VWW- Dating (and why I want more than a dick pic)

 

Date: noun a social appointment or engagement arranged beforehand with another person, especially when a romantic relationship exists or may develop

Dating: verb-A form of romantic courtship typically between two individuals with the aim of assessing the other’s suitability as a partner in an intimate relationship or as a spouse. The result of dating may at any time lead to friendship, any level of intimate relationshipmarriage, or no relation.

The Urban Dictionary has a more realistic definition of the nuances that are modern dating.

 

 

I fucking hate dating. I hated it before there was technology and I hate it even more now. Lets put aside the fact that swipe culture and the anonymity of the internet has created short attention spans and an increased level of shallowness. That rant is for another time. I want more than a cock.

That seems that all a modern man is willing to invest is his cock. Sometimes it is blatant in sending of unsolicited dick picks (Please, just stop!) Or they say they only want casual and that means that you have no value as a person but they don’t want to actually pay for a whore. They will try to avoid dates because your pussy isn’t even worth the cost of a cup of coffee. Instead they offer some version of Netflix and chill. WTF is that? Hell, I’d be happy if a man offered to permit me to see where he lives. Often they only want to come to my place. I guess it’s easier to leave. The old-fashioned ones will lie. They will pretend to be the things you want, will act like they have a genuine interest right up until you sleep with them. Then it’s all “I don’t want commitment” and “I thought we were just having a good time.” Ugh! We were until you decided I had no value and it was OK to treat me like I had no value.

 

What every woman thinks when opening a text and seeing a dick pic

I feel like this is the narrative inside the average mans mind; “What is the minimum effort that I can put forth to get her to fuck me. If I like fucking her what is the minimum effort I can continue to exert to get her to keep fucking me, but only when it’s convenient for me and never for her. Because she isn’t real and doesn’t matter. All that matters is that I get my dick wet and get to live out some of the porn fantasies the internet has shown me.”No one is allowed to have feelings anymore. Emotions might as well be herpes. Actually, I think saying I had herpes would be received better than if I said I enjoyed spending time with a man.

Examples from my recent experience (names changed because I have integrity, not because they deserve it). Carlos has been texting and fucking me since the spring and I just realized that he may not remember my name. Jack is married and claims to be in an open relationship. He only wants sex and only on Tuesdays. So, what do I get out of that? Dennis and I had great conversation and amazing chemistry. But I realized that he never asked me any questions, nor did he compliment me on anything that wasn’t sexual. He wants to fuck me, but I don’t think he likes me or finds me attractive. Then there is the growing trend of men that claim to be “ploy”  and the assholes that think this is licence to act like fuck boys,

Is it too much to ask for a man who knows his masculinity lies in his strength of character and not in his pants?

I want to find someone I have a connection with. I’m not talking marriage. I don’t really have an end game in mind. It would be nice to have some companionship to enhance the physical relationship. Someone who will hold my hand, put their arm around me, and watch a movie to the end before trying to get my clothes off. Really, I am setting the bar pretty low here.

VWW- Compliments

Part of the backlash of the Brock Turner rape case was responses from men declaring they won’t commit rape. Thanks guys, but that is about as useful as me saying I won’t levitate since I had no intentions to do so in the first place. Then there are the blogs and comments about the good men attempting to enlighten the not good men about the realities on everyday sexism. I applaud your efforts, but that is a brick wall you are talking to. Besides, you are going about it all wrong.

One of the commonly used arguments for harassing women is that the perpetrator is only trying to give a woman a compliment. I have seen many content pieces where these good men are stating that they don’t want to compliment anyone anymore because women have so many men approach them and behave rudely. That banner is being taken up by the not good men as a claim of victimization. “Oh, now we can’t even compliment a woman anymore?” Read that with the correct tone of whining, disbelief, and hyperbole. You know the one.

I would like to point out that the issue isn’t that women don’t like getting compliments, but rather how too many people have forgotten what a compliment is. So we are all on the same page, Webster’s definition of the word Compliment is as follows:

  • an expression of esteem, respect, affection, or admiration; especially :  an admiring remark
  • formal and respectful recognition :  honor

Looking at that we can derive that the not good men that catcall and harass women under the guise of compliment have the admiration part down. Usually for a body part that is sexualized. They have seemed to ignore the part about esteem, respect, and honor. If you wouldn’t walk into a family gathering and tell grandma she has “a nice ass, no wonder grandpa wanted to tap that shit. But bitch, you should smile more,” then you probably don’t want to say that to a stranger. Note the part of the definition that states a compliment is formal and respectful. It’s important.

Want to know how to give a good complement? Watch how women compliment each other. Example:

Hey, that is a great top. I just love the color.

Oh, thank you. It’s new.

It’s very flattering. And it looks really comfortable.

Yes, it is. The material isn’t clingy at all.

Well, it looks great!

Thank you.

Have a nice day

You do the same.

Take a moment to compare that to the following:

Hi baby, how you doing today?

I’m fine

You need to smile more honey, you look so much nicer when you smile.

Silence

Don’t you want to give me a smile?

Silence and looking away

Bitch, don’t let it go to your head. You’re not that hot. You should be grateful I gave you a compliment.

Can we see the difference here? OK, I know you are thinking that is fairly extreme. You would be incorrect, but let’s examine the two scenarios.

The first one focused on an object, the wearer’s top. There was an expression that identified an admiration for it and why, the color. It was met favorably so then the conversation continued to point out other positive attributes of the item. Notice they were still talking about the top. The top looked flattering, not that it flattered any specific part of the wearer’s anatomy. Then the compliment was stated again and they wished each other well and went about their individual business.

Notice that there was no implied quid pro quo in that dialog. It was positive comment given with the intent of making the other party feel nice. The giver got nothing in return. It was polite, respectful, and there were no strings attached.

Now the second example started off with diminutive pet names that should only be used by people who have a certain level of familiarity. Right off the bat that will put someone on the defensive. Then there was a command issues. You need to smile more. This was then met with refusal to acknowledge. The command was then changed to a pleading request and a second rejection. This was then met with hostility. The entire exchange was a type of gas lighting designed to get something for the person giving the compliment as opposed to showing respect or admiration for the person receiving the compliment.

Still confused? OK, there are many subtle clues you can look for to see if your compliment is being well received or crossing over into harassment territory. Did the person answer you with a pleasant and friendly tone? If so then you can proceed. If not, perhaps your opening should be more general and to the point. For example, I like your sunglasses. Are they not responding and/or looking away? Do they have a strange expression on their face? Are they turning their body away from you or trying to create space? Are their eyes moving quickly around the room as if they are attempting to determine the fastest exit plan? Answering No to all of these means you are doing it correctly. Answering yes means you fucked up.

And should you respond with venom when you have crossed over into the creepy guy zone? No. You should acknowledge that you have made them uncomfortable. An example “Oh, I didn’t mean to offend you, my apologies.” That’s it. That’s the end. Don’t try to justify or clarify. You’re sorry and you will now demonstrate that respect by silently moving on with your life and no longer bothering the other person.

 

 

Critical Thinking- You Are Doing it Wrong

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What we are deficient in his critical thinking skills. There’s a lot of talk on the Internet and all these blogs about privilege.  White privilege, male privilege, white male privilege, female privilege, CIS privilege, ad nauseam.  Perhaps it is a larger issue that affects our society. Maybe it’s some sort of cultural inherent behavior that were taught from birth. Personally I think it’s a failing of our schools and the curriculum

No one in this country is taught how to think critically. Logic is something they cover briefly in a math course, usually in high school. I’ve sat in boardrooms with CEOs and VP’s that are not capable of finding a root cause to an issue. Highly experienced professionals that can’t tell the difference between an opinion and a fact.

Example:  There was a minor fender bender involving two forklifts. Both drivers were following company policy, drug tested, and came up clean. So now everybody meets around the boardroom and tries to discuss what happened, what went wrong, and how do we fix it.  I was informed that the root cause was carelessness on the part of the driver. No one could illustrate how they came to that conclusion or find any supporting documentation. They thought about it and they put themselves in the drivers position and they came up with they just weren’t paying attention

No one went out to the site of the incident, no one took pictures, no one looked at the dock area. They just stated their belief firmly and emphatically. Because surely, if they stated their opinion enough times with enough emphasis it would become a fact and everybody would just accept it because of their position of authority.

Enter me: Demanding to have documentation and photographs evidence. You can all imagine how well this was received! Heaven forbid I say “perhaps there was an obstacle that prevented them from seeing the other driver, let’s go look.” I was told we couldn’t because it was a few days ago and now the dock looks different and here I go again with my logic saying let’s look at the cameras from the date of the accident. It took a good 20 minutes to convince people that we should look at the film footage and actually view the incident as it was occurring. Turns out there was a large pallet in an intersection and it was blocking the view of both employees.

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Sounds like we found the root cause. Okay, now we have to come up with some sort of corrective action. That one was easy, we will just move the pallet. Great! Now what are we going to do about a preventative action to make sure that it doesn’t happen again? Apparently, insisting that we don’t overload the dock is pure blasphemy. It seems the only acceptable solution is that everybody be more careful when the dock is overloaded and their view is of obscured. I pointed out the deviation in investigating our incident or record keeping would not be an acceptable solution to a government agency. That was met with a whole bunch of eye rolling and sighing. And remember, I’m dealing with VP’s and CEOs who are rolling their eyes and sighing at me. And let’s not even discuss the one manager who was outright hostile to my suggestion that they might need to make some changes in their operating procedures to ensure the safety of their employees.

So back to my original point. This is what’s wrong with people in our country and our culture. No critical thinking skills. We have a population of “educated adults” who can’t think logically. Grown people who cannot tell the difference between their opinion and a fact. Experienced professionals who think that just because they don’t agree with the law or regulation that’s enough to ignore it.  Some days I feel like my entire professional life has been spent trying to convince upper management that it would be much easier, faster, and efficient to just comply with the regulation then it would be to find ways to get around it. And all of this because I’m dealing with people who can’t draw a straight line from A to B to C. Large groups of people who cannot seem to make the connection between cause and effect

We can make the argument that this is a cultural phenomenon due to privilege. Of course that may be true and in some cases it probably is. The solution to this is to introduce critical thinking and logic into our school system. It’s really hard to justify putting down one group of people to raise up another when you’re using logic. Once you understand the difference between your opinion and the actual data presented to then you, you’re able to make much more concise choices. My mantra at work for the past 15 years has been this ” It is not my opinion, this is a regulation. You don’t know what my opinion is because it’s a relevant.” I just can’t understand why when something is a government regulation and I show them where it is written that they then go “Well, do we really have to do that?” Yes, yes you really have to do that and you have to do it right and you have to do it consistently and you have to train everybody to do it. Yes, you do even you even though you are a VP, even though you’re a CEO, and even though you’re a white male. Nobody cares,you still have to do the right thing. You still have to follow the law.

Indoctrinations

I have never been a fan of romance novels. It always seemed like granny porn, something older women read to fantasize. At one time I would buy used romances based on the absurdity of the cover at a thrift store, read them with a group of my friends, and make fun of the passages. Nothing like hot, moist, loins ignited with the flames of desire to get us all into a good belly laugh. If we ventured beyond that we would poke fun at the horribly simplistic depictions of interactions between the genders. The men were always in a position of power, often some sort of misunderstood outlaw or unjustly vilified criminal and the women were always some sort of victim, either a hostage or a forced marriage or some sort of dilemma that implies subservience. At some point the female protagonist always attempts some show of defiance or independence in an attempt to remove herself from the situation at hand only to find that she is really in love with the man and thus succumbs to her fate proving that love makes everything better. Apparently, even Stockholm Syndrome.

Tell me this doesn't send a message!

Tell me this doesn’t send a message!

So why do so many women read these things? I think the bodice ripping romance has become the modern parable in that it reinforces for women the lessons we are taught as small girls about accepting rape culture. That’s a bold statement, I know, but hear me out. Remember being very young on a playground and a boy teases you, pulls your hair, pinches or hits you? Remember crying because either your feelings or actual body were hurt? Remember being told by an adult that the boy did that because he liked you? Remember thinking that made no sense at all? I’m pretty sure we all remember that.

This is probably our first indoctrination into rape culture. Being told to accept physical and emotional abuse from a peer as a sign of affection is ludicrous. If an adult woman said a man was hitting and belittling her we wouldn’t say it was because he loved her. We would tell her she deserves better and to get away from him. But little girls are taught to accept that kind of behavior and encouraged to do so with as little objection as possible. Not only does this encourage girls to internalize that boys will cause them pain if they are admired, but also that boys are not capable of processing emotions. Has anyone ever stepped back and thought about how insane this is?

This is just one big self-fulfilling prophecy. Boys will be boys is a permissive encouragement to young boys to continue to be more physical and less verbal in their expression. Not only does it give boys license to be more physical it also discourages them from verbal expression. Additionally, it enforces a sense of male privilege in allowing boys to solve their problems by corporeal means. Girls are taught to accept this as not only a matter of course, but a compliment. They shouldn’t cry or make a fuss when they are hurt or bullied by boys. That’s just what boys do. It’s how boys express themselves. Girls need to learn how to change their instinct to protect themselves from assault, be it verbal or physical, because the nature of boys can’t be overcome. And that’s just the way it is.

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This belief is so pervasive in our culture that it is perpetuated without thought. Sure, we say things like “Use your words” and “Don’t hit girls” but we don’t really back that up. “Use your words” is for situations when being combative is frowned upon. Like the classroom or the grocery store, places even children know they have to fall in line. But once they are let loose on a playground, the natural habitat if you will, those rules no longer apply. “Don’t hit girls” is generally given to mean don’t hit them in anger. You can indeed use physical force to express your superiority, because boys will be boys after all. And children understand this, even if they can’t articulate it. They see hear what we say and see what we do. They learn the lesson by witnessing who gets rewarded for what specific behavior regardless of what the rules are explained to be. They learn very early that the game is rigged.

Sooner or later people become more self-aware and gain critical thinking skills and the ability to question. Here is where the romance novel comes into play. It’s not alone and I don’t mean to get down on a single genre of writing. There are several cousins that assist romances in reinforcing the cultural code of male privilege and rape culture. Romantic comedies, fashion magazines, television, music, and on and on. There is always a subset that works towards sustaining the status quo. But the general form of the romance novel as stated earlier is simply that men are in positions of power, they take what they want, women will grow to like it, and it’s sold to us wrapped up as a love story. So how is that different from telling a five-year old he punched your arm and ripped the head off your doll because he likes you?

VWW-Cavil

Cavil

to raise trivial or frivolous objections

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Hmm…kind of like the apoplectic rage over not specifying which particular holiday I hope you enjoy this season. As if I am supposed to just know what holidays you celebrate just by looking at you. I mean, if Trump has his way we will all be wearing identifying symbols. Hell, I wouldn’t put it past him to brand people. But I digress.

Point is, I don’t know your faith of choice or if you have chosen not to have one.  Personally, I don’t want to just assume that Christian is the default setting for humanity. And I don’t understand why wishing someone a joyful holy day of a different faith is so horrific. I mean, I don’t celebrate Kwanza. I don’t even have a firm understanding of what Kwanza is (something about a harvest, but before climate change what were they harvesting in the snow?) However, if someone wishes me a Happy Kwanza I say “Thanks, you too!” Because it will be Kwanza whether I celebrate or not and I would rather be happy than not.

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So in order to be inclusive (what would Jesus say!!!) we have Happy Holidays. It pretty much covers everything that happens from late October to early January. Sounds better than have a happy whatever… But that isn’t good enough for some special snowflakes. Nope, they want me to be able to derive from- what?- that they are a member a of a certain religion, have knowledge of that religion’s holidays, and make the appropriate statement of well wishes.  And they say the millennials are entitled!

Listen, ain’t nobody got time for your shit! Get a grip, tuck away your privilege, and accept the well wishes in the spirit they were given. And Happy Holidays!

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Expiration Date Approaching!

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I feel like I am approaching my expiration date as a woman. Sure, we tell each other woman are attractive at all ages, but who are we kidding? In this declining civilization with its emphasis on the perfunctory aesthetic the desire for superficial expressions of worth have gained significance in the social strata. Whether the fault of changing values, the sound bites media sensationalize, or the internet and social media removing our human interaction the result remains that there is an increasing amount of value placed upon outward appearance. This is true for both men and women. Though, as usual, women bear the heavier burden as historically they were nothing more than property and an extension of a man’s wealth and status. To have an attractive spouse and /or daughters was a symbol of prosperity. Much the way we view cars today. Think that has changed? Just look at fashion or gossip magazines. It’s still all about the outer package. We may propound ourselves to be more enlightened about such things but the truth is we still judge women more harshly than men in regards to physical attractiveness. Agree or disagree, my point is that I am approaching my expiration date. How do I know this? The amount of young men who approach me for the Cougar Experience.

Young men, vital and alive, exploding with the promise of the unknown future. These men approach me with all the bravado and pomposity that their egos and some alcohol can produce. They come up to my table, they interrupt my conversation, and they think that I will be impressed by their rudeness. They know that I am older than the girls they normally approach. I am some mythic beast, a gauntlet thrown down before them, K2 that needs to be conquered. I am an “older woman.” I’m not sure what bawdy stories get passed around among the post college young adult males about the sexual prowess of older woman but I can gather from their demeanor the tales have grown to epic proportions. This is not an attraction borne out of biochemistry and pheromones. It’s not a vestigial evolutionary instinct. No, this is an entirely socially constructed bucket list challenge and I am their target. They are going to bed this cougar and live to tell the tale complete with embellishments and photographic evidence of flesh wounds endured at her hands.

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It makes no difference to these young men that I have no interest in their quest. I just want to enjoy my meal, my show, the book, my coffee. But alas, I am confronted with a fine specimen of masculinity at the height of its potential, complete with the confidence that only comes with either youth or the privilege of white male mediocrity. I am inundated with flattery and blatant lies, they pretend to fall at my feet and adore me with false worship thinking, incorrectly, that is what I want. They know my youth is fading, to their eyes it is already gone, they believe the honeyed words with make me delusional enough to believe that they have an actual interest in me. They cannot comprehend why someone teetering on the edge of obscurity and staring into the abyss of middle age and looking down the barrel of the loaded gun that is menopause would deny myself a night of adventure with an exuberant creature such as themselves.

But they know little of women. They are cavorting with what are still girls. Young women who are still playing games, who have time on their side, who haven’t yet settled into their own skin. These girls have not blossomed into women. They have they physical presence of a woman, but not the internal fortitude. The cougar hunter hasn’t developed they skills of honesty and vulnerability, they can’t balance guarding themselves with being genuine. They can only replay the schema that has generated results for them in the past. They know not what a woman wants from a man. And not a man of media construct, but a man who can vanquish his own demons as well as the demons hiding under the toddlers bed at 3 am. A man who knows how precious time is and that to waste a moment of someone’s time is a crime too heinous to consider. A man who understands that being inebriated is not having fun, who understands that enthusiasm is the best gauge of consent, who respects the space and decisions of another person. A man who is discreet.

No, the cougar hunter will get nowhere with me. The posturing, the genuflecting, the capitulation to prescribed gender norms is usually diverting. But not enough to waste an evening. Not enough to try to get them to leave, because the youth never understand when they have overstayed their invitation. Not enough to revisit the unskilled encounter that all women remember too well from their own youth. Nor do they understand how unflattering it is to be singled out as approaching antiquity from the perspective of the youth obsessed culture. I enjoy watching them try though.

Perceptions and Patronizing Assholes

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I find myself stuck in the middle of the age divide. And believe me, it is a divide between “young” and “mature”. There seems to be no middle ground. Professionally I find that men, though occasionally a woman or two, which are older than I am are shocked to find out my age. The response is always “I thought you were much younger.” Why? Because I am immature? No, I highly doubt that with my attitude. It’s easier for them to dismiss my ideas and authority if they believe their perception of me as young. If I am young I can be inexperienced. If I am inexperienced I can be challenged, dismissed even, as not understanding the nuances and inner workings of any given topic. If I’m older and therefor wiser I have the experience, the log time if you will, to justify my position not only in the company but at the table. If my age is known and therefore my experience I can’t be written off as a “girl,” just some kid that is full of idealistic philosophies with her head in the clouds dreaming of boys and puppies and unicorns. If they see me as a peer they have to regard me as an equal with my feet grounded and heels dug in ready to work. It creates cognitive dissidence and they hate me for it. So the only thing left is to go after my appearance. That I’m not pretty.

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I’ve never been pretty. Not in the mass media, magazine photo shop, female sexuality as commerce sense that has been shoved down our throats as a minimal standard of female worth. I have zero fashion sense, I can’t and won’t wear heels, I hate make up jewelry and nail polish. My hair is brushed but rarely styled. Though I can totally rock a bun! I know the image that conjures is a frizzy haired hag in mismatch, ill-fitting stained clothes clomping through the halls but the reality is that I am presentable. Clothes are clean, pressed, and of neutral color and pattern that they all work together. Shoes are simple, comfortable, and practical. Skin is clear and clean, hair is clean and brushed. Generally this is the same criteria applied to the men. Do I look like I put effort into it? Nope. But I do look acceptable.

Back to pretty, I’ve never participated in the soul sucking, self-depreciating, time killing mania that is pretty. Not to say that the individuals that participate are in some way inferior. I mean, if you find some intrinsic joy in curling your eyelashes and waiting for paint to dry on your fingertips who the hell am I to criticize? But I’ve never been interested. I’ve got shit to do. Things to learn, books to read, fun to have. I can’t worry about my hair or if I am carrying last year’s handbag. The distance between pretty and me has always been a gaping chasm I never bothered to try to cross. As I approach my best by date it gets farther and farther away. Currently it’s just a dot on the horizon, so far away that I often look at it and wonder if it’s really there. I’m confident in who I am and what I do, the contribution I make and I shrug and move on. Pretty doesn’t concern me, pretty is irrelevant.

 

The Baron Sends a Minion…

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Too often is this in my head!

I recently encountered one of Baron Von Fruitroosters minions. Oh, he seemed normal enough but that was only a facade meant to draw me in.

The dialog was polite and slightly witty. He explained that he was new in the area due to business and was looking for suggestions for food, etc. That quickly devolved into him expressing his desire to attend a swinger club and demanding requests for my sexual preferences.

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Starts off well, then this happens

This loser got a strong dose of the radioactive nipples! Of course I had to monologue first.

Really asshole? You are a 55 year old man, not some college kid. Show some class! In what universe is a grown woman going to listen to your slobbering, mouth breathing demands for sex and just rip her clothes of and give it to you? Why do you think that your existence and the fact that you paid me attention should equate utter gratitude and acquiesce from me? I’m a person, not some convenient hole that exists for you to get your dick wet. Manners!!

He then became indignant. As if he was owed something for the initial two minute conversation that wasn’t offensive. Clue-by-four asshat, you are not owed pretty, or my time, or access to my body. You are owed nothing but the common courtesy you have failed to show me.

I’m busy. I don’t have the time or the patience to deal with your inability to interact properly with other adults. Hitting him with the nipple lasers was a public service, really. He has been shrunk down to binary code and captured on an app on my phone. I still haven’t figured out what to do with these bottom feeders once they are in the phone. Suggestions are welcome!

Indoctrination

I have never been a fan of romance novels. It always seemed like granny porn, something older women read to fantasize. At one time I would buy used romances based on the absurdity of the cover at a thrift store, read them with a group of my friends, and make fun of the passages. Nothing like hot, moist, loins ignited with the flames of desire to get us all into a good belly laugh. If we ventured beyond that we would poke fun at the horribly simplistic depictions of interactions between the genders. The men were always in a position of power, often some sort of misunderstood outlaw or unjustly vilified criminal and the women were always some sort of victim, either a hostage or a forced marriage or some sort of dilemma that implies subservience. At some point the female protagonist always attempts some show of defiance or independence in an attempt to remove herself from the situation at hand only to find that she is really in love with the man and thus succumbs to her fate proving that love makes everything better. Apparently, even Stockholm Syndrome.

Tell me this doesn't send a message!

Tell me this doesn’t send a message!

So why do so many women read these things? I think the bodice ripping romance has become the modern parable in that it reinforces for women the lessons we are taught as small girls about accepting rape culture. That’s a bold statement, I know, but hear me out. Remember being very young on a playground and a boy teases you, pulls your hair, pinches or hits you? Remember crying because either your feelings or actual body were hurt? Remember being told by an adult that the boy did that because he liked you? Remember thinking that made no sense at all? I’m pretty sure we all remember that.

This is probably our first indoctrination into rape culture. Being told to accept physical and emotional abuse from a peer as a sign of affection is ludicrous. If an adult woman said a man was hitting and belittling her we wouldn’t say it was because he loved her. We would tell her she deserves better and to get away from him. But little girls are taught to accept that kind of behavior and encouraged to do so with as little objection as possible. Not only does this encourage girls to internalize that boys will cause them pain if they are admired, but also that boys are not capable of processing emotions. Has anyone ever stepped back and thought about how insane this is?

This is just one big self-fulfilling prophecy. Boys will be boys is a permissive encouragement to young boys to continue to be more physical and less verbal in their expression. Not only does it give boys license to be more physical, it also discourages them from verbal expression. Additionally, it enforces a sense of male privilege in allowing boys to solve their problems by corporeal means. Girls are taught to accept this as not only a matter of course, but a compliment. They shouldn’t cry or make a fuss when they are hurt or bullied by boys. That’s just what boys do. It’s how boys express themselves. Girls need to learn how to change their instinct to protect themselves from assault, be it verbal or physical, because the nature of boys can’t be overcome. And that’s just the way it is.

imagesBDPB06FK

This belief is so pervasive in our culture that it is perpetuated without thought. Sure, we say things like “Use your words” and “Don’t hit girls” but we don’t really back that up. “Use your words” is for situations when being combative is frowned upon. Like the classroom or the grocery store, places even children know they have to fall in line. But once they are let loose on a playground, the natural habitat if you will, those rules no longer apply. “Don’t hit girls” is generally given to mean don’t hit them in anger. You can indeed use physical force to express your superiority, because boys will be boys after all. And children understand this, even if they can’t articulate it. They hear what we say and see what we do. They learn the lesson by witnessing who gets rewarded for what specific behavior regardless of what the rules are explained to be. They learn very early that the game is rigged.

Sooner or later people become more self-aware and gain critical thinking skills and the ability to question. Here is where the romance novel comes into play. It’s not alone and I don’t mean to get down on a single genre of writing. There are several cousins that assist romances in reinforcing the cultural code of male privilege and rape culture. Romantic comedies, fashion magazines, television, music, and on and on. There is always a subset that works towards sustaining the status quo. But the general form of the romance novel as stated earlier is simply that men are in positions of power, they take what they want, women will grow to like it, and it’s sold to us wrapped up as a love story. So how is that different from telling a five-year old he punched your arm and ripped the head off your doll because he likes you?