Last month I had a few beefs on Twitter with some guys I can only guess were from the Return of Kings faction of the pickup community (not going to link to them, as trolls delight in all kinds of traffic, but if you're unfamiliar I'll send you to this handy Jezebel post for a quick run-down). It started with a post titled "I Never Want Anything To Be Easy" (again, not going to link), which, to him, apparently includes women:
When girls put out on the first date, I know that inferior men to myself have been there, done that. It shows that these girls are not on my level. They gave up their best play to an inferior level of game to my own. Therefore, they are not worthy of my genetics, my resources, or even my time. It shows they have standards that are below me. They took the easy route, too. And that’s not good enough for me. Hence, I kept looking for a while until I found a good one. She knows, too, if she doesn’t keep up, she’s out.
Before the Internet haters come flying in, I’m not going to say I haven’t fucked a slut or two. I’m not perfect.
The person in my twitter feed who had linked to the article was a guy who was also one of my readers, who had even given his sister my book, so I replied to him about why this post was so gross. What was particularly problematic is that some of the advice the author gave was actually decent -- e.g., valuing hard work, skill, and effort put into your job, your fitness, your finances, and not settling for the easy path in life. In fact, I started reading the article agreeing with much of what he said. Unfortunately, to him, "easy" things he doesn't want also includes women who choose to have sex with multiple partners and/or early on in a courtship.
The most basic way to explain why this is problematic is that if the author believes that a woman's value goes down every time she has sex with a man, then he believes that he is devaluing every woman he fucks, whether she's a casual partner or a girlfriend, and yet clearly has no guilty conscience over contributing to her ruin. Obviously we, my readers, know that the worth of any person of any gender doesn't correlate to how many partners he or she has or has not had, but when I tried to call him on his obvious double-standard, his reply was "A lock that can be opened by any key is a shitty lock. A key that can open any lock is a master."
I wrote back, "Excellent. I'll bring my strap-on." That was the end of that conversation.
What saddens me is that somewhere out there, unless he is completely delusional and making everything up from behind his keyboard -- which is a distinct possibility -- this woman who is his girlfriend actually exists. And according to him, she knows that "if she doesn't keep up, she's out." What a miserable existence I imagine she must have.
Some harrowing stats on the abuse women face online.
It was only a few days later when I came across a post from a Tumblr account dedicated to male supremacy.
It was a photo of a woman in bondage, and it was reblogged on Twitter by a decent guy I follow who's into consensual BDSM. I am also into consensual BDSM and particularly into rope bondage, so I opened it. The caption read:
This girl is clearly being rewarded for being a good girl. Probably she reached some new milestone in her weightloss or the like. Remember! rewards are as important as penalities to shape the fragile female mind.
The blog's title was Male Supremacy.
This is where I get really angry, because I am both a female and a submissive, and having my kink co-opted by a group of people who believe that all women should submit because they are actually an inferior gender is kind of enough to make my brain (and my genitals) implode in disgust. My submission is not only a choice but a gift, reserved for those I care for and trust. (Not that I'd judge a particularly kinky female for getting down with someone just because he's hot, although I might caution her to make sure he knows what he's doing if there's any risky play involved.) I submit to men who understand and appreciate how powerful I am, because it is precisely my capability that allows me to be of such excellent service in bringing pleasure, whether sexually or otherwise. If you don't get that, you're missing out on everything that's awesome about being with me in the first place.
I mean, here lies the irony, right? I absolutely fetishize inequality in relationships -- but it's just that, a fetish, a part of an understood consensual fantasy. And there is a huge difference between some dude from Return of Kings telling me on Twitter to get "back to the kitchen" because that's where I belong, and a respectful lover saying the same thing because it excites us both. In the latter scenario, I'd probably smile gleefully and skip off to make him a sandwich. But the person I do that for will be someone who firmly believes in women's rights to equality, because I have to be with someone who understands that my going to the kitchen is a choice I'm making of my own agency. A choice that I make for him, and for myself. And who appreciates that choice precisely because he understands that it's not something I have to do or where I "belong," which makes my doing it all the more meaningful -- precisely because it is not just a standard default of gender relations. Men who believe that women "belong" in an inferior role take the gift out of my submission. And that pisses me off.
I completely fail to understand how any kind of sexual satisfaction can be had with a person one genuinely deems worthless. And I also fail to understand how any kind of sexual satisfaction can be had with a person who genuinely deems you worthless.
Some harrowing stats on how much women are allowed to have a voice in the media about their own rights.
So, I am just one writer in one small corner of the world (a more western corner, now that I've moved to Las Vegas), but I am going to take this space in my blog, amongst my readership, to try to make a tiny difference.
Women of the world, please stop fucking misogynists. If these men who truly believe that women are an inferior part of the human species can no longer get laid, they will be forced to either at some point reexamine their beliefs, or they will die off alone. I see either one of those outcomes as a positive ending.
Here's a handy checklist:
- If a man engages in slut-shaming behavior, especially shit-talking women he believes are more promiscuous than his acceptable standard, logically implying that he's going to value you ever so slightly less once you sleep with him -- don't fuck him.
- If a man doesn't listen to you or value your opinion on matters other than sex and your looks, or pretends to listen at first but can't seem to remember anything you say -- don't fuck him.
- If a man accuses you for being overly emotional or irrational because of your gender -- don't fuck him.
- If a man believes that a woman has done something wrong or crazy by cutting her hair short -- don't fuck him.
- If a man treats other women around you like they're just around for decoration instead of actual human beings with thoughts and opinions -- don't fuck him.
- If a man bullies women on the internet for having an opinion that differs from his -- don't fuck him.
- If a man sympathizes with alleged rapists rather than their victims -- don't fuck him.
- If a man expresses being okay with the fact that legislation over women's reproductive health is largely in the hands of other men -- don't fuck him.
- If a man isn't a clear advocate for your equal rights as a human being -- don't fuck him.
- If a man isn't interested in your pleasure during sex because he operates under the assumption that you are there for his pleasure alone -- don't fuck him.
I could go on with this list, and I invite you to leave more suggestions in the comments, but please, for the sake of the world at large and also for the sake of your own sanity and well-being, please don't fuck men like this.
Some perspective on street harrassment.
They're out there and very outspoken on the internet, so we know they exist. If you meet one, please don't fuck him. Because men who genuinely believe that women are inferior shouldn't get to have sex with them. I think that's only fair.