This question was inspired by your post on misogyny, but I don’t think it quite fit into the comments section for me to ask there.
I started talking to a guy that I met through a mutual friend. Nothing serious. We were just talking and he let me know that he finds me attractive. He’s quite a catch what with the curing cancer (he’s a PhD candidate), being super nice, musically talented, and a little bit of a hottie on top of it all. It had come time to do the big friending on facebook. This is where I found out the guy is a Tom Leykis fan. Dun dun dun! No judgments if someone happens to be a Leykis fan, but I know what he thinks of women and how he instructs others to treat women and quite frankly…I don’t know if I should be heading in the direction of a “dating” relationship with someone that thinks it’s okay. So we haven’t talked in a couple of weeks. I kind of pushed him away after finding out that little piece of information. My question is…was that fair of me? I’m almost certain that I have interests that could lead people to make the wrong assumptions about me, but should some interests be automatic red flags? I don’t think there’s any going back now, but for future reference I’d like to get The Guys’ take on this.
This is a great question.
We will admit, the first thing we did was look up more on Tom Leykis. It seems he’s made quite a name for himself and garnered quite a following.
And for those of you who aren’t familiar with him, he’s online at Tom Leykis Blog and Tom Leykis on My Space. We’re not promoting him, just giving you a sense of some attitudes toward women that are floating around on the web and on the air.
Lovy, let’s first address your specific situation and then discuss the broader question. At first glance your new guy meets all the criteria many women want in a man. He’s smart, good looking, interesting, cultured and motivated. However, herein lies the problem. Evaluating with a checklist is difficult and not very accurate. When it comes down to it, these qualities pale in comparison to character, values and outlook on life. Luckily you know that.
We don’t know Tom Leykis personally, so it’s hard to judge what’s truly in his heart. Is he a misogynist? Certainly his on air persona would suggest that he leans this way. And even if he’s not, the fact that he’s willing to take on this persona for ratings and fame is telling enough. So we could see how you would want to tread lightly when seeing a guy who is a fan of his show.
However, you’re reaction was a bit knee-jerk. We think you know that, thus your question to us. Let’s say this same guy was not a Tom Leykis fan, but instead he was way into porn. And you didn’t know this about him. So after dating for a few months, you found an extensive collection-by accident- at his house. How might you view him then? Would you see him as someone who objectifies woman? Or would it be okay with you? Or maybe after getting to know him for a few months, and liking him, you might see it as one small facet of his personality.
Each situation is different for each person. Some people could never date a person affiliated with an opposing political party. Some people get stuck on religion, others on ethnicity. Some people don’t like swearing, other people are uncomfortable with someone who likes to go out a lot. It’s all what people can stomach and feel comfortable with.
It’s clear that this just didn’t work for you, and there’s nothing wrong with that. And frankly, having said all of the above, this guy’s interest in Tom Leykis would cause us to pause and reevaluate as well. The only thing we might have done differently is had that conversation; if you truly thought he was worth it. You could have always bolted AFTER the conversation too, with a bit more understanding about why he enjoys this guy. And that information might have proved very useful in future encounters and relationships.
Everyone has their automatic red flags. We do. Obviously you do too. And that’s a good thing. It says that you are not willing to settle for the next cute guy. It says that you respect yourself and want to be with someone who respects you. No one should compromise their values just because they feel lonely. Because there is nothing lonelier than being in a relationship with the wrong person.
Thanks for writing.
ps. TO OUR READERS: Check out Lovy’s writing at: www.bibliophile.sayrawr.com (She’s a talented lady!)