Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Dan agrees with me

Quite an in-depth interview with Mr. Savage, in celebration of whatever commerical holiday this is:

I feel so sorry for straight guys. Because their sex lives are a terror, and are really circumscribed by straight guys policing the behavior of other straight guys—"Hey, you're a fag"—and by gay guys policing their behavior, and straight women. Paradoxically, straight guys run the world, but sexually, they're so imprisoned and it's not just a prison of their own creation...There's a problem with straight-male sexual identity where it's just a mass of negatives. It's not defined really by anything positive. Being a straight guy is not being a fag, not being a woman, and not doing anything that fags or women do, like have feelings or sit-ups or anything.

Perhaps it is becoming tedious of me to continue linking to Jamie's essay, but I do so love it, and it makes the same point. Perhaps the boys would be nicer to us ladies if we got off their cases for awhile.

The more life experience I collect, the more it is apparent to me that women have a great deal more power than perhaps we realize. Part of this has to do with political pendulums. I recall-- several years ago when I was troubled by an individual at work, who could not be convinced that his passion for myself was both inappropriate and hopeless--that my primary concern in resisting his advances was not to expose him to any more humiliation than could reasonably be expected. It was clear to me that should I protest too loudly, he could lose his job. Thus I kept my mouth shut for, really, a couple of years. Eventually I got tired of his surly ingratitude, and ranting and sulking and gratuitous personal insults, and put a stop to it. But I did give him fair warning.

Some of the power we have, we would do well to claim more often. I have become very bored by female friends of mine complaining about things like construction workers hassling them in the street. It never seems to be clear to these ladies that it is their choice whether to be offended, flattered or amused by such behavior. I have rarely heard of any lady being set upon in broad daylight, in a populated city, and gang-raped by a pack of construction workers at lunch, simply because she nodded and said hello.

In fact, nodding and saying hello is frequently all it takes to shut these fellows up. Oftentimes, when importuned lasciviously by large groups of Mexican gas-tank delivery boys, Pretty Lady pretends she is Princess Diana in a cavalcade, and treats them to a gracious wave of the hand. She has never been subject to personal violence on these occasions. Invariably, the pack of them applaud, and commence talking about something else. It's the single men in alleyways that you have to watch out for.

All women need to understand that our identities as ladies and human beings are internally determined, not defined by the vulgar behavior of someone else. Thus it is proper to reject any sorts of external power conferred by the notion that we are victims of the world around us. It is permissible to ask our boss to keep his hands to himself, and take appropriate action if this request is not respected; it is contemptible to claim excessive psychological trauma when a man makes a coarse remark about our bosom, and use this as leverage for a malicious lawsuit. We must get it firmly in our minds that his remark merely reflects his vulgar and myopic point of view, and has nothing to do with our competence or respectability.

Once we come into the understanding of our own unique and irremovable power, then there is room for compassion. Ladies, do you realize that those same hormonal surges which are responsible for PMS meltd0wns, attacks of blind rage and chronic snarkiness, are experienced by the male of the species, three times a day? One is surprised that the dear fellows get anything accomplished at all. In many ways, men are weaker than we are--less able to express themselves with grace and finesse, less able to envision the collateral consequences of their actions, more a slave to their biological instincts. It is proper to insist that a man shoulder responsibilities which belong to him. But we must be equally willing to assume our own.

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