Trading Places: Would You Reverse the Roles – And Rules – In Courtship?

June 30, 2013  |  

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So as I’m cleaning listening to Pandora, an older Usher cut comes on that I haven’t heard in a while, “Trading Places.” I delight in his music, especially his ballads, so I start singing along paying particular attention to the lyrics.

Now we gonna do this thing a lil different tonight
U gonna come over and pick me up in your ride
U gon knock and then u gon wait
Ooo u gon take me on a date
U gonna open my door and ima reach over and open yours
Gon pay for dinner take me to see a movie
And whisper in my ear I bet you really wanna do me

The song made me think about the traditional roles we play in dating and our relationships. The song implies that the man, traditionally, is the one doing the courting and the woman is a passive participant in the process.  Most of the women I know prefer it that way. Is that being a feminist? Traditional?

Most women I know would never take a man on a first date. They believe the man should pay for dinner. He should pick her up. They never call first and he’d better open the door for her and pull out her chair or else!

But some of these same women are successful and want a fabulous career that pays them the big bucks. They believe unequal pay for equal work is straight bs! They want to rise to the top and rule the world like Michelle Obama one day.

But her man? He better be getting paid more. They want their man to “be a man.” He can’t be feminine or play a “woman’s role” in any way, shape or form. Lord knows she better not EVER see him cry.

Feminist? Traditional?

If a man were to even suggest that a woman stay home barefoot and pregnant, he’d probably get his block knocked off. Now don’t get me wrong, there are some women out there who would love nothing more than to pop out babies while their man handles all the business, goes out there to work and take care of her and their family. If that’s you, there’s nothing wrong with it. But then there are those women that want careers. They want to vacation with their girlfriends. They want to see the world. If a man asked these women to treat them to a night out or take them on an amazing vacation, they’d probably think he was cheap…or crazy?

So…is that being a feminist? Traditional?

Can we have it both ways? If a man said “you just be ‘the girl’,” would we look at him like he’s a misogynist, even though we say we want the man to be “the man?” Is it a double standard? How do we find balance?

I know men who would LOVE it if a woman took over every once in a while. They’d love it if a woman said, “Babe, I got this” or said, “Get dressed, I’m coming over to take you out.” They’d eat that UP! So my question is:

Women, would you ever do as Usher suggests and “trade places?” You know, pick a man up, take him on a date and then try to seduce him at the end of the night?

I’m always on the top tonight I’m on the bottom
Cause we trading places
When I cant take no more, tell me you ain’t stopping
Cause we trading places
Now put it on me baby till I say Oooo weee
And tell me to shut up before the neighbors hear me
This is how it feels when you do it like me

Men – would you like it if a woman took over “your” role as far as being courted in a relationship or do you feel like she’d be taking away “the chase?” Is this something you’d only enjoy AFTER you’ve established a relationship?

I’ll be waking u up to a cup of Folgers
Pancakes and eggs I owe ya breakfast in bed, oh baby
And your orange juice sitting on the coaster
Toast on the side baby strawberry and grape jelly

Personally, I love it when a man makes me breakfast in bed, but I’d have no problem serving him either.

Not that you asked, but what do I think? I think there are no rules anymore.

I think anyone can ask for a date. I think it’s okay to not establish who’s paying all the time and yes, it’s okay to treat a man if the mood strikes you. A date can be anything and it doesn’t have to cost a dime to court someone.

But that’s just me.

So tell me: would you be cool trading places in the traditional roles and rules of courtship? Or do you want to stick to “tradition?”

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