Should a Woman Pursue a Man?

Should women pursue a man?

Apparently Mark Driscoll thinks a woman shouldn’t.

I think that this assumption is faulty on several different levels:

  1. The assumption that women shouldn’t pursue a man is against feminism. It also implies that a woman is not capable of choosing who she wants to date and pursuing that person.
  2. It’s also assuming that courtship is right, and the only way to enter a relationship. This is unbiblical and controlling teaching.
  3. It assumes that nice guys, shy guys, or guys who don’t pursue are “cowards,” have “no balls,” and are never going to take initiative in life. (Copied directly from a facebook discussion on the subject).

In my opinion and from discussing this very issue with many of my guy friends, most men like to be pursued. Yes, this means that some people’s interpretation of the Bible is faulty (duh) and that He’s Just Not That Into You is not 100% correct. Contrary to what some people tell you, I’ve found out that guys like it when a girl takes initiative and asks them out on a date.

Does that mean that all men who don’t pursue are “cowards,” or have “no balls?” No! In fact, I’m dating a guy who’s on the shy side when it comes to women and I couldn’t be happier with his characteristics. He’s thoughtful, sensitive, but he’s also really passionate about obtaining his dreams and treating me well. I’d say we sort of mutually pursued each other—it wasn’t completely one-sided on either of our ends. I just heartily disagree with people who assume the worst about “shy guys” or “nice men.” Nice guys aren’t boring. They’re not doomed to be passive all their life. Nice guys deserve a chance!

The language directed toward men in this debate is strongly emasculating to men. Saying he’s a coward if he doesn’t go after a girl he likes, or that he has no balls is really critical and insulting. You’re figuratively castrating a man with your words.

Now, what if a woman wants to pursue a man? Is she a dictator? Does she emasculate the man by taking away his power to pursue and “grow into his manhood?” My answer is no for many reasons. One, if a man’s personality indicates he’s more shy and doesn’t pursue, I think Christianity should butt out and let him be. They should celebrate the fact that that man is different from other men, and being different is great.

A woman who pursues a man is simply saying “I know you’re pursuing me, but I’m going to make the choice who I like and want to date.” IMO I think women who are aggressive aren’t a dictator and that’s a real scary line to be skating–calling women dictators because they don’t want to go back to the 1950’s and let a man rule their life.

The premise that women shouldn’t pursue oppresses women based on some out dated unbiblical teaching that assumes what Elisabeth Elliot assumes: that men are Gods, men are rulers over women. Or as Mary Daly put it, if God is male, then male is God. Thus, patriarchal religion, which turns to patriarchal society, which is responsible for the oppression of women, the under representation of women who are educated world wide (especially in third-world countries and on the subject of contraceptives). Women are oppressed by this archaic teaching!

Women, do you ever think twice about the fact that there are no birth control pills for men? Do you ever wonder why women in third-world countries have several children, even though they can’t afford them? In some places in the world, some women are not allowed to choose to plan their families, and they’re not educated on subjects as these because their governments make it illegal. (See Plan B 3.0 by Lester Brown for more information on contraceptive education in Third-World countries)

On another note, I’ve been pursued many times by men who were interested in marrying me or courting me (yes, I used to follow that teaching). I’ve also been pursued by guys who I’ve met through friends or school. Many times, they pursue me because they like the “idea” of me, or they’re looking for a pretty ornament to walk around with. I’ve pursued men because I know what I want in a man. Macho isn’t what I want. If that means that I have to kill a bug, or make a decision from time to time, then I’m happy with that. I like killing bugs. Mice, on the other hand, I can’t deal with. I’ve been really unsettled in the past by men who try to pursue me based on what little they know about me. Sometimes they see me as just a pretty girl, who’s sweet and think they can handle me. They can’t. I can tell, and I know myself pretty well, so I know when I see a look in a guys eyes like they want me that that aggressive look is nothing more than desperation and trying to appease society by marrying the “good little wife” who will be forever pretty, who will always do their laundry and always clean up their messes. I’m NOT that woman. I’m an educated, ambitious woman who has a 10 year goal she’s striving after.

I’ve written about courtship before, so I’m going to refrain from it here. But I think it’s wrong. I think courtship is really outdated and fear-driven. There’s nothing “Biblical” about it. It’s another way that many pastors (and even parents) choose to take away freedoms from young adults.

11 thoughts on “Should a Woman Pursue a Man?”

  1. Just read through.
    Anything that is put out there by religion and religious people, is all suspect for me now.
    looking back from where i came from, i can see that I’ve been on a huge downward spiral…lol.

    I’m over 60 and have been married for 37 yrs.
    I actually was the pursuer…for 3 yrs.
    i wasn’t agreesive about it…more like passive aggressive but I certainly had an agenda. We were both in the parameters of a rather remote logging camp and there wasn’t any ‘dating’. I regret both. And that doesn’t mean that pursuing and no dating is bad. i think it was me that was out of whack.

    I’m still a strong advocate of courting. i’m seen so much non-courting, often with repetitve, hideous results.

    i still say, get to know the person well before cohabiting. Not that it will be the end all, be all.

    i know this may sound ‘old school’ but I’m okay with that.

    1. Fay,
      I think that’s where I’m coming from on this: religion and pastors teach this. My favorite is being taught abstinence by a pastor who DEFINITELY DIDN’T abstain before he was married. Hypocrisy. I know how to abstain and it’s hard. I don’t want anyone telling me what to do with my body!

      I’m not a very “forceful” pursuer. I’m kind of shy when I like someone. But, I like to choose and not be told who to date (for many years I was told who to date and who not to date).
      Thanks for your comments!

      1. same goes for the teaching, that the man is supposed to be the spiritual head. What a load of hipocracy goes with that!
        not everybody is a leader by nature, so why should they be made to be. Set up for the feeling of spiritual failure..and the wife is set up to think her husband is a spiritual dud…lol…could write lots of stories about that.

        1. I couldn’t agree more. I think people should be who they are–if they are a leader, cool; if they are shy, also cool. There’s something lacking sometimes in us as humans where we can’t be happy for someone just being who they are. Often we force them to change.

          I was only taught that men should be the head of the household as a young adult in church. I wasn’t raised that way. So, I’m a little more bold, outspoken, and a leader than some men are. But, it’s not a big deal to me. It is a big deal to some men, and some Christian men won’t date me for that. But, I have a pretty awesome boyfriend who loves me the way I am, so no worries there. 🙂

          You should write lots of stories…

  2. Hi Lisa, 🙂

    I’ve been considering some of what you have shared about yourself with respect to all this.

    Considering Aranza told you and the boy you were interested in to not pursue a relationship I think it is great you now have the option to choose for yourself.

    Considering I think the guys at “Our Savior’s Church” were hardly better than little closet freaks when they tried to understand your life and help out I think it’s great you are now out from under their thumb.

    Considering I actually looked around here and did not find that you are currently pretending to do anything other than work these things out for yourself (such as hire yourself out for family counseling) I must wish you all the best.

    p.s. If anybody is thinking to throw any stones at you I will be happy to take them up on it, especially certain ministry groupies that I mentioned before, they having already done enough damage IMO.But on the other hand you seem like a “big girl” to me, so you aren’t asking for help I’m guessing.

  3. I love the comment about no contraceptive pills for men. I’ve often wondered that myself. Is it too difficult? If they did come out with birth control for men, would it finally be covered by insurance? Even people, like me, who cannot truly call themselves feminists have questions about this.
    As far as women pursuing men, I don’t think anyone has the right to tell another person God’s will. How people pursue consensual, adult relationships is entirely up to them. I recall Ruth initiated the relationship with Boaz, after all.

    1. There are no birth control pills for men because men do not have a naturally occurring state where their bodies do not produce sperm. Because of this, it is dramatically more difficult to induce that state pharmacologically.

  4. Just Read through your blog and watched the video. I’ve assumed your a Christian? if not i apologise for some assumptions have been made. 

    It does make for an interesting read :). but i have to say that you’ve seemed to have had an overly strong reaction to what i feel Mark Driscoll tried to deal with sensitively. just my opinion, but there it is, i don’t want this to cause an argument but have a reasoned discussion. if your still paying attention to this blog that is! 🙂

    Let me just state that i don’t believe in everything Mark says, i’m not a yes man, but i do believe that he does say some gd stuff most of the time. 

    His heart is clearly to protect a woman from a guy that shows signs of not be able lead a relationship and make the hard decisions that require them to step out of there comfort zone. I have no issue with a girl asking a guy out, what i do have an issue with is when the guy can’t for some reason ask the girl out and so the girl feels she has to do it for him. I’ve told my sister on some occasions to ask a guy out, why? because i don’t reckon that he realised he was on her radar, i would though not advise her to ask him on another date, if he is interested and has the ability to lead the relationship then he will ask her out. 

    If a guy is too shy to ask you out then he i believe has issues to resolve, what is stopping him?. people seem to have a way with words that make stuff seem less harsh, for example: fearful, insecure, indecisive or lacking social ability can all be termed as “shy”. This is why i would say that a girl would be better off waiting to see if the guy is able to ask you out, a test as it were.   

    there are two things that scare me, one is a guy falling for a pretty girl that lacks character, and two- a girl falling for a guy who won’t lead her well. in both cases they have not acted in their best interest, as both will lead to tough times. 

    It maybe that you believe that the girl can lead a relationship? – i believe they can and i also believe that God would bless such a relationship, but i would say that this is not the pattern of scripture and therefore not Gods best (full blessing).

    As a side note, I think that it is unfair that Mark Discoll has been portayed as the bad guy in this blog, he clearly has a heart for women, even if it might be alittle off center and not to everyones liking. His opinions come from what he believes scripture to portray, and as such should be argued against from scripture.  

    Hope this is the start of a profitable discussion, 



    1. Hi Mike,
      I’m not a Christian and I think that’s part of why I can look at Mark Driscoll’s discussion on dating and women in a different light. I’m also a feminist, which I know is a four-letter word to some Christians, but I’m assuming you’re not one of those. 🙂

      You said, “If a guy is too shy to ask you out then he i believe has issues to resolve, what is stopping him?.” I don’t think that being shy is a bad issue to have. Some people might be insecure, or they just may not be uber confident. To say he won’t “lead” his woman well might be an accurate statement, but what I find wonderful about shy men is that they DON’T try to lead women. They’ve accepted me as an equal and find the whole “leading women” idea disconcerting. I disagree with the Bible/Mark Driscoll/etc. that women need to be led. Women don’t need to be led anywhere. A horse might or a dog might–if they’re your pet. Women aren’t pets; we’re not animals. If the Bible says we are (and it does), then I charge the Bible with being arrogant, egotistical and sexist.
      That’s my two-cents. 🙂

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