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Good-Bye, Wallflowers This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

By , Portland, OR
It always annoys me how willing girls are to play the “damsel in distress.” Yes, we girls may not be physically as strong as boys (on average). We are, for the most part, smaller too. Evolutionarily speaking, we are supposed to depend on men to bring us food while we make babies. Historically it has made sense for women to look to men for protection.

However, society now is set up so that we women can support ourselves just as well as men can, if not better. We can be just as independent as men. Even so, many double standards still exist from the time when men were seen as the dominant sex. For example, in high school, boys are still expected to initiate romantic relationships and pay for dates, while girls are expected to be passive and look pretty.

I like the idea of a boy treating me with respect; girls should do the same for them. However, it makes no sense whatsoever that boys should be the only ones to initiate a relationship when girls are just as capable of doing so. Many girls believe it is not their place to approach a crush because of standards that have existed in our society for ages. However, these ideas are outdated and discourage girls from empowering themselves.

“I don't think I'd ever ask anyone out because it's so embarrassing. I'm not a very forward person,” says Stephanie, a junior at my high school. She has always been shy and says, as a result, she does not have the confidence to ask someone out. Stephanie does not directly relate this to societal standards but admits that this could affect her on a subconscious level.

Some girls, however, are confident enough to take the first step. Imari, a sophomore, has asked two guys out.

“I knew he wasn't going to ask me because I wasn't too obvious, so I thought, if he's not going to ask me, I may as well ask him. There's nothing to lose,” she says.

The first time she asked someone out was for the Winter Semi-Formal Dance her freshman year. He turned her down. But last summer Imari asked out someone else, who said yes. They are still dating, and she enjoys the empowerment of taking the initiative.

“When a girl asks a guy out, it's different. It's a lot more fun because the ball is in your court. You have all the cards. You're not sitting around waiting,” she explains. Imari acknowledges that there are societal standards that say boys should take the initiative instead of girls. “There's more pressure on a guy,” she says. “Girls expect a guy to just ask.”

Imari believes that it's often surprising when a girl asks a boy out because it is so out of the norm. “It shakes guys up and makes them realize that you're not going to sit around waiting for them.”

It takes courage and confidence to ask someone out, regardless of gender. Whether you're a girl or a boy, there will always be that uncomfortable feeling of putting yourself on the line, but that's just part of the dating experience.

I look forward to the day when it's just as common for a girl to ask a boy out as it is for a boy to ask a girl. I look forward to the day when girls don't hesitate to approach a love interest, and when shy boys won't have to assume that they'll never get a girlfriend if they don't ask someone out. I look forward to the day when people don't do double takes every time I explain that I've never been asked out but I've initiated several relationships. I look forward to the day when girls can, in the eyes of society, be equal to boys when it comes to initiating relationships.

It's the twenty-first century. We women are no longer fragile dolls who require special treatment. We are capable of just about anything men are. Why shouldn't we initiate relationships too?

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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TheEleventhHour This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jun. 2, 2013 at 10:09 am:
I totally agree with all your opinions, plus this is very well written. Thanks for being such a strong, opinionated, independent girl, who isn't afraid to speak her mind. Good job!
 
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AbbaDabbaDoo said...
Apr. 9, 2013 at 9:01 am:
An inspiring, revelutionary, and pratical piece of art that will stick with you. This author is a girl after my own heart! Keep writing!
 
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Yellow said...
Feb. 15, 2013 at 11:29 pm:
  I completely agree that men and women should be able to do whatever they want regardless of gender. However I'm a girl and know that if I was a guy, a girl asking me out would scare me. And to that I say, get over yourself. Guys have been hogging the spotlight for hundreds of years now while woman were trapped indoors making babies. It's time for a change!
 
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packerbacker12This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Feb. 1, 2013 at 2:44 pm:
As a guy reading this i feel like you are be-littleing us guys. and you are trying to say that women are just as capable as men! who opens your door, who puts food on the table, who makes household decisions, who was created to be more dominant, and who cacthes you when you fall, and who's the one who carries all the heavy things. i don't agree with your statement at all. and put yourself and a guys shoes how would you fell if a girl asked you out. i would be embarresed and shocked that ... (more »)
 
KatsK This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Feb. 23, 2013 at 11:50 pm :
I find this incredibly sexist. Historically, men have been stronger, but times have changed. Just speaking from personal experience, several of my friends have mothers who have done extremely well, make household decisions for both of their kids' households (her former husband divorced her), and guess what? She can even open a door. By herself. Astounding, isn't it?
 
Original Author replied...
Feb. 24, 2013 at 10:36 pm :
Uhhhhh as the author of this piece reading your comment, I can't tell whether you're trolling or whether you're being seriously. Because you sound ridiculous.
 
sweetangel4lifeThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Mar. 13, 2013 at 10:45 am :
actually, my mom has put food on our table and has never been supported by a man. she worked young, married young, divorced becasue he abused her, and she stil was always the supporter of the family. she got a job and bought her own food. no one opned the door for her but herself. this is sexist and women are equal to men. we are not unabled. yes, guys are very nervous too. girls are nervous to ask guys out. you are nevrsous to ask us out. i agree with the author. you sound ridiculous.
 
DarknessHasFallenThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Dec. 21, 2013 at 2:44 am :
How about you try to be in our shoes? Men probably don't consider this that way but you know what? We have a mind. We have power. WE HAVE A CHOICE. And my mind is telling me you are sexist. My power of emotion is telling me to hate you. And I made that choice all on my own.Is that hard to imagine? Of course it is for all of you horribly conservative men. If you men have a mind why don't you use it? HAHA I bet that stumped you didn't it?
 
Mr.packerbacker12This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Dec. 22, 2013 at 12:02 pm :
Ok, it has been 10 months since I checked back here, and my original post was not very respectful. I've had a lot change since then and my mindset has changed incredibly. Although I do still think it's a man's job to ask a girl out, I do believe that if the man will not do it because he fears, then the girl has every right too. And the rest of everything I wrote from the original post was very wrong, I believe women can support themselves. And original author, I was not being a troll... (more »)
 
Mr.packerbacker12This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Dec. 22, 2013 at 12:03 pm :
Ok, it has been 10 months since I checked back here, and my original post was not very respectful. I've had a lot change since then and my mindset has changed incredibly. Although I do still think it's a man's job to ask a girl out, I do believe that if the man will not do it because he fears, then the girl has every right too. And the rest of everything I wrote from the original post was very wrong, I believe women can support themselves. And original author, I was not being a tr.ol... (more »)
 
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CRAZYxBUNNIThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Jan. 28, 2013 at 11:25 am:
I can relate this. I find my relationships to have a higher success rate when I ask a guy out rather than them asking me. In my relationship I am the dominate, I even carry my boyfriends books. I love him very much and he feels the same for me. I think its great that women are gaining confidence. I remember when I asked my current boyfriend out he asked me "Isn't that what I'm supposed to do?" my reply its a new age and I'm not like any other girl. as my aunt says i gpot sp... (more »)
 
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lonelyspark said...
Sept. 26, 2012 at 10:44 pm:
Personally, I think it's great when anyone, regardless of their gender, gathers the courage to ask the person they like out. That to me is the epitome of confidence, when people take a chance, not afraid of the outcome. But not everyone is like that, and as a girl, it's probably easier for me that these social expectations exist.
 
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DifferentTeen said...
Sept. 8, 2012 at 8:35 pm:
Okay, I enjoyed how you had detail support from real people in your school, I thought that was awesome! Though, I disagree with the whole ‘girl initiating relationships’ thing. Strongly. I am a person very set in my old-fashioned ways. I’m quite the shy person when it comes to guys, especially the attractive ones (ha). I think the guy should definitely be the one to ask the girl out. “girls are expected to be passive and look pretty.” – I don’t agree wit... (more »)
 
packerbacker12This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Feb. 1, 2013 at 2:39 pm :
or they're not allowed to date and are obeying their parents!
 
TheEleventhHour This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jun. 2, 2013 at 10:08 am :
ok, first, its not weird for a girl to ask a boy out, and its completely sexist to think it is. a girl should have just as much freedom to initiate a relationship as a boy. and packer, i cant tell if you are being serious but if you are you are frankly being a jerk because its the 21rst century, women have just as many rights as men, and they are capable of being just as independent and strong as men, if not more.
 
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BlueRain said...
Feb. 1, 2012 at 6:40 pm:
I've always been for women empowerment. And actually, I did try to start a relationship myself. My friends thought I was crazy but I took the risk and I asked. And I don't know if it's a guy thing or just this one guy, but it creeped him out. And that was the day romance flew out the door. I really wish I could find the guts to do that again. And maybe it's just because you have to wait for the right person that you trust won't let you down when You start it, but I don't feel like I can.
 
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redeemed_love said...
Jan. 28, 2012 at 5:11 pm:
In my personal opinion, I enjoy being 'chased'. I've heard too many stories where the woman has constantly initiated the relationship, even to the point of marriage... and she wonders why he just sits around the house or hangs off her like some sort of accessory. Men are meant to be the pursers, the initiators. It's in their blood to protect, to chase, to woo and to win. Even if we women want to step up and take their role, we shouldn't - where would that put them? In our role, the "damsel in di... (more »)
 
DifferentTeen replied...
Sept. 8, 2012 at 8:44 pm :
I agree with you. I may be a 15 year old girl living in the twenty first century, but Iwish I wasn't. I hate the world today. I believe it's the mans job to be the man. Why should it be any other way? It wouldn't be right for a woman to do what a mans job is. Thats why they're a woman. I feel like men are getting softer, whats up with them getting manicures and pedicures? Shut up and grow a pair.
 
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beautifulspirit This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 28, 2012 at 9:51 am:
It is true---times are changing. What was conventional fifty years ago, could be different now. I do believe that more women should take the first step, though sometimes I think they don't because lack of confidence or fear of rejection. But those feelings come with any new relationship. Gender should not stand in the way. Good job on addressing an obscure issue in social norms.
 
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bookworm1 said...
Jan. 27, 2012 at 11:33 am:
Thank.You. finally, someone to wake everyone up and say "no. I don't need to be protected just because of my gender. "
 
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