Be aware of the signs you send to men
This article is not for men. It's for women, to tell them how we misinterpret some of your signs.
In their relationships with women, men come in two kinds: the pig and the good guy. The pig only thinks about how to get a girl into bed. The good guy has a strong sexual drive, but he knows what is important: He looks for a person, because he wants to spend his life with her.
Imagine a pig walking into a dorm party. He want sex, so he looks for the most pleasure for the least effort. Who will be the easiest to get into bed? You might think, "It's impossible to know who is easy and who's not."
But there are ways of telling, and everybody knows them. Is it the girl wearing tight, revealing clothes? Is she very physical, touching us constantly? Does she dance sexually? Can you tell that she has been drinking? What kind of party is this: a clean one or a dirty one? Also, is she smoking or swearing? Do her friends look like they are easy and sluttish? The signs come down to: Is she sexy and hot? Now, the woman many not be aware of this. She wears those clothes because they make her feel sexy; little does she know what effect she is having on the men in the room. All she wants is a good time and a little bit of attention. Or she may want sex. The pig doesn't care. He wants to seduce you. If you look and act easy, you must be easy. Once you have been classified, if you say "no," you're just playing hard to get. Because all the pig wants is pleasure, he doesn't want your fertility or your family. Don't expect him to be understanding or caring (unless it is part of the game). Don't expect him to commit, and don't expect him to be faithful.
Now, suppose the pig sees her instead coming out of church, wearing beautiful clothes that don't reveal anything except that there is a person who values herself and expects men to value her. The pig thinks, "She's good looking, but to get her I would have to make too many sacrifices."
But suppose there is a good guy coming out of church with her. The good guy thinks, "She doesn't look like dozens have handled her: She doesn't look like damaged goods. She looks like the kind who would make a good girlfriend, a careful mother and a faithful wife." To this kind of woman, he is willing to commit. By the signs she sends to men, she shows that she values herself and that she will not choose a few years of dirty fun and a lifetime of bad marriages.
The good guy wants to make you happy. If you look and act worthwhile, chances are you are worthwhile. Because the good guy wants a good life, he takes all of you: your bad days and your good days, your children, your ideas, your relatives, your friends, your past and your future. Expect him to be genuinely understanding and caring. Expect him to commit. Expect him to be faithful.
Of course fun and happiness are not opposites. Of course being holy does not disqualify having fun — hey, being holy almost requires having fun! But sometimes you have to choose what kind of fun you want to have because some kinds of fun lead to a bad life.
This article is for all those good women who want good relationships and a good marriage. This for all who think that to catch a good man they must dress provocatively. What they get is a pig and they make good guys into pigs. Mr. Right will not marry a sluttish-looking girl. He has learned what self-control means; he expects you to know it too.
If I had it my way, I would hope that all of you women of Notre Dame, Saint Mary's and Holy Cross will be like my own sisters: They know their dignity is worth more than a few sordid parties. They show that they demand respect by the way they dress and act. So choose, and know what you choose.
Gabriel Martinez is a graduate student in the department of economics. His column runs every other Thursday. The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.
All Viewpoint Stories for Thursday, December 2, 1999