I am now a card carrying member of the ACLU!
Hello everybody. Remember how last time we were talking about how a woman's sexuality is hers and hers alone, and therefore you can't take it without asking? Well, there's a corollary to this: A woman's sexuality is hers to do with as she pleases. Yes that's right. It's hers, it's not her father's, nor her boyfriend's, nor her husband's, and she can use it however she wishes. If she wants to guard it and use it only with one partner that's her perogative. If she wants to screw everything she can get her hands on, that's also up to her. What a woman decides to do with her sexuality, however she explores it, however she chooses to experience it, does not make her a good or a bad person. She is not virtuous for behaving one way, and sinful for behaving another. Which brings me to the word "slut". We don't use that word in this school. Ever. Not for women, not for men (as I know it is sometimes used as well). If a girl you know is having sex with a lot of different people, that's her choice. If she is having sex with a lot of different people, and you think she's doing it unsafely, well, then I want you to have a talk with her. Otherwise, let her do her thing. Respect her right to make her own decisions about herself. OK, thanks everyone. Tomorrow we'll talk about how to not sexually harrass women.
Note: When I was in 9th or 10th grade, all the girls got pulled aside into a special PE class to teach us about protecting ourselves against sexual assault. We learned tips like, 'check in the back seat of your car before you get in', and, 'if you live alone, just put your first initial and last name in the phonebook'--your generic fear based tactics. At the time, I didn't think anything of it, but as I got older it really started pissing me off that it was the girls who needed a class. It's the guys who are causing the problem, why don't they have to attend a class to teach them not to assault women? The following post is my version of what that class might be like.
OK, gentlemen, settle down. Welcome to How to Not Sexually Abuse Women 101, if you want to graduate, you have to pass this class, so pay attention. It's actually pretty simple.
A woman's sexuality is hers and hers alone. You may not take it without her permission. Ever. You may not have sex with her, you may not take pictures up her skirt with your camera phone, you may not so much as kiss her without her permission. You must not drug her, you must not threaten violence to her. You must ask her. You may seduce her, you may use all your charms and wiles to convince her, but the decision is still hers. Always.
You in the back, yes? What if she's your wife? Still no.
What if you meet her in a bar? Nope, still not.
What if she is dressing in a sexually alluring way, wearing short skirts and low cut tops? What if she is flirting with you? You still must get her permission first. Always.
Here's an analogy for you. You see a woman walking down the street who appears very wealthy: she has a large diamond ring on her finger, and other expensive jewellry, and in fact, her wallet is sticking up out of her purse, and you can see several hundred dollar bills poking out from that. If you take that money from her purse, it is stealing, and you are gonna get busted. Telling the judge that this woman was flaunting her wealth, taunting you with it even, ain't gonna fly. The judge will laugh at you and throw your sorry ass in jail. It's the same with a woman's sexuality. It's hers, and you can't take it, unless she gives it to you.
Here's the good news, guys. Women like sex. Women LOVE sex. It really isn't that difficult to get laid in appropriate ways. We'll talk more about that tomorrow. Thanks, and please read pages 32-36 in your book, the section titled Birth Control is Your Responsibility Too.
Buy band-aids for grown-ups so that the next time you grate a sizeable chunk of the skin of your knuckle into your salad along with the reggiano, you won't have to go to work the next day sporting Spiderman or Scooby Doo on your finger.
Keep in mind that most of the advice that you give the kidlet--"that microplane grater is really sharp," for example--goes for you, too.
It occurred to me that I've left y'all hanging on a couple of events, having written about them in the heat of my emotional reaction to them, but then not letting you know the outcome. To rememdy that situation, I offer the following:
The woman that I work with that had a heart attack has been back at work for a few weeks now, and seems to be doing remarkably well.
My grandmother is also well, though we're still not sure what the long term effects of this latest illness will be.
The cheese festival was so much fun! My neglected inner-foodie was so excited, that I quite literally squealed with delight a couple of times. My food intake for the day consisted of coffee, beer, cheese, wine, cheese, water, goat's milk ice cream, cheese, and we finished the day with more wine. I nabbed some chevre and Viognier for later consumption, and headed for home with a big smile on my face.
I got really into the Bachelor this last cycle (I know, I know, but it sucks you in, one certainly can't be held responsible). As I was watching the last couple of episodes, the ones where he was down to just two women, it became clear to me which one he was going to pick. One of the women, Sarah, was smiley and happy, she had a good life, and seemed to have a good head on her shoulders. She liked the Charlie (the bachelor), but she didn't seem overly worried about the outcome of the show up until the very end. The other finalist, Krissily, was falling all over herself to show how into Charlie she was. As another contestant on the show described it, she worshipped the ground that he walked on. Krissily seemed to have decided relatively early on in the game that Charlie was the man for her, her only chance at true love, her soulmate. Her insecurity and neediness just radiated off the screen.
No way he's gonna pick her, I thought. She's annoying, she's so obviously in need of validation and an escape from her life, she's desperate to have this guy. And then it hit me. My own little reality show epiphany moment--dear lord in heaven, that's how I was with Jerry. That was me: all adoring, needing his attention, hanging on his every word, ready to alter my life in any way just to have him. Ewwwww. Of course he broke up with me. While the ego flattery of this sort of attention is a strong pull for many guys--Charlie did keep choosing Krissily, Jerry did come back a time or two after the initial break up with me-- ultimately that dynamic just ain't gonna work for either party. It quite simply isn't healthy.
In my case, I couldn't offer any sort of true partnership, I was stuck in some sort of fairy tale "rescue me" fantasy that I wasn't even conscious of at the time (and probably would have denied vehemently had anyone pointed this out). I really thought my devotion was simply "true love".
Thank god he dumped me. Thank god I've had the catalyst to do a little (more) work on myself, to get some perspective, to realize that I don't want or need that dynamic in my life. I've always known that there was a a certain amount of my own shit that I'd need to get worked out before I could have the kind of partnership I wanted. I was so smitten with Jerry that I had myself convinced that I'd made it to that point and was realy to move forward. Now I see how far from the truth that was.
I'm grateful to Jerry for a lot. I learned some important things about how to make your way in the world from him. He opened my eyes to the beauty of graffiti, he gave me the camera that I now use to take all the fotos I post here. Never thought I'd be grateful that he broke my heart, but now here I am saying that, too. And it feels damn fine to feel good about all of that. Damn fine.