Straight flush. As the cards are dealt, the expressionless poker face overtakes the features, suppressing emotion and sense of honesty. My poker history of interests reads like a failed tournament: too much honesty and too little interest in the entire game.
Interaction is marked by strategy, male and female designated roles. The female is to be pursued, intent on being attractive and selectively intelligent – never to directly challenge male assertion. Perkiness and optimism increase the probability of male interest. Superficially disregarded as archaic notions, I wonder just how relevant these standards remain.
On too many occasions I have found myself negatively sanctioned due to my infringement of these social norms. Walking down Del Playa in sweat pants, a business trench coat and a cute tank top will undoubtedly yield different results. On the separate occasions when I have worn these items, I have found a direct correlation between the amount of clothing not worn and the amount of sanction verbalized. It is this system that effectively separates males and females for the game. We are now unspoken opponents at the poker match, silently strategizing our next move. Attracting comments based on physical appearance is the mobilizing tactic synonymous with attracting attention. Greater attention attracted equals more power and control in interactions and relationships.
Unfortunately, this concentration on presentation detracts from interaction based on intelligence. The extent to which appearance dictates interaction is disturbing. Introducing myself to an intriguing man after philosophy class because of his perceived intelligence becomes an absurd concept. Not in the rulebook, this move stupefies my opponent.
Funny that the verbalized commentary on physical appearance would rarely be made, but rather inferred from selective flirty glances, smiles and giggles. Personally, I feel that this is a guaranteed mixture to induce nausea. It appears that it is the consistency of this low-grade flattery that comprises the model for female success in male interaction. The male’s ego is systematically augmented, and the female believes this to be the key in mobilizing her power of attractiveness.
The other part of the cards entails the male initiation. The reproduced illusion of egalitarian pursuance and dating is a myth. The reality is that my attempt to deal the cards in pursuit results in the male’s premature abstention. Apparently an appreciation for intelligent and challenging conversation on politics, religion and philosophy has some automatic repulsive quality.
My power over the cards as dealer is feared, and the men I have encountered fold before the game begins. Conversation can run smoothly, as long as it remains according to the male’s plan of events. Too much interest signals the advent of a psycho. To call or not to call becomes a world-class issue so serious that national security should intervene.
Too many cards have been drawn, too many hands failed. The game model that male and female interaction seems to follow has far too many rules, disqualifications and premature folds. The actual subject of pure interest becomes clouded with gaining the upper hand in strategy. Interaction is no longer expression of true emotions but rather an attempt to control the reaction and action of the opposite sex. I am ready to leave Vegas and the game behind in an attempt to find mature and honest communication.
Katherine Drabiak is a junior sociology and law & society major.