Tuesday, August 22, 2006


i never thought i would agree with something Leah McLaren wrote but its happened.

Remember that article she wrote for the Spectator back in 2002 when she moved to London? Yes, that article about British men fearing women and therefore paralyzing their self-esteem, leaving them unable to properly court women? The article that caused a huge controversy this side of the Atlantic and a national debate about the sexual nature of British men?

Yes, well, i have to agree with Miss McLaren in her findings unfortunately.

Since moving to the UK almost five months ago, my self-esteem has taken a bash and my self-doubt has been on the uprise. i have to admit: i didn't seem that hard up in Toronto for dates or men who were interested in spending time with me. i was used to being asked out by men back home in Canada. Not so much in the UK. In fact, i have only been asked out once here - and i'm still not certain as to whether or not it was a date. There were other people there, at the pub, so surely that doesn't constitute a date...or does it?

However, i offer a somewhat convoluted and politically incorrect solution; a solution that is too taboo to even discuss in the UK. i propose my solution aware of the sensitivity surrounding it and can only offer it based on my own experiences.

Date working class boys.

Working class boys in the UK are a different breed than those in Canada. They look better, they dress better, and they know how to treat women: they still open doors, pay for meals, and do not shy away from making the first move. Working class boys would probably not be able to afford the gifts that Miss McLaren favours but they would still promise them nonetheless.

True, working class lads drink(a lot), most likely smoke (unbecoming) , are obsessed with football (beyond any sense of reason) and are perhaps unable to dissect 20th Century post-modern British literary theory (and could careless about doing so) but at least these lads are not wracked and consumed with self-doubt crippling them from interacting with the opposite sex.

Yes, proper young men with a good education, family and career could most likely afford someone such as Miss McLaren and gain all the right checkmarks on her list, but unfortunately, in this country, they still don't know how to properly kiss a girl and all those years at an all boy boarding school didn't help them either.

7 comments:

Alison said...

Hey Jennifer,

A fellow Canadian here! I am 26, female, and ready to make my movefrom Vancouver to Glasgow... so imagine when I was browsing for Scottish blogs and stumbled across your Haggis blog! Thanks for giving me the renewed aspiration to do this!

karina said...

Hi there, I am a 36 year old women living in Victoria BC, trying to decide if I should accept a transfer with my company to Glasgow. It has been great reading your blog,and I would love to get any advice from you about living in Glasgow as I am really having a hard time trying to decide. My email is karina_perkins@yahoo.ca if you feel like writing.

thanks

David Mackenzie said...

Jennifer,
You're right about so many things, but your sense of gender-based entitlement throws a spanner in the works.

I think you're right about the social awkwardness that exists here. I think there's a lot of self-enforced self-doubt.

But, suggesting that you should have your meals bought for you and first initiatives should be taken on your behalf - just because you're female - is obnoxious, to be totally honest. In another post you describe yourself as a "modern woman", but I don't see anything modern about this attitude at all.

In your own words, can you tell us why men should do these things for you, just because you're a woamn? Why don't you buy them dinner, for example?

I'm not picking fights, I'm just curious to hear the North American reasoning. As far as I'm concerned, if you're sticking to these gender stereotypes, then you're doing yourself a disservice and you're probably alienating the kind of men you want to attract. I get the feeling that Europe has largely moved on from this stuff.

Other than this, I find myself nodding in agreement with much of what you post.

Anonymous said...

ahh man...met this guy from Falkirk bout an hour from glasgow a few years ago...he was such a charmer...called me princess all the time..left my husband for him...well now...he's become very controlling n not even with me yet...I said I'd pay for the move..not with me yet..says he loves me more than anything...yes, OBSESSED with Rangers..bought him I dunno how many Tshirts..I"m dumb really I fell in love with him threw my husband away had a kid with him too..now ex is with someone else and I'm with someone who I think is playing me EVERY day..oh they're good...and when he drinks his attitude gets worst n he goes psycho...like he's a parrot n repeats anything I say n turns it on me...I dunno bout these scottish guys..ken wit I mean

Anonymous said...

oh n he's not with me...he's saying he will be soon...just like he said 2 years ago..n I'm dumb n beleive him still..

e. said...

Dear Anonymous...sorry to hear you're being played by a Scottish narcissist. Narcissism, a.k.a., mental illness, crosses all cultural boundaries. Leave him, find a nice man, and be happy. Don't fall in love with them, fall in love with YOU!
Sincerely, e.z.

Anonymous said...

Ladies,
Have you ever been to Australia? We have the exact same dating/booze culture here, especially in the city.
It'll be interesting to see how I fare with the scotsmen!