Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I'm In Ur Feminism Settin' Straw Men on Fire

By popular request (if we are defining Jason as popular, and why not?) I am snarking on . . . ha! A writer for Mad Men. We're taking on the big dogs today in hell, yes we are.

You want to get married. It's taken a while to admit it. Saying it out loud -- even in your mind -- feels kind of desperate, kind of unfeminist, kind of definitely not you, or at least not any you that you recognize. Because you're hardly like those girls on TLC saying yes to the dress and you would never compete for a man like those poor actress-wannabes on The Bachelor.

Kind of unfeminist? I'm beginning to understand why I despise Mad Men, though I do love the costuming. Look, feminists get married all the time. In fact, most people get married. It's what we do here in America. Some of us like it so much, we do it more than once. I was unaware the "girls" say yes to dresses, in that girls are not allowed to marry in the US.

Words: they have meanings. Learn them.

You've never dreamt of an aqua-blue ring box.

Who dreams of an aqua-blue ring box? That's a fetish I've never heard of, and I worked at a porn site for a year.

Then, something happened. Another birthday, maybe. A breakup. Your brother's wedding. His wife-elect asked you to be a bridesmaid, and suddenly there you were, wondering how in hell you came to be 36-years-old, walking down the aisle wearing something halfway decent from J. Crew that you could totally repurpose with a cute pair of boots and a jean jacket. You started to hate the bride -- she was so effing happy -- and for the first time ever you began to have feelings about the fact that you're not married. You never really cared that much before. But suddenly (it was so sudden) you found yourself wondering... Deep, deep breath... Why you're not married.

Well, I know why.

Projection, you have a call on line 1. Projection, line 1.

How? It basically comes down to this: I've been married three times. Yes, three. To a very nice MBA at 19; a very nice minister's son at 32 (and pregnant); and at 40, to a very nice liar and cheater who was just like my dad, if my dad had gone to Harvard instead of doing multiple stints in federal prison.

Issues: Tracy McMillan has them. Alternatively, you're not married because Tracy married all the men.

I was, for some reason, born knowing how to get married. Growing up in foster care is a big part of it. The need for security made me look for very specific traits in the men I dated -- traits it turns out lead to marriage a surprisingly high percentage of the time. Without really trying to, I've become a sort of jailhouse lawyer of relationships -- someone who's had to do so much work on her own case that I can now help you with yours.

Okay, I do understand that people get very caught up in the dress and the ceremony and the fab party afterwards, but most people don't just want to get married, they want to stay married. While Tracy can surely tell us how to get married, she clearly has no idea how to stay that way.

But I won't lie. The problem is not men, it's you. Sure, there are lame men out there, but they're not really standing in your way. Because the fact is -- if whatever you're doing right now was going to get you married, you'd already have a ring on it. So without further ado, let's look at the top six reasons why you're not married.

It's never the men! Men are perfect darlings just looking to slip a ring on anyone's finger. If you're not married, it's not because you don't want to be, or haven't found the person you want to wake up to when you're 90, it's because you have problems. Problems that Tracy can solve- three times!

1. You're a Bitch.
Here's what I mean by bitch. I mean you're angry. You probably don't think you're angry. You think you're super smart, or if you've been to a lot of therapy, that you're setting boundaries. But the truth is you're pissed. At your mom. At the military-industrial complex. At Sarah Palin. And it's scaring men off.

The deal is: most men just want to marry someone who is nice to them. I am the mother of a 13-year-old boy, which is like living with the single-cell protozoa version of a husband. Here's what my son wants out of life: macaroni and cheese, a video game, and Kim Kardashian. Have you ever seen Kim Kardashian angry? I didn't think so. You've seen Kim Kardashian smile, wiggle, and make a sex tape. Female anger terrifies men. I know it seems unfair that you have to work around a man's fear and insecurity in order to get married -- but actually, it's perfect, since working around a man's fear and insecurity is big part of what you'll be doing as a wife.

Pretend to be someone you're not- every day for the next 50 fucking years. Smile, wiggle and sex it up, and never, ever, ever admit that rape culture and patriarchy make you the slightest bit testy. Because the menz, they are askurred!

2. You're Shallow.
When it comes to choosing a husband, only one thing really, truly matters: character. So it stands to reason that a man's character should be at the top of the list of things you are looking for, right? But if you're not married, I already know it isn't. Because if you were looking for a man of character,you would have found one by now. Men of character are, by definition, willing to commit.

Instead, you are looking for someone tall. Or rich. Or someone who knows what an Eames chair is. Unfortunately, this is not the thinking of a wife. This is the thinking of a teenaged girl. And men of character do not want to marry teenaged girls. Because teenage girls are never happy. And they never feel like cooking, either.

Character is what's important in men, but women should smile, wiggle and sex it up. Mmm-hmmm.

3. You're a Slut.
Hooking up with some guy in a hot tub on a rooftop is fine for the ladies of Jersey Shore -- but they're not trying to get married. You are. Which means, unfortunately, that if you're having sex outside committed relationships, you will have to stop. Why? Because past a certain age, casual sex is like recreational heroin -- it doesn't stay recreational for long.

That's due in part to this thing called oxytocin -- a bonding hormone that is released when a woman a) nurses her baby and b) has an orgasm -- that will totally mess up your casual-sex game. It's why you can be f**k-buddying with some dude who isn't even all that great and the next thing you know, you're totally strung out on him. And you have no idea how it happened. Oxytocin, that's how it happened. And since nature can't discriminate between marriage material and Charlie Sheen, you're going to have to start being way more selective than you are right now.

Women are sluts and men are studs. And made of character. And you need to smile and wiggle and sex it up- but not too much or the science will come and get you.

4. You're a Liar.

I don't need to copy anything but the heading here. I'm supposed to smile, wiggle, sex it up, but not too much, and pretend that I totally don't care what he looks like- and never, ever lie. Yeah, patriarchy is totally fun. Don't get angry, bitch.

5. You're Selfish.
If you're not married, chances are you think a lot about you. You think about your thighs, your outfits, your naso-labial folds. You think about your career, or if you don't have one, you think about doing yoga teacher training. Sometimes you think about how marrying a wealthy guy -- or at least a guy with a really, really good job -- would solve all your problems.

Howevs, a good wife, even a halfway decent one, does not spend most of her day thinking about herself. She has too much s**t to do, especially after having kids. This is why you see a lot of celebrity women getting husbands after they adopt. The kids put the woman on notice: Bitch, hello! It's not all about you anymore! After a year or two of thinking about someone other than herself, suddenly, Brad Pitt or Harrison Ford comes along and decides to significantly other her. Which is also to say -- if what you really want is a baby, go get you one. Your husband will be along shortly. Motherhood has a way of weeding out the lotharios.

My thighs obsess me! Because I am girl, but once I have a baybeez, I will learn to be a better human being- but don't forget to smile, wiggle and sex it up, but not too much. And don't lie!

6. You're Not Good Enough.
Oh, I don't think that. You do. I can tell because you're not looking for a partner who is your equal. No, you want someone better than you are: better looking, better family, better job.

Here is what you need to know: You are enough right this minute. Period. Not understanding this is a major obstacle to getting married, since women who don't know their own worth make terrible wives. Why? You can fake it for a while, but ultimately you won't love your spouse any better than you love yourself. Smart men know this.

Fuck you, Tracy! Which is it? Am I supposed to fake being happy, wiggle and smile, sex it up, but not too much, or am I supposed to be myself? FUCKING PICK ONE! I HATE YOU WITH THE FIERY PASSION OF A THOUSAND SUNS!

Ouch. My chest hurts after that one. I should get hazard pay for that kind of shit.


  1. wow sorry, I didn't mean to inflict pain.

    By the way, I am working on doing a page by page takedown of Michael Savage's "The Savage Nation" on my blog, if you're interested and don't mind the shameless self promotion.


  2. Weird. I'm thinking about doing a post that's a response to a response that was written at Feministe about one of those "Where Have All the Good Men Gone?" articles. I believe the answer in the original article was, "They went away because of you uppity bitches who want jorbs and stuff!"

    I might have to steal that bit about how feminists like getting married. Just sayin'...

    Anyway, that plus this has me thinking about that grand old Local H song, "Lovey Dovey:"

    Don't you hate it
    When people are in love
    They're so
    They're so happy
    So fucking happy

  3. Also, I apparently missed this:

    Because if you were looking for a man of character,you would have found one by now. Men of character are, by definition, willing to commit.

    Fuck you, Tracy McMillan. Fuck you and your name that you've apparently stolen from a Douglas Adams novel that's way better than the bullshit you're spouting right here. Fuck you and your ignorant tautology. Fuck you and your belief that someone who has been married three fucking times has something valid to say about having a good marriage.

    I am nearly 29 years old. I am exactly the sort of person who would be called a "man of character" by pretty much everyone he knows." I am also not married and extremely hesitant to commit. It took me over a month to decide on a car when I wanted a new one. It took me nearly a year to decide, "Yes, I will get a dog." Why? Because there are some things you just don't fucking jump in to because they fucking change your life and sometimes that's a bad idea.

    But, hey, what the fuck would someone who apparently gets married to any old jackass who wants to "put a ring on it" know about character? And what the fuck would a thrice married idiot know about commitment.

    Gah. Now I'm pissed. Thanks, Jason.

  4. Geds - THANK YOU. i am not alone - and this woman? is NO Trillian.
    at ALL.

    and... just - jebus, WTF is WRONG with her? she really can't make up her mind.

    and i'm SICK of the "oxytocin" thing. it DOESN'T WORK THAT WAY!!!!!!!!!!!!! FFS, people, LEARN the science before you use it!
    and calling me a "slut"? and all of this shit. is just shit.

    i'm *SO* very glad you are here to do this FOR us, PF. [and can we consider technophobic apoclypse survivors trying to shape the future of "cavemen" as payment? hee!]

  5. So I got out of the boat in search of rotten mangoes because Deird over at Slacktivist convinced me there was some weirdness under number four that you weren't covering. Apparently, "I'm not ready for a relationship," when said by a guy is cover for, "Sure, I'll be your fuck buddy." And the lying bit has something to do with lying to him about how you're totally okay with that and just don't want commitment.

    There are no words to describe how stupid that whole thing is. Seriously. If someone tells you, "You know, I'm not ready for a relationship," the proper response is, "Well, if we cross paths at a better time in the future, huzzah!"

    Also, this entire thing is written from the perspective that guys aren't responsible for their decisions. If they're not picking you it's because you've done something wrong. If they're not committing it's because you're not picking the right guys. It can't possibly be because there are valid reasons to not commit. It can't possibly be because there is a guy who is the right one, but he's not committing to you because you're a freak who raises red flags with every other sentence. Like, say, "I've been married three times and now I'm looking for number four."

    Fuck no, I ain't committing to you.

  6. What Geds/Denelian said: Trillian a) single-handedly defeated the [spoiler censored] that had turned the people of Kricket against the universe, b) went out with the president of the universe, before dumping him because he was a jerk, and c) ultimately didn't bother hooking up with any of the male characters in the story. She's practically the antithesis of this author.

    "I know it seems unfair that you have to work around a man's fear and insecurity in order to get married -- but actually, it's perfect, since working around a man's fear and insecurity is big part of what you'll be doing as a wife."

    Let me just put out there that if I was scared and insecure, and my significant other was "working around" those aspects of my personality as opposed to helping me overcome them, I'd be concerned they didn't care about me. Which would make me more insecure, which in turn would make me more fearful.

    "Men of character are, by definition, willing to commit."

    Nothing I can say Ged's didn't beat me to. "Men of character" apparently equals "impulse buyer".

    "You think about your career, or if you don't have one, you think about doing yoga teacher training. ... Howevs, a good wife, even a halfway decent one, does not spend most of her day thinking about herself. She has too much s**t to do, especially after having kids."

    That's right: having a career or being an entrepreneur is selfish when women do it, when everybody knows they should be marrying some guy and being a housewife and having twenty hundred billion quadrillion kids. Of course, it's to be lauded if men do it. Because they're MEN!

    "You can fake it for a while, but ultimately you won't love your spouse any better than you love yourself. Smart men know this."


  7. Wow. I just can't leave this one alone...

    Sometimes, "I'm not in a place to be in a relationship right now," actually means, "I don't want to be in a relationship WITH YOU right now." Shit happens. The dude saying it to (the editorial) you has probably had it said to him in the past. That doesn't necessarily mean there's anything wrong with him or (the still editorial) you. It could mean that you're not his type or he didn't feel any sparks or some other such randomness that just happens.

    Hell, I pull that one out of the bag when I first meet people. I'm terrible at rejecting people, since I've spent so much of my life feeling rejected and the idea of doing it to someone else still kinda makes me feel bad. And, really, whenever some random member of the female gender throws herself at me I'm surprised since I never expected to be the sort of guy who would get a second look from much of anyone.

    Since I don't actually date much, as I hate it as an activity, I don't have that much practice rejecting people. Since I don't actually date much, as I hate it as an activity, I really don't have a good set of consistent filters in place to say, "This is a good idea/This is a terrible idea," right off the bat. So, basically, I end being that guy who says lame-ass shit that women then try to turn in to reasons that I really want to see them again, but I'm not letting it happen because blahbitty blah blah.

    Seriously. The last official date I went on was, like, back in October. The whole thing was just one giant red flag, she was super annoying, and the most interesting thing that happened was we ended up hanging out at a gay bar where I had a fascinating conversation about getting over exes with her (male) gay best friend.

    She then proceeded to beg me for a second date. I thought I talked her out of it. Then a month later she stalked me down on Facebook and tried to beg me to, like, let her be my friend. Having done that shit before but from the side she wanted to take I suggested (because I'm too fucking dumb to just hit delete and move on) that it would not end well because, hey, I been there. She then proceeded to lecture me about not allowing my past relationships to get in the way of my future potential happiness.

    At that point I realized she was listening to what she wanted me to say, so I just hit delete and added that to my file of crazy dating stories.

    Later on I tried to tell that in the presence of some people I knew and someone I'd just met for the first time. She decided to grill me on it. That annoyed the hell out of me.

  8. Are you sure this article isn't satire. Because if it was it would make perfect sense and if it wasn't I would cry.

  9. I was going to comment, until I couldn't read more than about a third of the way down. I had to start skimming from there. It's just too much CRAY-ZAY. You guys, I am not a psychoanalyst, lemme at her. Good GRIEF.

    Also, to satisfy your curiosity: aqua-blue ring box = Tiffany blue ring box.

  10. Oh my word, how I hope The Cynic Sage is right...

  11. Poe?
    Please, please poe?

    Also, I second the THOUSAND SUNS. I doubt mine have quite the incandescent force of yours, though. Can I go with red stars?

  12. CNymph;

    um... Does Tiffany have more than one color? [since you specify it's a "Tiffany blue ring box"] is the blue one somehow "better"?

    SO! MUCH! CODE! i swear, MOST women don't actually know this code!!! why is it still around?

  13. Well, they really only have the one, but it IS a trademarked color. Tiffany Blue.

    This is off topic, and isn't meant to prop up the ridiculousness of obsessing over a Tiffany diamond, but: say what you will about Tiffany, but they are pretty much the gold standard these days in ensuring that you are not buying a conflict diamond, or a diamond from an ecologically unsound mine (relatively speaking). As opposed to DeBeers, the "diamonds are forever" people.

  14. oh...

    i just barely know what Tiffany's *IS*. also, i dislike diamonds intensely. my promise ring is a garnet [in silver-i'm allergic to gold. also, apparently, cheap. hehe] engagement ring, i REALLY want a StarRuby. a RED one. i've vetoed diamonds. Garnets, StarGarnets, or StarRubies [StarGarnets have the opposite problem of StarRubies; the rubies tend towards pink, the garnets towards purple.so, it's a process, finding a ruby that's red from a place that means it's NOT a "blood ruby”, or finding a StarGarnet that's red without a fucked up star. StarGarnets, AFAIK, are ONLY found in the US, so they aren't the issue rubies-or diamonds!-would be]
    [and i've just managed to babble about something no one else cared about. go me!]

    erm - my point was that i didn't know ANY of that. i just ignored it in the article, because it made NO SENSE but didn't seem worth researching, because the whole thing was a bunch of BS about BS. that's not redundant, either.

    i do have to say - there would be that mild point, of if a woman is INSISTING on a "Tiffany Diamond in a Tiffany Blue Ring Box", i'd agree that she's probably not actually ready to be married. but i think that was a point that was made despite itself. could just be me - i'm so very fucking bloody sick of all this "you want to get married, you know you do, not wanting to get married means that you're REALLY *desperate* to get married! you MUST want to get married! the reason you think you don't want to get married is because you aren't WORTHY of being married, and that means you want to be married even MORE. and the reason you aren't WORTHY of being married is because you keep trying to insist that you're a REAL PERSON, and REAL PERSONS aren't female, and female ONLY WANT TO GET MARRIED, a STATE YOU WILL NEVER ACHIEVE UNTIL YOU STOP TRYING TO ACT AS IF YOU ARE A REAL PERSON!!! you will NEVER be happy until you destroy your personhood and marry the first man who will take you! there's nothing better for you, marriage is the best thing you can hope for, and that's why you REALLY ACTUALLY WANT TO MARRIED, NO REALLY, YOU DO." and on and on and fucking ON.

    it has been proved, over and over [and PF has written about it, i'm 99% positive] that being married is a net LOSS for women - that, in fact, the people who BENEFIT from marriage are MEN, at the expense of the women they marry.
    it's why Pete and i have been together for almost 7 years and aren't married. until recently, *I* couldn't afford to married to him [see, married men? aren't penalized for financial aid. married WOMEN are.] then, when my hip “broke”, i couldn't afford to married to him, because he has an income [period. doesn't matter how fucking small it is] and that would mean *I* wouldn't get medicaid - which i fucking NEED to LIVE. there's literally no other way for me to afford my meds, unless i somehow become a millionaire
    and also, there was [and still is, but less] a chance i'd die. and i didn't want to die and leave him all these medical bills. So long as the happen BEFORE we get married, it's not his debt, even if I die first.
    and then there was the "job" issue - i was angling for a job with the Dept. of State. i'd been "advised", off the record, to NOT be in a married state until AFTER i have the job and it's secure. i've never been given details, but i can guess. we ALL can guess. [and i suppose THAT'S no longer an issue, being that i'm pretty positive that i'll never be able to work again. which, in a fucked up way, actually makes marriage a bit of a better proposition for me. because it's designed for women who are "stay at home" whatevers, and designed to "protect" them if they ARE - it's only BAD for women who want to be more than a wife and mother. and that's truly the most fucked up bit]

    and now i've babbled enough. sorry :(

  15. and, somewhere in my editing to make my babbling FIT, i lose the ORIGINAL point - which was, "Thank you, CNymph, i didn't know any of that. it seems silly in the article so i didn't look, but it's actually something that's interesting, even if it's not something i LIKE - and now i understand what my least favorite sister has been babbling about. which makes her even LESS favorite, but hey, i learned today that it IS possible for me to think she's even more shallow and self-centered than i thought. which i had thought was impossible"

    because, even in my short, quick, "Oops, the thank you to CN got lost!" post, i have to babble. i've been awake for WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY too long...

  16. I really think this article is a Poe.

    1. It is written by a writer of a show that draws attention to how women were screwed-over in the 50's.

    2. This article resembles alot of those anti-feminist articles telling women to get married that appear on conservative websites, but cranked up to 11 and appearing on HuffPo instead.

    3. The deliberate and open mentioning of the authors multiple failed marriages before barking piss-poor instructions to other women on how to have a happy marraige. Unless the author is making fun of anti-feminist female authors, there is no reason why she should think of doing this. It's downright Colbertian.

  17. CSage;

    i hope you're right, while fearing that you're not. sigh.

  18. Such a small part of the post, but the aqua blue box is Tiffany's...there's something about that colour that inspires great longing, even if you're not usually into things that sparkle.

    I read this article just this morning, so it's ironic that I stumble across your blog today!


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