the BLOG of stuart mcdonald

Manolos vs Maddens: A Lesson About Why Men Don’t Pursue
January 19, 2010, 9:10 am
Filed under: Relationships, Think About It | Tags: , , , , ,

Upon talking with a friend the other day, she brought up the question of men and why it seems that we often lack the “pursuit” of women. Where has it gone? Why don’t men pursue women like they used to?

Let me give you a hypothetical situation (one that will probably speak more to the ladies): You’re out shopping. You see a gorgeous pair of shoes. I’m talking about nice shoes — Manolos (for the men, Ferragamos) perhaps. You’re in love with them and would love to buy them, but upon seeing the price, you realize you need to save a little bit before you can afford them. They’re temporarily unattainable. But you can save up and get them. (And oh, will they be worth it.)

Later that week or maybe the same day, you’re out shopping again and you see a pair, perhaps of Steve Madden shoes, that looks nearly identical to the pair you had seen earlier. They’re not exactly the same, but only you’ll be one of the only ones to know the difference. The biggest difference — the Maddens are much cheaper than the Manolos. It’s a pair that you can afford right now, without having to save any money.

Which pair would you buy?

While there are some people who would choose the Manolos (or Ferragamos) over the cheaper alternatives, the majority of folks would take the cheaper pair. However, those who would choose the Manolos, would do so because they understand that there is quality attached to the higher cost; they’re are not just expensive for the sake of being expensive.

If you were paying attention, you probably got the analogy: men don’t want to take the time and invest in the pursuit of a relationship when they know they don’t have to. Why would a man pursue a woman when he can just stand still and let them come to him? To quote a friend, “Why pay for the software, when you can download it for free?”

Women have made it to where men don’t have to pursue to get what they want. This isn’t the case for all the women; let me be clear. However, this is one of those times where a few people “ruin the party” for everyone involved.

There are far too many women giving it up, the men know they can get it easy, and thus it becomes a drain to actually pursue a woman. If women would stop being so “easy,” perhaps things would change. (But I understand that might be asking for a miracle.)

Since I’m sure you’re wondering if all men are like that, let me answer the question for you: Yes. All men, at some point in their lives, want what they can get easily and don’t particularly care about the quality of the “merchandise.” The key is that we can grow out of it; we can mature into an understanding that Manolos are better than Steve Maddens. But not all people understand this. Some just think that you pay more for them and that’s where it ends. Those people don’t have the maturity (or good taste) to realize that there is so much more to a Manolo shoe than an expensive price tag.

Do any “Manolo lovers” still exist? Absolutely. There are still men out there who understand, recognize, and appreciate quality and character. Not all men want a “Steve Madden” or “DSW” type of woman. But you don’t find those men shopping at JC Penny or Sears. You find them shopping at Barneys and Niemans. In other words, you don’t find men looking for quality women in places where the “cheaper” women are readily available. Think about it: have you ever seen some Manolos in DSW?

At the end of the day, the good news is this — you can choose what you’d like to be. If you want to be a women of standard and quality, be that. If you don’t care, that’s fine too. But just understand that it takes a little bit longer to the Manolos to be “sold.” But take care of them, and they’ll last you the rest of your life.

(Author’s Note: I’m not picking on Steve Madden because I think they’re horrible shoes, but compared to Manolo Blahniks, they’re not on the same page. And it sounded good.)


14 Comments so far
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This was a GREAT Analogy Stu and SOO SOO True. What I say to all of my friends and the men that I date is that, while I may seem difficult or hard to attain, a REAL man will appreciate the fact if it were EASY to get me, EVERY man would have me!

Comment by TaccaraLanay

Just curious… but to those of us who would call ourselves “Manolos” what are we suppose to do? Just wait it out?

Comment by Krystle

If you think about the analogy again — Manolo doesn’t do any real advertising, right? People just know about them from their reputation. As such, it may take a little bit longer to sell them. Not because there’s not a market, but because part of the reason they’re quality is because there are not as many pairs out there.

In other words: be patient. The “buyer” will come to you. But let me think on this some more and see if I can take this analogy a little further.

Comment by CreativeStu

WOW!! That was so on point and so true!

Comment by Melinda

Such a true analogy!!

Comment by Courtney

Hi hate to be the voice of disagreement here, but what do you say to those “Manolos” out there that where hurt by a man and purposely give other men a hard time to sort of “get back” at him? The “all men are bad” stereotype. Ok I realize that any true Manalo wouldn’t act like this, but there are occasionally some really great women out there who have been hurt too much and will just assume every new guy out there will disappoint them, thus making it harder to love them. The reason for their loneliness may not just be the man, but themselves too.

Also, whether she gave it up on the first date or the tenth, if I find a woman who takes care of me, appreciates it when I “try,” encourages me, has great sex with me, laughs at my jokes, doesn’t embarrass me, and generally loves and adores me for being me, I’m keeping her! Any sane person would. And when given enough time (an amount of time that I chose, btw) if a woman doesn’t reveal those awesome traits, as sort of a way to make me appreciate her more by putting me through hell before it gets better, than to me it’s just not worth it. Sex shouldn’t be used to gauge what’s a good person and a bad.

Comment by americanInGermany

There are plenty of Manolos and Maddens who use their past hurts and reflect them on new men. That’s a problem with them, not with the men who hurt them (although that doesn’t absolve the men of any wrongdoing).

When I say that they’re “easy” or that they “give it up,” I’m not exclusively referring to sex, but moreso intimacy across the board, be it physical or emotional.

Since I don’t believe in sex outside of marriage, I don’t believe sex should be used to gauge a person at all, so I agree with that last statement.

Thanks for your thoughts!

Comment by CreativeStu

I found this blog post at BlackPlanet and followed it here. I read it once and wrote a detailed response in total disagreement. Before I submitted, I read it again and saw I agreed wholeheartedly with the premise, not at all with the analogy. For that consideration alone, I appreciate the offering. Here’s why I like it: you are absolutely right, women have chosen to share some of the load in romantic pursuit, and some women feel left out. I also believe that longing for the return of some golden age when men did all the pursuing is a lost cause. Either get over it, or remain a Madden, as you put it. However, it’s obvious though we are talking about two different types of women here, I would like to see a blog post on that. It’s also why I disagree with the analogy.

I fall out with the analogy because, while I agree a Manolo shoe is more than what meets the eye, we all wear more than one pair of shoes. We are encouraged by society to date and mate one at a time, and unless we are silently encouraged to keep a Manolo and a few Maddens in everyone’s closet, the analogy does not match the real-life application. The quality vs. quantity dichotomy is misplaced here, but maybe a comparison using more life-altering decisions, like purchasing cars or homes, would fit better. (I failed to expand on why we shop for things that are not “attainable”, Manolo taste on Madden budgets and the like, because this response is getting long…) But hey, women like shoes and would relate to the analogy, so why not?

In the end, women must own up to the opportunity costs of being more aggressive daters than their mothers and grandmothers. If a percentage of women are forcing the hand of others, call a Sista Summit or something to address your internal issues and stop blaming men for the actions of other women. Lazy dating is not the only factor here. I know this is not an economic discussion, but for men, window shopping, buyer’s remorse, depreciation, price discrimination and market failure are all considerations too. Maybe they can be humorously woven into future analogies that involve rational choice. I enjoyed it.

Comment by GC

So yes…just wait it out and be patient. I can understand the analogy. That patience thing is so hard…. um um um.

Comment by Krystle

Awesome article, Stuart!! I could not have said this better myself. And I see you quoted me, “Why buy the software if you could download for free?” (Well maybe someone else said that, but I can take credit for it, right??”) Lol. I am definitely Re-Tweeting and Facebooking. Very good article 🙂

Comment by Jessica

OMG, those red & white shoes are HAWT!!!! O_O *salivates*

On another note, I guess this is reason #5628 that I don’t have a man….I think it’s all about perception to most people. One person’s Manolo is another’s Madden. And women can be a Manolo or a Madden at different stages of their life, or depending on their emotional state at that time. I like your analogy though. I guess Atlanta is the land of the Madden, because guys here just stare at you from across the room in expectation of you to come to him lol.

*runs to Nordstrom’s to go shoe shopping*

Comment by deltagirl2

Great article. Puts my current dating scene into perspective.

Comment by JC Williams

Excellent article. I forwarded to all of my single girlfriends, all of us who are 30 something, educated, professional, and very single! A couple even responded back thanking me because it puts their/our current status in perspective. Keep up the good work!


Comment by Cj

Perfect analogy and I finally get it. Thanks!

Comment by CCDreamz

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