Harmless Flirting?

Are men and women equal when it comes to flirting? Is it less harmful for a married man to flirt with a single woman, than it is for a married woman to flirt with a single man? I think that the old stereotype of men being suave and women being sluts, when overtly sexual, taints the simplicity of the harmless flirt. Because when women flirt it is often thought that what she is doing is making an advance, or an invitation for sex. But when men flirt its thought of as complimentary or charming. It’s amazing how some things never change when it comes to the difference between men and women. I’d really like to see gender roles take a huge turn and make it okay for women to be more expressive without being labeled.

I think that even wikipedia.org has a very antiquated look at flirting.

by Stephanie Melanson

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “Harmless Flirting?

  1. There is no such thing as harmless flirting. Flirting is flirting! If monogamy is what is in question here, then all flirting is harmful to a relationship. The traditional idea of marriage (that most of us who are married adhere to) is that you have chosen a partner who meets your securing, emotional and physical needs. To flirt by it’s very definition is to acknowledge, though superficially, an invitation to or for intimacy which should be solely reserved for your partner.

  2. There is no such thing as harmless flirting.* Flirting is flirting! If monogamy is what is in question here, then all flirting is harmful to a relationship. The traditional idea of marriage (that most of us who are married adhere to) is that you have chosen a partner who meets your securing, emotional and physical needs. To flirt by it’s very definition is to acknowledge, though superficially, an invitation to or for intimacy which should be solely reserved for your partner.

    *I connected from my wife’s facebook page and left the preceding comment. Although, I’m sure my wife would happily agree with my remarks.

  3. My intent was not to say whether it was okay or not to flirt when married. Rather why, when it does happen, is it taken lightly when men flirt and not women? Double standard.

    • I was under the impression that this blog was about marriage. So, as far as marriage goes, I stand by my previous comment no matter which spouse flirts. As far as single people, those social norms are dictated by the media these days and require that the message that it is somehow less acceptable for women to flirt than men be addressed at that level. As long as positive subcultural influences in favor of female equality are severely diminished by the overwhelming forces of mass media sexism, women will continue to be regarded negatively when acting in any overt sexual way.

      • Agree with Jesi. There is a difference between being friendly with the opposite sex, and flirting. My ex got into trouble on two separate occasions with too much flirting and sexual innuendo. I would not consider this charming on his behalf in any way, but embarrassing and gross.

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