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.