Archive

Monthly Archives: August 2012

People have understandably had a lot to say about Todd Akin (R-MO).

First of all, I want to make it clear that the fact that my male peers have spoken out against him says absolutely zero to me about what they themselves think about female agency during sex.

But I also want to point out that by naming a concept called “legitimate rape” and by stating that he believes that it so common as to have resulted in a biological mechanism to defend against it, the congressman is admitting that rape does in fact happen for real.

I’m not saying that the congressman himself denies that rape really happens.  But we all know that the idea exists that there’s no such thing as actual rape, not that no one believes that one human being would steal from another (clearly they do, which is a great piece of evidence for my theory that people consider male assholishness so normalized as to not even be considered a thing; no one would ever deny that people steal money and material objects but many deny, maybe even genuinely, that people steal sex), but that if two people have sex and the woman says it was nonconsensual, well, she should probably just get over it because she probably kind of wanted it anyway because what woman doesn’t want sex, right, except for a sick or evil woman?  Some people think it’s not true that real rape happens, not because they don’t believe in theft or force or violence but because if a woman said she didn’t want to have sex with someone, she is probably misunderstanding her own emotions and deep down really did want to fuck him so she should come to realize it, she will anyway if you give her enough time.

So I’m glad that the congressman said that, I mean he thought it anyway, and he made his policy according to it anyway, so now we know that he thinks it and we know that he has acknowledged that at least some rape is real.

Fifteen always tells me all this crap and I always say it’s cool and that I believe that he truly means what he’s saying, and then I go home and resent it.

I don’t think he’s lying, exactly… I think he just hasn’t thought about it enough or is naive of it, or, maybe, he considers it so normal that men get to act the way they act that it doesn’t even become a part of the data he considers when telling me I’m wrong.

Ten is kind of the same way.  I could never, ever see Ten being violent or even manipulative toward me or any of his partners but I still think that some of his ideas are based on his assumption that women have two options: sex or no sex.  But he is wrong; our options are sex for nothing, or sex for something in return.  Those are our options.

In an academic way I think our ideas are equally valid.  But in a real way, in a way that is based on how the world functions, I don’t think that they could sincerely have put thought into it and still concluded that I am wrong about sex and men, unless they think that their theoretical ideal of a perfect feminist world where women deal with sex only when they choose is more important than acknowledging the reality that I have to acknowledge all the time.  I don’t think these particular men are careless–at least not when it comes to human rights in general–but sometimes I think that they are putting their (admittedly nice) idea of perfect respect of consent and agency before my need to protect myself by admitting that those things aren’t always available.  It reminds me of purity movement stuff or extreme ideas about child safety or pop health advice or the idea that “no one should ever have to” work in prostitution, these ideas that restrict people in the interest of making sure that nothing bad ever happens to them ever.

I know these men are smart enough to recognize what’s wrong with all the things I’ve just listed and in some cases they have even said it to me outright without my prompting.  I guess that’s part of what disillusions me.

*Obviously I’m okay with being embarrassed by strangers, it’s okay for them to do that to me, because I should be automatically 100% open to accepting any man who wants me to as a really great guy that deserves my immediate trust and affection even though we’ve never spoken.  I should be super emotionally free with him from the very beginning because only an ill or vindictive woman is cold toward a man who wants her.  I should be completely okay with letting him do very personal things to me from the very start of our interactions and at the moment that he realizes he’s had his very last enjoyable orgasm out of me I should immediately know that at any point after that moment it would be wildly inappropriate for me to show any emotion toward him at all.

“Hi There! I liked your profile and if you don’t mind me saying, I think you’re totally attractive! I hope my compliment didn’t make you blush too terribly yet, made you smile.”

Translation: I hope I did something to you without your consent, so that I know I forced you into a sexual interaction whether or not you agree to go out with me.  I’m going to assume that I embarrassed you, and I’m also going to conclude, for you, that you are okay with being embarrassed*.  Then I’m going to pretend that the whole thing is really wholesome while also still getting my sexual gratification from it.

I’m going to say that your feelings are the priority, and I’m going to prove, through my actions, that the opposite is true.

One thing I did on my previous OkCupid profile was that I advertised an arrangement of casual sex, which type of sex many other people were offering/looking for on that website, but the thing about my offer was that in exchange I wanted a language partner.  A good language partner is hard to come by and I thought that maybe the promise of good payment would motivate people to take me seriously, not interrupt me while I’m trying to speak in my L2, respect my linguistic ability level, etc. unlike many of my previous language partners had done.

Not only did I not find that, which isn’t super surprising, but I got a bunch of bizarre and awful messages from people responding to my request.  After a while I noticed that they fell into four main categories.

Type 1: The Naive Faker

The Naive Faker probably doesn’t understand how obvious his faking is because he doesn’t know anything about the nature of language and/or he doesn’t know about the world or life at all.  I got one message from a 19-year-old (even though I very clearly said I would not date men who were younger than me) who either (a) thought that English is the only real language and other people’s languages are gibberish and don’t have any structure or exact meaning or (b) had no idea that online translators are unreliable.  He sent me a message that contained a bunch of barely-readable Google-Translated mish-mash from which I think I managed to decipher the phrase “I don’t actually speak Arabic.”  He didn’t think I would be able to figure that out.

Type 2: The Guy Who Thinks I’m Stupid

This guy knows just enough Arabic to write me a message in it.  He may have taken a class one time for his college foreign language requirement, or maybe he is a heritage speaker who knows a few words because they were used around his household growing up (although as I recall there were surprisingly few of these, but I can’t think of any other possible background for these people).  The Guy Who Thinks I’m Stupid believes he can write me a first-year-level sentence and I won’t be able to tell that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about, even though my profile very clearly says that I speak “Arabic (Okay).”  I know to test him, though.  He is of course unable to demonstrate his abilities and responds to me with an example sentence that was obviously copied and pasted from, again, an online translator, along with an excuse about how he doesn’t really know what to say and it’s kind of hard, “lol.”  The oddest thing about this type is that some of them tell me they use Arabic in their jobs.

Type 3: The Nice Try

I don’t think negatively of the Nice Try as much as I’m just disappointed by him.  This guy and I are probably at the same skill level.  But, he knows that what I wrote on my profile is that I’m looking for someone to practice with, particularly on speaking, and he knows he cannot help me.  Sometimes it’s cool to discuss advanced study with this type but ultimately it’s going nowhere and he’s just another person in the crowd of people hoping that I’ll sleep with them even though they give me no reason to want to.

Type 4: The Total Bullshitter

Sometimes I respond to this guy’s messages because I am fundamentally curious about how another thinking human being could believe that this is a good way to approach me. This type does not speak any Arabic, knows nothing about linguistics or language acquisition, and still thinks that he can use language-partnering as an angle to get me to go out with him.  I actually had this type say to me that he could “work with [me] to make sure [I’m] pronouncing things correctly,” even though he speaks “no Arabic whatsoever.”  I can’t tell if this guy is more like Type 1 and knows nothing about the nature of language or if he’s more like Type 2 and thinks I’m the one who doesn’t know anything.  This guy thinks that we can watch a foreign film together–that is, I will watch and understand the film and he’ll sit next to me while it’s happening, and then I’ll fuck him at the end of it. Pretty much all the main reasons I hate OkCupid could be summed up in this guy.

“Interested?”

The other day Fifteen said to me that he didn’t like Freakonomics because it assumes that people always act logically, when in fact that isn’t true.

I’ve never read Freakonomics but I’ve been thinking that I might understand what he means.  A man can bother me incessantly for sex, hound me with multiple phone calls in a row, wake me up at two in the morning, call me from a fake number so that I’ll pick up, continue asking even though I’ve already said no and get more and more cruel with each attempt to try and change my answer.

But when I contact him a week or two later because that’s when I finally feel comfortable having sex with someone who has acted like such a complete asshole, he doesn’t even respond.

I wonder if this is what Fifteen was talking about.

After a while of being extremely displeased with the treatment I received from my partners and male peers, I realized that I wanted to make it into a transaction.  I wanted to barter things or even take money directly every time I gave a guy what he wanted from me.  I felt the need to transactionalize sex very strongly like it was a calling.

I had no idea that what I was thinking of already had a name “prostitution” and there was a whole industry behind it.

For no clear reason I assumed that prostitution was not an option.  I mean it didn’t even cross my mind.  I don’t know why I was so against it because no one had ever explicitly indoctrinated me to be that way and my parents were never moralistic about sex.  I guess one deterrent was the risk of disease, which I now realize is more of a risk in “hooking up” than it is in a proper business exchange.  I think in part it has to do with those signs they post up on university campuses, which at my school were in the bathroom and said “1 in 4 college women have herpes.”*

I could have done so much with that time.  I already had the idea to do things that were pretty much prostitution.  But unfortunately, since people cannot experience every single thing in the world first-hand, they sometimes have to assume that when enough people say something is bad then that really means it is.  When other people implied prostitution was bad, I believed it.

*I just tried to search for a photo of it and Google gave me a bunch of other “1 in 4 college women has” statistics including HPV, STDs in general, and “cooties.”