The Perils of The Perpetually Single Gen Y Female

This article is part of the TNGG Sex Week series on Gen Y and sex. Read more from the series here.

At the age of 22 I still feel a true connection with Becky “The Icebox” O’Shea. The uber-Tomboy of all Tomboys that just wanted to kiss her best guy friend (but didn’t quite know how to go about it) is the reason why I still, to this day, watch Little Giants when it’s on.

If Becky was a real person, we’d probably be sisters. She’s one of those girls referred to as “intimidating,” you know the kind. The kind of girl who’s assertive in her actions, sexuality, and ambition. The kind of girl who longs to make a connection with a guy that’s on her same level only to be disappointed that all suitable guys are taken and/or gay. Everyone’s that left is either interested in one-night stands or playing Halo through the night on their Xbox.

Becky, is well … me … and every other career-minded, independent female that I encounter. As we’ve moved forward to taking over college classrooms and making up nearly half of the workforce, there’s one area where Gen Y females are being left out in the dust – dating.

I think I finally know why.

While most guys were getting prepped to beat everyone at Fantasy Football, many of us females were prepping ourselves to be assertive, successful, and independent women (thanks Buffy Summers!), while at the same time learning how to balance that against our traditional gender roles. We have to be independent and dependable, sexy and homely, assertive and submissive.  For the most part, we’ve achieved this balance of “femininism” successfully. Unfortunately, Gen Y males have failed to keep up with us.

They’ve failed to learn to not be afraid or “intimidated” by the same women they’ve grown with. They’ve failed to meld the old-fashioned with the new-fashioned. They’ve failed to embrace our Gen Y ideals of “femininism.” So, we’re labeled as “intimidating,” or “Lesbians” (a nasty euphemism for “feminist” that’s insulting to all women regardless of sexuality). So here’s my advice, follow the lead of your fellow females.

Don’t be scared by that outspoken girl in your American Civics class, or the sharply dressed and detail-oriented project manager that rules your work schedule. Here’s what you have to do. . Stop being scared and reacting immediately. Stop seeking out meaningless one-night stands and speaking in text message code.

These tricks were cute in middle school, endearing in high schooland now, just downright silly and unnecessary. Embrace your inner “femininist” and live up to the standards that we’ve set for ourselves. Just ask us out already, tell us that our assertiveness and ambition is sexy. Chances are, if you’re turned on, the feeling is mutual.

photo: sloth_rider

Author: Valeria Villaroel – Recent College Grad, who’s media-obsessed. Straddling the line between low-tech and new-tech. Writer. Personality. Fangirl. I love thinking about and debating brit-pop, media, politics, and social issues. I have a lot of things to say, and probably not enough words to say it. I love, love love (and hate) food, and am obsessed with Michael Jackson. Don’t hate.

Valeria Villarroel Recent College Grad, New Employee, who's media-obsessed. Straddling the line between low-tech and new-tech. Writer. Personality. Fangirl. I love thinking about and debating brit-pop, media, politics, and social issues. I have a lot of things to say, and probably not enough words to say it. Find me on twitter @Maleria_withaV

View all posts by Valeria Villarroel

20 Responses to “The Perils of The Perpetually Single Gen Y Female”

  1. Lynn

    Wait, I dont think men being intimidated to make the first move is the problem, I think men don't want to deal- why do you think they all seek out skinny Asian or Eastern European girls some of whom haven't been in the states for very long and aren't assertive, agressive, or successful? And being called a lesbian is insulting even for a lesbian- why?

    Reply
    • Virginia

      I’m not sure where you’re getting the “they all seek out skinny Asian or Eastern European girls ” from, I’m assuming maybe you’ve been dumped for one or something. But I do think that some guys go for the traditional ditzy, sorority girls over assertive, intelligent go-getters because they like to be the powerful ones in the relationship. And having all feminists labeled as lesbians could be offensive to the lesbians that don’t fit into that stereotypical role.

      Reply
      • Frankie

        Virginia, it’s not a “power” issue as to why we don’t want the assertive, intelligent go-getters. It is because we tend to not enjoy their company. Not to say there’s anything wrong with assertive people, but there’s a difference between being assertive and being a nag. This is why we prefer the one-night stand. We get what we want without all the long-term consequences. Or short-term consequences for the matter.

        Now before you judge me, you should know that I am in a committed monogamous relationship. And no, she is not a sub-serviant, submissive, skinny girl. She’s actually an operations supervisor who makes more than I do. The reason why we work out is because most things in our lives are balanced. Power, privileges, and pampering. Even our finances are very well balanced.

        If you want to know the real reason why men aren’t sticking with you women, here’s the reason. It’s because, you’re not giving him any reason to. Understand that a few decades ago, men provided for women and pampered them. However, men back then were pampered by their women. We paid their way but had our homes cleaned, meals cooked, and laundry done. Today, we’re still expected to pay their way and pamper them. In addition, we’re also required to not be sexist by not asking them to cook and clean for us.

        In this day and age, there is no benefit for us to be in a relationship. So why should we?

        Reply
  2. Yifei

    I won't join you in this discussion Valeria. Too many landmines. ;)

    But I think there are three questions to get at the root of this:

    If guys started putting on makeup and dressing and acting effeminately, is it a woman's duty to find this “new modern man” attractive?

    If societal pressures demand that women act strong and masculine, is it on men to find this “new modern woman” attractive?

    And if animals and rural teenagers can figure relationships out, what's getting in the way of ambitious, Gen Y city-dwellers?

    That's my answer. Thanks for the though-provoking piece.

    Reply
  3. Valeria Villarroel

    Lynn – that's exactly the type of point that I was trying to make. While Gen Y women are taught that we have the capability to be literally everything – Gen Y males are brought up as precious creatures raised in the same sense of manliness that has been the societal norm – therefore, I feel that too often women are faced with a dating pool of men that aren't on the same level emotionally.

    The point that I was trying to make with my Lesbian comment was that it's often used as a way to deny someone's inherent womanly-ness. As if being a Lesbian makes you a non-woman – which is insulting to anyone of the female persuasion regardless of your sexual preference.

    Reply
  4. Valeria Villarroel

    Aww come on Yifei! Why can't we get into a rigorous discussion?! :D

    But I do like the questions that you're posing. Here's my response.
    I'm not necessarily promoting that Gen Y males should become more effeminate in order to become “the new modern man.” The point that I was trying to get across is that some men are products of this coddling factor that many Millenials fall prey too (of both sexes). The main difference being that women are coddled to believe and act on their ability to have it all, while some males are coddled to continue on with their lives emotionally delayed – forever stunted in believing that we women must live up to the same kind of image that submissive pornographic images portray many women as. Which is detremental and inaccurate and leaves an emotional disconnect.

    I think with time, it's possible for men to respond better to this “new modern woman” that you speak of.

    And finally, I think what gets the best of us is our egos and unattainable expectations when it comes to figuring out relationships.

    Reply
    • Frankie

      Ego and unattainable expectations is right. A man will always be a man… Scratch that. A person will always be a person they want to be. You can’t change that. Expecting someone to be something you demand that them to be is very closely along the lines of a man asking his woman to lose weight, dress better, wear clothes HE likes, and behave in ways HE approves of.

      Reply
  5. Stuart Foster

    I've never dated a submissive woman. Ever.

    They bore me to tears and drive me crazy. I need an alpha female who is can keep up with me on an emotional/intellectual level. If they can't? Well that relationship is over before it started.

    Assertiveness is sexy. Any man who doesn't see that? Is a dumbass. Then again? I have a thing for the aesthetic of pumps and professionalism.

    Here's the rub though: They are few and far between (this is in regards to BOTH genders). You're kind of an anomaly Valeria…you'll realize that once you spend more time in the working world.

    Reply
  6. Lauren Schumacher

    This topic is destined to define women in our generation. The sons of second-wave feminists have been taught to respect women; and their daughters have been taught to respect themselves without expecting male respect. Gen Y males are giving Gen Y females too much of what they already have, and this can make we decisive, goal-chasing women feel very bored and impatient.

    I'm totally fierce, career-driven, and self-sufficient, and I have a magical knack for attracting very, very submissive men. It resulted in a 4 year dating dry spell, because I'm just not interested in the dynamics of a submissive/dominant partnership. But I found someone who is really excited by those qualities without lacking them himself and man was it ever worth the wait!

    Reply
  7. alkerton

    “Just ask us out already, tell us that our assertiveness and ambition is sexy.”

    Exactly how assertive/ambitious are you if you're waiting on the guy to ask you out? If I see a woman I like, I try to suss out if she's even a little interested in me, and if she is I ask her out. Why wouldn't a woman who likes me try to do the same? There's plenty of opportunities to define the power structure of a relationship after one party asks the other out – if you choose the independent/sexy/assertive path of asking a guy out, that doesn't mean you lose the opportunity to be dependable/homely/submissive in other ways later on.

    Reply
    • Frankie

      I agree Alkerton. I personally have always ended up with women who go after me instead of visa-versa. This is because I see that “assertive, go-getter”.

      Reply
  8. Kelly

    I both disagree and agree with what you've written. I disagree that confidence,success, and all that goes with it aren't being appreciated by men as sexy. My personal experience has led me to the exact opposite conclusion.

    The issue I have is more of what you've been talking about in men being left behind. There is so much talk in the schools about how boys are falling behind in our educational system and I see a similar thing in the dating world. Lots of attractive, self-assured women who know what they are and what there goals are and few men of which I would say the same. They always say that women are more mature than men but never have I seen it more pronounced than at my current age of 27. It's also not just a matter of personal success, but maturity. I think it will beg the question for a lot of us, search long and hard or compromise. I'm certainly not going to do the latter.

    Reply
  9. alice

    i agree with alkerton. being assertive and career-driven shouldn’t be all you strive for with regards to your ideal of independence. creating your own dating opportunities by asking men out should be up there on the list. i experienced my first forays into dating in the 90s during the grunge era where it was cool for women to wear combat boots while shaving their heads and leaving the rest to nature. of course not all women did this. but, those of us who did considered ourselves feminists and what came with feminism was going after what you wanted in the romance department. so i find it really disconcerting when i read about Gen Y complaints regarding dating and there seems to be this feeling that if a girl is the one asking out the dude, she’s somehow a loser. when i was a teen, that was what my girlfriends did — we asked out the guys we liked or at the very least we put the moves on them. i continued to do this until my mid 20s when the men i knew finally got with the program and started courting me in a more “traditional” way. also, conversations about the nature of the relationship were expected outcomes of this process. most of us would consider any girl who repeatedly made out or had sex with guy without some discussion of definitions in their relationship to be a doormat. and again, it was up to us to either force that conversation or move on. this is what it meant to us to be a feminist. if guys in your generation truly can’t handle a “what does this mean?” conversation after several intimate encounters, i’d encourage you to start dating older men (minimum age 27.) by the time the men of your generation hit 28, they’ll realize that they need to get with the program and step into a more mature set of dating habits. or, you’ll have already gotten so used to dating outside of the Gen Y pool that you won’t care.

    Reply
  10. Becky Icebox

    [...] Gen Y Females And Singledom | The Next Great Generation At the age of 22 I still feel a true connection with Becky “The Icebox” O'Shea. The uber-Tomboy of all Tomboys that just wanted to kiss her best guy friend (but didn't quite know how to go about it) is the reason why I still, [...]

    Reply
  11. Sphinx

    I’ll spell it out for you Valeria.

    - Men are not intimidated by you. The females that display the “assertive” qualities are often perceived by men as “masculine” qualities and therefore unattractive to us. It’s the same as a female being unattracted to the many men that now display overly feminine qualities.

    - There is a 50% divorce rate. If this happens there is a 100% chance of being financially devestated, and if there are children, a 90% chance of having our children taken away from us. We have seen too many of our fathers and friends taken to the cleaners. Setting yourself up to be massacred like this seems ludicrous to young men today. Men have not been left behind, they have simply decided that long term relationships and marriage are not worth it. Playing Halo seems like a much more fun and safer option.

    - When women are so willing to give away sex as they do, there is no need to settle down with just one woman.

    Reply
  12. Frankie

    Ego and unattainable expectations is right. A man will always be a man… Scratch that. A person will always be a person they want to be. You can’t change that. Expecting someone to be something you demand that them to be is very closely along the lines of a man asking his woman to lose weight, dress better, wear clothes HE likes, and behave in ways HE approves of.

    Reply

Leave a Reply