Leagues

5 01 2015

I have just gone through – again – a round of “you’re out of my league” from someone I was casually dating.  It is a common enough metaphor out here in the cis-het dating world.  A number of otherwise apparently intelligent men still fall back on sports metaphors in trying to relate to women.  This woman is tired of it.

Men of the world, repeat with me: There are no leagues in relationships.

Are there things you don’t want to deal with? You bet.

Deal-breakers that maybe don’t make sense to other people? Absolutely.

Incompatible lifestyles? Of course.

Are there leagues?  NO.  THERE ARE NO LEAGUES.

I don’t have too many illusions (at least I hope I don’t) about myself.  I am not the Perfect Woman For Every Man.  For instance: a man who is looking for arm candy isn’t going to enjoy my company… and similarly, I have no interest in being in that kind of position, so no harm, no foul.  But I’ve spent over fifty years learning and doing things.  I have some accomplishments that are important.  Some skills that I’m proud of.  Nearly everyone does.  I am no different.

“You’re out of my league” sounds like a compliment, but it isn’t.  It is an invitation to diminish yourself so that the speaker can feel like more.  It’s the cue to say oh, that set of skills I have?  I just do the things I enjoy.  Or that advanced degree that I have that seems to be bugging you?  I just got that advanced degree because it seemed like a good idea at the time.  The job title that sounds bigger than yours?  Gosh, job titles can mean nearly anything.

Never mind the hours I’ve spent learning and working on those skills I enjoy.  Or the years spent immersed in study and writing.  Let’s not consider the amount of work it took for me to end up in a career area that still makes me happy.

I am all about the awareness of privilege.  I know that being a straight cisgendered white woman gives me some advantages.  But I also know that I didn’t just fall into my life, that I’ve done work along the way that I can be proud of.  And that I am a decent person worth knowing and spending time with.  And that those accomplishments that are putting me “out of your league” do nothing of the sort, and I am no longer going to make myself seem smaller so that someone else can feel bigger.

And I’m also done with explaining.  The next time I hear any permutation of “you’re out of my league,” I’m not going to waste my time with why that metaphor is patently ridiculous.

Instead, my answer will be only “Yes.  Yes I am.”  And that will be the end of it.

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One response

5 01 2015
prinkatwong3rd

Awesome answer! Never thought of it like that, but you’re right, people who say that are probably just hoping for u to make them feel better. It really just make them seem insecure.

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