
  • in Blog, Otherhood, Press

What feminist NYC women really want in a man

My latest was published in The New York Post
February 28, 2015 | 6:00am

What feminist NYC women really want in a man

NYPost_Melanie Notkin_Otherhood_Feb 28 2015

“I’ll come across the park to meet you,” Gary offered, “But I don’t know any good brunch-date places there. I’ll let you suggest it.”

If you’re a single woman in New York City, you may have come across some curiously feminist men. I say “curiously feminist” because it’s typically in dating where they show the most ardent commitment to equality. No matter how many challenges they have overcome and successes they’ve achieved, these capable men leave picking the bar or restaurant for the date up to you. And, they make it seem like they are simply respecting your equality.

The ‘Mediator’ picks an equidistant place: “You’re West Village, I’m Midtown East, let’s meet in the middle at Columbus Circle.”

The ‘Manipulator’ tells you where he works before asking where you work, making you feel obligated to meet at the “cool” bar near his office. He then compliments you for not being one of those “high-maintenance” women who expect him to trek uptown when his “cool” bar is downtown.

And finally, the ‘Negotiator’ offers to come to you, but, to even the effort score, has you pick the venue. Gary was a Negotiator.

Having put behind me years of acquiescing to dates that made me feel less feminine, and worse, made the guy seem less masculine, I had my standard reply ready for Gary: “Whichever restaurant you choose, I’m sure I’ll enjoy it.”
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“Otherhood” by Melanie Notkin.

“But I want to take you to a place you like,” Gary volleyed back with a pretense of chivalry.

“I trust your taste,” I said, putting the decision back on him. “I look forward to meeting you!” I added.

And I did. I like dating. And I love men. And I love being a woman. And I believe there is power in my femininity; being feminine doesn’t make me weaker. But for too long I thought I had to meet a man in the middle, literally and figuratively, in order to prove my equality.

A woman’s expectations in dating are understandably confusing. Boomers, the first generation with feminist liberty, a k a the women Candace Bushnell began writing about 20 years ago in her seminal “Sex and the City” column in the New York Observer, valued expressing their freedom of equality in dating and sex. But doing research for my book “Otherhood,” I found that women of my generation, Gen X, want a remix of traditional and newer values.

They are modern, independent women who want old-fashioned romance. They expect to be valued as a man is at work, and valued as a woman at night. They’re natural nurturers but don’t want to take care of the date on top of taking care of themselves, their friends and family. They want men who will lean into the date so that they can finally let go and lean back.

By our second date, Gary knew what to do. He texted a restaurant and reservation time. I loved it. There is nothing sexier than a thoughtful and decisive man with a plan.

Gary felt it, too. “I realize now that I’ve been lazy with women. I put planning the date on them because I didn’t feel like doing it. By insisting I do it, you trusted me and that made me feel a man,” he emphasized with a growl.


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Literary Agent: Jennifer Joel, ICM Partners JJoel@icmpartners.com

Book to TV & Film Agent: Josie Freedman, ICM Partners JFreedman@icmpartners.com

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