Join 3,497 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Angry Jane Doe
July 27, 2011 11:13 PM   Subscribe

Angry Jane Doe: "I have started to sleep around. I sleep with men I am not dating. I sleep with men and refuse to date them, actually. I come to their houses, fuck them, say thank you for a nice time, and don't let the door hit me on the ass on the way out. You might think this is a pretty good deal, but it is not. Because I fuck and tell. Because I'm pissed." (NSFW.)

More at her LiveJournal and Facebook.
posted by velvet winter (339 comments total) 61 users marked this as a favorite

 
Just to note, LiveJournal is undergoing a sustained DDoS attack, so it may not be available.
posted by cmgonzalez at 11:34 PM on July 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I'm interested. Wish I weren't on the goddam phone. Please, avidly share salient points inthread!
posted by Miko at 11:35 PM on July 27, 2011


She seems like a handful.
posted by solmyjuice at 11:36 PM on July 27, 2011 [10 favorites]


Too sensational. I think she's a dooooooooooooooooooode.
posted by Yakuman at 11:38 PM on July 27, 2011 [8 favorites]


There's such a pathos in the commonality of this story , though , even if it's not novel. There's sadness.
posted by Miko at 11:41 PM on July 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Definitely, Miko. Jane says: “I originally did not want to hold men in such low esteem that I only see them as living vibrators. I wanted to find one person and fuck gloriously, but also know him gloriously, in all his complexity and nuance. And I wanted him to want to know me too. Don't get me wrong: I wasn't looking for domesticity or marriage or any of those conventional traps. I was just looking to be treated like a human being…”
posted by velvet winter at 11:43 PM on July 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


Yeah, I relate so much to that that I don't want to say anything about it just now.
posted by Miko at 11:49 PM on July 27, 2011


Even if this lady is just about as crazy as you'd have to be to write a manifesta and post it on OKCupid, I think I love her.
posted by two or three cars parked under the stars at 11:52 PM on July 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


Wow. Sometimes I forget how sheltered and naïve my life has been. Thank you Internet (and Jane Doe) for helping me remember.
posted by Doleful Creature at 11:56 PM on July 27, 2011


Reminds me of the scene from Barfly:

That woman. She looks like a kind of distressed goddess.

- Oh, Wanda
- Wanda?

Hey tell me man. This Wanda she looks pretty good.

- How come nobody sits next to her?
- She's crazy.

posted by three blind mice at 11:59 PM on July 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Jane touched a nerve, all right. Even though she writes under a pseudonym, I'm impressed by her courage in voicing things many women feel, but few talk about. Another quote:

“Jane was my solution to what felt like an impossible problem. She is the disguise I need to say my piece about heterosexual dating in your late thirties/early forties. She permits me to say things I could never say simply as myself, an actual woman in the real world, with actual friends and lovers and an actual career. Without Jane, I would have to shut up.”
posted by velvet winter at 12:03 AM on July 28, 2011 [9 favorites]


The grief of her experiences is still keenly transmitted even if the 'hook' is the sex talk.
posted by honey-barbara at 12:05 AM on July 28, 2011 [10 favorites]


"This shit is getting old. get over it already. Hell, I've been hurt and kicked to the curb in this past year. I did nothing to provoke it. 16 Fucking years of working so that she could be a stay at home mom. What do I have to show for it. 'I don't love you. I haven't loved you and I want a divorce.' Fuck me! I raised her kid. I have a lot of anger in me to but I wouldn't want to put someone else through a fraction of the pain and regret that I've gone through.

I don't care what your tits look like. I bet you have a beautiful face. I bet you have a broken heart like I do. Broken, ripped out, smashed, neglected, stomped on, shit on, pissed on and slowly but hopefully not surely turning to stone. I don't want my heart to get cold and hard."

Until now, this man had been wooing me as ardently as the rest of them. But apparently, I hit a nerve.


This piece of writing from one of the lovers is actually really moving. I'd give this one a chance.
posted by honey-barbara at 12:08 AM on July 28, 2011 [15 favorites]


None of you have magical dicks. None of you. And even if you did have a dick that was magical, I would not tolerate what passes for normal behavior from you. [...] It's just not worth it.

None of you have magical pussies. None of you. And even if you did have a pussy that was magical, I would not tolerate what passes for normal behavior from you. [...] It's just not worth it.

Anyway, I read some more, stopped when she got to the part where she automatically assumes that no man is good at oral sex, and just got upset. Is the tl;dr version just "woman in her late 30s dated a bunch of assholes and is now angry about it and generalizes their behavior to the behavior of all men"?
posted by King Bee at 12:09 AM on July 28, 2011 [62 favorites]


Using an OKC profile with a profile picture of just your cleavage as essentially viral promotion for your blog strikes me as a violation of the TOS (say, In addition, in order to maintain the integrity of the Website, by joining, you agree that your use of the Website shall be for bona fide relationship-seeking purposes (for example, you may not use the Website solely to compile a report of compatible singles in your area, or to write a school research paper). or The Website is for your personal use only and may not be used in connection with any commercial endeavors. Organizations, companies, and/or businesses may not join and use the Website for any purpose.). At the very least, it's a violation of the spirit of the thing.
posted by Apropos of Something at 12:15 AM on July 28, 2011 [9 favorites]


Damn, Jane. I was hoping we could just, you know, maybe grab some Thai food and go see a movie or something but, uh, looks like you're, uh, kinda busy, so......

Yeah.

Oh, right -- I'll be, ah, out of town. On, um, business. For the next six years. So, anyway.

Yeah.

Take care.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 12:29 AM on July 28, 2011 [11 favorites]


HERE LIES
andy

peperony and
chease
posted by Sphinx at 12:30 AM on July 28, 2011 [19 favorites]


You know what pisses me off the most? People who just sort of fade away after you exchange enough emails to know each other a little, or even meet in person.... They are the worst sort of dating jackass: they are cowards disguised as nice guys.

I object to being too lazy or clueless to figure out what you want and too dishonest to admit that you don't know what you want. I object to men being clueless, callous cowards, because I know there's another way.

So she hates ambiguity, and any guy who isn't sure of himself and what he wants is a coward? I mean, I totally understand being pissed off about some unpleasant dating experiences, but as a young male without much dating experience, I couldn't really figure out what the take away is supposed to be. How do I avoid being one of these cowards? I can't slowly lose contact with acquaintances, I must either burn the bridge or enter into a long term relationship? and if I feel conflicted about a romantic possibility, don't do anything unless I'm absolutely sure about it? This seems like a lot of bluster and anecdote, but maybe this is just something you have to be over 30 to understand.
posted by Dr. Christ at 12:34 AM on July 28, 2011 [16 favorites]


MetaFilter: none of you have magical dicks
posted by bwg at 12:35 AM on July 28, 2011 [35 favorites]


Who cares?

Seriously, self-absorbed people claiming attention-getting antics on sad little blogs are a dime a dozen these days. I'm happy she has a hobby, I guess.
posted by FormlessOne at 12:40 AM on July 28, 2011 [52 favorites]


Having looked the links, I have a theory as to the common element in her bad dating experiences. Three guesses and the first two are practice.
posted by Justinian at 12:42 AM on July 28, 2011 [11 favorites]


I'm always amazed at how interesting some people think there sex lives are.

Straight, gay, vanilla, dildoes and wetsuits -- I just don't fucking care.
posted by bardic at 12:46 AM on July 28, 2011 [40 favorites]


bardic: "I'm always amazed at how interesting some people think there sex lives are.

Straight, gay, vanilla, dildoes and wetsuits -- I just don't fucking care.
"

What about unicycles?
posted by bwg at 12:47 AM on July 28, 2011 [13 favorites]


I imagine this as an Ask Metafilter question (it's not asking a question? neither do a lot of the relationship questions there). I see it as a toss up between the mods deleting it for not being much of a question, or a long messy derail clean up with added metatalk thread. Perhaps both.
posted by zabuni at 12:52 AM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'll bet 10 bucks to your 5 that she's an AskMeFite.
posted by troll at 12:54 AM on July 28, 2011 [6 favorites]


"What about unicycles?"

I'm definitely more of a CBT type of dude.
posted by bardic at 12:57 AM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


So sexist crap is OK if you're a woman, I guess. I mean, normally by now if it were some sad, bitter, woman-hating fuck who'd generalised his miserable life onto a whole gender we'd have 300 comments about how much he sucks, but obviously the reverse is perfectly OK.
posted by rodgerd at 1:02 AM on July 28, 2011 [48 favorites]


Curiously, this reminds me a bit of the book Being Alexander; the main character is a reasonably nice guy whose girlfriend cheats on him with his supervisor at work on the day he's fired. It's the cap on a long chain of slights, and he decides that he's going to toss it all -- be One Of Those Guys who loves and leaves and the whole nine yards.

There are a couple chapters of fascinating evolution as he breaks out of his shell and, with nothing left to lose, uses Hot Chicks the way his girlfriend and ex-boss used him... and then it starts curdling. The book is willing to carry it through to the endgame, where he's lonelier and more alienated and less sure of who he wants to be than when he started. The real problem is that some people actually care about other people, and no matter how bitter and hurt they are that ends up bubbling up eventually.

People who actually care can't deliberately use and abuse other people for very long without it weighing on them. I wonder what the nexxt few chapters of Jane's story -- fictional or not -- will hold.
posted by verb at 1:03 AM on July 28, 2011 [23 favorites]


I smell viral marketing.
posted by Mitrovarr at 1:04 AM on July 28, 2011 [10 favorites]


Jane touched a nerve, all right. Even though she writes under a pseudonym, I'm impressed by her courage in voicing things many women feel, but few talk about.

You wouldn't be talking about the 'he fucked me, then he didn't call' stuff, would you?

I thought *all* women talked about that?

Incessantly.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:06 AM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I like sex for its intimacy. Even if it's not part of a relationship, even if I don't like the guy very much...

Whoa, there Jane. See, there's one of your problems, right there.

Don't have sex with people you don't like.

I'm not talking about LOVE; it's entirely possible to fall in love with someone you don't like, and that's not good. You can romanticize hatefucking and angerfucking and whatnot all you want, but when you invite someone into that intimate space, however briefly, it's much better if there's the understanding and respect that comes from you two (or howevermany) genuinely liking each other.

And it doesn't matter how attractive someone is, either. If you don't like each other, that attraction is going to either dissipate or become a curse.

Now, this might limit your possibilities quite a bit, but it's worth waiting.Again, not for "love," but for "like." No matter how bored or horny you are. Yeah, it takes a few more minutes to figure out if you like each other, but that little bit of work will save you enough time, pain, aggravation, and possibly even money that it will be worth it.

I've been through those adventures and misadventures, and looking back, if I had gotten that advice as a young woman and followed it, I would have been so much better off. I don't have the power to change things, and regret would be pointless. That's my takeaway from a long, rough education.

I'm not promising it will prevent heartbreak, or that things won't change, or that your instincts won't falter, but at least try to make that the rule.

Seriously. Don't sleep with people you don't like, and definitely don't sleep with people who don't like you.
posted by louche mustachio at 1:10 AM on July 28, 2011 [27 favorites]


You know what pisses me off the most? People who just sort of fade away after you exchange enough emails to know each other a little, or even meet in person.... They are the worst sort of dating jackass: they are cowards disguised as nice guys.

Welcome to being a mammal; that is not the 'cowards disguised as nice guys' problem, at least according to all of the women I've known. The 'cowards disguised as nice guys' problem is the well-known phenomenon of guys who will cultivate a platonic friendship with a woman, but nurse steadily increasing resentment when women don't reward their Buddy Behavior with sexual attraction.

When someone stops talking to you after one date, or a few emails, it means they are not interested in you. It's considered bad form to send a giant 'YOU SUCK, NO MORE DATES' card via registered mail, you know?
posted by verb at 1:11 AM on July 28, 2011 [58 favorites]


bardic: ""What about unicycles?"

I'm definitely more of a CBT type of dude.
"

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy?

Deep.
posted by bwg at 1:11 AM on July 28, 2011 [7 favorites]


I couldn't be bothered to read all of it but I did read a majority.

Basically, she wasn't good at reading people before and asking for what she actually wanted. She learned some lessons and now she gets exactly what she wants by reading people correctly and using good communication. Some people, despite all that, are still shit.

*AMAZING*

I'm glad I learned how to speak to people and treat people how I like to be treated when I was a child.

I just got out of an almost 10 year long, monogamous and continuous relationship. It was one of the hardest decisions I've ever made in my life because the relationship was good but I realized that it wasn't the best thing for either of us.

I've done some dating in the past month (some from OKCupid actually) and it's incredible how easy and fun it is. I didn't know if I knew exactly "how" to date since I never have but...
I've started every relationship off by being friendly and completely honest about everything. I genuinely listen, ask questions, share experiences and want to know the person. I've told the dates up front within the first few hours that I'm dating multiple people at once. If there is nothing going on and no attraction, I say so. If I'm really into the person, I say so. If I just want to date casually, I say so. You get the point.
Most of the girls have seemed so taken aback by this behavior but have been so appreciative. They've in turn opened up. Some of them have been telling me things they have only told few people in their lives, never-mind telling anyone after a date or two.

I don't know if I really have a point. Maybe that's the same way this woman feels. It's all been a whirlwind of realizations for her and she just needs to put it down somewhere but needs to use entirely too many words to try to convey such a simple message.
posted by zephyr_words at 1:11 AM on July 28, 2011 [16 favorites]


manifesta. LOL.
posted by Afroblanco at 1:14 AM on July 28, 2011 [11 favorites]


"I'm always amazed at how interesting some people think there sex lives are.

Straight, gay, vanilla, dildoes and wetsuits -- I just don't fucking care."

What about unicycles?



Damn, I'm just curious how that works mechanically. For science.
posted by louche mustachio at 1:14 AM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


A little introspection could help. She doesn't seem to realize that she is the common denominator in all her relationships.

Her whole post about bad cunnilingus shows a distinct lack of communication. But the whole relationship game is based on being able to give constant feedback. Then the problems start to lose all their 'sex in the city' titillation though.
posted by psycho-alchemy at 1:14 AM on July 28, 2011 [7 favorites]


This reminds me of a story a comedian tells of a show he did at a military base, when he was heckled by a very bitter woman.
"I've dated every man on this base and they're all assholes?"
"Gee, 5,000 bad relationships, and one woman. What element do they all have in common?"

I'm afraid I can't see any reason to be angry, since she's getting exactly what she wants. I mean sure, I could say that there's good men out there, but what's the point? They're going to avoid her like a barrel of radioactive waste. So the only men shes going to attract are the men she's trolling for; users, liers, broken men, jerks and the like. Which will give her something to write about. Everybody wins.
posted by happyroach at 1:16 AM on July 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


louche mustachio: "What about unicycles?

Damn, I'm just curious how that works mechanically. For science."

Like this maybe.
posted by bwg at 1:33 AM on July 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


Her mailbox is full, so she can’t receive your message. A-List members can still contact her! Upgrade »

If not a viral advertisement for OKCupid, it should be.
posted by banished at 1:36 AM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


She plans to write a book, at some point. I'm guessing that maybe all of this is to help promote that book. Seems like it would be quite effective at doing that.
posted by Solomon at 1:54 AM on July 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Angry Jane Doe is not just ranting or seeking attention. She's pleading for a more honest and ethical way of relating in heterosexual dating and sex. She's using sex as a 'hook', as honey-barbara mentions above, but nonetheless, it's not porn; it's a plea for greater emotional integrity.

Lurking not far beneath her angry tone is a mournful undercurrent that conveys her despair that so few men she encounters are up to the task when sex (or the prospect of it) is involved. She originally wanted lasting intimacy along with the sex, but she's been repeatedly disappointed. She then decided she was willing to settle for sex - but only with men who recognize and respect her sexual agency and humanity, and demonstrate a basic level of integrity.

What does it say about our culture that this basic respect she asks for from her lovers seems so elusive?
posted by velvet winter at 2:00 AM on July 28, 2011 [22 favorites]


Crazy self-absorbed and high maintenance. All shortcomings she perceives are angrily saturation bombed; I imagine in her mind she's Keeping It Real. Running like hell from this person would not be cowardice.
posted by Scoo at 2:01 AM on July 28, 2011 [7 favorites]


So this is like the female version of The Game?
posted by unknownmosquito at 2:06 AM on July 28, 2011


She's pleading for a more honest and ethical way of relating in heterosexual dating and sex.

Really? By saying things like "I decided to give up on dating and only use men for sex out of hopelessness"? Don't kid yourself.
posted by King Bee at 2:07 AM on July 28, 2011 [10 favorites]


What does it say about our culture that this basic respect she asks for from her lovers seems so elusive?

It says, "Not enough therapists."
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:10 AM on July 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


Hey everybody! Am I early for the shit show?

Let me guess, it goes something like:

ALL MEN ARE LIKE THIS! ALL WOMEN ARE LIKE THAT!

Amirite? Hope I didn't spoil the ending for anyone.
posted by P.o.B. at 2:20 AM on July 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


I like the version of Angry Jane Doe as translated by velvet winter (and likely were Miko to decide to write) more than I like the original. I'd like to know what's sympathetic about her, but I can't get past the part where she assumes she's writing to a universe of people who are all pissing her off, e.g.,

To the men who have written me perplexed or chastising or hopeful emails: You cannot rescue me. I don't need rescuing. I need respect. So do the other women you meet on OK Cupid. Want to get in my good graces? Own up to your own jackassy cowardice. I'd much rather hear about that than read any more knight in shining armor fairy tale fantasy bullshit.

I imagine trying to write her, and wanting to start by describing my jackassy cowardice and showing my respect, and I feel super-codependent right from the get go.
posted by salvia at 2:27 AM on July 28, 2011 [7 favorites]


In an alternate yet related universe: The 5 Different Types Of Sluts
posted by chavenet at 2:45 AM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've been in several long-term relationships that were great while they lasted, and even after difficult endings there was a lot of love and warmth remaining. I think most of the people in my circle can say the same thing. A lot of people. Some of those people are gay, some straight. Some met their significant others on OKCupid, some irl.

So... clearly this woman must live in a completely different world than I do, a place drained of decency and humanity, where men take all their behavioral cues from mtv, teenager-movies, and porn. That sounds like a really shitty world to live in and if I lived in a world like that I'd be as bitter and jaded as Jane.

I'd tell her to give my world a shot if I could convince her that it existed.
posted by tempythethird at 2:56 AM on July 28, 2011 [13 favorites]


Why are men such shits? Because.

I don't mean it's her fault. I just think if you are going to go for the most shallow possible connection with someone you shouldn't be surprised when they completely objectify you. Physical intimacy is not emotional intimacy, and when you decouple them you've gone a little off the well traveled path of human interaction. That's not a moral failing, but when you leave custom behind there are less habitual behaviors to fall back on and you have to be more forgiving of short moments of rudeness or mistaken assumptions. Not that incivility is justified, just that it becomes commonplace.

I hope she finds what she's looking for.
posted by BrotherCaine at 3:09 AM on July 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


I've read some of it and found it interesting, though like others I'm wondering if the common thread in her bad relationships isn't her, rather than everyone else.

Does she go into more detail about why she's so pissed off with men? I know at the start she talks about men not even meeting the low bar of expectations, does she expand on that?

Also agree with verb above that 'guys stopping communication' isn't "cowards disguised as nice guys". It's how everyone behaves on dating sites. (OK, maybe generalisation: it's how a lot of women I talked to on dating sites acted towards me, anyway. If they've stopped contacting me, it's because they're not interested and don't see any need to tell me. It's OK, it's all in the game).
posted by Infinite Jest at 3:13 AM on July 28, 2011


What does it say about our culture that this basic respect she asks for from her lovers seems so elusive?

To her. This basic respect is elusive to her. There could be a myriad of reasons why this is, but I'd be reluctant to blame our culture. The root of problems like this are usually a little closer to home. I've been in many relationships, from casual dating to marriage to divorce, and if there's one thing I've learned, it's that pat, easy answers about "why does this keep happening to me?" are not going to solve your problems. Especially if you refuse to own the choices you decide to make with regard to the types of people you let yourself get close to, but keep your focus turned outward, onto what's wrong with all of them.

I'm sorry that she's had a rough time of it. I'm really sorry that she has chosen to embrace anger. I would not be surprised if she never finds actual happiness. And that's the saddest part of all to me.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:21 AM on July 28, 2011 [7 favorites]


Wow, I just...I just don't know where to begin. I couldn't get to the livejournal page but I read through the whole OKCupid "profile." It was totally depressing. I guess it's super foolish to see it somehow as representative of how many women feel but if that is how even a sizeable number of women feel, I have even less incentive to ever date again. Every once in a while when I get that glimmer of desire again, that desire for companionship and gosh-you-know-sex-might-be-nice-more-than-once-every-five-years, I seem to find something like this and just go, oh, fuck it, nevermind.

Seriously, why the hell do people date at all? What is the point? Why are we doomed to feel sad and alone inside of relationships, outside of relationships, regardless of how we act, what sort of person we are, how hard we work or have worked to make things right...why is this impossible? And yet why can't we just stop thinking about mating all the fucking time?

Sometimes I read these AskMeFi questions where people are talking about what's so great about their relationships and I just can't help but disbelieve each and every last one of the responses where people are gasping incoherently about how wonderful it is to have their fuckbuddy who makes them seem valued and worth existing. And when you read something like this you understand that the opposite of that glorious joy is so much more prevalent, and frankly, smells so much more fucking honest. We can't ever be there for someone else, in the end, and the passing moments of instantaneous bliss are soon overthrown by hours, days, months, years of mourning.

Why do we keep dating then? Why do we keep searching after someone to help us be less lonely when no one can actually help us be less lonely? Oh, right, biological drive and all that. Fuck all of this bullshit. I'm going to go have a beer or five.
posted by innocuous_sockpuppet at 3:34 AM on July 28, 2011 [23 favorites]


If they've stopped contacting me, it's because they're not interested and don't see any need to tell me. It's OK, it's all in the game.

Precisely. She is saying she does not want to play games. That she would like the person on the other end of this interaction to simply and honestly tell her they aren't interested, so that she can civilly reply 'Ok. Well, it happens. I wish you well.'

And then they both go on with their lives, with total clarity and peace of mind about that particular interaction.

I'm really surprised that this idea is getting rebuffed here. To those doing so - do you feel that way because you're coming from a 'well, this is the way it is. Idealism isn't useful here.' frame of mind? Or are there other reasons I haven't considered?

(No snark or such - i'm really interested.)
posted by pseudonymph at 3:39 AM on July 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


Hey -- do you know who else wrote a nine-million-page rant about the failings of the opposite sex?

he also spent thirty years drawing a comic about a barbarian aardvark
posted by kittens for breakfast at 3:49 AM on July 28, 2011 [18 favorites]


And then they both go on with their lives, with total clarity and peace of mind about that particular interaction.

Sounds great in theory, but I think its naive. Every time you hear something like that, you tell yourself that its not personal, but some part of you takes it personally. If you're on the phone, you have to work to keep your voice neutral as you say "ok, no problem, I wish you well."

The person on the other end, if they're human, will know that they're delivering a tiny cut, and will dread it. If the person on the other end is an active dater, this situation may happen more or less often, and it will grow more dreadful each time.

Life is full of little evasions and fudges that we routinely forgive because they make life possible. In this case, everyone knows whats going on, but the ambiguity allows the dumpee to save a little face, and saves the dumper an excruciating moment. Each party is letting the other get away with something so that both end up happier. We're not Vulcans.
posted by tempythethird at 3:52 AM on July 28, 2011 [9 favorites]


Read all the way to the end on the OK Cupid page. This last bit sums it all up:
Over the months, I get the same question: who did this to you? And my answer is this story. One man too many came on with all the ardor of love, only to waft away in the cold light of early morning. It's a boring story because it's so fucking old, and I'm sorry if you were expecting fireworks, or gang rape, or a denouement at the altar, or a cheating spouse. The truth is, what pushed me into this choice was the sort of thing that men do everyday without so much as a fleeting thought. It was the callous disregard for my heart, the almost tactical deployment of a romantic narrative to kink up what should only have been casual sex, the roughshod swath cut through my life by too many men who don't understand that the emotional microaggression that passes for dating these days is like the steady dripping of a leaky sink. Give it enough time, and your house is going to collapse around you.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:54 AM on July 28, 2011 [12 favorites]


it turns out that rudimentary communication is still pretty high-maintenance and so it's easy to forget one thing or another and come off as callous

because you are callous

because it's difficult not to be
posted by LogicalDash at 4:04 AM on July 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


>Eugene, Oregon.

There's your first problem.
posted by ahess247 at 4:05 AM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't really get it. So she's taking her revenge on men who only want sex by having meangingless sex with more men? I sincerely doubt any of the guys who contact her or that she contacts are the sensitive, romantic type. They're not crushed because they're so in love with her and just want to settle down.

I thought most of her rant was pretty incoherent and confused, actually. The only thing that I thought had merit was critique of the common failings of men in giving oral, or whatever else, because that might actually be useful information. You know, because at some point in history, some woman had to tell some man "oh hey, this is what I like, do this and not that other thing." This is not surprising.
posted by Nixy at 4:09 AM on July 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


lookatthisblogtobookdeal.com
posted by jannw at 4:14 AM on July 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


If they've stopped contacting me, it's because they've infected.
posted by Mblue at 4:18 AM on July 28, 2011


I feel really sorry for her; I wish she had thought of a better way of dating and making connections before she got into this emotionally arrested, deeply unhappy state. I got most of that kind of horribleness out of my system when I was in my late teens and early twenties. She's older than I am, and sounds so disappointed and hurt.

I don't think banging a random procession of guys that seem selected specifically to vindicate her worst ideas about humanity is really gonna lead to anything positive for her. Indeed, each subsequent screw sounds like it's hurting her more, ultimately.

I dunno, I think it's brave to be vulnerable. Vulnerable = human; there's something attractive and supremely courageous about being vulnerable - if only to yourself. In my experience it brings out the best in people, and genuine connection is very hard without at least some of it.
posted by smoke at 4:21 AM on July 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


"We met up in a bar and I told him the offer: no-strings-attached sex, one time, just for fun, and because he deserved it, and because I knew he wanted it."

I stopped right there. I hate that language. Maybe she changes, I don't know. But I don't need to read some long rant by someone who thinks they're offering more than they're asking for when it comes to sex, as if their genitals are inherently worth more.
posted by TheKM at 4:24 AM on July 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


Maybe she really should stop having sex for a while and just, you know, date. Or make some male friends or something so she can go back to seeing them as individuals. The generalization is creepy.

because if I strip off my clothing and let you put the most exuberant parts of your body up against and into the most intimate parts of my body, I can surely treat your thoughts with the same abandoned delight the next day.

To me physical interaction is inherently separate from friendship and one does not in any way lead to the other. Having sex in order to make friends doesn't work a lot of the time because they are two different things.
posted by the young rope-rider at 4:33 AM on July 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


So sexist crap is OK if you're a woman, I guess.

I shouldn't be, but I'm always surprised by this: a lot of people haven't cottoned on to the fact that the term sexism can't be equally applied to both sexes. It doesn't just mean "someone saying something bad about the opposite sex". It's about a sustained power dynamic between the sexes, which, by definition of the term, is not and has not been equal. When men have been denied basic rights across countless cultures for centuries, it'll be time to speak about sexism against men. Funny how ... well, of course it's always men who fail to understand this.

Same principle for racism, natch.
posted by iotic at 4:38 AM on July 28, 2011 [36 favorites]


And my answer is this story. One man too many came on with all the ardor of love, only to waft away in the cold light of early morning.

So, she repeatedly misinterpreted a man's interest in casual sex as actual romantic relationship stuff, but when she was proven wrong, she decided the guy's at fault, and made her assumption that the romantic relationship stuff was simply unattainable.

I mean -- are these all one-night-stands that she thought were romantic relationship stuff? Or is she leading into the myth that a guy will date and be nice for several weeks and then dump you after one sex act? See, most guys, unless the problem isn't the sex, will stick around while the sex is still going on. You don't abandon that well right away unless there's a good reason, and it's not 'on to the next conquest'. That's too much effort. I'm not blaming her -- I'm saying that's not a believable story. All the guys are so cartoony; they're begging for her, they wish they could have her, but when they get her they disappear.

There's too much 'myth' in there -- a creative, intelligent, presumably beautiful, and remarkably unattainable woman....who is also only interested in casual sex. It's so calculatedly attention-whoring that it can't be completely real. She could make a buttload of money if she gets herself a 1-900 number. Full of words and concept, but without the trouble of all that reality getting in the way.
posted by AzraelBrown at 4:40 AM on July 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


This was interesting to read because it provoked so many thoughts and emotions. From confusion to threatened to horror to righteous "hell yeah" to sadness and pity.

It isn't a good manifesto (manifesta?) in the sense of being written after years of intense logicial thought. It's a good manifesto because it mixes thought and emotion in an imprecise way and doesn't apologize for that. It's a weird manifesto, to my male ears, because one of its main points is that she will no longer "accept behavior in men I date that I would not accept from anyone else, for any other reason." That seems so obvious, yet it's a sudden discovery for her, at the not so tender age of late 30s. She can't be only woman dealing with that.

At its heart, she's having a common experience: The world is not the way she wishes or expects it to be and has had consistently had trouble with that. She's fine with casual sex, with one night stands, it's not particularly hard to have sex with her. All she asks is that you be honest. Don't say you're going to call, knowing damn well you won't. Don't ignore her when you see her the next day at work or pretend it didn't. It's a simple request and one most of use would agree is the way to live. Yet it's standard for that not to happen. The reasons why that simple credo isn't lived more often are complex and it's driven her a little crazy. I don't mean crazy in a bad way, but crazy in the sense of being frustrated, depressed and lashing back out at the world.

Were I not married and dating, I'd find her a bit terrifying. She's comes off as a giant wrecking ball in a way, swinging around town breaking hearts and minds and not giving a shit about it. She's bringing the 21st century home to roost with trumpets and a loud Harley, letting you know that THE rule of the previous centuries has been not only been broken, but ran over, tossed in a bag with cement blocks and thrown in a lake: A woman doesn't need a man, at all. She can be well educated, employed, independent (not just a room of her own, but a whole goddamn house) and have a great life without a man. That's sort of terrifying because then what's a guy supposed to, where does he fit in, what is his role?

As women redefine themselves, men are finding that their own roles come into question and that can be hard to deal with. There's no road map for this world, no perfect ordered role one can just easily slip into, based on whether you're a man or a woman. We have to think for ourselves, find our way, go off the map and make new roads. But it's a better way because while women don't need a man, they can now easily have a man they want and that makes all the difference.

Absolutely lovely tits.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:40 AM on July 28, 2011 [14 favorites]


Being in love gives me a boner. Can't fake it. Can't relate to this. Hope she finds a happy place.
posted by entropos at 4:45 AM on July 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


All of the "Similar Users" profiles on the right-hand side of the page say "more adventurous." You gotta be kidding me . . . .
posted by JanetLand at 4:48 AM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


what's a guy supposed to, where does he fit in, what is his role?

With any luck it means more time to devote to hobbies.
posted by Grangousier at 4:59 AM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


So, she repeatedly misinterpreted a man's interest in casual sex as actual romantic relationship stuff, but when she was proven wrong, she decided the guy's at fault, and made her assumption that the romantic relationship stuff was simply unattainable.

I think this line (from the bit that Brandon quoted, above) is pertinent: "It was the callous disregard for my heart, the almost tactical deployment of a romantic narrative to kink up what should only have been casual sex". So if I read it right she's decided that instead there's going to be no romantic narrative, just casual sex. On her terms. Good luck to her.
posted by Infinite Jest at 5:00 AM on July 28, 2011


When someone who's had a set of awful experiences writes about them, I am always surprised by how much hostility this provokes, how much denial. Here's something I have learned:

You do not have to identify with the oppressor. All you need to do is say "hey, person of color! hey, trans person! hey, queer person! hey, woman who's been treated badly! I hear what you're saying and it shouldn't have happened to you. If I acted that way in the past, I'll try to act better in the future." You don't need to say "you crazy bitch, what are you complaining about? And I'd never hire/talk to/fuck you anyway because you're crazy!"

Every complaint about the oppressor is not a complaint about you personally. Really, it isn't. If a woman is talking about guys who can't give oral sex, and you are sure in your heart that you're doing it well, then she's not talking about you - for example.

Do you want to be right or do you want to win? You can say "hey, I AM the single exception to your generalization about men/whites/cis folks/etc" and it may even be true. But then you're making the conversation about you, right? Someone starts by saying "I am in pain, I am writing a polemic about my pain" and you respond by saying "No, let's talk about me and how I am actually wonderful and I am hurt by your anger".

In each of these rhetorical moments, there's a choice, right? You can say "I hear what you're saying, I hear that you are in pain, we can talk about the many solutions to your pain later but I want you to know that you should not be in pain" or you can say "your complaints are stupid because I should not be criticized".

In my twenty years of experience as a politically engaged human being, I have never, ever met someone who said "I am in pain because I am in a marginalized and vulnerable group being treated badly" who was not in pain for that reason. I've met people who've said some dumb things, I've met people who have not had the resources to analyze or stop their pain, I've met people who used their pain to manipulate - but I have never been in a situation where denying the pain and denying the oppression made anything better.
posted by Frowner at 5:06 AM on July 28, 2011 [73 favorites]


shouldn't be, but I'm always surprised by this: a lot of people haven't cottoned on to the fact that the term sexism can't be equally applied to both sexes. It doesn't just mean "someone saying something bad about the opposite sex". It's about a sustained power dynamic between the sexes, which, by definition of the term, is not and has not been equal. When men have been denied basic rights across countless cultures for centuries, it'll be time to speak about sexism against men. Funny how ... well, of course it's always men who fail to understand this.

Same principle for racism, natch.


No. Sexism is sexism. Racism is racism. Religious bigotry is religious bigotry.

Do you think it's better when Hindus are persecuting Christians, or Muslims are persecuting Buddhists, or a secular state is persecuting all religious people, or Jews are persecuting Muslims, or Muslims are persecuting Jews than when Christians are persecuting someone, since Christianity is the world's largest religion? All of these are reprehensible.

The same is true of sexism: it's perfectly okay to say that there are unreasonable bastards who hate men the same as there are unreasonable bastards who hate women. Why does the truth value of that statement change due to historical context?
posted by sonic meat machine at 5:08 AM on July 28, 2011 [18 favorites]


Is this about oppression, though?
posted by the young rope-rider at 5:08 AM on July 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


No. Sexism is sexism. Racism is racism. Religious bigotry is religious bigotry.

And then you go on to compare sexism to religious bigotry...

The systematic oppression of women is a human constant.
posted by the young rope-rider at 5:10 AM on July 28, 2011 [6 favorites]


Magic Dick
posted by octothorpe at 5:11 AM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


What does it say about our culture that this basic respect she asks for from her lovers seems so elusive?

What does it say about her? She's randomly hooking up on OKCupid, and she wants to blame all men for being assholes based on this?


I shouldn't be, but I'm always surprised by this: a lot of people haven't cottoned on to the fact that the term sexism can't be equally applied to both sexes. It doesn't just mean "someone saying something bad about the opposite sex". It's about a sustained power dynamic between the sexes, which, by definition of the term, is not and has not been equal. When men have been denied basic rights across countless cultures for centuries, it'll be time to speak about sexism against men. Funny how ... well, of course it's always men who fail to understand this. Same principle for racism, natch.

Oh, natch. Funny that. So sorry I haven't "cottoned on" to "the fact" (facts are things you can prove, as I recall, not statements of blunt opinion) that calling someone who negatively characterizes all members of any group with a stereotype based on limited experience with a few members of that group a sexist or a racist is just wrong.

Are you kidding? Wait, women can't be sexists (even on behalf of patriarchy?). Minorities can't be racists? So all that talk of equality and freedom was just a cover for an inversion of the "sustained power dynamic" after all? If so, I'm rooting for the guys in Jane Doe's story.

I used to hear your view a lot in graduate school. It's still astoundingly hypocritical to my ears.
posted by spitbull at 5:11 AM on July 28, 2011 [18 favorites]


You do not have to identify with the oppressor. All you need to do is say "hey, person of color! hey, trans person! hey, queer person! hey, woman who's been treated badly! I hear what you're saying and it shouldn't have happened to you.

I don't think you're describing this. Having a bad experience, and being a woman, does not equate to having a bad experience because you're part of an oppressed group. An asshole not calling you tomorrow after you have consensual sex tonight is not equivalent to the patriarchy.
posted by OmieWise at 5:12 AM on July 28, 2011 [15 favorites]


Frowner, I don't think this is really about oppression, but beyond that I think in describing it as such you are subscribing to the pessimistic duality that Jane Doe does. The world isn't so easily divided into oppressed and oppressor - especially in affairs of the heart; you can be both, at the same time even. I also think that characterising the variety of responses here as ""you crazy bitch, what are you complaining about? And I'd never hire/talk to/fuck you anyway because you're crazy!" is reductionist, selective, and also uncharitable in the extreme.

The lack of empathy she decries is ironically mirrored all too readily in her own anguished posts. I dunno, it sounds trite, but I think you have to love yourself to love anyone else well - and vice versa. I feel like she is attempting to call it quits emotionally, but the rawness that seeps through her sentences belies the clamorous tenor of her posts, and reveals an aspect of hypocrisy.

I have sympathy for it, but to contend that the entire landscape of romantic attachment is a irradiated and toxic wasteland is unnecessary to feel the pain, regret, sorrow etc. Catharsis is never gonna happen - let alone meaningful relationships - with the kind of furious, contemptuous fucking that she has sworn to exclusively engage in as her only method of "romantic" connection.

I mean, if she only wants to fuck people she sees as walking penises, then it's fairly logical that only people who see her as a walking vagina would respond.
posted by smoke at 5:25 AM on July 28, 2011 [9 favorites]


There are also faulty assumptions behind the question about "acting like a man." The assumptions are both sexist and anti-male.

I object to whispering sweet bullshit into women's ears to get sex. I object to being too lazy or clueless to figure out what you want and too dishonest to admit that you don't know what you want. I object to men being clueless, callous cowards, because I know there's another way.

I don't object to men (and women) wanting to have sex. I don't object to casual sex. I also don't think that doing those things = "acting like a man." Equating having casual sex with "acting like a man" is sexist.



It also assumes that "acting like a man" means acting like a jackass, which is profoundly anti-man. I don't think man should = jackass. I don't think one gender has cornered the market on bad behavior. I do think men have cornered the market on this particular type of bad behavior.

I'd like to consign the phrase "acting like a man" to the dustbin of pre-feminist history.

This is not the sexist woman you may be looking for. It is not the female equivalent of the kind of post that pops up on Reddit all the time.

I read the whole okcupid thing, and it is the mournful undercurrent that velvet winter mentions that comes through the most. It is all heart and vulnerability, masquerading as a rant. And it gets more and more vulnerable as the piece goes on. I don't even really understand the impulse to give her advice at this point. I just want to give her a hug, and let her let it out.

Maybe she is partly writing for a book deal, or maybe it didn't start off that way but she is now. I like her anyway.
posted by catchingsignals at 5:30 AM on July 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


It doesn't just mean "someone saying something bad about the opposite sex".

We still blame people for making "sexist comments". If the problem is with the comment, then indeed sexism does mean "someone saying something bad about the opposite sex". If the problem is not with the comment as such, but with the context one chose to say it in, then defining sexism as a power dynamic makes more sense; but that implies that content such as is present in Angry Jane Doe is in fact acceptable from men, provided they keep it to their personal blogs.

I do actually believe that, by the way. I think it's possible for men to complain about women without being sexist per se, although it's harder, and I wouldn't recommend it in any case. But this is an important distinction that doesn't often properly get made in these conversations; if you say that Angry Jane Doe is not sexist because she's on the other side of the power dynamic, but do not admit that it's possible for men to say these things provided they distance themselves from the power-dynamical context while so doing, it looks an awful lot like you're using some potentially interesting and enlightening philosophy for the banal purpose of defending a person you're sympathetic toward, and not to actually enlighten anybody.

So, that's the distinction, I guess. Carry on.
posted by LogicalDash at 5:36 AM on July 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


Wow. She hates men. She may or may not be a sexist, but she clearly despises men.

I wonder why it is so incredibly important to her that her dates treat her with the exact amount and kind of respect she thinks is appropriate. In the long run, they are not important to her life - just a dude she's known for a few hours. That she is so tormented by them suggests either that sex is much more emotionally important to her than she will admit (and hence she should not have 1 nighters), or that she is using her sexuality to get approval and attention that is lacking in the rest of her life.
posted by yarly at 5:37 AM on July 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


Reads like yet another episode of the "Woman gets so tired of the way men treat women, that she starts treating men the same way" show. Nothing original here.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:46 AM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I wonder why it is so incredibly important to her that her dates treat her with the exact amount and kind of respect she thinks is appropriate.

I don't think wanting a date to treat you with the kind of respect one thinks is appropriate is a high bar.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:46 AM on July 28, 2011 [13 favorites]


When someone who's had a set of awful experiences writes about them, I am always surprised by how much hostility this provokes, how much denial.

Instead, let's all celebrate this destructive behavior!
posted by Threeway Handshake at 5:48 AM on July 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


I really wish I could comment on this, but it's just really isn't worth the time to try to unpack. She doesn't hold a singular line of thought or manage to not contradict herself multiple times throughout each rant. If she really wants my respect, draw a line in the sand and stick to it. Don't straddle the fucking fence, point to one side and talk about how the grass over there is bullshit but in the very next sentence say the other grass is also bullshit. Then proceed to pat yourself on the back for being honest and not a coward and yet do exactly what a coward would do.
posted by P.o.B. at 5:49 AM on July 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


A woman doesn't need a man, at all. She can be well educated, employed, independent (not just a room of her own, but a whole goddamn house) and have a great life without a man. That's sort of terrifying because then what's a guy supposed to, where does he fit in, what is his role?

I don't understand this, I don't understand any of this dialogue regarding sexism honestly.

As a man, I don't want to play a role, I just want to not be lonely all the time. I just want to feel like I can trust my partner, and I want them to feel like they can trust me. I want sex to be fun and light-hearted, like I once thought it was, and not a proxy for all the other bits of my personality I don't know how to deal with. I want shared experiences to be open and childlike again, not about marking milestones. I want to not have all the moments of bliss be countered by a dozen and one moments of regret and or feeling like I need to make recompense. And mostly I want to not be middle-aged and alone and feel like I need someone else to satisfy all this, as foolish as that hope is. I certainly don't want to feel like it's "me against women," when it's not: this is all a smokescreen, in the end, if we are honest with each other, because what it's about is being hurt constantly both by other people and ourselves until we are so bruised and battered that we don't know how we could open up again and be vulnerable to another human in such an intimate way that we actually let them into our hearts. This is not about sexism it's about pain.

I want the same things that she does but there is a huge wall between us, between any potential two partners. The fact that anyone gets over that wall astounds me, as does the fact that anyone attempts to scale it at all once they're past a certain age. The people in this thread suggesting she should have figured this shit out by the time she got to be her age don't get it: it's precisely because she is her age that it's so fucking painful.

This whole thing just makes me want to cry, honestly.
posted by innocuous_sockpuppet at 5:55 AM on July 28, 2011 [66 favorites]


It's hard to read and not want to give her advice

It's like she's mad at waiters for being nice to her for tips, and instead of trying to find a different way to connect with people, she just starts running into restaurants and angrily throwing dollar bills at confused employees.
posted by the young rope-rider at 5:56 AM on July 28, 2011 [43 favorites]


I don't have a magical dick, I am a magical dick.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 5:59 AM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Borderline personality disorder in action.
posted by wuwei at 6:01 AM on July 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


I don't think wanting a date to treat you with the kind of respect one thinks is appropriate is a high bar.

You're missing the operative word, which was "exact". She keeps drawing a thin red line for men to not only measure up to but also not reach above.
posted by P.o.B. at 6:01 AM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't have a magical dick, I am a magical dick.

Well you're half right...
posted by valkyryn at 6:05 AM on July 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


I want the same things that she does but there is a huge wall between us, between any potential two partners. The fact that anyone gets over that wall astounds me, as does the fact that anyone attempts to scale it at all once they're past a certain age. The people in this thread suggesting she should have figured this shit out by the time she got to be her age don't get it: it's precisely because she is her age that it's so fucking painful.
posted by innocuous_sockpuppet


It's like she's mad at waiters for being nice to her for tips, and instead of trying to find a different way to connect with people, she just starts running into restaurants and angrily throwing dollar bills at confused employees.

posted by the young rope-rider

I love both of these comments. Innocuous_sockpuppet touches on sense of despair that comes through in her writing and and YRR touches on how her approach is pure lunacy and will only lead to more despair and confusion.

She has set up a self-perpetuating system of expecting the meaningless, asking for the meaningless, demanding the meaningless and then raging at the meaninglessness that follows. I'm not sure how this cycle will finally end but it doesn't seem to be headed in a very good direction for her.
posted by victoriab at 6:10 AM on July 28, 2011 [6 favorites]


After reading part of the links and the comments here, I'm reminded that I'm grateful that I'm married, and that if anything happens to my husband, I'm just going to be a crazy cat lady with a Hitachi Magic Wand. It strikes me as no more lonely to go that way and a lot less frustration and expenditure of effort.
posted by immlass at 6:15 AM on July 28, 2011 [6 favorites]


If you're initiating relationships premised on casual sex, I don't think you're allowed to complain that the people you have sex with are interested in casual sex.
posted by valkyryn at 6:16 AM on July 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


She needs to look up "self-fulfilling prophecy".

My impression is she digs the power way more than she would appreciate a real give-and-take relationship.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 6:22 AM on July 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


So sexist crap is OK if you're a woman, I guess.
I shouldn't be, but I'm always surprised by this: a lot of people haven't cottoned on to the fact that the term sexism can't be equally applied to both sexes. It doesn't just mean "someone saying something bad about the opposite sex".


This is a frequent derail in these threads, and the issue is a false dilemma that really shouldn't derail things. "Men are X" is obviously and unproblematically a sexist generalization, and Angry Jane Doe is obviously saying something sexist; at the same time, the larger context of sexism and patriarchy does provide a different context when a woman says something sexist about men, than when a man says something sexist about women, and context matters. Asserting one of these does not deny the other.
posted by fatbird at 6:27 AM on July 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


Tell 'em why you mad
posted by bukvich at 6:32 AM on July 28, 2011


In a perfect world, people like me and Jane would have radar, where we instantly saw each other and knew "this person's standards of behavior are different enough from yours that one of you will surely give unintended offense. Avoid." Then, no harm, no foul, we would avoid. Since the real world doesn't have that feature, there's going to be unavoidable friction. I don't understand her anger at that.

More, what gets me a bit is her utter lack of empathy. She never puts herself in her partner's place, and sees the world only in terms of its impositions on her. When she rejects a partner she has no empathy at all for the hurt that causes, only pique if the partner is defensive and acts to minimize that hurt in a way that people have since long before it got put into a fable about sour grapes. If a partner tries to just stop returning calls, she can't see that he may be just trying not to engage in an explicit hurtful rejection and gently disengage, the way that 1000 AskMe's have suggested. But an insincere "Let's do lunch sometime. I'll call you." vs. an outright "I never want to see you again," can't be a partner's differing strategy to be polite. It's not the way she personally thinks all interactions should go, so he's a jerk.


Re: "sexism," I really wish we had two different words: one for "sex-based prejudice, bigotry and hatred, regardless of the power situation" and one for "perpetuation of sex-based oppression." So long as we don't, we're doomed to repeat this argument over the definition of a word that is used in two distinct senses, and to conflate those two senses.
posted by tyllwin at 6:33 AM on July 28, 2011 [11 favorites]


We can't ever be there for someone else, in the end, and the passing moments of instantaneous bliss are soon overthrown by hours, days, months, years of mourning. ... Why do we keep dating then? Why do we keep searching after someone to help us be less lonely when no one can actually help us be less lonely?
"... In her dark womb we did not know our mother's face; from the prison of her flesh we come into the unspeakable and incommunicable prison of this earth. Which of us has known his brother? Which of us has looked into his father's heart? Which of us has not remained forever prison-pent? Which of us is not forever a stranger and alone? O waste of loss, in the hot mazes, lost, among bright stars on this most weary unbright cinder, lost! Remembering speechlessly we seek the great forgotten language, the lost lane-end into heaven, a stone, a leaf, an unfound door. Where? When? O lost, and by the wind grieved, ghost, come back again."
posted by octobersurprise at 6:42 AM on July 28, 2011 [8 favorites]


Re: "sexism," I really wish we had two different words: one for "sex-based prejudice, bigotry and hatred, regardless of the power situation" and one for "perpetuation of sex-based oppression."
I used to think this. Now that the idea of sexism-as-prejudice-plus-power has percolated a bit more in my brain, I just find it a bit silly when I see men complaining about sexism directed against them, as above.

The situations are quite different - on the one hand a prejudiced statement is backed up with a power dynamic; on the other, it opposes it. It makes most sense to me that we should reserve the word 'sexism' for the case where they act in consort, and for us males to remember that if are ever genuinely on the receiving end of true sexism, we'll damn well know about it.
posted by iotic at 6:48 AM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Skimmed through the comments, saw that she was in Eugene, OR and then verified it on her blog, and now I know all I need to know here.

Eugene is OVERFLOWING with incredibly hot, charming, intelligent women and incredibly lazy, douchey guys. I'm not kidding. I have friends in the area who are smart, painfully beautiful and unable to find a serious relationship. Were I single again I'd drive down there at every possible opportunity.

I'm pretty sure any guy there who has a job, does dishes and knows where to find his razor probably comes off as a god down there.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 6:55 AM on July 28, 2011


Maybe she's just an Ask girl in a Guess world...
posted by stoneweaver at 6:56 AM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have a magic penis. I had a whole act built around it. My penis comes off and is transformed into a 5 foot tall phallus. Then I do a ventriloquist bit using topical and political humor. Then I make it disappear. A woman (actually an audience plant), screams discovering that the penis has appeared on her lap. We bring her up on stage. We reveal that she actually has the penis anatomically attached. I tell her I have to pee, and suddenly she's pissing through my penis all over the front row of the audience. It is like Gallagher with urine. Then in a bit of final magic and music the penis is returned to me. My agent had booked a small space off Broadway, but during preview week we got shutdown by Guiliani. Then 9-11 happened and no one wanted to fight it. That's why you've never seen my incredible show, The Aristocrats
posted by humanfont at 6:57 AM on July 28, 2011 [24 favorites]


OKCupid basically broke dating for me completely.

Too many guys I met on OKC were 'professionals'. They had long ago alienated every girl in their available sphere of contacts and now needed a steady stream of fresh prospects. They were accomplished liars and actors. They were in love with the idea of being love. They were never acting in good faith; they were simply saying and doing whatever it took to score. And scoring doesn't necessarily mean sex -- because often sex is easy. For guys who like conquests, scoring means knowing, or believing, that the girl fell for you, that you won. With that achieved, they moved on. I never wrote any multi-page AskMe questions about it because that's not my style, but I certainly experienced my share of traumas. It's difficult to engage with someone emotionally in good faith and then discover that they were playing games the entire time, and this happened more than once.

The rest of the guys were normal human beings, who just like me, were looking for a connection with someone, looking to find that spark, to not be lonely any more. They were good, kind, interesting, funny, frequently a little insecure. But I was so traumatized by the interactions with the untrustworthy people that I could not let my guard down. Connections that might have been wonderful simply never happened because I started acting paranoid, fearful, insecure and suspicious. That happens when you get burned a few times. If I would have encountered me then, I probably would have run away too.

A lot of people have commented that people who are looking for casual sex shouldn't be surprised when they're not treated with respect. Talk about missing the point. The point of this piece is -- why not? why shouldn't we treat people with whom we have sex with respect? why are sex partners the exception to the 'respect and compassion' rule that at least some of us try to live our lives by?

Or are people really going to insist that there is no legitimate difference between entering into a casual sexual relationship where both parties are truthful, honest and agree on the status of their interaction, and entering into what you believe is a romantic relationship (due to the desperate emotional proclamations of the other party), only to later discover that it was in their mind only casual, and the declarations of emotional desire were just part of the game?
posted by crackingdes at 6:57 AM on July 28, 2011 [36 favorites]


Has anyone else noticed an increase in women's use of the insult "coward" over the last few years? I've probably seen it used more times in the last two or three years than in the preceding fifteen. Maybe it's always been popular with single women in their late thirties, and I'm just reading more media written by that demographic, e.g. letters at salon.com and AskMe.

-----

What does it say about our culture that this basic respect she asks for from her lovers seems so elusive?

That it says anything about our culture at all is a questionable presupposition.

On preview: Maybe it does say something about the culture in Eugene...

-----

The situations are quite different - on the one hand a prejudiced statement is backed up with a power dynamic; on the other, it opposes it.

This makes prejudice sounds like a force for liberation. Now that's some privilege* for you.

* - Yeah yeah, I know. For you progressives, "privilege" is a technical term. Please excuse this loose usage.
posted by BigSky at 6:59 AM on July 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


Seeing your dick pull a rabbit out of a hat is novel the first 5-10 times, but eventually it gets repetitive and a bit itchy.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 7:11 AM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


The one thing I've noticed is how unrealistic the sexes are. How unrealistic everyone is.

probably including me.
posted by Ironmouth at 7:15 AM on July 28, 2011


Has anyone else noticed an increase in women's use of the insult "coward" over the last few years?

I think it's unlikely that women as a group have just suddenly started using a particular word to insult men. Maybe the experience you're describing is like buying a new car. Pretty soon after you're seeing your model everywhere.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:17 AM on July 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


I was eating Chinese, out, with a friend, whilst I was pouring my broken heart out on the table in front of her.

Meal over, fortune cookies arrived. Hers said, "Your romantic life is interesting only to you."

She handed it to me, and said, "this one's actually yours."
posted by Danf at 7:19 AM on July 28, 2011 [43 favorites]



Eugene is OVERFLOWING with incredibly hot, charming, intelligent women and incredibly lazy, douchey guys.


HEY NOW!!!
posted by Danf at 7:20 AM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


The situations are quite different - on the one hand a prejudiced statement is backed up with a power dynamic; on the other, it opposes it.

The fact that there are people out there who truly believe that any kind of prejudiced behavior is okay when they do it because they're doing it for the right reason makes me weary. Once upon a time I thought equality was difficult to attain because the people in power wanted to stay in power and so they feared equality because it threatened that. I have been slowly coming to realize that nobody really wants equality; everybody just wants to be on top so they can wield absolute power over everybody else.

Any prejudice is bad. ALWAYS. Your diminished or marginalized position does not justify the use of a weapon that is completely incapable of doing anything but evil.
posted by IAmUnaware at 7:21 AM on July 28, 2011 [15 favorites]


Maybe the experience you're describing is like buying a new car. Pretty soon after you're seeing your model everywhere.

very subtle.

*books tickets to Eugene for the weekend*
posted by fistynuts at 7:24 AM on July 28, 2011


A lot of people have commented that people who are looking for casual sex shouldn't be surprised when they're not treated with respect... the point of this piece is -- why not? why shouldn't we treat people with whom we have sex with respect? why are sex partners the exception to the 'respect and compassion' rule that at least some of us try to live our lives by?

Very interesting question. I think perhaps that lack of respect comes from fear of rejection? A defense mechanism? Respect > caring > heart broken?
posted by stinkycheese at 7:27 AM on July 28, 2011


Isn't it a sort of human thing where you get what you expect of people? That when you lower your standards, others will lower theirs?

Silliness.
posted by gjc at 7:31 AM on July 28, 2011


The fact that there are people out there who truly believe that any kind of prejudiced behavior is okay when they do it because they're doing it for the right reason makes me weary.

"These situations are not equal," does not mean, "One is terrible but the other is fine." I subscribe to the sexism = prejudice + power equation that states that women can't be sexist, but it doesn't follow that I believe it's fine for women to be arseholes. I simply believe that, inequality being what it is, using the same word to describe behaviours in both directions downplays that inequality.

But arseholes are still arseholes, no matter their sex.

I am at work and haven't read the links; I have no opinion on the lady in question here
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 7:32 AM on July 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


Or are people really going to insist that there is no legitimate difference between entering into a casual sexual relationship where both parties are truthful, honest and agree on the status of their interaction, and entering into what you believe is a romantic relationship (due to the desperate emotional proclamations of the other party), only to later discover that it was in their mind only casual, and the declarations of emotional desire were just part of the game?

I think this is absolutely the core of what this woman's getting at, and I am right there with her. I don't think her "rant" describes a series of horrible encounters. The one at the very bottom was horrible specifically because of the "the almost tactical deployment of a romantic narrative to kink up what should only have been casual sex." Regardless of your gender, that is a shitty way to treat people.

If you want to have casual sex, and you meet someone to have casual sex with, there is no reason on earth why you can't be perfectly friendly and frank and nice to each other and clear about what you want and don't want. I think people "deploy the romantic narrative" somewhat unconsciously because they think it makes a dirty weekend less dirty or they think the other party expects it or maybe they're just idiots who confuse nudity with an emotional bond, temporarily. But even if it's not meant to be deceptive, it's still a pretense.
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:33 AM on July 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


If I was teaching a psychology class on confirmation bias, I would use her musings as so much excellent course material.
posted by Danf at 7:34 AM on July 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


why can't you be...

I'm not saying this truism is true, but there is that saying: men use love to get sex, women use sex to get love. It sounds like she is angry about the former, in a nutshell.
posted by stinkycheese at 7:39 AM on July 28, 2011


Having looked the links, I have a theory as to the common element in her bad dating experiences. Three guesses and the first two are practice.

Why there's even a Demotivator poster for it! (and not one of the shitty photoshop meme knockoffs)
posted by FatherDagon at 7:39 AM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Egh. I'm all for feeling empowered, and the freedom to have mature and convivial one-night stands, but I don't love this lady's take on things.

She lost me at "And doesn't someone who respects you enough to tell you the truth deserve the same respect?" It's a fine statement on it's face, but what she actually seems to mean is "I require curt and positive response when I reject you via email." People shouldn't be abusive or crappy, but they're allowed to be sad or dismayed or annoyed, and express as much. Because they have feelings too.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 7:39 AM on July 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


I have to go ten minutes ago (again, MetaFilter; I'm running out of excuses for you) and I'm not even awake yet but I think my feelings can be summarized by saying that crackingdes' comment is how you should talk about this stuff if you want it to actually resonate with people and make a difference, and the original post is how you should talk about this stuff if you want to hurt people and make them angry. Whatever else is in the plate of beans we're overthinking boils down to this.
posted by byanyothername at 7:42 AM on July 28, 2011


Yeah yeah, I know. For you progressives, "privilege" is a technical term. Please excuse this loose usage.

What does this even mean? Privilege is not some hair-splitting terminology that takes technical jargon to explain. It means you are sitting in a place of advantage. When people in a place of disadvantage say mean words to you, your privilege is unchanged. They are simply identifying the place of societal privilege that you occupy. When you use mean words against people at a disadvantage, you are reinforcing that disadvantage. It's not rocket science.

I don't think her "rant" describes a series of horrible encounters. The one at the very bottom was horrible specifically because of the "the almost tactical deployment of a romantic narrative to kink up what should only have been casual sex." Regardless of your gender, that is a shitty way to treat people.

After reading some more of the comments in this thread, I'd like to amend my position. I stand by what I said with regards to owning the choices we make in relationships and identifying within ourselves the missteps we may have taken; that if you're starting to notice a pattern, maybe it's time to examine how you select your partners.

BUT - you know what? I've been where she's been. I have felt the anger and the frustration. And I'm alright with having a take-no-prisoners attitude about sex. She is being utterly honest and upfront about what she wants, and is pretty much just asking for the same. I can't say I see a problem with that, and I'm glad I took the time to re-think my reactions to her point of view.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:43 AM on July 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


I've tried three times to read through her polemic(a), and I just can't get through it. Is she punishing the guys she's sleeping with? I though they were the ones who treated her like a human being, but then she jilts them? Do the ones she doesn't like get off the hook with a condescending "no thanks, tiger"? And then I skipped to the bottom and this is because she was pursued by someone who professed to love her and then petered (urf!) out? Am I missing something here?

And if not, isn't this screed just a manifestation of weakness, rather than strength? Or is this another viral pitch for a book deal/TV show?
posted by Admiral Haddock at 7:45 AM on July 28, 2011


Precisely. She is saying she does not want to play games. That she would like the person on the other end of this interaction to simply and honestly tell her they aren't interested, so that she can civilly reply 'Ok. Well, it happens. I wish you well.'

And then they both go on with their lives, with total clarity and peace of mind about that particular interaction.

I'm really surprised that this idea is getting rebuffed here. To those doing so - do you feel that way because you're coming from a 'well, this is the way it is. Idealism isn't useful here.' frame of mind? Or are there other reasons I haven't considered?

It's getting rebuffed because people don't act like that -- not men, not women. They do that sort of thing when they have an investment in a relationship, and "after sending a handful of emails" or "after going on one date" does not constitute that level of investment. If she were talking about guys who slept with her and then vanished, she might have a point -- that's more of an investment than a couple of emails.

Saying that this woman's rant is feminism is like saying that the Spice Girls are feminism. Everyone has had shitty relationships, everyone has been hurt, and everyone has been treated badly. Some people can't deal with that and they turn sour, and they decide to punish the opposite sex for their experiences. The crappy relationships they have after that decision serve as further confirmation that everything's crap.

At the end of the day, every person who lashes out with anger and contempt at other people believes that he or she is justified. They have a narrative about how they've been treated with contempt, so it's okay; or that they're just being More Honest Than Everyone Else; or that the kind of person they're looking for isn't just their type but a universal ideal that everyone else is failing to live up to. I have known these people. I have been one of those people. It's a shitty place to be, but at the end of the day a person decides to be there. No one can put you there.

When guys do this, we call it being an asshole. Not because they're on the upside of a patriarchal power relationship, but because they're being assholes.
posted by verb at 7:46 AM on July 28, 2011 [9 favorites]


As usual, Jacques Lacan had this all figured out: "There's no such thing as a sexual relationship."
posted by Crabby Appleton at 7:47 AM on July 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


When people in a place of disadvantage say mean words to you, your privilege is unchanged. They are simply identifying the place of societal privilege that you occupy. When you use mean words against people at a disadvantage, you are reinforcing that disadvantage. It's not rocket science.

No, it's not rocket science, because rocket science makes sense. It is not okay to be shitty to someone because they are in a place of societal privilege. Where do you even get something like that? "When people in a place of disadvantage say mean words to you, they are simply identifying the place of societal privilege that you occupy"? Do you believe that actually makes sense? How is being an asshole "identifying" anything other than the fact that you're an asshole? Similarly, how does being an asshole to someone in a less privileged position "reinforce" anything except the fact that you're an asshole?

How did anyone come to believe that being disadvantaged in some way makes it okay for you to be a crappy person? Do you seriously not see how counterproductive that is?
posted by IAmUnaware at 7:56 AM on July 28, 2011 [18 favorites]


It is not okay to be shitty to someone because they are in a place of societal privilege.

Hear hear. Let's sidestep the academic syntax (I had enough of the postmodern bullshit in grad school) and just call it hatred, mmmkay?
posted by tr33hggr at 8:00 AM on July 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


ah, another day to be happy to be gay!
posted by fallacy of the beard at 8:00 AM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


If you think it's silly "sexism" to describe problems that aren't endemic to society, that's fine, and I can see why having a reserved word for that kind of problem could be useful. But other people don't adhere to your definition.

You have the option to try persuading them to accept your definition. That's fine. But you're not in a position of authority to say that one definition is right and all others are wrong. The best you can do is refuse to participate in discussions that use the "incorrect" definition.

If you dismiss someone's opinion on the basis that they're using the word "sexism" wrong, that's the Tone Argument. Maybe they're not expressing themselves well, okay, but that's not a good reason to dismiss their opinions. If you don't think you can communicate well with a person in such terms, you don't have to try, and you have the option to try persuading them of your definition. But dismissing them for not expressing themselves well is just a way of silencing people.

Silencing people is perhaps less despicable when done for noble political purposes, but that doesn't make it good.
posted by LogicalDash at 8:01 AM on July 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


"If you think it's silly to use "sexism" to describe..."
posted by LogicalDash at 8:01 AM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Has anyone else noticed an increase in women's use of the insult "coward" over the last few years?

Maybe it comes from the 911 hijacker-suiciders having been so called.
posted by Obscure Reference at 8:08 AM on July 28, 2011


You know what pisses me off the most? People who just sort of fade away after you exchange enough emails to know each other a little, or even meet in person.... They are the worst sort of dating jackass: they are cowards disguised as nice guys.

You know what pisses me off the most? That in the last year, this exact level of dialogue: a handful of messages sent, two or three responses, and even in one case a first date, and then sudden, complete silence and never hearing from her again, has happened to me on OKCupid five or six times.

No, wait, see that's not the part that pisses me off. You see, I suppose I could ignore that, hmm, maybe that's just how a fucking dating site works, and just declare that all those women are jackasses (or a whole host of inappropriate words men think they get to use to describe women who (gasp!) don't immediately decided they want to fuck you), but then I'd be a real goddamn asshole, wouldn't I?

Jesus fuck. Assuming this entire thing isn't a viral campaign to begin with, this person, or rather the avatar of whoever the writer is, is nothing more than a Nice Guy™ with a labia.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:11 AM on July 28, 2011 [6 favorites]


How did anyone come to believe that being disadvantaged in some way makes it okay for you to be a crappy person? Do you seriously not see how counterproductive that is?
posted by IAmUnaware at 7:56 AM on July 28 [+] [!]


It isn't meant to be productive. It is a logical fallacy meant to silence opposition and turn the tables.
posted by gjc at 8:12 AM on July 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


The situations are quite different - on the one hand a prejudiced statement is backed up with a power dynamic; on the other, it opposes it.

Right, because women in the US remain completely powerless to change anything about the world they live in. And men are just the same as they always were.

"A power dynamic" is inherent to human social life. You can't have a relationship with no "power dynamic."
posted by spitbull at 8:17 AM on July 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


(Plus Jane Doe does have the power to say no to casual sex with assholes, does she not? Or did I miss the part where she was forced to live this way by the evil power dynamic? Did all those men she slept with use her, take advantage of her, abuse their power over her? Seriously?)
posted by spitbull at 8:19 AM on July 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


What does this even mean? Privilege is not some hair-splitting terminology that takes technical jargon to explain.

It means that when progressives start delineating what is and what is not some kind of ism, the term "privilege" is the go to justification for it not being a two way street, e.g. no racism directed at whites because of white privilege, no sexism directed at males because of male privilege. It gives the show of being sensitive to context but is most often used to deny claims of racism and sexism because of the always over riding "fact" of privilege, e.g. an affirmative action policy at a university can not be racist because of white, and presumably Asian, privilege.

It is jargon.
posted by BigSky at 8:25 AM on July 28, 2011 [11 favorites]


I originally did not want to hold men in such low esteem that I only see them as living vibrators. I wanted to find one person and fuck gloriously, but also know him gloriously, in all his complexity and nuance. And I wanted him to want to know me too.

You want all the complexity and nuance until the intrinsic and always-present human imperfections and frailties come bubbling to the surface, then it's public-shaming-time. You want and expect openness but don't care for what's really there behind the curtain. That's a recipe for unhappiness.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:26 AM on July 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


Anyway, I tend not to use "sexist" and "misogynist" to describe hateful behavior, because that suffix "-ist" makes it sound like an ideology. Sure, there are plenty of ideological sexists out there, but the kind of person who will hate on you for having the wrong chromosome probably isn't that; the really ideological sexists are taking actual political action against one gender expression or another.

If you find yourself vexed by a person who hates you, call them a hater. In this case you might say "man hater" but I wonder if "date hater" mightn't be more appropriate.
posted by LogicalDash at 8:32 AM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


She's doing what she's doing and I'm a secret agent in a watermelon factory.
posted by storybored at 8:32 AM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'd be pretty angry too, if I'd concocted this amazingly deluded self-image of enlightenment and empowerment, only to see a whore starring back at me in the mirror.

This reeks of someone who thought "I'll show them" and succeeded only in debasing their own self.

I cannot fathom how someone thinks they can win a battle by becoming their enemy. Well, I guess I can fathom it; that doesn't require that I respect it...
posted by Dark Messiah at 8:33 AM on July 28, 2011


And then they both go on with their lives, with total clarity and peace of mind about that particular interaction.

I don't know if I've ever had total clarity and peace of mind about any human interaction. Including the ones that didn't involve a form of intimate contact that's generally associated with relationship building, or a hefty dose of oxytocin and vasopressin.

Emotions are complex and mutable. People don't always know what they want, or when they want it. Everyone should treat others with respect, but that includes being considerate of the fact that sometimes, people aren't going to have total clarity and peace of mind, however inconvenient that is.

Or, as Andre 3000 once said, "Okay, don't fall for her, don't fall for her. Ice cold."

"Ice cold!"
posted by evidenceofabsence at 8:37 AM on July 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


ah, another day to be happy to be gay!

Right. Because treating someone as a convenient sex object and nothing more never happens in the gay community.

the smug is so thick I can hardly see today
posted by Poet_Lariat at 8:43 AM on July 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


e.g. an affirmative action policy at a university can not be racist because of white, and presumably Asian, privilege.

Oh boy.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:53 AM on July 28, 2011


Right. Because treating someone as a convenient sex object and nothing more never happens in the gay community.

or more like we don't delude ourselves into thinking it doesn't and then get all dramatic and self-pitying about it when it does.
posted by fallacy of the beard at 8:55 AM on July 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


This will all work out fine once she adopts a daughter and raises her to use her beauty and pride to be the perfect seducer of men, but never to fall in love with them.

Then, when an orphan boy is sent to her decrepit mansion to play with her daughter, she can test the abilities of her creation. I'm sure there will be no long-term consequences for any of them...
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:57 AM on July 28, 2011 [20 favorites]


I guess I'll try to post this quote from her okcupid thing again:
There are also faulty assumptions behind the question about "acting like a man." The assumptions are both sexist and anti-male.

I object to whispering sweet bullshit into women's ears to get sex. I object to being too lazy or clueless to figure out what you want and too dishonest to admit that you don't know what you want. I object to men being clueless, callous cowards, because I know there's another way.

I don't object to men (and women) wanting to have sex. I don't object to casual sex. I also don't think that doing those things = "acting like a man." Equating having casual sex with "acting like a man" is sexist.



It also assumes that "acting like a man" means acting like a jackass, which is profoundly anti-man. I don't think man should = jackass. I don't think one gender has cornered the market on bad behavior. I do think men have cornered the market on this particular type of bad behavior.

I'd like to consign the phrase "acting like a man" to the dustbin of pre-feminist history.
She already used the word "sexist" to defend men. She already says it is wrong to be sexist against men.

I am a man. I am reading this, and seeing nowhere where she is sexist against men, let alone hating men. Her frustrations and coping strategies are as human as innocuous_sockpuppet's, who is a man. Many of you are projecting your own issues into her words, or using them to ride your own hobbyhorses.
posted by catchingsignals at 9:01 AM on July 28, 2011 [12 favorites]


If you want to have casual sex, and you meet someone to have casual sex with, there is no reason on earth why you can't be perfectly friendly and frank and nice to each other and clear about what you want and don't want.

I'd say that there is a problem with
that notion, in that the guys who are honest and sensitive to a partner's needs are more interested in an actual relationship, and not so much in a clinical one-night stand with someone who regards them as a penis delivery system.

So what she has left are the liers, assholes, relationship grifters...in general the disrespectful lowlifes she attracts.

I think people "deploy the romantic narrative" somewhat unconsciously because they think it makes a dirty weekend less dirty or they think the other party expects...

Or just possibly they think that adds to the fun. Even pseudo-romantic playacting where the couple is pretending that there's an emotional connecting adds a frission of pleasure to a one-night stand.

But she doesn't want that; she claims to want sex with physical intimacy, and all the emotional connection of fish spawning. And she's finding guys willing to do that. But she ALSO wants respect from them, which is contradictory to the above.

So yeah, she wants cheap sleazy sex, but doesn't want to feel cheap and sleazy. And the situation is only going to get worse as she gets older.
posted by happyroach at 9:24 AM on July 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


I wish I could set up my computer's security preferences to detect stuff like this before I click through:

WARNING: NO GOOD WILL COME OF THIS
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:26 AM on July 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


needs more linga
posted by clavdivs at 9:27 AM on July 28, 2011


I also don't see where she describes any punishing or vengeful behavior against men. In the first two encounters she describes (This Ethical Slut's First Time and A Fuck for Good Behavior) her actions are perfectly decent, healthy, honorable, and respectful to herself and her partners. She's just firmly requiring the same behavior from the people she fucks and advocating that the rest of us try behaving that way, with a focus on the rewards of not being a weasel:

So there's the lesson: sometimes, if you risk losing someone or something by telling the truth, you get the best of what they have to offer.

and

So why not go out there and assume that every [prospective sex partner] you meet also has a fierce sexy secret self just waiting to be discovered if you risk letting go of the bad faith, stupid little games, and petty cruelties that pass for dating these days?

Insisting that every single person you e-mail with a few times on a dating site must overtly "call things off" rather than fading away seems a bit unrealistic, but the rest is really just Golden Rule, with Bodily Fluids.

Maybe it's just because I used to occasionally get gamed in that same ridiculous, gratuitous way. You hold up a fucking giant flashing neon sign saying, "We can have perfectly happy friendly sex once or a few times, and you don't need to lay on the hearts-n-flowers, soulful glances, or icky smooth jazz ballads to achieve that. In fact, I prefer you don't." And then they do it anyway without one bit of interest in a romantic attachment.

On preview, back when I was dating, I met several of nice, honest, fun-loving men who, like me, just wanted to be short-term fuck-buddies. There was nothing clinical or robotic or whatever about it. I've lost track of most of them but still consider them all friends (with no sexual component at all anymore). Not only assholes and "self-debasing whores" are interested in brief encounters.
posted by FelliniBlank at 9:28 AM on July 28, 2011 [9 favorites]


You know, I don't use the word "slut" lightly.

I don't use it to mean "a woman who has fucked more men than X", where X is either "the number of women I've fucked", "an arbitrary small number", or "a number slightly less than the number of men she's fucked, because I want to label her a 'slut'".

A "slut" is someone who fucks without respect for their fuck-partners. Regardless of gender, genitalia, and those of their partner or partners.

I have non-slut friends who have had dozens of lovers, multiple spouses, extramarital (poly) affairs, attended orgies, hosted orgies, worked in the sex trades, and so on.

This person is a slut (if indeed it is a real person).

*Caveat: I sometimes also use "slut" to mean "dirty, dirty, wonderful lover of mine!"... but that's a very private event.
posted by IAmBroom at 9:30 AM on July 28, 2011


I'd be pretty angry too, if I'd concocted this amazingly deluded self-image of enlightenment and empowerment, only to see a whore starring back at me in the mirror.

OK, see, there's the line I was hoping wouldn't be crossed. She's not a "whore," and that is a pretty sexist response to a complicated post.
posted by verb at 9:30 AM on July 28, 2011 [9 favorites]


re: iotc. Yes, racism and sexism are often taken to be synonymous with some kind of mild prejudice that should be equally abhorrent when the current runs the other way. But they just aren't. The Lgbt center at UC Davis provides this pretty handy definition of sexism which should help you differentiate and understand why one can't describe "man hating" as sexism. "Cultural, institutional, and individual set of beliefs and practices that privilege men, subordinate women, and denigrate values and practices associated with women."
posted by Lisitasan at 9:39 AM on July 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


Livejournal is back up. Her entries are illuminating.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:42 AM on July 28, 2011


Don't know if anyone mentioned this yet but,

men use love to get sex, women use sex to get love.

Is untrue, or at least overly simplistic. I think for many men, "sex" meaning intercourse in the mechanical sense, is not really the goal. What they want is more complicated, but probably is best summed up by "power." Given the choice between being completely honest with a woman that they just want casual sex, and seducing her into casual sex, they would honestly turn down the sex without that element of power. It's about seduction, about knowing that you've still got it, about ego. Just look at the askme question about the guy who flirted with 20-30 women online and only slept with a couple. He just wanted to feel like women wanted him.

In general I think the term "casual sex" is really complex and there's not really a dichotomy as much as a spectrum.
posted by Nixy at 9:47 AM on July 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


When men have been denied basic rights across countless cultures for centuries, it'll be time to speak about sexism against men. Funny how ... well, of course it's always men who fail to understand this.

What a smugly delivered load of horseshit.
posted by Scoo at 9:49 AM on July 28, 2011 [14 favorites]



racism and sexism are often taken to be synonymous with some kind of mild prejudice

"mild" prejudice is sort of a straw man.
posted by tyllwin at 9:49 AM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter: none of you have magical dicks

I dunno, I tend to be a bit more generous. sooo...

MetaFilter: ALL of you have magical dicks!

...except, um, for the ladies, of course... Aw, hell, I'm in a good mood: WISH-GRANTING PENISES FOR EVERYONE!!!
posted by sexyrobot at 9:50 AM on July 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Thanks sexyrobot, now I have two!
posted by Scoo at 9:51 AM on July 28, 2011


The Lgbt center at UC Davis provides this pretty handy definition of sexism which should help you differentiate and understand why one can't describe "man hating" as sexism.

So let me get this straight. If a man is a misogynist or acts in a misogynistic way towards women, than he's clearly a sexist. But if a woman is a misandrist or acts in a misandristic way towards men, she cannot be a sexist (at least according to the LGBT Center at UC Davis)?
posted by Fidel Cashflow at 9:52 AM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


sexyrobot: ...except, um, for the ladies, of course... Aw, hell, I'm in a good mood: WISH-GRANTING PENISES FOR EVERYONE!!!
No, no- WISH-GRANTING PENISES FOR SOME, MINIATURE AMERICAN FLAGS FOR OTHERS!
posted by hincandenza at 9:53 AM on July 28, 2011


MetaFilter: none of you have magical dicks

Of course not, it's a mutant.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:54 AM on July 28, 2011


Metafilter: It's all been a whirlwind of realizations for her and she just needs to put it down somewhere but needs to use entirely too many words to try to convey such a simple message.

The term "random" is overused, but that's what this post is. Random musings about sex via OKCupid.

Over the months, I get the same question: who did this to you? And my answer is this story. One man too many came on with all the ardor of love, only to waft away in the cold light of early morning. It's a boring story because it's so fucking old

Agreed. It's not uninteresting writing. I'm just not sure what the fuck there is to talk about. Human behavior in general?
posted by mrgrimm at 9:57 AM on July 28, 2011


Find A Reason, Any Reason Day!

Maybe it’s because you got messed up when you were a kid after your adoptive mom met your biological dad and fell in love with him and then your adoptive dad hooked up with your biological mom but they realized it was just a vengeance boff so it didn’t work out. Or perhaps someone locked you in a locker for twelve minutes when you were in middle school. Whatever the reason is, you need to find it today. Might be that you need a reason to finally say “you know what, fuck this” to the Clown College T.A. you’ve been banging for a grade bump on your mid-term, or maybe you’re looking for a reason to finally write that letter to Richard Roeper telling him how much he got wrong in his review of “Faster.” No one cares what you need the reason for, we’re just rooting for you to find one. It’s rare in life that anyone gets to behave in a manner that is 100% justified, but we think you can be the first. Get back in therapy. You need a hand with this.

Happy Find A Reason, Any Reason Day!
posted by xod at 10:03 AM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Fidel Cashflow: "So let me get this straight. If a man is a misogynist or acts in a misogynistic way towards women, than he's clearly a sexist. But if a woman is a misandrist or acts in a misandristic way towards men, she cannot be a sexist (at least according to the LGBT Center at UC Davis)?"

You're getting there. Note that nowhere does anyone state that women can't be really fucking horrible to men, all men, all the time. It's just not sexist when they do it, because they don't have the patriarchy backing them up.

There may be some leeway with regard to the ways that men are restricted by the patriarchy -- don't show emotion and the like -- and you could probably call out a woman for being sexist if she's attacking a man for, say, crying, because there she has the support of the patriarchy. But that's imo, a fine line, and debatable.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 10:07 AM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


A woman doesn't need a man, at all. She can be well educated, employed, independent (not just a room of her own, but a whole goddamn house) and have a great life without a man. That's sort of terrifying because then what's a guy supposed to, where does he fit in, what is his role?

He doesn't. Since she's so damn great and self sufficient, he just gets what he wants and walks away. She has a great life without a man, men have a great life without her. Sounds pretty fair to me....
posted by c13 at 10:08 AM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


She is saying she does not want to play games. That she would like the person on the other end of this interaction to simply and honestly tell her they aren't interested, so that she can civilly reply 'Ok. Well, it happens. I wish you well.'

And then they both go on with their lives, with total clarity and peace of mind about that particular interaction.

I'm really surprised that this idea is getting rebuffed here. To those doing so - do you feel that way because you're coming from a 'well, this is the way it is. Idealism isn't useful here.' frame of mind? Or are there other reasons I haven't considered?

(No snark or such - i'm really interested.)


I suppose it's possible that I am an outlier with an extreme minority viewpoint, but I reject the notion, particularly in online dating, that there is one "correct" way to interact with suitors you are not interested in and any other method is objectively horrible.

Because speaking for myself, when I participated in online dating sites way back when, I always preferred the quiet blow off, where I was free to create whatever rationalization in my head made the rejection less personally hurtful, such as imagining the woman in question had already started dating someone else exclusively and forgot to take her profile down, had spotty Internet access, just experienced a death in the family, fell off of a cliff, etc.

Obviously it's frustrating when someone you are interested in has a different standard for what the appropriate reaction is to an unrequited romantic interest than you do. In my case, I hated receiving responses from women I had contacted listing the myriad of reasons she didn't think a relationship between us would work out (which I usually just assumed to mean she thought my picture was ugly). But I'm sure such women just thought they were doing the kind thing instead of just leaving me hanging, even if their good intentions would often cause me to fill with self-doubt and insecurity.

Assuming malicious intent and labeling anyone who happens to have a difference of opinion regarding the proper etiquette for how to indicate a lack of romantic interest towards an online suitor as some sort of heartless coward seems incredibly ungenerous.
posted by The Gooch at 10:09 AM on July 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm always amazed at people who make the demand that intimacy in the context of sexual love serve their ego in precise and scripted ways. Our sociobiology is just not (yet) meant to "make us happy", in this consumerist, individualist sense. More than any detail of her experiences, her supposed sexism or lack of it, her specific emotional architecture, etc, the urgency of this EXPECTATION is, to me, the most remarkable thing about her.

We've suddenly developed this requirement that our sexuality and our emotional lives be as responsive to our moment-to-moment needs as any other commodity.

Intimacy occurs. Maybe because you fought a war together. Or because you worked a job together. Because you had kids together. Because you faced a crisis together. Because of time in proximity. Because of shared suffering and sacrifice. Once accidentally achieved, it is often horrifying and destructive. But whether constructive or destructive, intimacy is never amenable to our "demand" that it emerge, and the idea that it might naturally flow from conversation shared over a meal or twenty is pretty absurd.

It's this very demand that, I think, makes it less and less likely that people will develop any kind of emotional knowledge of one another at all. While everyone is trying to satisfy their attention-addled selves, no one is DOING anything meaningful at all together (except produce more disposable experiences), which makes it increasingly unnecessary that we know one another.

And our culture has evolved to factor intimacy out, to rechannel our instincts for reproduction and closeness and (intimacy-producing) violence into productive behaviors and consumer choices.

Angry Jane has learned to treat men as vibrators because it serves our culture if she thinks of that exchange (human for object) as adequate.

And certainly vibrators are only going to get better and better. Eventually they'll tell you the things you want to hear. They'll KNOW you better than your best friend. (Hell, my Amazon recommendations ALREADY reflect more intimate knowledge of my personality than any human has expressed in some time, or even if they don't, they're a more consistently satisfying reflection of what I think of as "the real me".)

Give it time, Angry Jane. These men you think you need are indeed overrated, when compared to the objects that will replace them (and that are already replacing them).
posted by macross city flaneur at 10:15 AM on July 28, 2011 [14 favorites]



By the prejudice + power definition, if Harry Hypothetical wants to go a gym that doesn't allow female members, he's a sexist. If Helen Hypothetical stands on a street corner shrieking that "All men are scum. Their dicks oughta be hacked off and burned!" and waves a meat cleaver at any male that walks within 10 feet of her, she is not. That definition creates an instant defensiveness in a non-trivial percentage of the population. That perceived unfairness may be trivial compared to the real difficulties women must deal with, but it impairs the dialog in a way taht words like "oppression" and "prejudice" do not.
posted by tyllwin at 10:15 AM on July 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


Lisitasan, the folks at the Lgbt center at UC Davis appear to be morons. They are welcome to call themselves an authority, other people are welcome to consider them an authority. That doesn't mean they own the definition of sexism.
posted by mbatch at 10:19 AM on July 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


tyllwin: "it impairs the dialog in a way taht words like "oppression" and "prejudice" do not."

This dialogue is pretty well impaired as it is.

Unwarranted defensiveness is part of the problem. I'll be the first to agree that flying into a conversation with metaphorical fists raised, yelling at people for using the wrong terminology, is counter-productive. But there's a difference between prejudice by men against women and prejudice by women against men (and, for that matter, prejudice by women against other women) and it does the cause and the conversation no good to pretend it isn't there.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 10:19 AM on July 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Metafilter: Full of magical dicks!
posted by evidenceofabsence at 10:21 AM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Note that nowhere does anyone state that women can't be really fucking horrible to men, all men, all the time. It's just not sexist when they do it, because they don't have the patriarchy backing them up.

Please codify 'the patriarchy'. You talk about 'it' as if they're a club with members and meetings, rather than some etherial concept.

But there's a difference between prejudice by men against women and prejudice by women against men (and, for that matter, prejudice by women against other women) and it does the cause and the conversation no good to pretend it isn't there.

No, there isn't. If you think that, you're living in a bubble of perpetual victimhood.
posted by Fidel Cashflow at 10:29 AM on July 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


Macross City Flaneur, I think you've got something there. I think angrygirl really just wants a motorized RealDoll with an advanced Eliza program to tell her what she wants to hear.

Once we get full-sensorium virtual reality, or sexbots ala "Saturn's Children", a fairly large segment of the dating population will drop right out. Fifty years from now an insurance adjuster will probably find the desiccated naked corpse of angrygirl in a foreclosed house. The VR rig will still be attached to her temples, humming slightly in standby mode. There will be a specific insurance code for that sort of death.
posted by happyroach at 10:36 AM on July 28, 2011 [6 favorites]


Expectations are the mother of all resentments. Requirements are the mother of all standards.

Potential SOs in my life have to treat me fairly, compassionately, honestly, etc. If you don't... well, those requirements aren't being met. At that point, I either need to readjust said requirements or readjust my dealings with you. I have done both in the past. Usually when I readjust my requirements in this arena, I get miserable first, and then readjust my dealings with you.

There is, and will always be only one, solitary thing that I can promise another human being with certainty, and that is the fact that at some point, somehow, I will let you down. I can also promise you that when I am made aware of this, I will apologize and try not to do that thing again, but you will be let down again by something else. Sometimes it will be my fault, sometimes it will not be my fault, but if we care for each other, we will always be able to talk about it and make sure it doesn't happen too often.

Is that really so hard?
posted by Debaser626 at 10:37 AM on July 28, 2011 [6 favorites]


From her LJ -

All those trappings: monogamy, relationships, marriage, domesticity, children, shared tattoos, rings, protestations of eternal love, whatever - none of them will really make any of us safe if we think only love will make us safe.

When I was in my early-twenties, I thought love was a lifejacket and I was drowning. I was indiscriminate. I grasped at love and, like the water, it evaded my grip even as it surrounded me.


These are good realizations. One of the tragedies of the modern world is that humans rarely experience happiness and bliss outside of the context of relationships, and as a few people here have pointed at in different ways, the extreme expectations we project on those relationships as a result cannot possibly be fulfilled. She seems to realize this but still frames her hopes and needs in terms of love, and if you haven't experienced happiness and bliss outside of the context of relationships, how could you? Argh, it makes me weep.
posted by MillMan at 10:40 AM on July 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Wait- what, it's impossible for me to be sexist towards men because I'm a woman and one of the down-trodden? Thus if I announce that men are an inherently untrustworthy group with little to offer, I'm only being a big doodoo head, and not participating in a harmful dynamic?

What sort of agency removing, nullifying nonsense is that? If I ascribe virtues or vices to men based on sex, I am being sexist. If I do it because of ethnicity, I'm being racist. Don't be sexist and deny me this flaw purely on my gender, as you might as well say I'm incapable of violence because the cultural structure doesn't support women punching people the way men do.

I spend enough time avoiding victim-hood without the people ostensibly trying to help me shoving me firmly back into that kitchen of misery because it suits their politics.
posted by Phalene at 10:40 AM on July 28, 2011 [15 favorites]


Saying a woman can't be sexist because she doesn't have the patriarchy backing her up is like saying a woman can't be abusive because she weighs less than a man. I don't think anyone here is questioning that male sexism has been much more pervasive through all of human history with infinitely worse effects both then and now; but the redefinition of sexism or racism as "prejudice + power" misunderstands why sexism or racism is bad: it's not the power, it's the prejudice.

Hatred or suspicion of someone based on the random accident of their birth is wrong; when someone articulates those views from a position of power that's worse, because power amplifies the effects of something that is already bad.

If you change the definition of sexism so that it means behavior that is either oppressive or merely assholish depending on who's doing it then you've lost the ability to describe a major transgression against human decency: the judging of people because of what they are and not who they are.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 10:40 AM on July 28, 2011 [12 favorites]


Borderline personality disorder in action.

I was thinking Cluster B too, but the repeated insistence that people "respect" her and the multiple locations for blogging point to narcissism. With a big ol' neon arrow.
posted by the young rope-rider at 10:40 AM on July 28, 2011 [6 favorites]


She's just using the wrong dating site, she just needs to head over to AdultFriendFinder.

Those girls are real and in my area, right?
posted by Mick at 10:45 AM on July 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


So let me get this straight. If a man is a misogynist or acts in a misogynistic way towards women, than he's clearly a sexist. But if a woman is a misandrist or acts in a misandristic way towards men, she cannot be a sexist (at least according to the LGBT Center at UC Davis)?

A few distinctions need to be made here.

In some circles, the word "sexist" (or racist, or whatever ism) gets split off into its own definition so as to differentiate between shitty, prejudiced behavior towards a group when that behavior is backed by privilege, and shitty, prejudiced behavior towards a group when that behavior is not backed by privilege.

It really isn't anything more than a handy term to distinguish the situations. You could use a different word if you like. Instead of saying women can't treat men in a way that is sexist, you could just as easily say women cannot treat men in a way that is Bernard.

Really - it's only a term, which is used in one specific way in specific discussions in specific circles. In discussions of feminism or of privilege in general, it becomes necessary to be able to have shorthand for different types of prejudiced actions. I tend to think that a good-faith discussion needs to have the assumption that even if you see these terms as loaded, they're not intended that way, and no one's trying to minimize the suffering of anyone who gets treated badly for being white or a man. There is a vast, vast difference between "Your suffering is not worth anyone's consideration ever and in fact on balance is probably a good thing," and "Your suffering is not really relevant to this discussion." If folks who are on the feminist side of the discussion seem a mite wary about this, please understand that it is an incredibly common thing for men to barge into discussions of women's issues and demand that equal weight be given to whatever their particular grievance is, and it's hard not to just start expecting that to happen after a while. It's hard not to be a little on guard for it.

But a lot of the time, a person might see that part of the discussion happening and bristle at whatever implications: at the idea that this means women cannot be shitty and prejudiced against men (oh boy, can they ever), or at the idea that this somehow means that one is a worse thing to do to a person than the other (it is not), or at the idea that women can be shitty and prejudiced against men but it's not a bad thing and actually it's okay when this happens. And that last one gets trotted out a lot, and I think it's one of those areas where a light touch and a lot of clarifications are necessary.

No one except the most absolutely batshit insane, regardless of whether they call themselves a feminist or not, would ever suggest that the suffering of men for being men is a positive thing, or even something anyone should be okay with. When women are shitty to men because they're men, that is a bad thing and should not be tolerated, not by anyone, ever. If it seems to be getting short shrift in a discussion, it's usually because it doesn't happen to be relevant to the topic at hand. For example, a discussion of the way rape is used against women doesn't mean that male rape doesn't happen or isn't terrible (because it does happen, and it is terrible).

Women can be misandrist, for certain, and can behave in a misandrist way. As they tend to lack the kind of privilege men carry around, they are not able to be misandrist in a way which is backed up by the same societal privilege. That doesn't mean it's okay for them to be misandrist or that actions against men should be taken less seriously. The word "sexist" in this context only refers to a different kind of action - not a worse one.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 10:48 AM on July 28, 2011 [16 favorites]



She's just using the wrong dating site, she just needs to head over to AdultFriendFinder.


I do not think so. Because it seems like even with all of her rhetoric, she is out to inflict the kind of behavior on others that she feels has been inflicted on her.

And with AFF, it seems like NSA is pretty much a given, from what I have heard.
posted by Danf at 10:49 AM on July 28, 2011


Phalene: "Wait- what, it's impossible for me to be sexist towards men because I'm a woman and one of the down-trodden? Thus if I announce that men are an inherently untrustworthy group with little to offer, I'm only being a big doodoo head, and not participating in a harmful dynamic?

What sort of agency removing, nullifying nonsense is that?
"

The well-meaning but deeply counter-productive kind, mostly. (Sometimes it's the self-justifying kind, too.) Privilege and sexism, like privilege and racism, are separate things. "The patriarchy" uses sexism, certainly, in much the same way that various interlocking systems of privilege use racism, but the ism is not the user any more than a hammer is the carpenter, to get all fortune-cookie about it. (Lucky numbers: 12, 15, 5, 7, 3, 19.)

I might be inclined to crankiness because of the wonderful "angrily throwing dollar bills at confused waiters" analogy up yonder. But also, all the magical penis stuff is just crying out for a clever use of "any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic" and it's almost there with the recent sexbot musings, but I just can't make it happen!
posted by Drastic at 10:51 AM on July 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


Does she not know that on dating sites, when women aren't interested, they stop responding, too? I mean, that's what the internet enables, as it enables anonymity; when given the option of skipping basic decency and societal pleasantries, a lot of people take that option because it is easier, much like some people who work from home don't put on their work clothes first.
posted by davejay at 10:54 AM on July 28, 2011 [7 favorites]


> I shouldn't be, but I'm always surprised by this: a lot of people haven't cottoned on to the
> fact that the term sexism can't be equally applied to both sexes.

Haven't cottoned on to? More likely they just reject the idea as self-evidently wrong.
posted by jfuller at 11:08 AM on July 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


This reinforces my perception that dating is absurdly fraught and that if I am ever single again I am damn well staying that way until I die.
posted by everichon at 11:21 AM on July 28, 2011


"humans rarely experience happiness and bliss outside of the context of relationships"

Huh WHAT? MillMan, I think you are doing it wrong. Very very wrong.
posted by mbatch at 11:28 AM on July 28, 2011


Wait- what, it's impossible for me to be sexist towards men because I'm a woman and one of the down-trodden? Thus if I announce that men are an inherently untrustworthy group with little to offer, I'm only being a big doodoo head, and not participating in a harmful dynamic?

I'd say yes to the first. That doesn't render you incapable of being an absolute shitheel, if that's your flavor of fun. Sexism is a specific type of gender-related shitheelness. It is not, by any stretch of the imagination, the only one. So, to the second, you'd certainly be participating in a harmful dynamic, and if you were actually doing it I'd ask you to stop. I just wouldn't call that harmful dynamic sexism. We can brainstorm other words for it if you want.

Where the "only" part of "only a big doodoo head" comes from, I'm not really sure. Engaging in sexism isn't the worst thing you can do, such that you're automatically a better person because I don't think you can engage in sexism towards men. Take heart, it's still perfectly possible for you to be the worst person in the entire world if that's what you want to be. All your agency is still available.
posted by Errant at 11:32 AM on July 28, 2011


Note that nowhere does anyone state that women can't be really fucking horrible to men, all men, all the time.

I think this has been forgotten here in this whole discussion about sexism. Women can indeed still be horrible to men, in many, many ways. "Sexism" is the reinforcement of gender privilege. No one is saying that women have a free pass to fling all kinds of abuse at men because the patriarchy sucks. There are just different ways of being an asshole, and sexism - as the reinforcement of gender privilege - is a form of assholism particular to men.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:32 AM on July 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


She'd change her tune if she were to start dating women. Then she'd be disgusted with people.

But I don't know if that's an improvement :-/ I share her frustration. People lack decency. And not entirely by choice; in the dating scene, no good deed goes unpunished - if you're honest with people about things they need to know but don't like to hear, eventually you'll hit an asshole who punishes you for your decency, and maybe next time you wont stick your neck out quite so far for someone you barely know, merely for the sake of decency. Rinse repeat a few times and you're part of the problem.

From zoning laws to shitty dating culture, "A few assholes abused the privilege" is generally the answer to the question of "why can't we have nice things?" :-/
posted by anonymisc at 11:33 AM on July 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


As they tend to lack the kind of privilege men carry around, they are not able to be misandrist in a way which is backed up by the same societal privilege.

Though they may be backed by other social privileges--race, class, nationality, sexual orientation, gender identity and so forth--that make the misandry possible. That's not to take away from your excellent point, just to add that our identities are complex, and so just because something is not sexist doesn't mean it isn't racist, heterosexist, classist, and so forth. Angry Jane Doe doesn't seem to fit those, for what it's worth.
posted by Marty Marx at 11:33 AM on July 28, 2011


No one except the most absolutely batshit insane, regardless of whether they call themselves a feminist or not, would ever suggest that the suffering of men for being men is a positive thing

I don't think this is actually true. Sane people espouse insane opinions often enough, usually because they've committed a logical error, or due to a miscommunication, or something to that effect.
posted by LogicalDash at 11:34 AM on July 28, 2011


Marisa, is it your opinion that female privilege does not exist?

disclaimer: the existence of female privilege and associated problems does not mitigate the existence of male privilege or associated problems
posted by LogicalDash at 11:36 AM on July 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm one of those happily married people who really misses dating. Dating itself is pretty fun, and if any date starts to go south, well, killing the date and going home really isn't that hard.

What I certainly don't miss is the practice of trying to get a date. It's a weird phenomenon: I have little problem with women rejecting me after they get to know me on a date; but getting rejected by someone before they get to know me is devastating. Weird and sorta shallow, but.

Anyway...

Sane people espouse insane opinions often enough all the time.

I myself am pretty superstitious. There is no sane basis for it. (That's not an "opinion," but you get the idea...)
posted by mrgrimm at 11:37 AM on July 28, 2011


I'm really pleased to see that people are talking about the words racism, sexism, etc., as having two meanings: Judgment/prejudice on the basis of race, sex, etc., and the power+prejudice definition, which is a term of art in social theory and social work circles. People here seem to get so exercised when others use these words the wrong way. To me, it's sort of like watching folks get mad at other folks for describing a particular viewpoint as being "plastic," since a viewpoint, and intangible, and therefore by definition cannot be made of carbon polymers. The one usage arises from the other, but ultimately they are separate and distinct, and IMO, neither is more legitimate than the other.

I'll also add that (again, IMO) a woman is absolutely capable of being sexist to men, even in the power+prejudice sense. She may not have the force of history behind her, but she can certainly have power within a family, a community, or an organization, and she can certainly use that power to disenfranchise others on the basis of their sex. Likely, it would be easier for her victims to escape the dynamic because it's not generally reified by society as a whole-- but it could still be psychically, professionally, and socially damaging to those affected.

[And w/re: AngryJane-- all I can say is, I have never experienced the late 30's-early 40's dating scene, and after reading this I am ridiculously thankful that, lawd willin' an' the creeks don't rise, I never will. Yee-ikes.]
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 11:46 AM on July 28, 2011 [7 favorites]


Why yes, I do like italics a bit too much.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 11:48 AM on July 28, 2011


That female privilege checklist starts with this:


1. I am physically able to give birth to another human being, and then do my best to mold her or him into the kind of person I choose.

HA HA HA HA HA oh yes the ability to get pregnant is like rolling in million dollar bills every single day!
posted by the young rope-rider at 11:51 AM on July 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


The fact that a privilege comes with significant drawbacks doesn't make it a non-privilege... does it?
posted by LogicalDash at 11:53 AM on July 28, 2011


3. I feel free to wear a wide variety of clothes, from jeans to skimpy shorts to dresses as appropriate, without fear of ridicule.

4. I can choose to remain seated to meet most people.

8. Public policies generally offer me an opportunity to bond with my offspring.



Comedy gold. Thanks for linking.
posted by the young rope-rider at 11:55 AM on July 28, 2011 [14 favorites]


I hope to heaven that this particular female privilege checklist is meant to be sort of tongue-in-cheek, because if not, I'm probably going to have to weep quietly at my desk for a while. To wit:

15. I can be proud of the skill I have worked to develop at stretching limited financial resources.

16. I am not ashamed of using alternatives to positional power to reach my goals.

17. I know how to put a new roll of toilet paper in use and am not above doing it for the next person.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 12:04 PM on July 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


Marisa, is it your opinion that female privilege does not exist?

I ... think this is meant to be a joke? I mean it's even co-written by a humorist. Even if it were dead serious, it's hard to take it seriously.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:06 PM on July 28, 2011


Whoops, misread that. Barry Deutsch did not co-write the female privilege list; he was the inspiration for it. Which still sort of indicates this was meant to be a joke.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:07 PM on July 28, 2011


Yeah, it seems to be a really subtle parody. I think this was the one I had in mind.
posted by LogicalDash at 12:22 PM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: From confusion to threatened to horror to righteous "hell yeah" to sadness and pity.
posted by herbplarfegan at 12:32 PM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Once we get full-sensorium virtual reality, or sexbots ala "Saturn's Children", a fairly large segment of the dating population will drop right out.

DON'T DATE ROBOTS!
posted by Aquaman at 12:32 PM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


No. Sexism is sexism. Racism is racism. Religious bigotry is religious bigotry.

I fully appreciate your thrust here, but please remember that religion is a choice. Race, gender, and sexuality are not choices; religious bigotry empirically falls in a separate category.
posted by herbplarfegan at 12:40 PM on July 28, 2011


Metafilter: I fully appreciate your thrust.
posted by herbplarfegan at 12:40 PM on July 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


If I would have encountered me then, I probably would have run away too.

This is true of me as well. I see her anger and self-righteousness from the perspective of a gay man who once dated a lot (and also played around a lot). I had a fury about relationships and dating and casual sex (masking a horrifically naive idealism) that I wore and carried around with me like a suit of armor when I was in my 20s and 30s, and it's pretty obvious to me now that that armor was apparent to almost anyone who got close enough to me to exchange more than the smallest small talk.

I got older and decided that many of us are lucky if we find any relationship -- friendly or intimate or otherwise -- that's worth remembering. Not dismissing or taking the torch of rage to or taking for granted the ones that I do remember -- bad, good, indifferent, brutal, casual, ecstatic, or otherwise -- is part of the lesson of life that I need to learn and keep relearning.
posted by blucevalo at 1:03 PM on July 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


I appear to have committed some research error that's gotten me the impression that there are serious people who use the term "female privilege". I looked a little further and found that the preferred term is "benevolent sexism".

At this point I could in principle start over and try to make my point using that term but it seems like a bit of a wash.

So, sorry for wasting your time, Marisa.
posted by LogicalDash at 1:10 PM on July 28, 2011


I am not sure why I keep coming back to this thread. Maybe the (very slight) titillation that this woman is somewhere in my burg, or something.

I was home for lunch, and my wife had a headache. So she's sitting on my lap and I am massaging her shoulders and neck. And thinking about some of these issues, and feeling lucky that I have someone whose mere skin I can feel every day, and even though we may not have sex for another week (or maybe we will) just the pleasure of this non-sexual exchange, and the feel of her skin under my hands, and I was feeling rhapturously lucky in that moment.

"Rub HARDER, DAMMIT!" Sort of brought me out of that, but still. . .
posted by Danf at 1:11 PM on July 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


This thread is becoming really Bernard.
posted by iotic at 1:16 PM on July 28, 2011


bell hook's all about love, as well as erich fromm's the art of loving are both books that tackle this subject rather well.
posted by nikoniko at 1:16 PM on July 28, 2011


Note that nowhere does anyone state that women can't be really fucking horrible to men, all men, all the time. It's just not sexist when they do it, because they don't have the patriarchy backing them up.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 12:07 PM on July 28


This is incorrect. It's in the patriarchy's interest for men and women not to get along.
posted by joannemerriam at 1:19 PM on July 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Fidel Cashflow: "If you think that, you're living in a bubble of perpetual victimhood."

Wow. You're totally worth my time. Bye!
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 1:23 PM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: a weapon that is completely incapable of doing anything but evil.
posted by herbplarfegan at 1:28 PM on July 28, 2011


The thing about Magic Dick is, he can probably do that other thing really really well too :P
A version of Whammer Jammer recorded on a better mic. Magic Dick talking about the technique behind Whammer Jammer. Look 'ma, no hands.
Maybe this should get it's own FPP

posted by Chuckles at 1:35 PM on July 28, 2011


So, sorry for wasting your time, Marisa.

A good discussion on an important subject that's made in good faith is never a waste of my time, so no worries.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:47 PM on July 28, 2011 [7 favorites]


When I saw the lede, I just knew the comment count was going to be high without even having to read that far.

People have praised 'angry jane doe' for her honesty. To me, this just doesn't feel very honest. It feels like taking a position from which to piss. There's nothing wrong with that, but it's not honest in any meaningful way -- it's just storytelling, and it can even be good storytelling, but there's nothing particularly honest about it, and in fact it's probably reinventing reality to a great extent.

My gut tells me that this is some manner of performance art. It's not that this kind of thing doesn't happen -- of course it does, I've known women and men, straight and gay, who ended up in this kind of place. It's just that if you're a real person going through all this stuff, I would expect you to grow some actual self-awareness before this much time & water had flowed under the bridge.

So, it's great to discuss gender roles, sexuality, what obligations do or don't come along with fucking and whether somebody's just not being realistic in her expectations or whether the men she fucks are assholes [which are, of course, not mutually exclusive propositions] -- but when I suspect that large chunks of the story are fiction, I feel like the conversation needs to be different: It needs to be about us, and not about this fictional 'her'.

Of course it's really always about us. But if she's real, or if the account is close to real, it's a data point -- if it's not, it's nothing more than a novelistic thought-experiment.
posted by lodurr at 1:54 PM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Here is a good analysis of female privilege/benevolent sexism.

Of course women can say and believe nasty, stereotypical, hurtful things about men, just as much as men can about women. Instead of seeing these as evidence of two opposing, gross systems (men are sexist towards women / women are sexist towards men), we can instead conceive of them as one system where it is taken as a given that MEN and WOMEN are two different biological classes that have accompanying different INHERENT psycho-social characteristics that warrant treating them as two separate classes of people. This is the system that should be fought by both men and women.

What does it accomplish to say "well, women are sexist against men too?" Does this erase the fact that men are sexist against women, or diminish how problematic that is? Does it mean we should be content with a system that lets/encourages both sexes say and do hurtful things to each other based solely on sex, as long as it's both of them?
posted by nakedmolerats at 1:56 PM on July 28, 2011 [8 favorites]


Oh internet, you are bad for me in almost every respect, but you never fail to make me appreciate my marriage.
posted by nanojath at 1:56 PM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


She's a magical, sparkling' tease
She's a rainbow choking' the breeze
Yo, she's busting' out onto the scene
With nightmare bogus poetry
She's a melted avocado on the shelf
She's the science of herself
She's spazzing out on a cosmic level
And she's meditating with the devil
She's cooking salad for breakfast
She's got tofu the size of Texas
She's a witness to her own glory
She's a never-ending story
She's a frolicking depression
She's a self-inflicted obsession
She's got a thousand lonely husbands
She's playing' footsie in another dimension
She's a goddess milking her time
For all that it's worth


-- Nitemare Hippy Girl (last verse), by Beck
posted by Devils Slide at 2:11 PM on July 28, 2011


innocuous_sockpuppet: This is not about sexism it's about pain.

I want the same things that she does but there is a huge wall between us, between any potential two partners. The fact that anyone gets over that wall astounds me, as does the fact that anyone attempts to scale it at all once they're past a certain age. The people in this thread suggesting she should have figured this shit out by the time she got to be her age don't get it: it's precisely because she is her age that it's so fucking painful.


Thank you so much for posting this. I mean that 100% sincerely. This kind of emotional honesty is so refreshing. It gives me hope, unlike so many of the comments in this thread.

I agree that it’s precisely because of Jane’s age that the pain in her writings is so palpable. Like Jane, I am a veteran of the late 30s/early 40s dating scene, and I have grown so weary of the bullshit. SO fucking weary. I honestly don’t know if I can take any more. I am lonely too. I want intimacy. I want a life partner. (Why is it so hard for me to admit that openly?) I want a strong and resilient connection. I want the men I date to engage with me respectfully, openly, and in good faith, without manipulation, withdrawal or passive-aggressive avoidance strategies – even if (maybe especially if) there is conflict, awkwardness, or frustration to be dealt with.

I expect nothing less of myself, mind you; I hold myself to the same standards I ask of anyone I date. I want a lot of the same things you (and Jane) do. I know that many men are capable of real intimacy and mutually respectful sexual encounters, but I also know from bitter experience that there is a frighteningly high number of men out there who simply don’t have, and don’t care to develop, the necessary skills for this. (I’ll leave women out of the picture for now, since I haven’t dated any women in quite a long time, and the focus of this thread is heterosexual dating anyway. But just to be clear, I’m NOT saying that women don’t ever behave badly in dating, or that they can't hold sexist views, or that they’re not responsible for their own contributions to relationship dynamics, or any such nonsense.)

The fact that so many of us struggle so hard with even the basics of male-female sexual intimacy isn’t just an indication that we need individual therapy - it points to a systemic failure of our culture. Read Shere Hite’s amazing 1987 book “Women and Love” - in which countless women speak very frankly and radically about their experiences with sex, love and relationships – if you doubt this.

You are absolutely right that there is a huge wall between men and women in dating (and I think this is especially true of online dating), and that even attempting to scale the wall at all after you’ve had your heart broken and trampled on is pretty damn amazing in and of itself. I wish we – men and women – could talk more often and more forthrightly with one another about that wall, and why it is such a huge barrier to intimacy.

The pain of being bruised, battered and broken by past experiences is definitely a factor, yes…but sexism is implicated too. Sexism is a major component of what keeps that wall standing. Sexual stereotypes about women are ubiquitous, and often operate at an unconscious level, poisoning relationships from the inside out. Another big problem is that patriarchal culture doesn’t teach men about the value of emotional openness and respect for women’s basic humanity in dating and sexual situations. Much of what they learn at the hands of patriarchy is just the opposite, in fact – all too frequently, women are portrayed as little more than sources of casual sexual entertainment for men, with no agency or emotional lives of their own. Sex with women is portrayed not as a beautiful form of human connection, but as some kind of prize that validates a man’s ego, or something women (especially conventionally attractive/hot women) “owe” them. Men who display any inclination toward emotional equality with women are often cruelly ridiculed, mocked, or beaten. It’s absolutely heartbreaking, living in a culture like this. How do we manage to slog through all the bullshit to find some kernel of mutual warmth and respect as well as a strong sexual connection? It's a formidable challenge.

Don’t write off Angry Jane Doe’s message because you can’t see past her anger to the hurt and pain underneath. She’s pointing to something real – a sickness in our culture. I’m with catchingsignals: I want to give Jane a hug. And while I’m at it, I also want to smash the fucking patriarchy, because it is hurting us. Grar!
posted by velvet winter at 2:13 PM on July 28, 2011 [18 favorites]


I'm one of those happily married people who really misses dating. Dating itself is pretty fun, and if any date starts to go south, well, killing the date and going home really isn't that hard.

A bit extreme that, but I suppose hiding the body is part of the fun.
posted by happyroach at 2:18 PM on July 28, 2011 [13 favorites]


Sexism is a specific type of gender-related shitheelness. It is not, by any stretch of the imagination, the only one. So, to the second, you'd certainly be participating in a harmful dynamic, and if you were actually doing it I'd ask you to stop. I just wouldn't call that harmful dynamic sexism. We can brainstorm other words for it if you want.

It is sexist to not let me use the same word to describe the same behaviour. The fact that there are many advantages to being a man does not preclude their being systemic biases, indeed some sexism (ie the kind that tells me that I am more empathetic by nature, or "wise") that may work in my favour, but I really don't appreciate it. Also if I can be sexist towards women, I surely can be sexist towards men, no? Bigotry is not a gender'd activity.

I bring this up because it is to my advantage to have everyone's sexist bullshit called on, including (god forbid) my own. Frankly they tend to be two sides of the same coin, so for example calling all men violent, hole seeking scum is re-enforcing our existing baggage as surely as if someone called me a hysterical, decorative penis cozy and reproduction machine.
posted by Phalene at 2:43 PM on July 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


I believe I can make a decent (and hopefully persuasive) case for why it is important for both women and men that the word "sexist" is applied to both, but it just feels so wrong to put it here and add to what feels to me to be a giant derail (I understand most here don't seem to see it that way). It just feels wrong that people like innocuous_sockpuppet and velvet winter (and yes, to me, Jane Doe) are talking about personal pain and struggles with relationships and loneliness, opening themselves up and making themselves vulnerable and reaching out for connection, and it is being swallowed up by the same fighting over (to me) unrelated and longstanding issues that take over so many of these threads (which coincidentally tend to be posts about experiences of women.) So if it's not just me who feels this way, I (or someone) can open up a Meta and we can hash this out, since the issue of whether the term "sexist" applies to women and whether women have privilege will come up again and again and again, and we might as well hash it out now, and in future we can maybe point to it and say yes, it's been done, let's move on.
posted by catchingsignals at 3:28 PM on July 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


They had long ago alienated every girl in their available sphere of contacts and now needed a steady stream of fresh prospects. They were accomplished liars and actors. They were in love with the idea of being love. They were never acting in good faith; they were simply saying and doing whatever it took to score. And scoring doesn't necessarily mean sex -- because often sex is easy. For guys who like conquests, scoring means knowing, or believing, that the girl fell for you, that you won. With that achieved, they moved on.

I had this happen to me.

He worked hard, bless his heart, to convince me that he loved me. That I mattered, and I was special, and that his desire grew out of a respect and admiration for who I was as a person as well as less lofty things. He spent months convincing me I was the center of his world. I couldn't see any way he was coerced into making his statements of regard. I certainly never solicited them. I thought that his protestations of affection came from sincerity.

And then I found out that he did the exact same thing to every other girl he encountered and just mad-libbed in the details for each girl, and the bottom fell out of my world.

I think that Angry Jane is wasting a lot of effort on a pointless endeavor that negatively impacts everyone involved, but I can understand the bleakness of knowing that you've been made such a fool of that you can never recover.
posted by winna at 3:32 PM on July 28, 2011 [8 favorites]


I had a whole thing written out, Phalene, but I have a longstanding agreement to back off when someone asks me to, as catchingsignals has done, so I'm withdrawing. You can memail me if you want to continue this conversation.
posted by Errant at 3:34 PM on July 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


Treat people respectfully and honestly, whether or not you want to make sexy times with them.

If they don't treat you respectfully and honestly, then excise them from your life.

The scars of these severings are badges of wisdom, not mutilations.

All God's children got issues.

Love fiercely, fuck ecstatically, and don't get tangled up trying to be free.

These pearls of wisdom brought to you by Beer. Beer: it makes me seem perceptive. Yay, Beer!
posted by BitterOldPunk at 4:05 PM on July 28, 2011 [12 favorites]


catchingsignals: It just feels wrong that people like innocuous_sockpuppet and velvet winter (and yes, to me, Jane Doe) are talking about personal pain and struggles with relationships and loneliness, opening themselves up and making themselves vulnerable and reaching out for connection, and it is being swallowed up by the same fighting over (to me) unrelated and longstanding issues that take over so many of these threads

Thank you for that, catchingsignals. Sadly, derailing is nothing new in discussions like this. I appreciate your good faith effort to try to create and hold some space where people aren't drowned out when they try to talk frankly about difficult emotions and how sexism shapes their experiences.
posted by velvet winter at 4:07 PM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Vulnerability implies not shielding yourself by faulting others.

Not:

everyone got to think I was talking about someone else. They could cultivate the fantasy that I was talking about One Bad Man. They could keep thinking that their magical dicks would cure me, because surely I wasn't talking about them.
Then I smashed that fantasy. Because there was no one bad guy and no one bad experience.


So, yeah, she really does blame all men for the failings she has run into. I don't care if you want to call it sexism or whatever, it's anger and hate backed up by ignorance and no it's not alright if anyone does that. If people focused on the fact that "it's different because she's a woman" you might get more traction here, instead of the binary "it's sexist"/"no it's not!" merry-go-round

Now as far as the respect issue, that's an interesting thing here. She never really lays down a cogent argument/rant/discussion as to what she really expects and that has shown up here a number of times by the confused people. It's horrendously unbelievable that she really can't find anyone to treat her like a human being or even give her respect. Or perhaps it is believable because it seems she has a very narrow idea of what respect implies. Excuse the hyperbole, but "I just want to fuck and not get into that relationship stuff, but why won't you treat me more than just a fuck buddy" is not a very convincing stance. The very fact that she wants NSA relationships diminishes the idea of deep interaction because interaction connects those strings. If it didn't there wouldn't even be any point to building friendships. So the jackassy cowardice she keeps talking about is not only the norm for both men and women, it's a given due to the very relationships she is seeking. Never mind the idea that the relationships she is engaging in are viciously confirming her bias about jackassy cowardly men who idealize their penises.

Also, maybe someone can correct me if I'm wrong here but throwing guys a "fuck for good behavior" because he "deserved" it, isn't exactly applying a level of respect to others when she's using sex like Scooby snacks for good little boys.
posted by P.o.B. at 4:18 PM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


mbatch: Thanks for the ridicule. Had I known how hilarious it is to cite a source, I would have paraphrased. I simply wanted to point out the difference in the definition of sexism used in academia and feminist theory from what you'll find in most dictionaries, which I find misses the point (and yes, I recognize that like all of y'all I'm biased.) Unlike you, I was polite. I'll drop it because obviously this is deviating from the rest of the thread, but I will say I'm baffled by how many feathers that my comment ruffled.
posted by Lisitasan at 4:30 PM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Were I not married and dating...

Duuuuuude!
posted by tumid dahlia at 4:40 PM on July 28, 2011


P.o.B.: throwing guys a "fuck for good behavior" because he "deserved" it, isn't exactly applying a level of respect to others when she's using sex like Scooby snacks for good little boys.

You know, that's a really good point, and that part stood out to me too. Approaching sex as a prize she delivers to deserving men is not at all in line with her stated policy of treating men respectfully, as fellow human beings with full emotional lives.

Reading through her LiveJournal and comments, I get the sense that this isn't something she does so much because she actually holds that view, but more out of a reactionary kind of disappointment at the limited way sex seems to be perceived by most of the men she's encountered. I'd love to see her address this more directly at some point, though.
posted by velvet winter at 4:54 PM on July 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


I know that many men are capable of real intimacy and mutually respectful sexual encounters, but I also know from bitter experience that there is a frighteningly high number of men out there who simply don’t have, and don’t care to develop, the necessary skills for this.

...

The fact that so many of us struggle so hard with even the basics of male-female sexual intimacy isn’t just an indication that we need individual therapy - it points to a systemic failure of our culture.


But it should be expected that after a couple of decades the dating pool will have a higher percentage of both singles incapable of love and the malicious. You don't need to fault the culture to provide an explanation, the capture of the healthy and the infliction of trauma on the unlucky are a more than adequate cause for this change in the set of singles.

-----

That said, I'm saddened to read of everyone's miserable experiences out there. Ugly, really ugly. Just reading them makes me more reclusive. I might not agree with the arguments but I certainly do sympathize.
posted by BigSky at 5:32 PM on July 28, 2011


What if male "honesty" involved telling women, even women with whom they have extremely intimate, long-term, caring relationships, that they routinely view their bodies as instruments for satisfying a the most unimaginably vulgar, naggingly persistent, material need for sexual gratification - and that the search for "understanding" between men and women has to begin with the acknowledgment that most women have NO IDEA what it means to live this way?

The fact is, it APPEARS to be no secret to women that (again most) men are wired this way, but the reality is that women really don't accept it, or want to accept it. And even if they do, it's only so they can better cajole men into repressing it in themselves or define it as reprehensible, childish, animalistic (or in any number of derogatory terms). The larger secret is that most men, in their heart of hearts, aren't ashamed, and don't feel they should be ashamed, of these needs, their frequency, etc. And they are equally angry about the social price they are forced to pay (our politicians, bizarrely, still have to give public apologies for adultery) for these natural impulses.

Mind you, I'm not advocating more honesty (or open relationships, or polyamory, or what have you), nor do I think it's really possible. What would men and women gain from it anyway? There's no solution there, because a MAJOR part of men's personalities seems to have to be disavowed in order to begin to have a so-called "honest" conversation with women. Women are setting the terms of what "honesty" can really mean in this context (just as, feminists rightly complain, men in our culture seem to set the disempowering terms of female attractiveness, power, etc).

An analogy: what do you possibly have to gain, if you are a gay man, from having an "open, honest" conversation with a born again Christian whom you know looks on your lifestyle as inherently wrong and disgusting, and is not likely to ever change his mind? Now, what if your ONLY potential sexual partners, or the vast majority of them, were born agains?

Wouldn't it make sense for you to lie to them? Wouldn't it make sense for you to deceive them, again and again, for the sake of ANY chance at gratification? I mean, they're just never going to accept and understand your needs. Especially since your needs completely and absolutely conflict with their needs.

A lot of straight men really just want to get up and yell "Hey, I was 'BORN THIS WAY' too, Lady Gaga!" And the resonances with gay culture are quite real, because if you talk to gay men, a big part of the liberation of coming out of the closet is not just revealing your attraction for men, but revealing the terms and patterns of your sexuality in general. The no-nonsense, no-bullshit need to just F**K. And a step further, I've heard a NUMBER of lesbians complain about dating women to their gay male friends for the same reasons. "Why do women have to be so complicated!"

What if the honest truth is that (straight) men and women have fundamentally opposed requirements and needs? What if everything else is a bunch of nice talk meant to conceal this basic oppositional power conflict?

What if, in fact, biology REQUIRES this conflict to satisfy purposes that are completely orthogonal to individual psychic well-being?

Then the most dishonest thing is the pretense that relationships can be carried out on anything other than deceptive terms, and our theory of "healthy heterosexual relationships" would move from a theory of "honesty" to a theory of WHICH lies were the right lies, at the right time, for straight men and women to tell one another, in order for them both to maintain maximum personal well-being against their mutual enemy: the discordant biological imperatives they've been given.

But don't ask for "honesty", Angry Jane. You don't really want it. It's disgusting. Because men are disgusting. Though they don't really think so. They've just learned to think of themselves that way (or at least to talk about themselves that way) by listening to you.
posted by macross city flaneur at 6:27 PM on July 28, 2011 [9 favorites]


How do you know most men are wired this way? How do you know biology REQUIRES?
posted by catchingsignals at 6:34 PM on July 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


What if male "honesty" involved telling women, even women with whom they have extremely intimate, long-term, caring relationships, that they routinely view their bodies as instruments for satisfying a the most unimaginably vulgar, naggingly persistent, material need for sexual gratification

Or they, you know, don't. Please don't project your rigid conceptions of maleness onto me, and please don't imply that your whole cynical, nihilistic view of the male psyche is universal and broadly applicable. Your basic premise may be true for you, or even in your general personal experience, but it is not a constant, and this Hobbesian sexual landscape is only one of many perspectives.
posted by Errant at 6:34 PM on July 28, 2011 [15 favorites]


How do you know most men are wired this way? How do you know biology REQUIRES?

Purely anecdotal experience. But not just my own, mind you. Many conversations.

See what I mean when I say this kind of honesty isn't possible? See what I mean about denial?

Now, I'm not claiming all men are this way. But based on that anecdotal experience, I believe most are.
posted by macross city flaneur at 6:37 PM on July 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


No I don't see what you mean about denial. You can't even speak for yourself, see. You don't even have sufficient evidence to say you know how you are wired. How do you know whether something about you is biologically wired or culture, upbringing and environment? Nature/nurture, etc.

How many horrific mistakes have been made in the history of humanity because we believed something is biological wired (in us, or in an outgroup) without damn certain evidence? How many times have those beliefs (undoubtedly from much anecdotal evidence and many conversations) been proven wrong?
posted by catchingsignals at 6:52 PM on July 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


What if male "honesty" involved telling women, even women with whom they have extremely intimate, long-term, caring relationships, that they routinely view their bodies as instruments for satisfying a the most unimaginably vulgar, naggingly persistent, material need for sexual gratification -

WTF does that even mean? "vulgar"? "material"? Does that include that it has to be hot for her or else I'm not interested? Does it also make room for me needing to like the people I fuck or else I won't like *either* of us 5 minutes after we're done, and that's just not worth it? Am I lying to myself and you if I say that I just. don't. get. it. ?

Or... or... are you trying to say that I'm actually a girl? Because, fuck, I wish I'd known that a long time ago...
posted by hap_hazard at 6:54 PM on July 28, 2011


You know, catchingsignals, it's ultimately kind of irrelevant whether it's biological or not, except for the same shorthand it provides in the gay community when it comes to defending themselves against the Christian right.

What it amounts to is, "I've been this way as long as I can remember, or at least since puberty. It doesn't feel like a choice, or if it is a choice, it's one I could not have made any other way except at the cost of denying who I am. And it's not something you're going to train out of me with some kind of camp or medical solution."
posted by macross city flaneur at 6:56 PM on July 28, 2011


So women are oppressing men in the same way that anti-gay Christians are oppressing gay people?

Hmm. It must be really hard being straight.
posted by the young rope-rider at 6:59 PM on July 28, 2011


So women are oppressing men in the same way that anti-gay Christians are oppressing gay people?

I used the analogy to the gay experience deliberately because I felt it would telegraph the feeling of impossibility that comes with straight men being "honest" about their sexuality. The fact is, it's probably impossible for ANYONE, regardless of gender, and even assuming a great deal of self-knowledge and personal strength, to be honest about their sexuality, for a large variety of reasons.

But no, I'm not interested in presenting men as an oppressed group or gaining sympathy for them, or talking about how "hard" it is.

I AM interested in giving what I feel is the context that explains the impossibility of heterosexual "honesty".
posted by macross city flaneur at 7:06 PM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I used the analogy to the gay experience deliberately because I felt it would telegraph the feeling of impossibility that comes with straight men being "honest" about their sexuality.

Okay, but in your example, the man wants sex and has a higher sex drive. Fine. Angry Jane is talking about something completely different- in fact I think she would agree with you that men basically are slaves to sex and have no other use for women- but EVEN SO, they lie about romance when she's already admitted that it's just sex. If your theory holds, these men should be like, "Just NSA sex? Yes let's go!" but they're not. They're like..."Oh, I think I'm falling for you. This could be more than just sex." etc. This seems to contradict your point that men would prefer to live in a world where everyone was honest that sex was just an animalistic need. These men clearly have some vested personal interest in dressing up sex as romance.

As an aside, this really reminds me of Nightmare Brunette's blog.
posted by Nixy at 7:14 PM on July 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


It doesn't feel like a choice to many paedophiles either you know. Would they be denying who they are if they refuse to hurt children because they see the needs and wellbeing of children above satisfying the most unimaginably vulgar, naggingly persistent, material need for sexual gratification?

You see how your self-rationalising logic doesn't work, right?
posted by catchingsignals at 7:15 PM on July 28, 2011


In an alternate yet related universe: The 5 Different Types Of Sluts

Huh. I went to school with the person who wrote this. Probably should have asked her for advice.

Jane Doe sounds like a heap of high-drama crazy, but OTOH its good to get candid impressions from women as to what they do and do not like in guys (even if they are skewed) so we can know what to do.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 7:18 PM on July 28, 2011


I mean, you see the difference between your analogy and mine right? Homosexuality doesn't hurt people. Deceiving people to use their bodies does.
posted by catchingsignals at 7:19 PM on July 28, 2011


So... clearly this woman must live in a completely different world than I do, a place drained of decency and humanity, where men take all their behavioral cues from mtv, teenager-movies, and porn. That sounds like a really shitty world to live in and if I lived in a world like that I'd be as bitter and jaded as Jane.

Sometimes guys ditch girls not because they're evil or porn-addicted, but because maintaining a relationship or relating to another person takes way more effort than surfing MeFi and TV Tropes. They might not even think about it, and they might regard any bit of relationship or sex that comes their way with the same bemused but happy expression they'd regard, say, a unicorn.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 7:20 PM on July 28, 2011


It doesn't feel like a choice to many paedophiles either you know. Would they be denying who they are if they refuse to hurt children because they see the needs and wellbeing of children above satisfying the most unimaginably vulgar, naggingly persistent, material need for sexual gratification?

You see how your self-rationalising logic doesn't work, right?


No, I don't. Pedophiles are clearly denying their identities. We make that a requirment for them to live in our society. This is a basic power dynamic. We DO oppress pedophiles for the sake of the needs and wishes of the rest of society.

It's not about self-rationalization. It's what I said it was about, the impossibility of honesty as a solution to the problem.
posted by macross city flaneur at 7:22 PM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


If they've stopped contacting me, it's because they're not interested and don't see any need to tell me. It's OK, it's all in the game.

Precisely. She is saying she does not want to play games. That she would like the person on the other end of this interaction to simply and honestly tell her they aren't interested, so that she can civilly reply 'Ok. Well, it happens. I wish you well.'

And then they both go on with their lives, with total clarity and peace of mind about that particular interaction.

I'm really surprised that this idea is getting rebuffed here. To those doing so - do you feel that way because you're coming from a 'well, this is the way it is. Idealism isn't useful here.' frame of mind? Or are there other reasons I haven't considered?

(No snark or such - i'm really interested.)


I'm one of the least experienced people when it comes to relationships. I'm a few steps above 'bitter Nice Guy'. But even I've learned to interpret somebody leaving off contact (especially over OKC) as a sign they're not interested (and I've learned to do the same). Even if somebody as socially inept as myself can figure this out I don't think it counts as 'game playing'. I think it just counts as being graceful, and avoiding drama.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 7:23 PM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP JUST LOVE EACH OTHER GAAAAAAAAAAAH
posted by BitterOldPunk at 7:26 PM on July 28, 2011 [7 favorites]


I mean, you see the difference between your analogy and mine right? Homosexuality doesn't hurt people. Deceiving people to use their bodies does.

I believe deception is a pre-condition of any relationship, certainly any sexual one. It certainly can be a component of what leads to someone being hurt, but I don't think it's intrinsically hurtful, nor is it, in itself, the cause of someone being hurt (hidden power differentials is a likelier culprit). And anyway deception about the character of sexual needs is only one of the many many deceptions that does, or can, lead to sexual relations.

Again, your perspective hinges on your belief in some idealized non-deceptive basis for relationships. Since I don't believe that such a basis exists, my ethical standards cannot make deception a intrinsic source of any particular relationship problem.
posted by macross city flaneur at 7:29 PM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I'm with LIB. Recently a guy I contacted through one of the lighter methods on online dating ('winking' etc) wrote to me and said something like, "hey, I'm flattered, but no thanks." I guess he was trying to be nice, but it was pretty off putting and sort of insulting. I sometimes do stuff like that and don't put much stock into it, you know -- I just send my wink or whatever and don't think about it again, it's just a profile -- but getting the "hey, no thanks!" message is just -- I'd rather they not. I'm not invested, no need to go out of your way to tell me you don't want to talk further based on my picture and handful of descriptive words on my profile. The lack of response is message enough.
posted by sweetkid at 7:33 PM on July 28, 2011


Okay, but in your example, the man wants sex and has a higher sex drive. Fine. Angry Jane is talking about something completely different- in fact I think she would agree with you that men basically are slaves to sex and have no other use for women- but EVEN SO, they lie about romance when she's already admitted that it's just sex. If your theory holds, these men should be like, "Just NSA sex? Yes let's go!" but they're not. They're like..."Oh, I think I'm falling for you. This could be more than just sex." etc. This seems to contradict your point that men would prefer to live in a world where everyone was honest that sex was just an animalistic need. These men clearly have some vested personal interest in dressing up sex as romance.

Everyone is different. I know women who are more in touch with their sex drives then men are, for various reasons. Guys who'd prefer a fuck buddy was a girlfriend (and vice versa, I guess). TV Tropes tells me that it used to be a stereotype that WOMEN had a higher sex drive than guys.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 7:36 PM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


This seems to contradict your point that men would prefer to live in a world where everyone was honest that sex was just an animalistic need. These men clearly have some vested personal interest in dressing up sex as romance.

The obvious reason we might speculate they do it that they think this is what women want to hear, or, less cynically, they've themselves become so well-trained to misconstrue their own needs that they do so automatically.

But another explanation is that they DO want a romantic relationship, just on different terms than Angry Jane Doe, and the timing or frequency or context in which they need sex are also all different than for AJD.
posted by macross city flaneur at 7:36 PM on July 28, 2011


But also, all the magical penis stuff is just crying out for a clever use of "any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic" and it's almost there with the recent sexbot musings, but I just can't make it happen!But also, all the magical penis stuff is just crying out for a clever use of "any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic" and it's almost there with the recent sexbot musings, but I just can't make it happen!

"A sufficiently advanced magical penis is indistinguishable from OKCupid?" Naah, not quite there yet.

Anyway, enough staring at this trainwreck of dating and sex- let's hear how technology will solve the problem!
posted by happyroach at 7:38 PM on July 28, 2011


macross city flaneur: What if male "honesty" involved telling women, even women with whom they have extremely intimate, long-term, caring relationships, that they routinely view their bodies as instruments for satisfying a the most unimaginably vulgar, naggingly persistent, material need for sexual gratification - and that the search for "understanding" between men and women has to begin with the acknowledgment that most women have NO IDEA what it means to live this way?

What if I told you that I - a woman - know very well what it means to live that way, even if I wouldn't describe it in the same terms you use? Seriously...don't presume that "most women" have no idea what it means to be constantly driven to distraction by raw animal lust and desire for sexual gratification. Many of us do. There's certainly nothing wrong with feeling that kind of desire. But as Angry Jane Doe is saying, don't use it as an excuse to treat women poorly.
posted by velvet winter at 7:39 PM on July 28, 2011 [8 favorites]


It's not about self-rationalization. It's what I said it was about, the impossibility of honesty as a solution to the problem.

You just twisted the definition of honesty to mean getting to satisfy your impulses (I'm sorry, needs) even if it hurts other people, and oppression to mean when you don't get to. It doesn't strike you as a little sociopathic?
posted by catchingsignals at 7:46 PM on July 28, 2011


What if I told you that I - a woman - know very well what it means to live that way, even if I wouldn't describe it in the same terms you use? Seriously...don't presume that "most women" have no idea what it means to be constantly driven to distraction by raw animal lust and desire for sexual gratification. Many of us do. There's certainly nothing wrong with feeling that kind of desire. But as Angry Jane Doe is saying, don't use it as an excuse to treat women poorly.

velvet winter, I can't know what you understand or don't understand, and please don't mistake what I'm saying here. I don't think women are sexless or that sexuality isn't a VERY powerful force in their lives, as powerful as it is for men (that would be absurd).

But the frequency, and the frequency of the (mechanical, relatively emotionally inert) character, of men's lust is, in my experience, very different from women's in the typical case.

And I do think it's difficult for women to imagine this difference. As difficult as it is for men to imagine the feelings that attend women's sexual needs.

As far as it being an "excuse" to treat women poorly, I would make another analogy - to PMS. Think about the way we sympathize with men AND women (but women first, if anything), as regards PMS, in this kind of graded sense of an "altered state". Certainly no jury would fail to convict a female murderer because of PMS, and many lesser sorts of bad behavior would also remain unforgivable regardless of hormonal changes. Yet, at the same time, men DO find themselves required to react differently to their wives, girlfriends, and daughters when they know that PMS is a factor in their moods. Men are EXPECTED to understand, within limits.

The same goes for teenage angst, say, or for soliders with PTSD. (Not that I'm trying to "medicalize" male sexual aggressiveness or anything; there's no perfect analogy.)

Again, though, I don't think men's sexuality will ever be treated with the same kind of understanding, because it isn't in the interests of women to give up this kind of power. Quite the contrary. Men's power advantages in so many other arenas are so great, that I think a kind of semi-deliberate misunderstanding of male sexuality will continue for the foreseeable future. It just provides one too valuable a source of leverage against them.
posted by macross city flaneur at 7:57 PM on July 28, 2011


macross city flaneur, tha analogy doesn't work because you presume the problem is some inherent immovable disgust women have for men and their lust or whatever, when at least in my case and many other ladies i've known that wasn't the issue at all--my problem was with how men dishonestly went about trying to get said lust sated by manipulating my feelings or lying about intentions or treating me like that's ALL i could possibly be seen to ever offer them or whatever. i remember getting frustrated at being dismissed as a prude when the sex wasn't the issue at all--it was the "hey you're being a total disrespectful alienating asshole right now because for some reason you think that's how you get sex".

i'm not in this woman's demographic, but boy howdy some of the pain and anger and total amazement over how it seemed impossile to just be treated respectfully while dating i recognize from my early 20s. i remember writing private uber lengthy rants in my journal trying to suss out why it was like that and everything, and i recognize the edge of anger and despair here. i've also really enjoyed some of the candid comments here, like the ones about how some people need to feel they have conquered the other sex, it's not just about getting laid per se. i have known people like that, unfortunately. on the other hand, i can totally see how/why people who haven't experienced this kind of pain over and over (or who don't find it as traumatic and shocking, whatever) could be baffled and just see it as one more angry self-defeating screed. but some of the things here i recognized so hard (the man who is more in love with the notion he loves eating pussy than, you know, actually caring if the woman attached enjoys it--yes!!), and it left a bad, painful taste in my mouth where for a second i wanted to dig up those old journals full of this pain and then immediately realized what a bad idea that would be. it was a shitty place to be and i am so grateful not to be experiencing it anymore, though remembering it helps remind me how it helped me evolve my feminism, and i'm glad for that too (some of this is about the problem of gender distancing/othering and the mythology that comes with it, maybe not all but definitely some).

just last week a friend posted on her blog about an okcupid guy messaging her this raging essay about how dare she use the word "curvy" to describe herself when she was just fat and how women like her made it impossible for guys like him to find what they want and oh my god i was floored at the wording, the intent, all of it. jesus. i had forgotten the sense of entitlement, the incredible sense of entitlement. (and yes, i know it goes both ways.)
posted by ifjuly at 8:04 PM on July 28, 2011 [6 favorites]


You just twisted the definition of honesty to mean getting to satisfy your impulses (I'm sorry, needs) even if it hurts other people, and oppression to mean when you don't get to. It doesn't strike you as a little sociopathic?

I didn't twist anything. Last I checked, honesty meant saying what you feel, as best you can express it.

And as far as oppression goes, we live in an inherently coercive society, a society of laws that determines who gets to do what, even when that hurts other people.

Take the market, for example. It is most certainly inherently sociopathic, and it results in a great deal of pain for many as a result of its "creative destruction". We tolerate it because it seems (or claims) to mitigate a lot of other pain, such that on balance, it is a net benefit for society.

Pedophiles have a need. It conflicts with the well-being of children, with effects we collectively agree are intolerable. Gamblers also have a need. So do drinkers and smokers. These needs also have negative effects. Obviously there are complex cultural reasons why we tolerate the latter and not the former, but from my perspective much of it comes down to matters of degree.

To my mind, while the degree of damage caused by deceiving a consenting adult about your sexual desires can vary a great deal, it is not an intrinsic ill, and thus much more comparable to gambling and smoking than to pedophilia. In fact, comparing it to gambling and smoking is even doing it a disservice, since I would argue that such deceptions are essential to the healthy functioning of society, when gambling and smoking are not.
posted by macross city flaneur at 8:08 PM on July 28, 2011


But you read the post and the comments here about what that kind of deception does to people right? If it's just not registering with you, what else is there to say?
posted by catchingsignals at 8:12 PM on July 28, 2011


Does anyone remember an article/comment from (maybe) two or three months ago of a male mentioning how hard it was to talk about sexual issues with a female therapist? Very similar to this article, "Need Therapy? A Good Man Is Hard to Find", but I remember a quotation from a male saying that when he was honest with his female therapist he felt judged/like a monster. Anyone remember seeing that?
posted by andoatnp at 8:14 PM on July 28, 2011


But you read the post and the comments here about what that kind of deception does to people right? If it's just not registering with you, what else is there to say?

I know that that their theory of their own pain places the fault on deception, and I don't deny that it could be a component in what led to their pain. I don't, after all, have intimate knowledge of their situation. I only have what I read, most of which was highly vague.

But I think it's a red herring, catchingsignals.

Please don't mistake my different theory of the problem as a total lack of sympathy.
posted by macross city flaneur at 8:22 PM on July 28, 2011


Jesus Fucking Christ.

Really?

Tear it down, tear it down, tear it all fucking down.

This thread makes me despair.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 8:27 PM on July 28, 2011


What is it that's bothering you BitterOldPunk?
posted by catchingsignals at 8:29 PM on July 28, 2011


People who hate people make me sad. People who hurt people make me sad.

Hate is hate and hurt is hurt, and all the power-dynamical theorizing and discursive restructuring and privilege-checking in the world will not change that. Nor will it change the fact that the only way to treat people is as people, for all their good and all their flaws, or the fact that a person who's been hurt is a person who's been hurt, regardless of whether you personally feel they have the right to feel hurt (also, if you don't think someone has the right to feel hurt because of their membership in some fuzzily-defined -archy, please return to point number one: treat people as people).
posted by ubernostrum at 8:34 PM on July 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


P.o.B.:
Not:
everyone got to think I was talking about someone else. They could cultivate the fantasy that I was talking about One Bad Man. They could keep thinking that their magical dicks would cure me, because surely I wasn't talking about them.

Then I smashed that fantasy. Because there was no one bad guy and no one bad experience.
Reading on from there:
And let me tell you something embarrassing. I did it too. I gave someone my phone number; he called me, and I never called him back. I had my reasons, but it was still rude and thoughtless. So when I realized what I had done, I sent him an apology.

We all fuck up. It would be nice if more of us apologized.
So at least she admitted her own failing there, right?
So, yeah, she really does blame all men for the failings she has run into.
She doesn't blame all men. I'm not quoting the same thing for the third time.
it's anger and hate backed up by ignorance and no it's not alright if anyone does that.
There is anger there, definitely, but hate? I really don't see any at all. I don't know if it was intentional or not, but I thought it was especially sweet that her profile states at the end that she is looking for: guys who like girls, ages 18-99, located anywhere, for new friends.
It's horrendously unbelievable that she really can't find anyone to treat her like a human being or even give her respect.
Why? I mean if you're coming from the view that when you have one bad relationship after another, the only thing in common is you, then I get your point, but am not sure it's a good basis on which to judge people. I mean, it is possible, through sheer chance, that she has just had an awful run of luck with the men she met. It happens. It may be she is meeting men in the wrong places. It may even be that it is her, that she is subconsciously drawn to men who were always going to break her heart, because of some childhood trauma or other issues. It would be good if she could try to examine her own part in those relationships, yes, but that kind of awareness does not come easy. It doesn't mean she deserves the ridicule she has had in this thread.
Or perhaps it is believable because it seems she has a very narrow idea of what respect implies. Excuse the hyperbole, but "I just want to fuck and not get into that relationship stuff, but why won't you treat me more than just a fuck buddy" is not a very convincing stance. The very fact that she wants NSA relationships diminishes the idea of deep interaction because interaction connects those strings.
I'm skimming through it again, and cannot even find where she wants deep interaction from NSA fuck buddies. Many of her stories are from strings-attached dating. In the NSA story I can see, she was objecting to the deceptions, not the lack of deep interaction. Did I miss something?
Also, maybe someone can correct me if I'm wrong here but throwing guys a "fuck for good behavior" because he "deserved" it, isn't exactly applying a level of respect to others when she's using sex like Scooby snacks for good little boys.
It was in the middle of a rant, and I didn't and don't think she really said to the guy (or even thought) that she was fucking him for good behaviour. She might have fucked him for being a half-decent guy after a string of horrible ones. If he wasn't led to believe it to be anything more than NSA, I don't see anything bad she has done here.

What I'm trying to say is, look:
And if I find that man who really acts like a slut in the best possible way, maybe I'll whisper sweet truths into his ear, and maybe I'll sleep over, and maybe I'll let myself imagine romantic love and emotional security, and maybe I'll let him know there can be more, and maybe I'll invite him to join me in making it up as we go along.
She doesn't hate men, at all. She is fucking aching and yearning for a man to prove her wrong. It runs right through the whole piece.
posted by catchingsignals at 8:55 PM on July 28, 2011


the feelings that attend women's sexual needs

Well, I won't presume to speak for other women, but my libido, in and of itself, couldn't care less about feelings - mine or anyone else's. It just wants to fuck. Since there's more to me than just my libido, though, and since I care about having a basic level of mutual respect with anyone I might fuck, I manage to find ways to deal with my lusts that incorporate the realities of my emotional life as well as that of anyone I might date. Men can certainly learn how to do the same. If more of them did, in fact, surely they'd get laid a lot more often - which is part of Jane's message.

it isn't in the interests of women to give up this kind of power.

Um, what? "Power?" I don't know about you, but I don't exactly feel very "powerful" when I'm driven by intense lust toward a man. I feel...vulnerable. Distracted. Needy. Fearful of rejection. At the mercy of forces stronger than I. Fearful that he will see the intensity (or even the mere existence) of my lust as a reason to dismiss my intelligence, belittle me ("slut"/"whore"), or just generally behave as if he thinks lusty passion and good moral character can't possibly co-exist in a woman. And these fears aren't coming out of nowhere; they're rooted in painful past experiences, some of which I've posted about on MeFi.

Also: The word "oppression"? I do not think it means what you think it means.
posted by velvet winter at 9:04 PM on July 28, 2011 [7 favorites]


I know that that their theory of their own pain places the fault on deception, and I don't deny that it could be a component in what led to their pain. I don't, after all, have intimate knowledge of their situation. I only have what I read, most of which was highly vague.

None of it was vague to me at all, macross city flaneur. Certainly not the comments in this thread.

You choose to believe their experience to be merely theory and a component based on... what? You have no contradicting information. You know nothing else about them. You are simply distancing yourself.

There is nothing else I can say -- I can't persuade you to care, can I? You've already set up such elaborate rationalisations so that you don't have to.
posted by catchingsignals at 9:15 PM on July 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


She doesn't hate men, at all. She is fucking aching and yearning for a man to prove her wrong. It runs right through the whole piece.

Yes. YES. It astonishes me that so few of those posting in this thread have picked up on this undercurrent in her work. Many are merely reacting to her angry tone, and some just dismiss her as "crazy" or "high maintenance" or a "slut". Maddening.

All of this hits disturbingly close to home for me. So close, in fact, that I'm near tears right now, and I think it's time to take a break. I certainly understand why Miko mentioned early on that she didn't want to post in this thread.
posted by velvet winter at 9:26 PM on July 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


The inimitable Madeline Kahn everybody: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oLTJsFY9fXw
posted by macross city flaneur at 9:46 PM on July 28, 2011


I think it's time to take a break

You know, that would be a great advice for her. She really needs to chill out for a while.
posted by c13 at 10:57 PM on July 28, 2011


Well, I think there's a lot to be said about the general topic, but this particular discussion is pretty hung up on tone, and maybe that's justifiable. Though I'd add that if we only listened to the ideas crafted and presented by unassailably perfect people, it would be awfully quiet around here.

I haven't been able to go back and read the full thread yet, but some ideas in the post resonated with me, and I know they have for others, too. Much of the content is debatable/questionable, but there is something at the core that is worth discussion, though maybe not here, and now, with this catalyst.
posted by Miko at 11:05 PM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


She doesn't hate men, at all. She is fucking aching and yearning for a man to prove her wrong. It runs right through the whole piece.

Well yeah, but she's doing all that on OK Cupid, which is an exercise in masochism at best. Honestly, she'd have a better chance of success at finding that special guy by asking random men on the subway, so this is going well beyond "doing it wrong" , into "deliberately doing it wrong" territory

posted by happyroach at 11:14 PM on July 28, 2011



Well yeah, but she's doing all that on OK Cupid, which is an exercise in masochism at best. Honestly, she'd have a better chance of success at finding that special guy by asking random men on the subway, so this is going well beyond "doing it wrong" , into "deliberately doing it wrong" territory


If you know of a better dating site than OkCupid, please let us know. It seems to have the best mix, though it is skewed toward geeks...
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 11:16 PM on July 28, 2011


PS: I love you...you, you, you
posted by lometogo at 12:03 AM on July 29, 2011


So at least she admitted her own failing there, right?

Are we keeping score?

She doesn't blame all men. I'm not quoting the same thing for the third time.

You know what, let's just disagree on this. Because every time I go back and read her stuff, it's literally written out multiple times and I'm not going to point out obvious stuff.

There is anger there, definitely, but hate?

*shrug* I'm not going to split hairs, it looks like she's writing about things she hates to me. You don't see that and want to drop the word? Great, let's call it "directed anger".

Why? I mean if you're coming from the view that when you have one bad relationship after another, the only thing in common is you, then I get your point, but am not sure it's a good basis on which to judge people.

Why not? If your only tools to get through the cognitive dissonance is confirmation bias then you most likely are an emotionally stunted and immature person. Probably constantly feeding your own ego to keep it afloat in the doldrums.

Did I miss something?

Yeah, you've missed a few things and skimmed over a lot of area here that I'm not going back into because, well, it's hard enough following her ramblings all over the place to have to dig through and present stuff.

It was in the middle of a rant, and I didn't and don't think she really said to the guy (or even thought) that she was fucking him for good behaviour.

Uh, no. Again, you've missed some things and need to go back and reread because those exact words come up at least a couple of different times in different rants.

She doesn't hate men, at all. She is fucking aching and yearning for a man to prove her wrong. It runs right through the whole piece.

I never said she hates men, I said she blames them and it's in her writing many times. I'm not going back and forth on this and if you're going to ignore her plain as day rants emphatically stating that then I might as well just agree with you about those scary nasty windmills... er, I mean, 'giants' looming on the horizon.

What I'm trying to say is, look:
And when I left, I didn't say "I'll call you" and then not call. And the next day, I didn't ignore him, or blow sunshine up his ass, or pretend not to understand when he said that he wanted more fucking. I didn't say "oh yeah sure" with no intention of following through. I said thanks but no thanks and invited him out for a platonic beer instead. I returned every email. I helped him work on a job application letter. I commiserated about dating woes.
So through all the self-congratulatory bullshit she just laid down, she can't even cop to a blooming friendship that was based on mutual respect and therefore negates most of what she talks about. Or maybe he still wasn't respectful and she enjoys the mental abuse just to prove a point. OR, maybe, it was a ruse on her part to prove a point, which in turn is disrespectful. Where does that leave us?

Last, I apologize if some of my answers are curt here. I'm can't muster an argument for disagreements on things she blatantly states.
Also, I'm sorry some of this hits so close to home for some of you and I hope you don't feel that essentially you're being attacked on some of these responses.
posted by P.o.B. at 12:10 AM on July 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


Words, words, words, I'm so sick of words!
posted by Ritchie at 8:17 AM on July 29, 2011


You know, if all men everywhere actually experience a high level of constant, implacable, intrusive lust

(and by the way, women are familiar with that sensation)

more or less all the time throughout their post-pubescent lives, I'm perfectly happy to accept that as their lived experience. What makes me somewhat doubtful is that every time this subject comes up, it's generally one or two very vocal American, present-day men (plus Henry Miller) declaring that just because it is their lived experience that their friends have seconded -- and really in this culture, when one friend says, "Man, my dick just wants to fuck fuck fuck all the time," how likely is it that his buddy will respond, "Oh, not me"? -- it really must be true of most men everywhere throughout human history and therefore it's "hard-wired," whether by culture or genetics.

I applaud anyone of any sexuality and gender who really studies their own libido, its quirks and cycles and ebbs and flows (or its constant "on" state if that's your case), accepts it, and communicates about it straightforwardly. As opposed to just buying into what your mother or your friends or your priest or your pop-evo-psych guru or TV commercials tell you you're supposed to experience.
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:26 AM on July 29, 2011 [8 favorites]


So through all the self-congratulatory bullshit she just laid down, she can't even cop to a blooming friendship that was based on mutual respect and therefore negates most of what she talks about. Or maybe he still wasn't respectful and she enjoys the mental abuse just to prove a point. OR, maybe, it was a ruse on her part to prove a point, which in turn is disrespectful. Where does that leave us?

In what way was she abusive or disrespectful to this guy? They were friendly, they had an enjoyable NSA one-nighter that she explicitly clarified up front was all she was interested in. She didn't fuck with his head afterward and, when he expressed interest in more sex, she just honestly said no, again. They were still friendly and collegial just as before; she was just clear on not wanting a sexual involvement.

Or does she somehow owe him more sex?
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:37 AM on July 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


If you know of a better dating site than OkCupid, please let us know. It seems to have the best mix, though it is skewed toward geeks...

Asking random people on the subway? Or maybe hiring a nakōdo? Either have to be better than having a profile up at OKCupid, especially the one she has.
posted by happyroach at 10:01 AM on July 29, 2011


Way upthread (can't link, stupid phone) tempythethird describes how awful and foreign angry jane's world seems and I feel exactly the same way-if I inhabited that wretched place I would probably resort to suicide instead of militantly casual sex. I have heard tell of, and sometimes witnessed, such savage milieus and done my best to avoid them; more importantly I have done my best to cultivate friendships and relationships with good people who move in generous circles. Not tooting my horn, I just did and do that automatically. So I can't help but wonder if this woman is just wholly incapable of assessing people prior to fucking them, or for some reason insists on only moving within seas rife with malevolent predatorial males and calculating vengeful women, circling each other warily until the thrashing and the blood. Such waters probably contain more editorial fishermen dangling mealy wads of dough (what a shitty metaphor this is!) than my placid pond, but the tradeoff seems mighty harsh. Plus the sadness others have noted is just really sad.
posted by generalist at 11:53 AM on July 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


In what way was she abusive or disrespectful to this guy?

It takes two to have the relationship you just described and therefore, viz, ergo she managed to have a respectful relationship with a man. Did you see what happened right there? That's not some crazy leap of logic to follow but I'm sure someone is going to disagree. Or not even read what I wrote.

Or does she somehow owe him more sex?

Really? Come on, you can do better than that. I mean if you're going to use a ridiculous statement to impugn the worst motivations on someone, you might as well have gone whole hog. Something like: 'Since you think she as a women owes men like you sex, regardless of consent; then something something cat circumcision something club baby seals something something reaper of souls and destroyer of worlds', Idk, you'll have to fill in the blanks.

We finally got some sun in Seattle, so i just realized I have much better things to do. Be good folks.
posted by P.o.B. at 12:06 PM on July 29, 2011


It takes two to have the relationship you just described and therefore, viz, ergo she managed to have a respectful relationship with a man. Did you see what happened right there? That's not some crazy leap of logic to follow but I'm sure someone is going to disagree. Or not even read what I wrote.

I read what you wrote. I apparently just misread it because I thought you were saying that if she really respected that man,s he would have pursued a more extended relationship with him. She acknowledged that he and the guy in the next section did respect her. That's what she's looking for, people to reciprocate the respect she shows them.

Speaking of which, I don't think I said anything to cause you to respond to me in the contemptuous way you did.
posted by FelliniBlank at 2:31 PM on July 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


She doesn't hate men, at all. She is fucking aching and yearning for a man to prove her wrong

I don't hate all women. I'm aching and yearning for a woman to prove me wrong.
I don't hate all gays. I'm aching and yearning for a gays to prove me wrong.
I don't hate all blacks. I'm aching and yearning for a black to prove me wrong.
posted by rodgerd at 12:58 AM on July 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't hate all people who fail to comprehend the most basic of differential power dynamics. I'm aching and yearning for an ignorant to prove their intelligence.
posted by Errant at 1:13 AM on July 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


The Lgbt center at UC Davis provides this pretty handy definition of sexism which should help you differentiate and understand why one can't describe "man hating" as sexism. "Cultural, institutional, and individual set of beliefs and practices that privilege men, subordinate women, and denigrate values and practices associated with women."

Oh, well there's an authority we can appeal to, thank goodness! Whatever would we do without the LGBT Center at UC Davis to tell us what sexism is?

So, in other words, "man hating" is perfectly OK because men deserve it. Just come right out and say it. It's OK to hate (straight, white) men. Because they deserve it.
posted by spitbull at 9:16 AM on July 30, 2011


nikoniko: "erich fromm's the art of loving"

Hey! I just read this and it is pretty relevant. Fromm makes a fairly interesting main argument in the book (one you see strands of in everything from Kierkegaard to mystical spirituality) that rather than some great anonymous force bestowed upon you, love is a skill with a set of dispositions that can be practiced and learned. I'll definitely check out the bell hooks book too.
posted by Apropos of Something at 9:59 AM on July 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


spitbull, why do you think that anything is ok as long as it isn't sexism? Of course man-hating is bad. It's got "hating" in the title, for fuck's sake; are you under the impression that centers for LGBT rights profit by considering hate a good thing?
posted by Errant at 10:54 AM on July 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


You know, if all men everywhere actually experience a high level of constant, implacable, intrusive lust

(and by the way, women are familiar with that sensation)

more or less all the time throughout their post-pubescent lives, I'm perfectly happy to accept that as their lived experience. What makes me somewhat doubtful is that every time this subject comes up, it's generally one or two very vocal American, present-day men (plus Henry Miller) declaring that just because it is their lived experience that their friends have seconded


The presence of widespread enduring social institutions like prostitution and pornography, both of which cater overwhelmingly to men, is evidence that this is more than just an imaginary "style" of sexual proclivity that a small number of men extrapolate to the whole population.

Now I'm certainly willing to see other nuanced causes for the existence of these phenomena, across centuries and cultures, such as generalized gender inequality, the oft-studied susceptibility of male sexuality to visual stimulus, etc.

But anyone who thinks that these things don't also testify to a basic divergence in the "automatic" character and frequency of masculine libido is, in my opinion, being deliberately obtuse.
posted by macross city flaneur at 2:43 PM on July 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


a basic divergence in the "automatic" character and frequency of masculine libido

But the existence of these services is by no means evidence for their "automatic" character. It could simply be evidence that the dominance granted men by patriarchy allows them to structure sexual activities to fit in convenient ways into the roles they've structured for themselves and for women. It is far more likely a byproduct of dominance coupled with sexual repression than a reflection of some essential difference in "libido." Women have strong libido too, but under patriarchy could not directly compel sexual services and products from the other gender, and so did not build up the same kind of cultural history of doing so.
posted by Miko at 3:08 PM on July 30, 2011 [6 favorites]


Okay. Here’s the thing. Here is why I think Jane’s writings – especially her LiveJournal – deserve a closer look and a deeper analysis, rather than a glib dismissal based on her angry tone.

This is the heart of what’s making Jane angry, as Brandon Blatcher mentioned:

“…what pushed me into this choice was the sort of thing that men do everyday without so much as a fleeting thought. It was the callous disregard for my heart…”

Sadly, this sort of disregard from men, whether intentional or not, is VERY common. It makes dating very difficult for women, and all the more so because it is barely even recognized as a problem, let alone dealt with openly. Even writing this comment about it right now is difficult for me, because in order to do so, I have to summon the emotional strength to revisit the endless trail of wounds I have endured at the hands of the many men who consistently failed to deal with me in good faith in dating and sex – and ALSO the additional wounds inflicted by a sexist culture in which this kind of shitty behaviour from men is rationalized away, justified...even praised. (Not to mention the similar stories of countless female friends of mine, and the hundreds of women who were interviewed for Shere Hite’s eye-opening book Women and Love.)

Take a look at a recent AskMe for just one example of the kind of disregard I’m talking about. What the OP wants in this situation is completely reasonable. She wants him to be direct with her. They've slept together once; she wants to know where she stands. I would love it if she – and all women! – had the confidence, strength and self-awareness to simply say: “If you want me, TELL me; if you don’t, then tell me that too, so I can cut my losses and move on. But don’t keep me hanging on, wondering, questioning. It’s okay if you don’t want the same thing I do, but if that’s the case, own up to it. Own your shit. I’m not a fragile flower who needs to be protected from the truth. I’m an adult. I can handle it.” Instead, the OP is doubting herself, fearing that the problem is mostly her own anxiety or clinginess, when it’s the situation – and the dodgy way he is dealing with her – that is creating her uneasy feelings.

Angry Jane Doe is awesome because, whatever her faults, she has the guts to recognize these bullshit avoidance strategies for what they really are, and call men out on them. She stands up for her right to fair treatment on equal terms. And she is justifiably pissed that she so rarely gets it.

Like many feminists, she recognizes that the balance of power in our culture is unfairly tipped so far in favour of men that it will likely be an uphill battle to build the kind of intimate, emotionally equal relationship she wants with a man – the kind of relationship in which she can be seen, be vulnerable, and be loved…as her full self, rather than as a mere embodiment of some stereotype or projection on the part of men. She understands that in a culture where misogyny is so ubiquitous and unremarkable that many of us don’t even see it when it’s staring us right in the face, the odds are stacked against her from the get-go. She has learned (the hard way!) that there is a structural inequality built into the emotional “contract” between men and women that is so deeply embedded into the psyche, and so widespread in our culture, that she will often have to fight just to be seen and acknowledged, let alone loved and cherished as a full human being.

Jane has learned through bitter experience that men have countless ways, subtle and not-so-subtle, that they can use to resist real emotional equality with women. They withhold. They tune her out. They mansplain. They clam up the moment she expresses anger or frustration. They refuse to discuss an issue she brings up, or refuse to even accept that it IS an issue; after all, it’s not bothering THEM, so it must not be a problem, right? They condescend. They patronize. They throw little barbs into otherwise innocuous conversations, or tease her in ways that contain passive-aggressive hostility. They belittle her concerns. They dismiss her as crazy, slutty, hysterical, weak, psychologically unbalanced, or high maintenance. They deny that their own behaviour might have anything to do with her struggles. They take for granted the level of emotional work she does behind the scenes. They feign romantic interest to get what they want, even when she’s made it clear that she’s only after sex - as if they know better what she wants than she herself does!

These patterns and many others, lodged into the smallest wedges of daily interaction, allow men to retain power over women both individually and collectively. They remind women of their subordinate status. They are a form of emotional violence – “microaggression,” as Jane so aptly puts it.

Jane is trying to use her physical appeal, her openness to NSA sex, and men’s sexual attraction to her to make a bid for at least a modicum of equality. In essence, she is saying: I’ve given up hope that I will ever get you to treat me as an emotional equal, but I’ll settle for fucking you, as long as you show that you can at least treat me as a decent human being who deserves respect when we fuck. She’s asserting her own dignity. She only wants to fuck men who demonstrate that they have the ability to see her – to recognize her basic personhood and sexual agency. She’s filtering out the men who will reduce her to a walking blowup doll or porn stereotype the minute they hear that she’s up for NSA sex. She’s filtering out the men who callously (or unthinkingly; the motivation doesn’t matter, because the effect is the same) disregard her humanity.

She is not setting the bar very high there. Think about that. All she wants is a good faith effort from these men to treat her respectfully. The scary part? A depressingly large number of the men she encounters FAIL that test. With flying colours.

And people wonder why she’s angry, despairing and hopeless?

Like Jane, I’ve finally wised up in middle age. (Unlike her, though, I’m no longer willing to settle for casual sex, although I'll admit that I occasionally question myself about that.) After an ugly divorce and years of dating struggles, I’ve decided it’s time to confront the way misogyny in our culture interferes with the development of truly equal intimate relationships between men and women, even amongst those with the best of intentions. Accordingly, I’ve reached the point where my top criterion for dating someone is emotional maturity and responsibility. Seriously – this is far, far hotter than physical beauty to me, as I have learned that I am capable of finding a wide variety of people and body types attractive. Without that basic emotional 'fit,' though, it'll be doomed before it's even started; I'd rather just stay single and celibate, thanks.

I would love to read a good book on ‘dating while feminist’ that is focused on creating real equality in heterosexual relationships and sexual encounters, and on how to navigate this within the context of a sexist, racist, queer-phobic culture. Would anyone like to write one? Please? Or point me to it, if one has already been written? Because we desperately need it. We need tools to help us scale - or tear down! - the walls our culture erects between men and women. There are so many lonely people out there who just want to love each other, and so many fucked up barriers in the way.
posted by velvet winter at 4:32 PM on July 30, 2011 [16 favorites]


But the existence of these services is by no means evidence for their "automatic" character. It could simply be evidence that the dominance granted men by patriarchy allows them to structure sexual activities to fit in convenient ways into the roles they've structured for themselves and for women.

While this might be true, it is belied by the very content of the original post, which is not a lament about the lack of sexual services for women, or the poor quality of AJD's vibrator, or the lack of good porn for women, but specifically finds the source of discontent in a configuration of unmet LINKED emotional and sexual needs.
posted by macross city flaneur at 5:50 PM on July 30, 2011


That's a different point, and I'm not sure what the significance of it is. Over the milennia of patriarchy, dominant culture has promoted the strategy of compartmentalization as a solution to the social and emotional conflicts within men presented by the challenges of real relationships with fully human beings.

It has concerned itself with generating functional solutions which prioritize convenience and boundary observance for men, and it has. Those solutions are not as functional for people outside the class that created them, who are in the position of serving to fulfill the functions the dominant class designed.
posted by Miko at 7:51 PM on July 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


Just come right out and say it. It's OK to hate (straight, white) men. Because they deserve it.

I won't say that it's okay to hate them, but it's okay to be very, very wary of them, and when you get really fucked over by one it is the least surprising thing in the world.
posted by hermitosis at 10:05 PM on July 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


It must be an awful feeling living that way.
posted by Justinian at 11:09 PM on July 30, 2011


Meal over, fortune cookies arrived. Hers said, "Your romantic life is interesting only to you."

She handed it to me, and said, "this one's actually yours."


Where can I get these in bulk?
posted by evil holiday magic at 4:24 AM on July 31, 2011


Over the milennia of patriarchy, dominant culture has promoted the strategy of compartmentalization as a solution to the social and emotional conflicts within men presented by the challenges of real relationships with fully human beings.

It has concerned itself with generating functional solutions which prioritize convenience and boundary observance for men, and it has. Those solutions are not as functional for people outside the class that created them, who are in the position of serving to fulfill the functions the dominant class designed.


So we're coming to a point of some agreement, it seems, albeit in very different language, and except for this. You think the patriarchy designed men's sexual and emotional responses? And you don't realize how paranoid that makes you sound? What if I said I thought that women designed themselves to have a special bond with their children to marginalize fathers? Seriously silly stuff.
posted by macross city flaneur at 7:17 AM on July 31, 2011


Why is that silly? You don't think there's a social conditioning and pressure from the patriarchy that repeatedly seeks to impart a certain set of values on boys from a young age, which does help mold their emotional and sexual responses to certain situations? This is not a controversial position to take.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:26 AM on July 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


No, I wouldn't say that we're coming to a point of agreement. You've been promoting an essentialist point of view, which argues that social and behavioral differences between men and women arise because of fundamental, biological, and unchangeable differences within the physical people themselves. I reject essentialism and, as you'll see, it has a history of being used as a tool to categorize and suppress people based on age, gender, class, race, etc. Most often, its claims can't be well supported or isolated as physically derived in comparison to other effects.

I'm arguing from a constructionism point of view, which looks at the way social roles are built by human beings, often reflecting an individual or collective agenda, and at the consequences of the creation of those social roles on individual people's lives.

You think the patriarchy designed men's sexual and emotional responses?

I don't just think it, it's pretty uncontroversial that it has. Now if, because I used the word "designed," you're picturing a group of men in a room with pencils and blueprints, then you are oversimplifying. But when we identify that the truth that dominant Western culture has evolved through thousands of years as a patriarchy, it follows that all social systems within that patriarchy evolved either in the service of, or in response to, the assumption of male supremacy. Nothing has evolved based on a long history of completely egalitarian rights and treatment for all. For the bulk of the history of this culture, men maintained decisionmaking power and ultimate control of property, and the systems they developed served their interests above and often to the exclusion of the interests of women (and often subcategories of men, too, who the elite could exclude by defining and promoting additional categories of supremacy, further advancing their own interests).

In a patriarchy, men in power put systems in place to define and control the activities of women.Sexuality is one of the most obvious areas which men have desired to control. To control the activities and allegiances of women and also to attempt to control their genetic line of heritage, they created ideals of womanhood which limited women's sexual freedom, making them choose between the respectable, subservient and obedient role of wife, who by accepting that role could expect to be provided for materially and was expected to deliver heirs to strengthen the line, and the non-respectable, condemned and shamed role of slut, whose resisted the control of her sexuality and so could not be trusted in stable society. Because those women could not participate in stable society, and because the bargain struck by men in defining their acceptable relationships in such strict and controlling ways, a conflict was created: women in acceptable society could not and should not enjoy free-choice sexual activity. Women outside acceptable society did not have that expectation, but by the same token, could not take advantage of the privileges offered women who stayed within the bounds of acceptable society. So they were socially and economically disenfranchised. But a business arose - also, even to this day, usually controlled and profited from by men - to exploit the conflicts created by defining women as binary creatures, either 'good' wives or 'bad' sluts, by offering women in the outsider category as service providers who would deliver sexual activity to order, removing the possibility of sexual denial that might happen in either traditional patriarchal or full-equal relationships, without consequence or expectation of further material support.

Though one could use the word "develop," I think the word "Design" is warranted because the system didn't just happen. There has been so much conscious thought given to the management and control and legal and economic structures of prostitution over the ages that it has indeed been designed into its present shape, though not by any single entity. It is bounded by lots of rules and regulations, and they have been designed.

And you don't realize how paranoid that makes you sound? ...Seriously silly stuff.

I'd like to request that you drop the contemptuous tone; you're the one that sounds silly, probably sillier than you realize. I will put my knowledge and credentials in social history up against yours any day. It's clear that this thinking - core to women's history, sociology, social history, legal history - is new to you, but I would encourage you to go on, reflect, dig deeper, and above all, talk sincerely to the women in your lives.
posted by Miko at 9:31 AM on July 31, 2011 [3 favorites]


I should add, per Marisa Stole's point, that I see patriarchy as profoundly damaging to men as well as to women - one of the reasons I think it's important to examine its effects. A society of equals, in which we all understood ourselves as equals and had the benefit of a more egalitarian socialization, would result in profoundly different kinds of relationships - relationships which might make Jane Doe, and others of us, a lot happier.
posted by Miko at 9:33 AM on July 31, 2011 [5 favorites]


I see patriarchy as profoundly damaging to men as well as to women

Likewise. Most feminists do. Which, of course, is part of why it is frustrating when the same old derailing happens time and again in these threads, and when the word "patriarchy" is so routinely misinterpreted as a code word for "men." There are all kinds of resources out there for men to help them understand what patriarchy is, how it influences us, and how it harms everyone (albeit in different ways). There are many savvy people right here on MeFi who make posts that are helpful to others who want to learn about how patriarchy harms men. So there is no excuse for willful ignorance in discussions like this.

Particularly relevant to the discussion of Jane's writings is the way patriarchy constantly reinforces the harmful stereotypes that men are little more than horny beasts who constantly want sex with any attractive woman, and women are either 'good'/respectable or 'bad'/slutty/contemptible. And particularly disturbing to me is the way patriarchy links male sexual arousal to contempt for women, especially for women who are openly and unapologetically sexual the way Jane is.

(Conveniently enough, another recent AskMe provides an example of one way that this contempt can manifest in relationships: the OP clearly states that the sexual past of the woman he is with is a major reason for his "contempt and lack of respect" toward her.)

This is one reason why what Jane is doing is worthy of note: she is defying the patriarchal definition of her sexuality, and insisting upon a recognition of her basic personhood from any man with whom she has a sexual encounter. She is angry because so many men - who have learned at the hands of patriarchy that a woman who fucks men is 'bad' and 'slutty' - refuse to re-examine and revise these misogynist views (or even recognize that they have them). Instead they continue to see her as unworthy of respectful treatment. Jane knows that these experiences at the hands of men are part of a much larger pattern of social injustice, and she's trying to use the tools she has to call attention to it.

A society of equals, in which we all understood ourselves as equals and had the benefit of a more egalitarian socialization, would result in profoundly different kinds of relationships - relationships which might make Jane Doe, and others of us, a lot happier.

Definitely. I would love to see more forward-thinking writings on this subject - especially personal ones that help us understand how patriarchal socialization affects male-female relationships. For example:
"...patriarchy takes from men the opportunity to have true equally partnered relationships with women. I can personally attest to the reality of this issue. In many ways my ex husband was emotionally withdrawn and unavailable - not at all because he didn’t desire to be kind or caring, but because he didn’t feel that it was safe to do so, he didn’t have the tools to do it, and society told him that his wife (who is a woman) is not allowed to instruct him on how to."
We really, really need more of this kind of writing. We also need tools to help us take steps toward creating relationships of radical equality even in the "belly of the beast," as it were.

In response to my previous comment, I received a friendly and encouraging e-mail in which it was suggested that the person who identifies a need for a book on 'dating while feminist' may very well be the one who ought to write it. I would gladly take this project on...if only my life circumstances allowed for it. I'm living hand-to-mouth and looking for a job; I'm also working on another book manuscript right now on a completely different subject. But you can bet that if and when my situation allows for it, I will write that book, as it is sorely needed.

In the meantime, I will continue to refer to resources such as Jaclyn Friedman's Fucking While Feminist and blog comments on feminist relationships for inspiration, and hold out hope that someone else will write the book I long to read.
posted by velvet winter at 12:58 PM on July 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


macross city flaneur, prostitution tells us nothing about sex drive. Rates of prostitution vary amongst cultures and we've not seen any evidence that sex drive rates vary between culture. Do you think that high sex drive is what drives men to seek out prostitutes in our own culture?

There are plenty of gay men who find other men 'complicated' and lesbian 'sluts' who focus on getting laid. OKcupid found what a few other studies have found, in that most gay men (and women) have similar numbers of partners as heterosexuals. See here, where they note: "It turns out that a tiny fraction of gays have single-handedly two-handedly created the public image of gay sexual recklessness—in fact we found that just 2% of gay people have had 23% of the total reported gay sex, which is pretty crazy."

Some people point out that gay men and straight men are more receptive to anonymous sex, but that neglects the main reasons that straight females reject most propositions from straight males - fear and low expectations. Read this fascinating review of a study which explored why it's easier for women to pick up men (or women) for casual sex than it is for men to pick up women. When the authors of the study asked women to accept sex partners from famous men (ie, men that they already knew something about), the women accepted as similar rates as men. For unattractive celebrities, women accepted the proposition more than men.

When women were asked about friends, women still accepted at lower rates than men, but they rated sexual expected satisfaction much lower than the men did. What's interested about the study was that straight women were equally as like to accept a proposition from a woman, and bisexual women were more likely to accept a proposition from a straight women, suggesting that women avoid accepting sexual propositions not from lack of interest in sex, but because of safety or other issues.

When the study was conducted with gay men and lesbians, "[t]here was no statistically significant difference in likelihood of taking the offer between men and women" and the authors note, "even though gay men are attracted to men and, on average, relatively open to casual sex, they did not find the CHSP any more appealing than lesbians did".

Amongst cultures where men are trained in the art of pleasing women, and where women's pleasure is considered important, women are much more sexually receptive and heterosexual partners report a much higher rate of sexual frequency. In our own society, much more emphasis is put on male sexual satisfaction than female satisfaction. 'Good' girls are not supposed to initiate sex or be sexually promiscuous.

Your own experiences as a male, non-withstanding, I can assure you that I appear to have a similar sex drive to my male partner, with a similar amount of desire for extra-pair copulations. You may think me in denial, but we have built our relationship on honesty and are open about such things with each other. I have a very good female friend who desires a greater amount of extra-pair copulations than her male partner. I do not bring up these examples to state that females naturally desire extra-pair copulations as much or more than males, but to remind you that the plural of anecdote is not data. Unless you can provide good, hard evidence that males are naturally programmed to desire more copulation, or greater numbers of extra-pair copulations, there is no evidence that heterosexual relationships in humans require dishonesty on the part of the man.
posted by avagoyle at 1:47 PM on July 31, 2011 [6 favorites]


Between this, manchildren, The Game, The Rules, and traditional society itself I can't wait for scientists to develop a way to become a non-gender or to put your mind in a robot.
posted by FJT at 3:12 PM on July 31, 2011


You can have your brain put in a robot now, but it kills you and probably makes a mess of the robot. And a robot is a terrible thing to waste.
posted by Grangousier at 3:15 PM on July 31, 2011


Do you think that high sex drive is what drives men to seek out prostitutes in our own culture?

Um. Yes? At least in part? Is this a trick question?
posted by Justinian at 3:44 PM on July 31, 2011


Is this a trick question?

So do you have a low sex drive, or do you use prostitutes?
posted by Miko at 8:08 PM on July 31, 2011


Is this some new definition of "in part" that I am unfamiliar with?
posted by Justinian at 9:16 PM on July 31, 2011


This is one reason why what Jane is doing is worthy of note: she is defying the patriarchal definition of her sexuality, and insisting upon a recognition of her basic personhood from any man with whom she has a sexual encounter.

But it seems like she is insisting on it after the fact, i.e. setting herself up to fail, and continuing to enable the behavior she supposedly despises. I think she's a sub (?), so maybe her sexual preferences are affecting her emotional relationships. Not the first time.
posted by mrgrimm at 7:11 AM on August 1, 2011


So do you have a low sex drive, or do you use prostitutes?

I think use is a loaded term. A prostitute is a service job. You have a personal trainer, or a dentist, or a therapist.

The only stat I can recall in regard to having a prostitute is that it's about 15-20% of men in the US.
posted by FJT at 7:55 AM on August 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


I use a personal trainer - I'm not sure I agree that it's an unusual construction. One difference is that you generally go to the same personal trainer, therapist, etc., while that's generally not true with prostitution - so it makes more sense to say you "have [a standing appointment with] a trainer" than with a prostitute. I don't think "use" is loaded, I think it's fair and realistic. People use services, they don't "have" services. But anyway, not an enormous point, so I'll switch to "contract."

IT seems like it's so obvious and simple why men contract prostitutes, and "high sex drive" seems like a great candidate. But the research suggests that no, it's not that simple at all, and not even a very useful predicting factor. Most men who have high sex drives do not contract prostitutes, and Social scientists used to assume rape was all about sex and a high sex drive, but of course have revised that view to acknowledge it's a far more complex social/behavioral phenomenon more rooted in power, anger, and misogyny than in desire for sex. It seems that men seek prostitutes also for reasons other than and sometimes in addition to a high desire for sex. The Eaves report, for instance, notes some self-reported motivations as:

-a desire for immediate satisfaction (note, not the same as a "high sex drive"
-entertainment
-seeks variety
-wants to select certain physical, racial, and sexual stereotypes
-can't get desires met in current relationship
-convenience, sex without commitment, no emotional connection
-thrill, risk-taking, breaking taboo
-addiction, compulsion
-result of intoxication
-male bonding/peer pressure
-insecurity, eliminates possibility of rejection

It's fascinating that the men can name clear deterrents such as being listed on a sex offender registry, receiving criminal penalty, or having personal accountability, which would end prostitute visits for them. This certainly indicates that they are not willing to risk their social standing to contract a prostitute, regardless of the stated importance of 'sex drive' to some, meaning that social - not biological - parameters are actually setting the boundaries of their choices.

The PRE study notes that men who contract prostitutes are also "far more likely than non-sex buyers to commit felonies, misdemeanors, crimes related to violence against women, substance abuse-related crimes, assaults, crimes with weapons, and crimes against authority. All of the crimes known to be associated with violence against women were reported by sex buyers; none were reported by non-sex buyers....Sex buyers acknowledged having committed significantly more sexually coercive acts against women than non-sex buyers....Sex buyers had significantly less empathy for prostituted women than did non-sex buyers and they acknowledged fewer harmful effects of prostitution on the women in it and on the community." The Newsweek piece report "Overall, the attitudes and habits of sex buyers reveal them as men who dehumanize and commodify women, view them with anger and contempt, lack empathy for their suffering, and relish their own ability to inflict pain and degradation."

This suggests that the behavior of contracting prostitutes should really be considered as part of a personality pattern of aggression, control and power obsession, and risk-taking and not necessarily as a sex-driven activity.

I think the following will make for fascinating and informative reading and encourage everyone to take a look:

Eaves Research Report: Men Who Buy Sex

Newsweek via the Daily Beast: The John Next Door: A new study reveals how the burgeoning demand for porn and prostitutes is warping personal relationships and endangering women and girls.

Prostitution Research & Education: Comparing Sex Buyers and Non-Sex Buyers


Ultimately, I think men visit prostitutes for this wide variety of reasons because they can. A social structure, developed in a world which assumes/(ed) male supremacy, exists for the purpose of offering sex to men for money. For women experiencing similar interests and with similar goals, we simply don't have this widespread, easily accessed, codified mechanism for delivering sexual services. That's because this mechanism was devised under patriarchy - not because women don't experience high sex drives, don't struggle with partners who don't deliver what they desire in bed, don't experience sex addiction, don't sometimes want sex without commitment, want to experiment or take risks, etc. Women experience all these things because these are human experiences.

But the system of prostitution, taken at large, doesn't concern itself with women's needs and social patterns, whether those women are working as prostitutes or in committed relationships with men or anyone else. It concerns itself with creating profit from male behaviors and conflicts that also evolved under patriarchy, by leveraging the greater economic and social power of men to establish a system in which women are employed to serve men sexually. This allows men who contract prostitutes, again, to command a menu of sexual services without having to engage with a full equal and actual relationship to get their desires met.

I wouldn't advocate that an egalitarian society develop this exact prostitution system as a way for women to have greater access to sex, because clearly it is harmful to many individuals, but I do want to point out that structures like this evolve and continue to exist because men have had, and largely still have, the power to create, maintain, and reinforce the structures despite egalitarian critique and the associated public health and safety issues, through economic, institutional, legal, and social means.
posted by Miko at 9:48 AM on August 1, 2011 [5 favorites]


Deconstructing the Demand for Prostitution: Preliminary Insights from Interviews with Chicago Men Who Purchase Sex

National Institute of Justice: Understanding and Applying Research on Prostitution
Although their motives for seeking sex with a prostitute differed, there were similarities among certain groups. Married clients and college graduates were more likely to want a different kind of sex than they had with their regular partners. Steady or unmarried clients and non-college graduates reportedly felt shy and awkward when trying to meet women but did not feel intimidated by prostitutes.

Monto also explored the clients’ attitudes toward “rape myths”—that is, attitudes that have been used to support sexual violence against women.[5] Less than one-half of 1 percent of those surveyed indicated acceptance of all eight rape myths. On the other hand, 20 percent indicated acceptance of four or more items. Researchers believe that this latter group may be responsible for perpetrating violent acts against women for hire.

Next, Monto measured the degree to which clients regarded sexuality as a commercial commodity.[6] Monto found that the greater a client’s belief that women and sex were commercial products, the more frequently he would visit prostitutes. This mindset was also a strong predictor of the acceptance of rape myths, less frequent condom use with prostitutes, and a disinclination to view prostitution as a demeaning profession for women.
posted by Miko at 10:18 AM on August 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


The PRE study notes that men who contract prostitutes are also "far more likely than non-sex buyers to commit felonies, misdemeanors, crimes related to violence against women, substance abuse-related crimes, assaults, crimes with weapons, and crimes against authority.

The fact that prostitution is illegal likely makes it attractive to a particular type of men, i.e. those who favor transgression.

Ultimately, I think men visit prostitutes for this wide variety of reasons because they can.

That's interesting to me because I would never feel comfortable visiting a prostitute of any sort. NEVER. If it were legal and accepted and I could feel safe visiting a prostitute ... I dunno. I certainly would have considered it when I was single. For people who can't or don't have sexual relationships, prostitutes seem like angels to me.

For women experiencing similar interests and with similar goals, we simply don't have this widespread, easily accessed, codified mechanism for delivering sexual services.

Perhaps not widespread and easily accessed, but for the wealthy, I would generally disagree. I think there's a huge market for gay, straight, and bi male prostitutes.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:57 AM on August 1, 2011


Miko: Most of your links are to anti-prostitution advocacy groups which tends to impeach their objectivity. It doesn't necessarily mean they are skewing data, of course, but it's sort of like linking to Pfizer when talking about the safety and efficacy of Pfizer's drugs.

For example, this is from the beginning of the Eaves PDF:
In 2007, Eaves and Prostitution Research and Education (PRE) began a study of the attitudes and behavioural patterns of men who use women in prostitution. Both organisations have previously studied and reported on the violence that is integral to prostitution
...
Men’s acceptance of prostitution is one of a cluster of attitudes that encourages and justifies violence against women.
Note that the latter quote isn't a conclusion from the research, it is part of the basic assumptions uses. If you start from your conclusion that violence is integral, etc, it's not a surprise when you find data showing it.
posted by Justinian at 1:55 PM on August 1, 2011


Note that the title of the PRE document is "You can have a good time with the servitude” vs. “You’re supporting a system of degradation”

That is not the mark of an objective look at the data.
posted by Justinian at 1:57 PM on August 1, 2011


Aaaand, to show I'm not just a critic, here is some data. This is from the NIJ and DOJ, which I think is far more likely to be an objective party. Specifically the Final Report on the Evaluation of the First Offender Prostitution Program.

Money quote:
Studies of male consumers of commercial sex find them to be similar to the general population in most regards, and quite unlike most populations of criminal offenders (see, e.g., Kennedy, 2004; Lever and Dolnick, 2000; Monto, 1999). In a comparison of men who had been arrested for purchasing sex to nationally representative samples of men (i.e., male respondents of large-scale national surveys; Monto, 1999; Monto & McRee, 2005) found that those who had purchased sex were actually more likely to have attended college, and were just 15% less likely to be married (41% for arrested johns versus 56% in the national survey; Monto, 1999).

While men who solicit prostitution are not atypical demographically or in terms of criminal history, they are unsurprisingly and measurably different in terms of a range of attitudes toward women, relationships, and commercial sex. For example, Monto & McRee (2005) found that consumers were less likely to be happily married than men in national samples, to have sexually liberal attitudes (e.g., to view premarital sex, sex among minors, and homosexuality as acceptable), and to think about sex more often. Commercial sex participants were also less likely to have been sexually molested as children, or to report having forced women into sexual acts. The differences between samples were not large, but were statistically significant.
In other words, men who paid prostitutes were more educated, had more liberal views about sex and homosexuality, were less likely to have been sexually abused, and less likely to have committed sexual assaults. This is a far cry from the claims of the advocacy groups which have a vested interest in making johns look like total creepos who hate women.
posted by Justinian at 2:11 PM on August 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


Studies of male consumers of commercial sex find them to be similar to the general population in most regards

So then, they don't have higher sex drives?

I agree that some (not all) of the organizations who have conducted research have an agenda. However, there don't seem to be problems with the data, and they are filling a gap caused by the absence of interest in collecting this kind data on the part of most other organizations.

For people who can't or don't have sexual relationships, prostitutes seem like angels to me.

They're not angels, they are people doing work. And I also see this as potentially negative - rather than let men off the hook when it comes to developing the capacity for a mature adult relationship, this stand-in of sex for pay is offered. This seems like another shortcut designed for the convenience of men, allowing them not to attempt growth in the area of full-equal relationships.
posted by Miko at 3:28 PM on August 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Note that the title of the PRE document is "You can have a good time with the servitude” vs. “You’re supporting a system of degradation”

Direct quotes from the research participants. Also, I did take care to provide information from to the National Institute of Justice in the Department of Justice, which you agree is "more objective," though I see that I messed up the link. Here again is the link to

Understanding and Applying Research on Prostitution.
posted by Miko at 3:31 PM on August 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


This is a far cry from the claims of the advocacy groups which have a vested interest in making johns look like total creepos who hate women.

Finally, I don't see the conflict between demographics like those you cite, and the attitudes expressed in the various studies. It would seem as though no demographics can fully account for male participation in prostitution, but attitude toward women, power and relationships largely can.
posted by Miko at 3:32 PM on August 1, 2011


Just read your Final Report link, and it confirms rather than contests the data in the other reports. In fact, it cites the Farley PRE study. Their methodology is enlightening, based as it is on the idea that a fact-based program called "John School" which shared information about prostitution would result in fewer rearrests of people purchasing sex. These are the ideas the curriculum specfically seeks to address and debunk:
The FOPP founders assumed that there were several key attitudes and beliefs that cause or allow men to solicit sex. They concluded that the john school could reach at least some of the men by countering erroneous beliefs and filling gaps in knowledge. The program targeted the following:

1. The belief that the risk of arrest and legal sanction are low.
2. Denial or ignorance of the risk of contracting STDs or HIV through purchased sex.
3. Ignorance of the risk of being robbed or assaulted by prostitutes or pimps.
4. Denial or ignorance of the negative impact prostitution has on the neighborhoods in which it occurs.
5. Ignorance of the links between street prostitution and larger, organized systems of sex trafficking.
6. Denial or ignorance of what motivates them to solicit prostitutes (e.g., addictions, compulsions, unmet social or sexual needs).
7. Denial or ignorance of the negative impact of prostitution on “providers.”
8. Denial or ignorance of the fact that money is the only reason prostitutes have sex with them.
9. The mistaken belief that the women they hire care about them, and that they are in some kind of relationship with them.
10. Denial or ignorance of the anger, revulsion, or indifference that many prostitutes have while they are having sex with johns.
11. Ignorance about how to have the healthy relationships that could replace their reliance upon commercial sex.
Reading the participant comments in Section 7 and the summaries of each class session sheds some more light on the critical area of attitudes towards women and towards prostitutes.
posted by Miko at 3:45 PM on August 1, 2011


This seems like another shortcut designed for the convenience of men, allowing them not to attempt growth in the area of full-equal relationships.

But, not all full-equal relationships end in sex. And to add, it's possible some men's definition of a full equal relationship is just friendship.

So then, they don't have higher sex drives?

I thought we were saying that man in general have higher sex drives than women.
posted by FJT at 3:59 PM on August 1, 2011


But, not all full-equal relationships end in sex. And to add, it's possible some men's definition of a full equal relationship is just friendship.

Hm, but in an egalitarian society all relationships are between full equals.

I thought we were saying that man in general have higher sex drives than women.

Were we?
posted by Miko at 4:38 PM on August 1, 2011


Were we?

Sorry, I don't mean to be snarky. I came back to say that that wasn't my understanding of what we were discussing. We were discussing the reasons for the development of prostitution, and research indicates that it can't be explained as a function of sex drive alone. The presence or absence of sex drive doesn't seem to be determinative for whether someone uses a prostitute, given the complexity and variety of motivations noted above.

The question of "sex drive" or libido is a bigger one. The idea that there is a sex drive or libido, as Freud developed the concept, is also socially constructed. "Sex drive" is not directly observable and so is something that can be measured or quantified in itself - when people want to study it, they have to study a behavior or phenomenon, such as hormone release or philandering, which their hypothesis says could result from a higher libido or correlate with a self-reporting of high libido. The dependence on the behavior of acculturated adults as evidence and on self-reporting, and the indirect connection between the physical phenomena and the subjective experience of "sex drive," should cause the scientifically minded to approach assertions about sex drive with skepticism and some reserve.
posted by Miko at 5:40 PM on August 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hm, but in an egalitarian society all relationships are between full equals.

There are hierarchial relationships, such as those between parents and children or between a boss and his or her subordinates. These aren't equal. But, if you mean that those in relationships should have the ability to dissolve said relationships if they become harmful, then I agree.

The idea that there is a sex drive or libido, as Freud developed the concept, is also socially constructed.

Ah, ok. Just because the idea of sex drive is socially constructed doesn't necessarily mean that none of it is biological. But, yes, I'm going to agree that the term "sex drive" is going to have a lot of different things thrown in.
posted by FJT at 7:03 AM on August 2, 2011


Justinian: ....and less likely to have committed sexual assaults.

Just to pick a nit: This is a self-reporting study of men who are 'consumers' of 'commercial sex.' We can't assume that they're going to accurately report whether they've forced or intimidated women into having sex.

For the record, I have no problem believing that it would be true. I can easily construct a rationale that makes sense of the idea. But the data you've cited doesn't support that claim -- only that they perceive themselves as having committed fewer sexual assaults.
posted by lodurr at 11:04 AM on August 3, 2011


only that they perceive themselves as having committed fewer sexual assaults.

But they aren't reporting "I commit fewer sexual assaults than other dudes", the rates of self-reported assaults are being compared to the rates of self-reported assaults among men in general. So it's a significant result. Yeah, you could argue that these men are more likely to be deluded than men in general, but at that point the burden of proof is on you to prove it, not just to say "they might be deluded".
posted by Justinian at 12:17 PM on August 3, 2011


I mean, at that point one could formulate a decent argument that the men we're talking about are both less likely to commit sexual assault than men in general and simultaneously more likely to commit sexual assault than the average dude who visits prostitutes. Because these self-reports were taken from guys who hired street-walkers, and guys who hire streetwalkers are likely not exactly the same as guys who hire, say, those $500 an hour escorts off of the web.

But that would be speculation, just as your nitpick is; in both cases you'd need hard data.
posted by Justinian at 12:21 PM on August 3, 2011


Yeah, you could argue that these men are more likely to be deluded than men in general...

I'm not, but yes, one could, which is why the inference shouldn't be made that they actually commit fewer assaults. What's true is that they report having committed fewer assaults. It should be left at that unless you have some reason to infer that either a) the reporting rate is at least as accurate as that of men in the general population, or b) they also score low on other indicators of likelihood that they'll perform sexual assaults.
posted by lodurr at 12:22 PM on August 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Justinian: so are you suggesting that unless I've got hard data, I shouldn't complain about you not having hard data? Just want to be clear, here.
posted by lodurr at 12:23 PM on August 3, 2011


But we do have hard data; we have the results of the study. I'm saying that given data on one side and conjecture on the other, we should probably lean towards the side with the data. That's not the same as telling you not to complain or anything.
posted by Justinian at 2:21 PM on August 3, 2011


Oh, I see. If you prefer I reword my original comment to include the phrase "they report that", that's fine with me.
posted by Justinian at 2:22 PM on August 3, 2011


That's all I ever really wanted, man, but now I'm struggling with what song lyric that reminds me of...keep coming up with "all that I wanted" (old Belfegore song), but that's just not it.
posted by lodurr at 11:17 AM on August 4, 2011


No problem. I just don't believe the phrase is as meaningful in context as you think it is. But that's not something we can really hash out without more data.
posted by Justinian at 12:36 PM on August 4, 2011


lodurr - it's Enjoy the Silence by Depeche Mode.
posted by Grangousier at 5:13 AM on August 5, 2011


weirdly enough, you're exactly right.
posted by lodurr at 1:17 PM on August 5, 2011


« Older MurdochAlert warns you whenever you visit one of t...  |  The dial-up sound, 700% slower... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments