A Love Letter to the Men of New York

You may have heard any number of unflattering things about New York’s male dating pool—their slacker attitudes, their commitmentphobia, their lack of ability to plan a date beyond drinks in a bar. But as a woman who just moved to New York City from Los Angeles, I’d like to openly declare my love for the men of New York, and to come to their defense. Men of New York, you give me the impression that I’ve finally made it to the dating big leagues.  In the four months that I’ve been dating here, I’ve found a refreshing maturity and sense of character in the men I’ve been meeting and I’m afraid there’s no going back.

There are women in LA who argue that men there are more adventurous than men in other parts of the country, that they’re young at heart and a blast to date. These women enjoy dating the dreamers and find that men in New York are too serious and obsessed with their work.  There have been women here in New York who look at me with shock and horror when I relate my positive outlook on the scene here.  It’s possible I am having such a unique experience because I’m starting over in a new place and therefore radiating a positive energy of optimism, freedom, and fearlessness.  A fistful of great guy friends have confirmed this: Men can read that energy from a mile away and are drawn to it. If there’s a real lesson to be drawn from my experience, that’s probably it. It’s crucial to be happy with myself; to respect myself, love myself, and treat myself the way I’d want or expect any man to. It’s just as important to follow my heart as it is independently of a man.  If I feel like living in New York, I’m not going to wait for a man to take me there, I’m going to be on the move.

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5 Feminist TV Shows to Watch This Spring

It might be the most feminist TV season ever — and not just because there’s no Bachelor at the moment! Here, a few of our favorites to put on your must-see list:

Girls: Let’s just say you’re not allowed in the young, cool feminist club right now if you don’t watch this show when it premieres April 15. Seriously, everyone is talking about it. It also happens to involve Tiny Furniture’s Lena Dunham, producer Judd Apatow, and a wickedly realistic take on life as a struggling, confused, terminally poor young woman. So, win-win.

Mad Men: The drama phenomenon has been hinting at the coming feminist movement since its storytelling began in 1960 (with plenty of ’50s sensibility left over). Now that we’re deep into the ’60s, there’s no escaping the impact of women’s lib. Peggy is now openly lamenting having to “act like a man” to get ahead in her job, while Joan showed her military hubby the door for dominating her for too long. Thanks to those ladies’ show-stealing turns, we barely even care anymore what happens to erstwhile philanderer Don Draper. Oh, and he’s having terrible guilty fever dreams about that, by the way; his seeming desire to make good to second wife Megan makes her more intriguing to us than we thought possible.

Veronica Mars: Yes, our favorite crime-solving teen is back, thanks to cable. SoapNet, known for its awesomely addictive repeats of such hits as The O.C. and One Tree Hill, is now running Veronica, which brought us Kristen Bell, noirish intrigue, and important issues in one package. Set your DVR for the April 15 marathon that kicks it off.

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Madonna Doesn’t Do Encores

We’re thrilled to have this fantastic guest essay by writer Kristin McGonigle, who’s featured in the new anthology Madonna & Me. The following is a special piece she wrote for a recent New York reading event, and we’ve got it exclusively here. Check out her other piece about the patron saint of sexy feminists in the book, which you can buy here.

 

I remember thinking, as I was walking to Dave and Laura’s place that night, that marriage seems like something I could give or take. It was a balmy fall night in 2008, and I headed to their place in Jersey City to meet their new baby. To me, I thought, marriage is like health insurance; I can successfully survive without it, but it seems like a responsible thing to get involved in at some point. I usually think about marriage when I have to do things like, walk alone at night in Jersey City or carry heavy things up the stairs in my fifth floor walk-up. Or when I really need health insurance.

What I do like about marriage, as it pertains to other people, is that it can often make your friends doubly excited to see you, just to have someone new in the house. When I got to Dave and Laura’s place, they were outside talking to a neighbor. Dave wore his tiny daughter in a Baby Bjorn, and because he is a considerably tall guy, it was kind of funny how high up she was. After I met her they introduced me to their neighbor, Amy.

“So, do you guys want to go see Madonna tonight?” Amy said, holding up an envelope. “I have two tickets, and I can’t use them. I have to get back to Sloan Kettering.”

I instantly assumed that Amy was a doctor or nurse, along with her role as a Madonna ticket-wielding angel from heaven. I looked at Dave and Laura, who were shockingly not eagerly grabbing at the envelope.

“Of course, we have to take them,” I said. “It’s Madonna.”

“I can’t go,” Laura said, “I’m nursing and I am still really uncomfortable. I just wouldn’t enjoy it.”

I looked at Dave, who along with being a dude, is a musician, and not exactly a fan of non-ironic pop music. I could understand his apprehension at first.

“If you can tell me how the hell to get there from here, I could go by myself,” I told them.

“I’ll go,” said Dave. “It will be interesting.”

“Dave,” I told him, “along with the birth of your daughter, this will be the most interesting thing to happen to you this year.”

“They are great seats,” Amy said, “put them to good use. Paul gave them to me for our anniversary.”

That’s when I realized she didn’t work at Sloan Kettering. Dave had a great affection for Paul and told a lot of stories about their nights out together in Jersey City. Paul was a great character. He had gotten sick really quickly, and his doctors were confounded about what was causing it. They realized he had a rare blood disease, and they putting forth their best eleventh hour fight. And Amy just handed over her anniversary present to us, unblinkingly, so she could go be with him.

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