If They Wanted To, They Would
What this dating phrase reveals about activism and social movements.
Among women, there is a saying: “If he wanted to, he would.” The phrase means that if a man really wanted to do something for the woman he is dating, he would, and the various excuses he gives would fall away. For example:
“My boyfriend says we can’t get married, because he needs more money first.”
“If he wanted to marry you, he would.”
Since people with no money get married all the time, the reply “we can’t get married because of the money” is obviously an excuse for the fact the man does not want to get married enough to ignore money concerns.
This phrase “if he wanted to, he would” could apply to any relationship, organization, or aspect of society. For example:
“They said they can’t support your cause, because it would offend religious groups.”
“If they wanted to, they would.”
Since people support causes that offend religious groups all the time, the reply “we can’t support that, because it would offend religious groups” is obviously an excuse for the fact the potential supporter does not care enough about the cause to ignore religious concerns.
If you wanted to support my work, you would: