Phicklephilly – There’s Clarity in the Truth

It’s been a helluva year coming through another year of covid. We were all quarantined for months and had little freedom. Some couples grew closer, and some broke apart. A guy I used to work with told me back on March 14, 2020, that he had just broken up with his girlfriend because she was an alcoholic. Months later I saw on Instagram that they had gotten engaged! I have another friend who had been in a relationship for 7 years and wanted to break up with his girlfriend for a while, but then covid hit. Keeping them together for another year. He dumped her a month or so ago and has finally been freed from an unhappy union.

I’ve been helping him with all of his dating app profiles and even hopped back on Tinder myself for a minute. I’m glad he’s getting back out there after 7 years because he’s obviously been unhappy for some time, and now he can live the life he wants. He’s been going out on some interesting dates in the last few weeks and it looks like he’s well on his way to getting back in the game. He’s only 34 years old and has plenty of time to figure out what he wants in his life going forward.

On the other hand, I deleted the Tinder app from my phone after 2 weeks because it just doesn’t seem like something I want to be bothered with anymore. At my age and experience, it feels like all that dating app nonsense is just filled with a bunch of leftovers and losers.

I’m not saying everyone on there is a loser, but it just seems silly for someone of my age and level of the game should waste time swiping on a bunch of old ladies wishing they could recapture what they lost in their collective divorces. The profile all read the same to me. I’ve covered this subject extensively in previous posts, so I’m not going to go into it here.

I’ve decided that at 59 years old I’d rather just be alone and live my life here in Rittenhouse and not be responsible for anyone else’s happiness anymore. I don’t answer to anyone, and come and go as I please. I don’t think it’s fair to anyone that I get their hopes up and for them to think that they could maybe have a future with me. I’m just over it.

That could change, but for me being in a relationship is exhausting. If you’ve read this blog and my books you’ll know I’m a spectacular date, but a lousy boyfriend and an even worse husband. I just like being single and living my life on my schedule and pace. I’ve been in several relationships and fallen in love a bunch of times, and there’s nothing like that feeling when the dopamine drops and I fall in love. (or the idea of love and not the actual person) As I said, it’s not fair to any woman to have to deal with me.

This may all seem surprising coming from the guy who used to write a dating and relationship blog every day, but it’s how I feel now. My life has had so many interesting chapters and decades. But I’m not in my 30s or 40s anymore. I’m not even in my 50s anymore! Turning 59 in August might as well be turning 60. Who cares at this point.

But I’m not dead and the old horse can still get up and run and pull the plow if needed!

I’ve talked to several of my friends and they all think I’ve maybe got one more bullet in the chamber to take a shot at love again. But I don’t think so. Especially after the last year. I’ve become accustomed to being on my own, and just writing my blog and working on my books.

I decided that if I meet someone and it’s random, or we connect in some organic way out in the world, then maybe. But beyond that, I could care less.

My whole life I’ve been driven by my libido and desire. It’s a tiring lifestyle. I don’t regret anything and I’ve had a great time. I’ve done so many things and I now know what’s important in my life. My health, my family and friends, creating stories, and whatever I have to look forward to in the future. I feel good and I just did a nice 5-mile walk today around the city and it felt glorious. Just to feel the sunshine on my face and know that it’s “all systems go.” I just finished a 3-week gruelling binge of writing commercial articles for several businesses. The money’s great and I’m still learning so much about writing and generating good content. It puts food on the table and fills each day with a sense of accomplishment and gives me purpose.

I couldn’t be happier.

I think what happens to people is, they reach maturity or some form of it in their twenties. They get a good job, get married, and crack off a couple of kids. It’s traditional and falls in line with what they know and what their parents did, and what society reflects upon them.

But that’s never been for me. I’ve done all of that and all the stuff, money, and responsibilities that come with that just didn’t suit me. I’m happiest when I’m creating something and growing and evolving as a person. I think you have to always be growing and changing. Not changing like you need to become someone different… just getting better. Always build and refine your soul into the best person you can be.

I see so many people get stuck at a certain age and they just stop growing. This became apparent to me when I would run into one of my old crew before covid. So much has changed in the last year, but most of these people remained the same. All they want to do is the same stuff and haven’t seized this opportunity to look inward and learn something new or change their lives.

Covid and isolation during the last year have taught me so much about myself. I guess I kind of figured all of this out in my 40s and 50s but it’s now more clear to me than ever. I’ve watched so many simply circle the drain of their existence that I can no longer have them in my life.

There was a guy that attached himself to me several years ago when I met him in the hospitality industry. The guy is 53 and is an absolute disaster. It’s so sad. I can’t imagine reaching that age and being so clueless about myself and the world around me. I have an acute sense of the ways of the world and a strong sense of identity… now more than ever.

I had tried to cut that guy loose back in 2018, but he kept contacting me and would show up at my job. I didn’t know what to do with him even after it became clear to me that he suffered from mental illness. But once covid struck, it was easy to pull away and let him go forever. It was a relief that I no longer had to deal with his madness anymore.

There was another guy  I was friends with for many years since my days at the Inquirer back in 2012. He was an interesting character that I saw a few times a year because he lives up in Northeast Philly. But I realized over the last 10 years this guy hasn’t changed or improved himself… or his life at all.

I have nothing in common with him, so after years of grinding disappointment, I cut him off. He’s just not a person I want in my life anymore. He’s a loser and will always be a loser. If he was going to become anything other than a drunk, it would have happened by now. So there won’t be any more stories about Johnny R in Phicklephilly anymore. You can search for his stories on here if you want to read about our former adventures, but he’s gone for good.

It became clear to me that I could no longer waste my precious productive time on some of the detritus in my life. The covid pandemic made this clear to me. You find out who your friends are in a crisis. I haven’t needed anyone, but the people that I value have all shone brightly in my world through this pandemic. And for that, I’m very grateful.

But just like always, I’m a bit long-winded when I tell a story. This post was supposed to be about someone I met recently. (Don’t get excited. Nothing’s happening.)

This post started about how I don’t want to date anymore and how things may go for me in the future. It sort of dissolved into what you just read above. But…did it dissolve, or did I just need to get that out of my system when I sat down to write something new?

You know, you’d figure the last thing I’d want to do after generating a couple of dozen articles over the last few weeks for multiple corporations would be to write on my first day off in weeks.

But here I am, tapping away and spreading the word. But I suppose this all needed to be said. I’ll try again after this to write about the person I recently met. It was the old fashion way, which I like.

I’ve not finished dating. I don’t even care if nothing comes out of this. It’s just nice to know that if this lion spots a nice gazelle, then it’s still game on.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly.

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Brussel Sprouts

Philadelphia, PA – the Late 60s

When I was a kid I was a picky eater. I liked certain things but most of the stuff my mom served at dinner I didn’t find appetizing. My mom hated to cook but made my sisters and me three square meals a day for over 20 years.

She used to say, “I’d rather clean endless dirty dishes rather than have to cook.” But she always made sure we had a hot balanced meal every single night for dinner.

I liked breakfast and lunch as a kid. What kid wouldn’t like to eat Cap’n Crunch, toast, bacon, and orange juice every morning? I think that’s why to this day, breakfast is my absolute favorite meal of the day. Everything else is to simply quell the pangs of hunger in my stomach for the rest of the day.

Albert Einstein once said, “If I didn’t ever get this empty feeling in my stomach every few hours I’d never work.”

Someone once said to me, “I live to eat, but it seems like you just eat to live.” She was right. I love my daily breakfast, but other than that, food to me is simply fuel. It’s just something I have to get out of the way to continue my day. It almost feels like an interruption.

I have an acute sense of smell and taste and can enjoy the taste of many foods, but I only require a simple boring diet. If I could just take a pill and be full, I’d be fine. I think there’s too much focus on food in our culture anyway. All those endless dumb pictures on social media of what everybody is out drinking and eating. We get it. You like to go to restaurants and have somebody cook for you. You do it all the time. You probably have a lot of revolving debt.

Check it out:

5 world hunger facts you need to know

Anyway, the one food I hated as a kid was Brussel sprouts. Now, as I said my mom hated to cook. her role as wife, mother, cleaning lady and the overall servant was placed upon her when she married my dad. If you hate doing something, you’re never going to be any good at it. That’s a simple fact of life. People are good at things they like, right?

My mother had a few favorite dishes. She loved sweet potatoes, lima beans and I suppose Brussel sprouts.

I hated Brussel sprouts. That gross sauce on them. The leaves on the outer portion of the sprout, and the hard yellow interior. All gross to me. And the taste? Ecch!

So on one particular evening, I just couldn’t eat any more of these awful things. So I came up with a plan. I would create a distraction at the table, do a quick sleight of hand, and get one of those Brussell sprouts off my plate, into a napkin, and my pocket.

I got at least 4 off my plate without being caught that evening. I thought this was a great plan and would attempt to pull this move every time they were served from now on.

But like many of my plans back then, I was good at closing the sale, but not maintaining the account after I closed the deal. Where I usually failed was in the aftermath of the deed. There was no follow-up. I’ve pocketed the sprouts, got them in my pocket, had my dessert, and was away from the table.

What I should have done is go upstairs and flush them down the toilet to destroy the evidence. But for some stupid reason, I just shoved the napkins into some plastic cups I had in my room and forgot about them.

This poor follow-up had already failed during one of my other heists. So, a day or so later when my mom was collecting laundry or stripping the bedsheets she must have noticed the wadded-up napkins in the 7-Eleven Superhero cups in my room. She discovered my Brussel sprouts crime and thwarted my plan for any future campaigns.

I didn’t get in trouble for the act. I think my parents and sisters found it funny. My middle sister still laughs about it today.

But, to be honest, I’ve had Brussel sprouts prepared well in a fine restaurant as an adult, and you know what? They’re pretty good! I’ve also begun buying bags of frozen petite Brussel sprouts and I sautee them in a pan with some seasoning. They’re a wonderful, chewy, satisfying vegetable full of nutrients.

Let the master describe my feels towards some foods as a kid. Enjoy!

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly.

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Phicklephilly – Freelance Commercial Writer

Happy New Year!

I’ve been writing this blog since 2016. In the beginning, it started as a hobby. A way for me to have a forum to tell stories about my dating and relationship exploits.

After about a year or so, I added the Dating and Relationship Advice articles to not only help my readers with their dating endeavors but to increase content which in turn, increased page views.

My goal was to at least reach 250k in page views by year 4. We achieved that goal early last year. During that time I added WordPress ads and was finally approved for Google AdSense. They run random ad buys on my site that generates revenue 24/7, 365 days a year.

So, all good. Between that and content links I place for advertisers, and banner ads I run on my site from clients and brands, it pays for the site.

But, when covid hit I found myself unemployed. No worries. Get paid by the government to write good content about my past and write and publish books? Yea, I’ll take that for a year and a half.

I knew that “grant money” would eventually run out and I’d probably have to go back to work in some form. But I had been in contact with a friend who was the former editor at a media site where we both worked several years ago.

She was building websites and writing articles for several businesses and was beginning to feel the stress of getting too many to write. So, she gave me the overflow. I had never written industry stuff in my life, so I was curious to see if I could get it done. But I figured, if I’ve been writing and publishing this blog for the last 5 years and have published 6 books, I’d probably be able to figure it out.

I started to write articles about subjects I knew little about. A solar panel company in Colorado, a stock photo company in Canada, skin and health care articles, lists of activities to do with your kids in Summer, storage facilities, a hot tub company, real estate and some IT stuff.

It was quite a challenge at first because it’s a completely new style and structure of writing I had ever done. But after a while, I picked it up, and off we went. It was at times a grinding experience and I really found out what it meant to be a commercial writer. It’s not sitting in the back of a bar sipping drinks and eating wings and writing about the girl I went on a date with last night. It’s not some cool romantic thriller novel born from my imagination.

It’s a daily 10 to 12 hour a day writing gig, with hard deadlines and many demands from clients. Sometimes I doubted myself but knew that if I stuck with it I could crank out quality content and get paid for it.

And I did.

The money’s good, and I’m going to see how long I can do this before I lose my mind.

Wish me luck!

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. 

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Happy New Year – 2022

Happy New Year!

I’ve been writing this blog for over 5 years now. 2021 has been a great year of many changes. The pandemic rolled on and as more people got vaccinated it began to slow down. I was laid off from my hospitality job back in March of 2020 and was unemployed for a year and a half. Normally that would sound sad but it was a spectacular and creative time for me and my daughter.

For a whole year and a half, we weren’t slaves to horrible jobs. We both vowed that when things returned we’d never work in the hospitality industry ever again. The one thing people love in this city is going out to dinner and drinking. But working in that industry is the absolute worst place for anyone to be as a vocation. It not only attracts the worst people and those who lack the skills to do absolutely anything else, but the hours also suck, and the clientele is impaired.

Just awful.

But I’m glad we both did it because we knew what we never wanted to do again, and it gave us the means to file for unemployment and collect on the government’s dime for a year and a half.

It was like getting a grant to create and make music for over a year. If you leave artists alone, they’ll have the time and money to simply work on their art.

During that time my daughter composed and produced an EP of original songs and put them out on YouTube and Soundcloud. I continued writing and publishing my blog but didn’t have any new stories for content. So I decided to turn inward and write stories from my young life growing up in Philly and my summers in Wildwood.

They were all wildly successful. I dropped the links into groups on Facebook that liked that sort of nostalgic content and the members loved them. It brought me a lot of fresh content and traffic. The best part of it for me was reconnecting with people from my past and realizing what my next two books would be about.

2021 saw the release of my second work of fiction, Below The Wheel. A hardboiled detective thriller that takes place in the 90s in Camden, New Jersey. It continues to have brisk sales on Amazon.

Regarding numbers on the blog, we’ve had another good year. We hit over 300,000 page views since the blog’s inception.

Here are some of the 2021 YTD data:

Page Views: 100,000

Visitors: 70,000

Subscribers: 2,400

I’m really happy with how much the blog has grown organically since I started it with just one post back in the Fall of 2016. I appreciate everyone who reads, likes, comments, and subscribes to Phicklephilly.

But there are going to be some major changes coming in 2022.

Phicklephilly began as a place for me to tell my stories about dates I went on, past and present girlfriends, and friends. I later added dating and relationship advice which was popular and brought me tons of traffic. I had grown tired of it all back in 2020 and wanted to stop doing the dating and relationship advice because it just became too hard to generate and maintain. But I kept it going because people liked it and it brought me traffic. But back in 2016, I prophecized that there would come a day when Phicklephilly would become nothing more than stories from my life and nothing more. I’m at a point with this blog where I’m writing for myself.

After doing it for 5 years and cranking out 6 published books I’m hungry to create something of real value. But I don’t want it to publish every day. It’s too much work and not my ultimate vision for this blog. I make a nice living now doing freelance commercial writing for companies across the country. It’s a challenge to create and the money is decent. I love the idea of making a living doing something I created rather than working in some job with a bunch of no-talent mooks. (My life in corporate America for the last 30 years)

I went from working in sales in my professional life to a guy who makes his living writing. I love to create. Nothing brings me more joy than making something and publishing it.

Starting in January of 2022 Phicklephilly will no longer provide any dating and relationship advice. I’ve been doing it for over 3 years and I’m tired of it. I feel like I’ve covered every aspect of it and it no longer interests me. People can still read all of that stuff because it will live in the archives on this blog forever.

I will only publish once a week. I’ll put out something new and different every Tuesday in 2022. There will be no notice and each piece will stand on its own. (Except for the Betty Ann series that will come out near the end of the year) Think of the quote from Forrest Gump: “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never what you’re going to get.” That’s what Phicklephilly will become. Every Tuesday you’ll get a new story but it will only be about things I want to write about or stuff I did.

I like the idea of the absolute freedom to create the stories I want to tell. But fear not… these are all interesting little stories about cool topics. I’m finally going to make the blog I want to make with no interest in page views, likes, revenue, or stats. Will I cash all the checks I receive from WordPress and Google for the ads I allow them to run on my site? Of course, I will. Why not? I provided all of this content and this ad revenue helps support the site. But it will no longer drive why I generate content. I’d rather write something heartfelt and meaningful than to just crank out dating and relationship advice.

I’m getting older now. (Nearly 60!) I don’t work in corporate America anymore. I’m so glad I left the rat race behind. I don’t go to happy hour anymore. I eat better and rarely drink alcohol anymore. Going out to bars and burning money with a bunch of drunks seems like a waste of time now. I haven’t been on a dating app in over two years. I just don’t care. Those sites are all filled with leftovers and losers anyway. Sad lonely people looking to replicate the love of their lives that’s long gone and can never be replicated.

I’m glad I lived all of these adventures and don’t get me wrong, I’ve had a great time in this city. But it’s over. I’m done. There’s absolutely nothing I can learn from hanging out or dating young women. Other than their youth and beauty, they bring nothing to the table. Let the young people find their way with each other. I don’t belong out there anymore. To me, it’s just boring.

However, Tales of Rock will live on in 2022, but it won’t be every Sunday anymore. It will happen when I think of something interesting and then write a piece about it and drop it on a Tuesday. That’s it.

I’m looking forward to how the blog will evolve and change as time goes by. I continue to evolve so why not my work? You should always be evolving throughout your life. If you’re not, you’re stagnant. I’m happy that I’m always growing and changing, even at this point in my life. There’s always new cool stuff to do and experience and I want to tell those stories and share them with you.

I’m grateful to everyone who has taken the time to read Phicklephilly over the years, but the best is yet to come!

Health and Happiness to all in the coming year!

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. 

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

In the Dating Game, Women are Pressured to Play the Part of a Stereotypical ‘Cool Girl’

Here’s an interesting post from one of my female readers!

Play it cool. Keep it breezy. Treat ’em mean. Don’t reply straight away. Be aloof. Be distant. Be hard to get. These are the rules you need to follow in order to be “The Cool Girl” — a prevalent dating trope that many women feel pressured to conform to lest they be labelled clingy or desperate.

The cool girl started out as a stock character born out of male-authored literature and movies. But, the trope has since become so pervasive, the cool girl is now firmly cemented in dating culture, with no sign of disappearing anytime soon. The cool girl is no longer merely a character in a book — she is the acme of female desirability. She is the three-dimensional flesh and bone incarnation of the male fantasy. She is the rejection of the nadir of female behaviour — clinginess. And to many of us, she is a stifling behavioural standard that forces us to hide our true personalities.

Ever since I started dating as a teenager, I have internalised the notion that I need to to feign indifference and affect cool standoffishness in order to “Get The Guy,” so to speak. Unconsciously, I carried this rule into adulthood — it manifests in my behaviour at the start of relationships, it infiltrates the advice I give to friends, and it fuels my anxiety until the mask slips and my authentic self is exposed.

In the books I read, the films I watched, the most beguiling and intoxicating female characters were unobtainable and remote — their desirability being inextricably tethered to their silent disinterest and unattainability. Think of Eustacia Vye from Thomas Hardy’s Return of the Native, Cecilia Tallis in Ian McEwan’s Atonement, Estella in Great Expectations by Charles Dickens.

“I kind of feel pressure from the world in general not to be who I am.”

Lately, I’ve begun questioning the suffocating pressure I feel to adopt this role whenever I start seeing someone new. Who told me I need to masquerade as someone else and to literally adopt a different personality in order to be desirable to the opposite sex?

Writer Katie Tamola, who dates men, told me the “cool girl” ideal has been drummed into her since she was a child. “I’ve just always had people close to me tell me I need to play it cool with dudes,” she tells me. Tamola says family members and teachers have told her to “stop being so emotional and expressive” — especially with men.

“I kind of feel pressure from the world in general not to be who I am,” Tamola says. “I’ve always been emotional and immensely passionate about things. I often find myself wishing I could be the calmer, cooler version of a girl that I see portrayed in media.”

Student Alex C. (who prefers not to disclose her full name) tells me that “attempting to be the “cool girl” doesn’t just apply to heterosexual dating.”

“I constantly feel this pressure as a gay woman dating women,” she says. “It definitely seems to be the case that the person who is the least interested and most aloof holds the most power, and will get hurt less if things go south.

“I believe some of the pressure also comes from trying to avoid the lesbian U-Haul stereotype where women get serious way too quickly because nobody is putting on the brakes,” she says.

Alex explains that she now tempers her expectations and holds herself back from expressing the full extent of her feelings. “It’s a shame dating has come to this because how can anybody feel really excited about a date or know if someone is really interested in them when we’re all suppressing those feelings?”

“The person who is the least interested and most aloof holds the most power.”

The cool girl is everywhere. She’s in the books we read, she’s on our TV and movie screens, she’s in the dating advice we give and receive. From every angle, the pop culture we consume solidifies the cool girl ideal as the zenith of feminine desirability. Perhaps one of the best descriptions of this trope can be found in Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl. Flynn’s summation of this trope hits the nail bang on the head: “Being the Cool Girl means I am a hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores football, poker, dirty jokes, and burping, who plays video games, drinks cheap beer, loves threesomes and anal sex, and jams hot dogs and hamburgers into her mouth like she’s hosting the world’s biggest culinary gang bang while somehow maintaining a size 2, because Cool Girls are above all hot.”

Dr Stacy Gillis — Senior Lecturer in 20th-century literature and culture at Newcastle University —believes the cool girl is rooted in “how women are discursively positioned within patriarchal structures of power.” Gillis views this trope as related to a “predator-prey conquest model” whereby the cool girl is unobtainable until she’s conquered by the right man. “It’s about unattainability, but with the hint that you will be able to be attained,” says Gillis. “With the promise that with the right man, he will be able to break down this woman’s barriers.”

Research into the ways in which women present themselves on dating apps can also shed some light on the pressures women still face to conform to certain behavioural ideals. Siân Brooke, DPhil researcher at the Oxford Internet Institute, has conducted research into how women present themselves on dating apps like Tinder and Bumble.

“‘Coolness’ or ‘being cool’ is a trope that is gendered and often racialised,” Brooke tells me over email. “When used to describe women, ‘coolness’ refers to the adoption of typically masculine ideals of behaviour, such as a liking football or gaming.” Brooke believes the cool girl is a rejection of an antithetical feminine dating stereotype: the clingy woman.

Image: vicky leta / mashable

“A particularly prevalent idea is that women are ‘clingy,’ which was quite common in research I have conducted both on dating apps and memes,” says Brooke. Clinginess is, per Brooke, a gendered term that pertains to “excessive emotional dependence” — an “undesirable” behaviour in dating culture.

“Clingy is not just attachment but is specifically associated with men complaining about a woman’s behaviour and perceived excessive need for attention,” says Brooke. The negative connotations of being branded “clingy” may, according to Brooke, cause some women to choose to act “distant and removed” from a potential partner. “The negative association of feminine behaviour can lead women to adopt masculine traits that they see as making them more desirable in dating, where so-called feminine behaviour is often demonised.”

Brooke says during her research she found that women who use dating apps often choose to feature a selection of images that exhibit common cool girl attributes. “My research has shown that women will populate the images they have on their profiles with items they believe show ‘coolness,’ such as engaging in physical activities in photos where they aren’t ‘made up’ (i.e. hair and makeup),” she says.

So, where does this ideal actually come from? Male-authored female literary characters have historically embodied characteristics like aloofness and unattainability. They are often troubled and in need of taming. Gillis says this trope can be found in popular fiction at the end of the 19th century, beginning of the 20th century, but it may well go further back than that.

“I can certainly think of a few instances of it appearing in 1860s sensation fiction, and this is a longstanding discursive structure,” says Gillis. “It’s very seductive, women are coercively interpellated into feeling that this is how they need to be in order to attract male attention.”

“It’s that distancing comes hither look, you see this being written about in popular fiction at the end of the 19th century, beginning of the 20th century, and invariably those women in those narratives end up married,” says Gillis. “It’s an inversion of the Rochester-Darcy model except that there’s no agency for women behind it because it’s still located within patriarchal structures.”

“We become supplicants, we want the male gaze to come at us so we’ll do whatever it takes.”

Things have arguably moved on a little in society since the 19th century, so why is it that women still feel pressured to adhere to an outmoded concept of female attractiveness? Gillis believes this comes from a “desire to be desired within the patriarchy.”

“If there’s only certain ways in which you can be desired within the heteronormative patriarchy then you’re inculcated into this position,” says Gillis. “This is how we — as minorities in a patriarchy — are interpellated into these positions whereby we become supplicants, we want the male gaze to come at us so we’ll do whatever it takes.”

In my own infuriating experience, I feel a kind of damned-if-you-do predicament when faced with my desire to rail against this archetype. “The thing is, though,” a female friend recently said with a grimace. “Being the cool girl actually works.” She’s right, in a way. Women are continuously told that this behaviour model works, that it’s a tried and tested trick of the trade, one that you can deviate from at your own risk.

So, how do we go about dismantling this stereotype? Gillis hypothesises that queer popular culture has the power to upturn these stereotypes that are still a source of pressure for women. “[Queer popular culture’ is a space in which there’s a playfulness to these tropes and roles, they’re seen as something you can move in and out of.”

“Any stereotype can be dismantled, it doesn’t happen overnight. The challenges to this come from Young Adult and LGBTQ fiction which mocks these longstanding romance traditions,” she continues.

In the meantime, I’ve made a vow to avoid playing the cool girl when I’m dating. I can no longer pretend to be someone I’m not just so I can fulfil a rigid stereotype of female attractiveness. I am not the cool girl, nor will I ever be. Take it or leave it.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

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