Conversation Peace

Fishing for a Man

| January 24, 2012

bride with a fishing tackle

In the most recent episode of ABCs reality show, “The Bachelor,” bachelor Ben Flajnik took his gaggle of girls to Utah to go fly-fishing. Apparently, one of his vacuous adorers quipped something like, “Catching a fish isn’t much different than catching a man.”

I say “apparently” because I didn’t watch the show. I’m not a big Bachelor fan. But it’s tough to go anywhere these days without overhearing girls rehashing the program, and arguing over who should and shouldn’t be the next to be denied a rose.

The guys aren’t as crazy about the series.

Besides the fact that there are no guns, car chases, or buildings blowing up, they have a hard time tolerating all the drama. Each episode documents how Ben’s hopefuls pull out all the stops to “catch” him. They bait and scheme, and use all their wiles to reel him in. He is party to the game, and takes advantage of their seductive efforts. The drama, manipulation, behind-the-scenes back-stabbing, and bait-and-reel is admittedly what makes the show so entertaining.

Fly-Fishing and Man-Fishing

The fly-fishing/man-fishing analogy is actually quite apt. The bachelor thinks he’s the one doing the fishing, but in reality, it’s the women baiting their hooks and throwing out their lines . . .  They use sexual manipulation, emotional manipulation, verbal manipulation, and circumstantial manipulation to snag and reel him in.

A wise father once instructed his son to avoid crafty women. He told him that being snared by a wily woman, (“whose heart is a trap and whose hands are chains”), is a fate “more bitter than death.” He warned him that “The man who pleases God will escape her, but the sinner she will ensnare.”  (Ecclesiastes 7:26)

The Problem with Bait-and-Reel

The problem with a manipulative approach to male-female relationships is that it ultimately backfires. Dangling yourself out like bait to hook a man isn’t just bad for the guy who gets caught in your trap; it’s also bad for YOU. It’s a foolish strategy. In the end, it doesn’t deliver. You’ll end up selling out to sin and having a partner that you have to restrain like a dog on a leash. He’ll become immune and resentful of your attempts to manipulate and control his behavior. The relationship will inevitably deteriorate.

A Wild Thing uses a fly-fishing approach toward relationships, but a Wise Thing rejects the worldly idea that in order to get a guy, a girls needs to manipulatively toss out the bait and reel him in. She seeks to be godly, above-board, unpretentious, and without guile in her relationships with men.

Watch this short video to see how young Christian men feel about a woman hanging out the bait:

(If your browser doesn’t display the embedded video, click here to watch it.)

This video clip is one of dozens of short discussion-provoking videos on the NEW Girls Gone Wise DVD.

What do you think about the bait-and-reel method?

I’m giving away a free video!  To enter the draw, leave a comment about what you think about the bait-and-reel method of catching a guy or what you thought about what the guys said on the video.

You could also Facebook, tweet, or share  your thoughts on social media. (@GirlsGoneWise) We’ll collect all the social media buzz  and make a Draw on Wednesday, January 25, 2012 at 12 noon PST)

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Comments (15)

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  1. Esther says:

    A woman can be manipulative also in that she only talks about things a guy likes or she tries to figure out what personality makes her more attractive to him and then ultimately hurts herself. She becomes who she thinks he wants and in reality he doesn’t get to know the real person and it turns out bad for the both of them.

  2. Debbie says:

    I think the bait-and-reel is a crazy approach. I see it happened or watch it happen on tv and movies and I don’t understand how it would work. If I was a guy I wouldn’t want to be manipulated. I think if you want a relationship that works you have to be able to just talk about the truth. You don’t try and trick them into giving you what you want or need, you just ask, or tell. Same way as he should ask/tell you what he wants and needs. It’s about communication, not trickery.

  3. Anna says:

    The really upsetting thing is when girls are encouraged to use this bait-and-reel method to get a man by the people that should prevent it. Like a mother who says that “you should wear this or that” or “you need to behave certain way to GET a man”. I’ve been there, I’m there right now and when older and, you would think, wiser women tell you you need to bait men it can get very confusing.
    I agree with Esther – when a woman tries to get that particular man she starts to change. And then when the ‘relationship’ happens it is based on a complete lie. It never ends well.
    Nice to know that there are wise men who know to be careful of that method and to seek authentic character traits, not just w clever mask.

  4. Rebekah says:

    Being manipulative is a deception and is clearly against scripture! To get a real guy, we can’t reel him in!

  5. lauren says:

    Let’s be honest women can be very manipulative and a tad mean. I do feel a bit sorry for some of the men on the clip ,no one wants this. To be fair when a guy wants a girl he has his own aggressive or plain annoying tactics

  6. Sarah says:

    The first thing my husband said when he saw this video was, “Wow, those men have some hostility towards women.” I have to agree with him. Of course manipulation is bad, but it’s not just women who manipulate. I realize that this website and video are directed towards women, however, this video in particular comes off as pretty negative. I wish this was framed in a more positive way– like, “How can women and men relate honestly and without misunderstanding?”

    I honestly don’t believe that men and women are as different as some people make them out to be. We are all just people with feelings and emotions, and we want to be treated with respect. We also desire deep and honest relationships. If everyone remember that, along with the golden rule, we wouldn’t need all sorts of books or videos telling us how to relate to the opposite sex.

  7. Sarah says:

    Not so keen on manipulation as an approach to having a relationship. All of the things described are about “getting a man” not meeting and then maintaining a relationship with one’s beloved.

    Woman or men who use manipulation to attract the attention (or lust) of their target are objectifying that person because to manipulate someone else is to treat them like an object you can play with and deceive rather than a person you seek to connect with.

    It’s really disrespectful of that person and denies their intelligence and humanity.

    Also, by using manipulation tactics, the manipulator is being dishonest about who they are and what they want and are also denying themselves the chance to be truly known by that other person.

    If you’re trying to have an actual relationship with someone, the manipulative approach isn’t going to work out very well in the end.

  8. Audrey says:

    Not only is the bait-and-reel method not trusting of the other person in the relationship, it is not trusting of God before the relationship even begins. If we as women feel that we have to reel in a potential mate, we are denying God’s design and not trusting God to bring the right man to us. If we are going to the Bible as our foundation, our role is to respond to the man that pursues us. It is not our job to pursue the man. If you want to relate it back to Christ and the church, Christ pursued the church and loved the church first. It was not the other way around. I want a man who is courageous enough to approach and pursue me. The bait-and-reel method is pointless for me because I don’t think I could respect a man who I’d have to pursue myself.

  9. Hannah says:

    I can’t help but find this kind of teaching very boxing and limiting, aiming to fit women into A and B boxes. I’ve been following the blog and faithfully trying to understand (I consider myself a complimentarian), but cannot help but to think that this type of application of a true doctrine is for a specific privileged culture. Most women I know are just working really hard to try and survive, and have to wear many hats to do this everyday. (I’m from the middle east) I have also been trying to get into design 101 but always feel that I am trying my hardest to play someone else’s role (my husband and I are infertile, in a loving relationship that is very unique as a result, built on loving sacrifice on both sides). Do I need to prescribe to the specifics of your application and thought? I’m afraid I might end up losing myself, my unique balance and might not be the ‘suitable’ helper to my husband that I am now. I find boxing gender’s application to that extent to include every woman and every man on earth dangerous, claiming that this is what men are like throughout history and for every culture and circumstance. Also as a result, women may start pursuing womanliness to an extreme, resulting in all sorts of problems, idealism and idolatry (and that’s exactly what I was about to fall into).

    • Mary Kassian says:

      Hi Hannah, I’m not certain what specific boxing and limiting “application” you think GGW is promoting. I don’t think I have ever said that every man and every woman on earth is dangerous, nor do I advocate idealism or idolatry. If you could please explain which application you are reacting to, I would be able to address your concern more adequately. Generally speaking, I try to teach principles, and allow women to make their own application, since each woman and relational circumstance is unique. Since you are infertile, your situation would be very different than a married woman with children, or a single woman.

  10. Hannah says:

    Hi Mary,
    Sorry If I came across as criticising your ministry, I appreciate that you are trying to be faithful and mentor women. I didn’t say that I find it dangerous, I said I find the emphasis on gender as an ultimate dangerous. We are called to be children of God ultimately, and most of the teaching about that is gender neutral. Ofcourse part of being humans made in the image of God is being male and female, and that’s an important part, but not everything should be seen in the lense of gender, and with such huge focus. As examples of the statements from design 101: Providing for others is at the core of being christlike, not just at the core of being a man. That’s what I mean by boxing. You say Softness is at the core of being a woman (what about men who are soft and artistic and who don’t fit the macho type, but are godly men, are they feminine? What would happen to people who don’t fit this specific criteria? the woman who is strong and athletic and not soft? Concerning creating a place to nurture life, I understand that this doesn’t only mean having children, although this is stressed by many other complimentarians I know. Because I cannot have children, live in a big city, and not a mother, I feel left out if I would hold on to your teaching as an ultimate and an identity. Life is messy and gender is not all figured out as such,in bullet points and clear statements about what it means to be man and woman. Gender is a mystery that needs to be worked out uniquely in each person’s life. I am trying hard to understand but something inside me is saying that the emphasis and consequently the application is blowing a good doctrine way out of proportion.

    • Mary Kassian says:

      Hannah, Thanks for clarifying. I understand your concern. It’s always important to keep the whole counsel of God in mind. I totally agree with you that gender is a mystery that needs to be worked out uniquely in each person’s life. But I also see, from Scripture, that gender means something…. it points to the mystery of the relationships in the Godhead and also to the relationship between Christ and the Church. And therefore, we are not free to define it as we wish. Our understanding must be directed by God’s design. At this juncture in history, culture is encouraging us to throw off all “external” (i.e. Judeo Christian) definitions of gender and define it as we will – to our harm. This is an error that must be addressed. Unfortunately, whenever a particular doctrine is highlighted, there is a danger of emphasizing that doctrine to the exclusion of everything else, and falling into an opposite and equally dangerous distortion to the one we were trying to address. I – along with you – see that some complementarians are guilty of constructing rigid boxes of application – and agree with you that this is unhealthy. It concerns me greatly. Nevertheless, a godly understanding of gender is so necessary and vital to our current cultural milieu, that I believe it warrants careful and balanced teaching. I hope and pray that I can do this with care, and in a way that is nuanced and that never emphasizes and exalts gender above that to which it points.

  11. Perla says:

    Great article. I enjoyed the video. As a woman who doesn’t like to use flirtation or manipulation to get a guy, it’s encouraging to know that there are men out there who won’t fall for a woman’s tricks.

  12. Emily says:

    I don’t know anything about television…don’t own one but the method of baiting a man is not biblical. And even when I knew nothing of the Scriptures, I would say the same thing. I watched many girls play this game and to be honest they were NEVER happy no matter if they were getting what they wanted or not. Why? Because manipulation is deceitful and ugly and just wrong.
    True love comes softly and is oh so sweet… for both man and woman!

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