gender divide: what’s wrong with mix rooms, having opposite sex travel companions

“I’m going away for a couple of days with a friend,” I said to my mother.

“A friend? Who is it and where will you be staying?”

I cringe, because that was it, I’d probably just ruined my anticipation of the trip by telling my mother – who will no doubt fire off questions faster than I can answer them. I’ll look guilty no matter what I answer and of course, she makes me feel so with her response.

“How do you know him? Are you going to stay in the same room as him?!”

“Uh yeah, it’s a hostel, it has mixed rooms. I’ve done that in Amsterdam too, remember?”

All I can think of was, what did my mother really think of me? And why did I even tell her in the first place. It’s not like she had to know.

Now, the last time I checked the calendar it was 2015. And I’m a believer of equality in the sense that I can have both male and female friends, whom I travel with, whom I treat the same, regardless of their gender (like hey, isn’t that how the world is supposed to be?) and of course, if you’re friends with me, you’d know that I’m very liberal and artistic, oh and I have very much high standards when it comes to people I’m attracted to – yes, it takes more than a pretty face and cleverness to charm me. And while my friend is a great human being with tremendous artistic talent, I can say with 120% confidence that there’s no funny feelings lurking beneath the surface.

To assume that every friend you have of the opposite sex is someone you’re attracted to is absurd, sort of like the assumption people make when they find out someone is gay. You know the one where people gasp and then ask the ridiculous question. “Does that mean you’re attracted to me? Ew!” – See, absurd. And, to assume that every guy I come across is attracted to me is equally absurd, not to mention absolutely delusional.

So, why is it that in 2015, men and women still can’t ‘just be friends’ with one another without, gasp, people assuming there’s something going on other than a strictly platonic friendship?

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