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Biznull Shiznit

October 27, 2009

I often wish The Media really was a play by Euripides, like my students were always implying in their papers when I was the TA for an introductory mythology course. Magazines and TV shows keep trying to get me to believe that people, especially men, are incapable of platonic friendship with the opposite sex. And I think that’s BS. That’s right: bologna sausage!

First of all: “platonic friendship” doesn’t mean what anyone thinks it means. There was some seriously messed-up stuff going on in classical Greece. Sometimes I wish I could unread Anacreon, but time only goes in the one direction.

Secondly: am I actually supposed to believe that men are, across the board, such immature, gutterminded douchebags that they are constantly sexually fantasizing about every woman they’ve ever seen? Am I expected to accept the totally fucky thesis that a man is incapable of, and uninterested in, getting to know any woman as a human being and appreciating her as such?

Like most women, I’ve spent a lot of time in the company of genuine 100% real-life men from concentrate: professors, coworkers, thesis supervisors, students, etc. And shockingly enough, I’ve found that the vast majority of them are as mature, complicated, trustworthy, and respectful as any of the women I know. The vast majority have never flirted with me in a shameless and pointless way, used me for anything, treated me like an object, ogled me, looked down on me (at least not figuratively; literally it’s more or less inevitable), or otherwise threatened my dignity. I have lots of male friends and this has never felt like any kind of problem or big deal or anomaly to me – or to them either, as far as I can tell. If all of these dudes have been spending the past two or five or ten years secretly fantasizing about giving me a ride to Cock City, I have to give them serious props for being so admirably discreet about it.

(These are some other turns of phrase I considered for the middle portion of that sentence:

  • taking me for a picnic lunch at Penis Lake
  • excavating my amphora
  • filling my tank with Premium Unleaded
  • hosing out my compost bin
  • falling in my well
  • auditing my T4
  • introducing me to ol’ Antigonus Monophthalmus

So you can insert whichever one works for you.) (That’s what she said.)

When people are constantly being fed some notion like You can’t have friends of the opposite sex if you’re in a relationship, they start believing it, and they start acting accordingly. I’ve seen this happen a few times over the years and it is a g.d. effing tragically ridiculous thing to watch. Both partners get all weird and jealous and insecure. Then they start resenting each other’s weird jealous insecurity, and pretty soon they’re both acting like absolute fucktards. And the suddenly ignored single friends don’t know what the hell is going on. No one enjoys being treated like a scheming homewrecker.

Gents and birds are different in some ways. Fair enough. But exaggerating the differences between two groups of people is something that never seems to have positive results. If I were a man, I’d be pretty annoyed that my own culture was representing me to women as some kind of gross priapic caricature. I’d want to make sure everyone in my life knew that wasn’t how I rolled – the same way, as a woman, I refuse to be perceived as any kind of insulting female stereotype. We’ve all met idiots who are just trying to get laid and don’t give a shit who gets hurt or misled in the process, but does anyone over the age of 18 – male or female – respect guys like that or take them seriously? Are drunken first-year frat boys the gold standard of masculinity?

Making boys believe that they can’t be friends with girls is a stupid idea. It makes people act like dinks around each other for no legitimate reason. It gives assclowns an excuse to keep being assclowns and whiny naggy clingers an excuse to keep whining and nagging and clinging. And it keeps a lot of people from noticing the otherwise totally obvious fact that men are no less capable than women of controlling themselves and appreciating friendship.

Friendship kicks ass. Someone with money should host a Friends Without Benefits benefit to benefit the many kickass platonic (in the modern sense) relationships out there. But just not on a Wednesday, because that’s Hump Day.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. cockrocker69 permalink
    October 27, 2009 8:43 pm

    I’ve never heard ‘hosing out my compost bin’ before, but I will damn well make sure everyone I talk to tomorrow does! Umm, maybe I oughtn’t be here? J might get the jealous!

    • Kate permalink*
      October 28, 2009 8:41 pm

      Yeah, she’s always giving me the skunk eye, and she hardly ever knits me anything.

  2. Corby Trouserpress permalink
    November 4, 2009 11:50 am

    You should give out “Thanks for not sexually objectifying me” cards this year. Maybe with a picture of you naked with line through it.

    As for in coitu euphemisms, how about: “giving me a quick squirt of heir gel”

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