Sunday, September 15, 2013

Are All Girl Clubs Keeping Women Single?

Sisterhood vs Singlehood…does having sisterhood among women come at a cost?
I’ve always been a girly girl as I love the color pink, wear mainly dresses and skirts, and would not be caught dead without my earrings.   Even when I was in college, I remember waiting in anticipation to see if my favorite sorority would accept me into their organization.  My roommate and I were so happy when we were accepted and began to purchase all of the latest paraphernalia including t-shirts, socks, hats, jackets, and underwear…yes underwear!  My college sweetheart at the time was also in a fraternity so I was head over heels excited to be a part this culture and walk in the footsteps of the many women who came before me in this great organization.  It was a dream come true for me.
However, as I’ve grown older, I’ve started to question the very ideals I held as a child and a young adult.  For example, my job allows me to travel all over the world where I get to meet people from all walks of life.  It’s really opened my eyes to the differences between the Western and Eastern cultures when it comes to dating and relationships.  For example, I’ve noticed in some of the cultures that their dating styles are quite different.  They couldn’t imagine having a “ladies night” without men.  When I mention this concept to them, they are dumbfounded and questioned the very foundation that I’ve come to understand here in America.  It really made me take a second look at how we as Americans have created these types of female activities and clubs and how it may be keeping us as women perpetually single.
Let’s take a look at the other side of the coin-men.  Men do enjoy bonding with other men in activities such as sports and perhaps even music.  But unless it’s to watch a game or play in a music band, they very rarely hang out the way women do in bars, clubs or other social activities.  Sure, I’ll make the exception of a young male who, in his twenties, will occasionally hang out with the “fellas” to go pick up women in a bar or club, but as he grows up and matures, he tends to go solo.  Yet, women on the other hand do quite the opposite, which is, unless they’re married, continue to hang out in all girl clubs, even when they would prefer to go out with their single male friends. 
I’ve also heard from many men that it is intimidating talking to a woman and asking her out on a date when she is within a group.  They say it’s much easier when she is by herself or out with 2 or 3 of her closest girlfriends.  Just think about it.  Men know they take the risk of being rejected by the girl they wanted to ask out, but when his chosen woman is within a group, he risks rejection by not just her but all of the people in that group. 
So what is the rationale behind the “all girl clubs”?  Well, I believe one of the reasons is because of our history in this country.  Our history dates back to the feminist or women’s movement where women were tired of being treated unfairly regarding family and work life creating a movement that would force the country to look at women differently in terms of being a valuable force in the economic interests of the country.  This was a great thing for women and even better for the country.  I believe this was the greatest bonding experience for women and we quickly seized on those opportunities realizing our strength came in numbers within those organizations.  However, this power has come at a huge cost.  Even though women made valuable strides when it came to asserting their independence from men, they still wanted to be courted and dined by them too.
I also believe that it’s a whole lot easier to deal with your own sex than to deal with the opposite.  Why go through the trouble in trying to understand how the opposite sex thinks, feels, and does when you can just go with the group which is similar to you and not go through the hassle.  I’ve coached a lot of women and many of them seem very content in these types of clubs while silently “crying in the dark”.
To help women with this dilemma, I’ve listed a few types of co-ed clubs and activities below.  These clubs help women find comfort and camaraderie with other women and yet also give them the freedom to meet single men as well.
1.       Team Sports Fan Clubs – If you are a fan of certain sports teams, than why not join a fan club?  This is a great way to meet men who also are a fan of your team.  What great way to meet someone single and celebrate your team’s victory. 
2.       Small Business Entrepreneurial groups – These groups are popping up everywhere as more and more people want information on how to start their own businesses.  When it comes to business, you’ll see a fair amount of both men and women in these types of groups.  Even if you’ve never wanted to start your own business, you may be able to get great contacts in case you need any future services.
3.       Tennis/Golf/Running clubs –These clubs are fun and not only can you bond with other women, meet single men, but get a good work out in as well.  There are generally a lot of outings they provide so members can meet each other along with competitions among members and eventually the camaraderie you’ll share being a member of the club.
4.       Political Groups – Politics are not everyone’s favorite topic on their list of things to talk about on a date but this type of group will ensure you at least have this one thing in common.  I’ve seen so many people connect through political conventions and conferences so I would be hard pressed not to put this one on the list.  Who knows, maybe you will meet the next town Mayor!
5.       Boxing/Martial Arts/High Intensity Fitness Clubs – If you are a highly athletic woman, these types of clubs may be for you.  They tend to be filled with both men and women who are serious about getting in shape.  The good news is that you’ll meet someone else on the same level as you athletically with the same thing in common increasing your odds of meeting Mr. Right!
6.       Wealth Or Investment Building Clubs – If you want to learn more about how to have financial success through investments, then this is the right club for you.  Both men and women join these clubs with the hope of growing their investments and learning tips around money management.  This could be a great club for someone who is new to investments and really wants to know how to manage their money or meet a certain someone who can teach them!
7.       Religious Singles Groups – Religion and spirituality bonds many people together who walk the same path in life.  This is generally a deal breaker on many single’s list if their potential partner does not share their same religion or philosophy.  At least, meeting someone here will ensure that you do share an important value and opens the door to many other possibilities.
8.       College Alumni Clubs – Education is a fundamental value that many people would like to share with their potential spouse.  These clubs are full of men and women who reminisce about their past college lives while helping to build the future for future alumni. 
So are all girl clubs keeping women single?  Well, my objective in writing this article was not to publicly criticize all girl clubs but to make women think more critically about their purpose in joining one and list a few other alternatives.  There is nothing wrong with women building organizations together or going out to “ladies night” from time to time.  Yet, if you’ve been single for a long period of time and are a member of a number of these types of clubs or participate in a lot of these activities, this may be the reason as you may be defeating your own purpose.  Maybe it’s worth re-evaluating your purpose and your needs at this point in your life and determining if these clubs and activities are still a good fit. 
Just Food for Thought!

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