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antifeminism evil single moms friend zone friend zoning I'm totally being sarcastic misogyny MRA patronizing as heck the myth of warren farrell

Warren Farrell warns fellas to watch out for the “Repair Friend” Zone

Ladies! Look only at the picture of this sexy, sexy Alpha duck and do not read the post below.
Ladies! Look only at the picture of this sexy Alpha duck and do not read the post below.

Hey fellas! While we’re talking about the evils of the Friend Zone and possible legal sanctions against the women who so often and so maliciously put us there — and while the women are distracted by that picture of Scrooge McDuck above — I’d like to warn you of another kind of Friend Zone you need to be wary of: the “Repair Friend” Zone.

I learned of this danger from none other than Warren Farrell himself, in the pages of his book Women Can’t Hear What Men Don’t Say (which amazingly does not have the subtitle “But It’s Not Like Angry Dudes On The Internet Are Going to Shut Up Any Time Soon”).

Here’s how old Warren explains it, perhaps exaggerating the innocence of the wily female Repair-Friend Zoners:

Single moms who rely on male friends for repairs — “he’s just a repair friend” — are often unaware that the man really isn’t sacrificing his Sunday afternoon in exchange for a Sunday night dinner. The truth is, if he’s making that type of sacrifice, it’s usually because he’s interested in her.

That’s right, ladies! Men never actually want to be just friends with you. Never. And when they act friendly, it’s just because they want to [insert weird creepy Warren Farrellesque euphemism for sex here]. Only instead of making a move on you they’d rather make a move on your car, and just sort of hope you’ll get the hint.

I’ve seen many single moms who have men who they claim are “just friends” work on their cars, do repairs, help them move. They think nothing of it. (Which says it all.) When she starts dating someone seriously, the “repair friend” feels hurt and her new boyfriend feels suspicious. And Mom feels caught between a rock and a hard place, so to speak.

Is Farrell making some sort of awkward boner joke here?

Anyway, for Farrell, this is somehow all the fault of women, and feminism, or misandry, or something.

This attitude rests on a deeper foundation. Just as women who are poor turn to the government as a substitute husband (in the form of welfare and AFDC payments), so women without husbands often unconsciously turn to substitute husbands, such as dads, “repair friends,”and male neighbors.

So, fellas, be careful out there. One moment you’ll be chatting casually over the fence with the former Mrs. Jones, and the next thing you know you’ll be in her basement buried deep in her washing machine trying to fix, I dunno, whatever is inside of washing machines that might need fixing, I’m not really very mechanical.

Come to think of it a female friend of mine had me change a light bulb the other day that she couldn’t reach. Granted, I don’t want to have sex with her, and also she’s fixed my bike on several occasions and sometimes brings me cake, but, still, I think I may have just been Light Bulb Friend Zoned.

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Argenti Aertheri
8 years ago

Gender norms can go to hell in a very frilly baby blue basket!

Peacocking, urgh. Like peacocks always walk around feathers in the air! (Also, ever seen a white peacock? Their understated elegance is beautiful.)

Kittehserf
8 years ago

First time I saw a white peacock it was stuffed, and never having heard of them before, I wondered why on earth anyone would dye a peacock. Then I saw a live one.

Last time I saw a peacock (of the usual colour) was on Phillip Island last year. He was like a camera-hogging model, I swear – preening around on a big tree stump while people took his photo. No peahens in sight, I might add. 🙂

I love seeing men dressed beautifully and outside the jeans-shirt-jacket-suit-whatever norm (Argenti, you getting Fashion Conversation Deja Vu too?) but if they’re arseholes like PUAs, then all the window dressing in the world isn’t going to help.

Kittehserf
8 years ago

Beautiful!

Makes me think the white peacock I saw needed to take a bath. He was more ecru verging on beige. :/

Argenti Aertheri
8 years ago

Kitteh — you mean the one we should just go to the corner of shame forever for? Yes.

Kittehserf
8 years ago

I think it was that one! Or did we have a separate lengthy talk about 17th century fashion? ::brain fade::

mildlymagnificent
8 years ago

Weaning yourself off expressions like “bat-shit crazy”.

Go with ludicrously funny versions like “mad as a box of frogs” as substitutes to start with. You don’t have to change the pattern of speaking/thinking but it distinctly softens the impact. The more often you do that, the more you abandon the worst expressions and the more likely you are to find another way to convey your meaning. And when you have a slip of the tongue later, you’re more likely to go with the funny-but-offensive rather than the unambiguously-offensive. Which has to be a plus.

Kittehserf
8 years ago

A box of frogs?

Does that mean they’re [drumroll] Schrodinger’s Frogs?

mildlymagnificent
8 years ago

Oh hardy hah, hah. Never thought of that.

I’ve mainly seen it used online to describe people like the deeply weird Lord Monckton and the like. I confess I use it myself because it both does the job and is light-hearted. And I find it really funny.

Much like converting the euphemisms for “stupid” from ‘a sandwich short of a picnic’ to “a couple of kangaroos short of a national park”. At its core, it’s still a reference to stupid, but people having to think it through, then laugh, then realise that it may not be super nice seriously blunts the impact.

Kittehserf
8 years ago

It embarrasses me hugely that Monckton is one of my ancestral names. I really, really hope we’re not related to that twit.

I rather like the “couple of sandwiches short of a picnic” variations, I must admit. I’m a bit wary of “some kangaroos loose in the top paddock” because it suggests “mad” rather than “stupid”. Stupid I have no trouble with, because characters like MRAs are stupid.

Then there’s things like “couldn’t organise a fart in a beanbag/pissup in a brewery” variations, which seem very applicable to the Human Rights Movement where nobody turns up to their meetings except the three organisers …

I’ve yet to find a suitably vitriolic way to describe Tony Abbott, though.

mildlymagnificent
8 years ago

We’re into surpassing human understanding territory with Tony Abbott.

Partly because the mind whirls from the lycra to the latest silliness to the budgie smugglers to the running-for-the-exits-to-avoid-the-vote and there’s _nothing_ to fix on as a *this* is the right word for the man as a whole.

mildlymagnificent
8 years ago

Awww. I’ve got ABC24 on. Mostly about Oklahoma, but a baby white rhino at Dubbo zoo!

Piccies somewhere soon I expect.

Radical Parrot
8 years ago

Now that I’ve slept off most of the drunkenness (what, me write drunk? Whatever are you implying?) and got over the personal stuff I was going through yesterday, I should elaborate a bit on my ramblings.

What I meant was that in the minds of the Nice GuysTM (not me, that is), they DO expect a relationship to include sex. Their strange women-on-pedestals worldview seems to be based on some very specific, and very false, beliefs about chivalry, an odd idea of all women as sex-bad, romantic relationship-good* creatures from Venus, and yes, very wonky ideas about friendship. More than once have I heard the old “I want a girlfriend who is also my best friend” line. For these guys, friendships with women are entirely based on finding a potential romantic relationship. Yet they do not seem to grasp that in order to be friends with someone, you have to treat them as friends, not some transaction automatons. Although to be fair, it fits oddly well with their libertarian views of everything being ruled by the market. Which is about as good an idea as everything being ruled by a bunch of rich white dudes. Wait…

In real life, relationships aren’t that simple. Hell, people aren’t simple. Why would their relationships be? There is nothing wrong with wanting to find true love, but as Kittehserf put it, it’s about finding the person you want that relationship with, not about grabbing the TWUE WUV out of the ether and falling in love with the nearest person, usually the Nice GuyTM who happens to be there, well, all the time. Why do I get the feeling these guys would be okay with using love potions if those things really existed?

Btw, this isn’t the first time my attempt to put myself in the mindset of entitled jerks gets misinterpreted, since me good English at no.

*How else would you explain the insistence of Nice GuysTM that they’re not as bad as the so-called alphas because they want to love and hold a woman for the rest of her life, not just have casual sex (with which they would “defile” an innocent woman who’s only looking for TWUE WUV)? Yet I bet they would never be content with a platonic relationship. Hmm…

Blargh, now I feel sick. Note to self: Do not attempt to think like a Nice GuyTM after a night of heavy drinking.

Kittehserf
8 years ago

RadicalParrot – it’s like they think everyone’s interchangable, isn’t it? That people have entirely different personalities seems too much for them to comprehend. They can’t grasp that someone is attracted to one person and not another. Even their whining about alpha assholes shows they don’t get it; there is something in the looks or personality of the guy (probably including that he is not, in fact, an asshole) that’s attractive to another person/people. And it’s not just that he’s cutting out the NiceGuyTM: if someone’s attracted to him and wants an exclusive relationship it can mean that nobody else is appealing – including other alleged alpha assholes.

Hmm, you had trouble writing clearly after drinking, what the devil is my excuse? 😛

Athywren
Athywren
8 years ago

Go with ludicrously funny versions like “mad as a box of frogs”

I don’t know about you, but I prefer a hatful of cats…

Kittehserf
8 years ago

Individuality: even if the NiceGuyTM was actually a nice guy, it doesn’t mean he’s sexually or romantically attractive to any given woman.

I’ve known plenty of good blokes over the years, most of ’em happily paired at some time or another, all of them obviously attractive to their partner(s) – but they weren’t attractive to me (nor me to them, fortunately). Unique human beings, how do they work?

Kittehserf
8 years ago

I don’t know about you, but I prefer a hatful of cats…

Yeah but it’s devilish difficult to comb the fur out of your hair afterward.

Radical Parrot
8 years ago

@ Kittehserf: Exactly. That’s why they get so angry when their alleged “friend” falls for someone else: “But I was here the whole time and you didn’t fall in love with me! How can you be so meeeeaaan?” It’s like dating is a game of calling dibs to these guys.

Let’s not even go to their ideas about cheating. A woman is naturally supposed to only have eyes for her man, but the man gets to oogle at all the women he wants because biology.

Blauugh, I did it again. I’ll be in the bathroom, don’t mind the barfing noises.

Athywren
Athywren
8 years ago

Yeah but it’s devilish difficult to comb the fur out of your hair afterward.

True… but totes worth it!

Let’s not even go to their ideas about cheating. A woman is naturally supposed to only have eyes for her man, but the man gets to oogle at all the women he wants because biology.

Either that or “I’m just browsing.” Because, y’know, women are soup.

Kittehserf
8 years ago

::hands RadicalParrot face washer and mouth rinse::

mildlymagnificent
8 years ago

I realise that fun is not a relevant concept for radical parrot right now (more like sick as a …).

But isn’t fun the thing that’s really missing from these poor blokes view of women and relationships and the world generally. I think they get the idea of deep and lasting joy from a committed relationship. (OK, I don’t really but something serious and im.port.ant. anyway.)

Fun? Does anyone get a vibe of light hearted fun. Whether it’s the kind of uncommitted fun nights out with groups of friends. Or the hysterical fun of favourite comedy films shared with a kindred spirit. Or …. the collapse with laughter during far too enthusiastic sex with a partner where someone’s slipping off the bed/ couch/ table and the laughter itself lands both of you on the floor or someone’s wedged between furniture and wall – which provokes even more laughter. None of which detracts from a wildly passionate sex life because committed partners generally have a lot more sex than singles, especially in those first few months or years. The occasional comedy gold moments are yet more ties that bind people into those shared secret smiles – years later.

Would laughter during sex give these blokes a problem do you think?

Kittehserf
8 years ago

::standing ovation for mildlymagnificent::

YES!

This is the sort of thing they don’t seem to get at all, and like you said, not just in a sexual relationship (I don’t want to call their notions of relationships “romantic” because ewww, romance is better’n that) but in any relationships.

They talk about children as things they get possessive about or discard according to how they want to punish the woman involved, and which which Man as Martyr hat they’re wearing at the time. Can anyone imagine them taking pleasure in their kids as kids? Teaching them to read* or play games or whatever? Enjoying their company?

Ditto sexual relationships: the serious and important stuff they seem to want is ego stroking, sex on demand, and a domestic slave who is utterly dependent on them but somehow doesn’t spend any of the manly man’s money on trivialities like food**. And she has to be a Hote Babe who never ages or changes in any way, of course.

I can’t even imagine these guys having friends. Oh, fellow misogynists in their little wankfest, but not actual friends who hang out and have fun.

I love your description of the falling-out-of-bed-laughing stuff, btw. It so describes the sort of nonsense Louis and I get up to (garden swing chair: bad idea). Or the non-sexy stuff where you’re just laughing with (and, okay, at) each other – those are the memories of love, the comedy gold, the ties that bind, as you said.

Can you imagine these guys getting knocked over by a daft dog practising his skating skills, falling flat on his back and laughing his head off about it once he’d got his breath back? I can’t. I can’t imagine them laughing at themselves in any circumstances.

Thank Ceiling Cat for men who really do know about love and fun and laughter!

*given the illiteracy among MRAs, it’s probably just as well

**we won’t even mention Scented Fucking Candles

Kittehserf
8 years ago

Oh – forgot to answer your question: “Would laughter during sex give these blokes a problem do you think?”

Boner-wilting, I would think.

::laughs evilly::

Viscaria
Viscaria
8 years ago

@Radical Parrot:

@ Kittehserf: Exactly. That’s why they get so angry when their alleged “friend” falls for someone else: “But I was here the whole time and you didn’t fall in love with me! How can you be so meeeeaaan?” It’s like dating is a game of calling dibs to these guys.

Someone said that to me pretty much word-for-word once. He threw in some “you’re not like those vapid, slutty other girls!” misogyny, too, and tried to use that to guilt me as well — see, because if I didn’t date him he would be forced to be alone, since other women couldn’t ever be good enough for his misogynistic ass.

The interesting thing about that is it shows that he could understand rejecting someone on the basis of not being interested in them, as long as he was the one doing it. After all, he would supposedly have rejected any woman who showed an interest in him for the rest of his life* (you know, because icky girl cooties). But a woman rejecting him? After he’d already invested time and energy into being her “friend”? Apparently that was inexplicable.

*which I seriously doubt but w/e

Athywren
Athywren
8 years ago

None of which detracts from a wildly passionate sex life because committed partners generally have a lot more sex than singles, especially in those first few months or years.

Funny that you mention this. It’s been my experience too, but most men I’ve spoken to about it are of the opinion that a committed relationship means the death of your sex life, even those who are in committed relationships, and take the “ah, little boy with no experience of the word” attitude when I express doubt.
Maybe it’s like kittehs says and their idea of a healthy sex life is hot and cold running sex on tap? I wonder if they understand what that means? Because I’ve had sex on tap, and it is exhausting.

mildlymagnificent
8 years ago

It’s probably partly attributable to forgetting that in most marriages of fertile people, the sex life dies off a bit when babies start arriving. But honestly, unless you’re having half a dozen or more, that phase doesn’t last very long – even though that phase is marked by the remarkable phenomenon of days that drag and years that fly – and, thereafter, you’re just a bit limited as to time and place. (I never tried it but friends claim that sex under the Xmas tree at 2 am is great – even though you’re exhausted from assembling all the bikes and dolls houses and stuff.)

Once the kids are a bit older, things get back to “normal”.

emilygoddess
emilygoddess
8 years ago

Two random thoughts about peacocks:

1) If I ever have a proper wedding, my colors will be peacock colors. It’s a holdover from my Olympian-worshiping Pagan days (Here being the goddess of marriage, and the peacock being one of her symbols), but I also happen to think emerald and sapphire are lovely colors.

2) A group of peacocks is called an ostentation.

‘a sandwich short of a picnic’ to “a couple of kangaroos short of a national park”

I like “two boots short of a pair of boots” (courtesy of Sir Pterry).

Athywren
Athywren
8 years ago

It’s probably partly attributable to forgetting that in most marriages of fertile people, the sex life dies off a bit when babies start arriving.

I can understand that well enough, but most* of the guys I’ve spoken to on the subject have been in 1-3 year old, childless relationships, which is why it’s confusing to me.
*Not all, but obviously the new parents are expected, as you say, to be less active for a while.

Auggie
Auggie
8 years ago

Something I’ve noticed is that Nice Guys will also manipulate any one else that gets in their way of getting “the girl”.
In high school I saw this happen once and it ended horribly. The Nice Guy wanted to date this one girl, and did typical Nice Guy things. Another girl warned her about how he was actually a complete asshole, so she then avoided him.
The Nice Guy found out about this, and spread a rumor that he had sex with the girl who ruined his chance, got her pregnant, and then she miscarried. The rumor stayed around for a few months, until the sister of the rumor victim found out, and asked her. When she said that never happened and that she just warned the girl he wanted to date, everyone realized what happened, and the Nice Guy was shunned.

Bob Goblin
Bob Goblin
8 years ago

Auggie,

See, that’s just proof that evil wimminz do conspire to deny sex to Nice GuysTM!

Viscaria
Viscaria
8 years ago

The Nice Guy found out about this, and spread a rumor that he had sex with the girl who ruined his chance, got her pregnant, and then she miscarried.

Wow. That is one of the more appalling Nice Guy stories I’ve read.

Kittehserf
8 years ago

What a complete shit. I wonder if he ever grew up, metaphorphosed into a human being, and regretted what he’d done?

I’m guessing not.

augochlorella
augochlorella
8 years ago

The Nice Guy found out about this, and spread a rumor that he had sex with the girl who ruined his chance, got her pregnant, and then she miscarried.

Thus proving beyond all reasonable doubt that he was not an asshole. Good job, guy.

katz
8 years ago

The interesting thing about that is it shows that he could understand rejecting someone on the basis of not being interested in them, as long as he was the one doing it. After all, he would supposedly have rejected any woman who showed an interest in him for the rest of his life* (you know, because icky girl cooties). But a woman rejecting him? After he’d already invested time and energy into being her “friend”? Apparently that was inexplicable.

There’s a deeply ingrained cultural sense that stereotypical male criteria for women are not only acceptable but assumed, while female criteria for men are completely unreasonable. For instance, refusing to date fat women is so expected that guys who do date overweight women get a serious side-eye, while women who reject guys based on their looks are shallow bitches. Remember that awful “Women of LA” video?

This is obviously closely tied to the invisibility of non-conventionally attractive women. It wouldn’t occur to these guys that they’re being picky by being unwilling to date fat women because it wouldn’t occur to them that they’re women (or people) at all.

Shiraz
Shiraz
8 years ago

Dear god, I didn’t realize how terrifying a Rand wank could be until Buttman — or whatever his name is, spilled his guts all over this thread. Rand’s work as romantic? *Shiver* But after the creepy crawlies ceased, I decided his fawning was mostly hilarious:

“…the thing about Atlas Shrugged is that it’s so beautifully masculine.”

So much so that it had to be written by a woman!!!

“She (Dagny Taggart) refuses to fuck with any man that isn’t a reflection of her strong values. When she does find her ideal men, she screws their brains out. I’m talking about them throwing her lovers up against the wall high school bully style kind of sex.”

There’s a style of sex based on high school bullying? Huh. Admittedly, I don’t keep up with every fetish out there.

“The hair pulling, chest biting, celebration of life kind of sex. The kind of passionate love making that only 2 people who truly love and admire each other share…”

OK, at this point, I felt like I was reading a soccer mom’s review of a Harlequin Romance novel.

“…It boldly states that men who aren’t valuable don’t deserve to be loved.”

Ohhhhh, how romantic! Wonder how he defines “valuable.” Being able to engineer a train? His sentiments are wildly inhumane…but hey, Rand fan-boys, you know.

“There’s no mincing of words, no rainbow colored Disney fantasies, no sympathy sex for loosers just the cold hard truth. Be a productive man or GTFO…”

Wow, it almost sounds like he’s agreeing with all the people here who said a man shouldn’t get sex tokens for fixing a woman’s toilet.

Hrovitnir
8 years ago

Hi everybody. And particularly Athywren! I comment very intermittently but lurk a lot, and I have been enjoying your posts. 😀

That point about not understanding fun is so on point I think. Whenever they describe how they see relationships – any degree of relationship, from workmates to partners – I feel like they’ve never actually had one. They speak in stereotypes and never sound like they’ve had a genuine feeling in their lives. It’s bizarre.

That said, I think there is a certain subset of the population that kind of lives through stereotype, which is probably where MRAs get young guys. Young and yet to have any strong opinions, exposed to only pop media, from a non-abusive and politically indifferent family, not used to dealing with analysis and the hard work of being critical about themselves and the world around them. It’s tiring fighting against the constant barrage of gender policing, and it can hurt like hell to be rejected/have someone leave you.

Which is how MRAs aren’t doing anyone any favours because rather than telling teenagers that it’s normal to hurt and it doesn’t mean they’re a bad person and they will meet more people – they tell them they’re right to feel alone and alienated, and it’s women’s fault. Which is basically telling them they should feel bad about themselves at the same time as hating women: lose-lose. -_-

I work with a woman who I find sometimes like an alien (I’m pretty sure she feels the same way about me, haha.) She’s perfectly pleasant to work with and we can chat well enough. But she is genuinely super amused by those terrible radio shows which are basically a constant rendition of “BOYS like this and GIRLS like that, tee hee.” She appears to have planned her life around getting married and having babies; and now she’s had her child doesn’t feel like she “has” to have sex with her husband any more. When we were talking about anal sex in the staffroom she was utterly mindblown that any woman would actually *like* it. Talking to her I feel like there’s nothing there. That sounds super mean but it’s just like she has no strong opinions about anything, she’s just following a script.

I can’t remember if it was this thread but ARH Kitteh, that thing about the drowning possum. Reading stuff like that is always a punch in the chest for me. :'(

thebionicmommy
thebionicmommy
8 years ago

There’s a deeply ingrained cultural sense that stereotypical male criteria for women are not only acceptable but assumed, while female criteria for men are completely unreasonable. For instance, refusing to date fat women is so expected that guys who do date overweight women get a serious side-eye, while women who reject guys based on their looks are shallow bitches.

This double standard has always bothered me. A similar double standard I’ve noticed is the one where people say that girls are annoying for having crushes on male celebrities. It’s sooo awful for a girl to have a crush on Justin Beiber or whoever, but it’s just fine for boys to have crushes on female celebrities. Straight men go wild for women like Rihanna or Britney Spears, and people accept that, but a straight woman gushes about some handsome football player or rock star and “Oh no, what a shallow bitch! How dare she say that she is attracted to someone she finds attractive!”

katz
8 years ago

That said, I think there is a certain subset of the population that kind of lives through stereotype, which is probably where MRAs get young guys. Young and yet to have any strong opinions, exposed to only pop media, from a non-abusive and politically indifferent family, not used to dealing with analysis and the hard work of being critical about themselves and the world around them. It’s tiring fighting against the constant barrage of gender policing, and it can hurt like hell to be rejected/have someone leave you.

Interesting idea. Now I’m wondering how many MRAs fit into that profile.

Kittehserf
8 years ago

G’day Hrovitnir!

“I can’t remember if it was this thread but ARH Kitteh, that thing about the drowning possum. Reading stuff like that is always a punch in the chest for me. :’(”

That’s how I felt reading it. I don’t know if she made it up as an example of how she’d react or if it was real, but it filled me with loathing for her or anyone who’d do such a thing, or condone it, or think it funny. I don’t give a shit at this point if it’s something in the brain, it’s fucking evil.

Kittehserf
8 years ago

Back to the relationships/fun – Louis and I just spent our time at Home last night drinking tea and talking. Talking. About things that matter to us, ourselves, our feelings for each other. Not fun in the sense of laughing, but we took a helluva lot of pleasure in it.

Can you imagine these emotionally-dead-except-for-the-rage MRAs and NiceGuysTM and so on doing that? I can’t.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

There’s a deeply ingrained cultural sense that stereotypical male criteria for women are not only acceptable but assumed, while female criteria for men are completely unreasonable. For instance, refusing to date fat women is so expected that guys who do date overweight women get a serious side-eye, while women who reject guys based on their looks are shallow bitches.

Remember Mr Al and the great Russell Brand wank? Of all the things that we talk about here it was the idea that women have physical preferences and will reject sex with men they don’t find attractive enough that caused him to have a public meltdown. This seems to be particularly common among young men, who’re encountering the reality that women do indeed have physical preferences and their culture has lied to them by telling them otherwise for the first time.

I use an icon based on a concert photo of a super hot guy on sites that need icons, like Jezebel, and you would not believe the number of times random guys have yelled at me about it “because feminists are supposed to be against objectification”. It’s just a photo of the guy playing his instrument, nothing particularly shocking about it, but omg hot guy with a bare chest how dare you.

It’s funny, and that response is part of the reason why I’ve kept that icon for so long.

hrovitnir
hrovitnir
8 years ago

katz | May 21, 2013 at 5:11 pm
Interesting idea. Now I’m wondering how many MRAs fit into that profile.

It’s kind of my theory on social injustice in general. It’s work to think about all the issues in the world, let alone fight back even by pointing out issues. And who actively teaches their kids about the bad things in the world, and that there is no “karma” the way westerners like to use it, or just critical thinking in general? Not many.

It’s also an observation from being pretty fucked up (as I call it) from my childhood. And many of my friends have abusive backgrounds. But I have found many people with “normal” upbringings just don’t have the empathy and breadth of understanding the people who’ve had to struggle to exist. Doesn’t mean I think that’s a good thing, but it’s a thing.

Kittehserf | May 21, 2013 at 6:27 pm
Louis and I just spent our time at Home last night drinking tea and talking. Talking. About things that matter to us, ourselves, our feelings for each other. Not fun in the sense of laughing, but we took a helluva lot of pleasure in it.

Can you imagine these emotionally-dead-except-for-the-rage MRAs and NiceGuysTM and so on doing that? I can’t.

I know, right?? I read some of their shit and just think of the sexual and romantic, and hell, platonic relationships I’ve had… the time I’ve enjoyed with those people just seems in a different universe to the MRA worldview. O_o

thebionicmommy | May 21, 2013 at 4:59 pm
This double standard has always bothered me. A similar double standard I’ve noticed is the one where people say that girls are annoying for having crushes on male celebrities. It’s sooo awful for a girl to have a crush on Justin Beiber or whoever, but it’s just fine for boys to have crushes on female celebrities.

Note: this ended up ridiculously long and I don’t have the energy to make it better so… sorry? Least succinct thing ever.
That dichotomy is annoying for so many reasons.

1. It assumes all men are attracted to all women who are culturally deemed attractive which results in (a) men not being allowed personal tastes/being attracted to more than the perfect hip-waist-ratio/arse/what-the-fuck-ever. It seems to result in men being expected to approve of shit movies if they’ve got titties, and women being mocked for criticising said movies, which creates a feedback loop where men feel like they have to defend this to be manly and women’s opinions are dismissed. Sexuality doesn’t seem to come into this at all.

2. This simultaneously exists with the first double-standard (of only men getting standards: pre-written whether they like them or not) which leads to the normalcy of people picking female actresses looks apart to a completely ridiculous degree, if it wasn’t gross enough to blatantly value someone for their looks above all else. And once again, it’s seen as “bitchyness” or jealousy if a woman disagrees with a man.

3. The overall rigidity of expectations grates on me in general. Young men are “just being boys” but their attractions can only be looks-based: no personality for you. Young women’s crushes are childish and stupid: men can’t be attractive, ew. Not-young men are expected to point out, it feels continuously, that SHE’S HOT*. Older women are just gross, I mean how dare over-20 yo women be turned on by anyone, especially pretty men. Remember, women being attracted to a man based on looks is shallow! And bad! But pretty men are always in some way deficient. Except when he’s a MANLY MAN in which case she’s stupid for being sucked in. ARG.

3a. *I am so sick of men having to point out the hotness of someone in this particular way that seems really “look at me, I like ladies! I expect you won’t like me saying this but I’ll say it anyway!” There is a subtle but distinct different between just commenting and seeming to test your female friend’s tolerance of your comments.

This is a pet peeve of mine because I rather enjoy watching attractive women wearing skimpy clothing. But I also resent when they can’t run because of their shoes, can’t fight but that’s OK because their boobs jiggle when they do it, and the complete lack of depth to their characters. I don’t want to have to constantly point out that I find women attractive too, or have to enjoy that to be able to criticise a movie that is more boobs than plot. *mutter mutter*

Viscaria
Viscaria
8 years ago

I use an icon based on a concert photo of a super hot guy on sites that need icons, like Jezebel, and you would not believe the number of times random guys have yelled at me about it “because feminists are supposed to be against objectification”.

Those sound like some really fun random guys 9_9. Does anybody have a go-to link that clearly explains the difference between being attracted physically to someone and objectifying them? Because whenever someone claims that the two are equivalent it makes me want to pull out all of my hair.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

I can understand that well enough, but most* of the guys I’ve spoken to on the subject have been in 1-3 year old, childless relationships, which is why it’s confusing to me.
*Not all, but obviously the new parents are expected, as you say, to be less active for a while.

Maybe they’re just really bad in bed, and one the significant other realized that wasn’t a temporary/need to figure out the other person’s preferences thing she lost interest in sex with them.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

I did try to explain that “I find this person attractive” is not the same thing as objectification, and then they yelled at me some more. Which is, again, part of why I’m keeping the icon! It annoys the sort of people who deserve to be annoyed.

Shiraz
Shiraz
8 years ago

There’s this game I like to play when in meatspace or while visiting online forums. When the conversation starts to go towards the “She’s so hawt” direction, I make a comment about actors and see what happens. I don’t mind dudes pointing out women they think are attractive, I just don’t think every subject has to be dominated by cis male interests. Also, I’m a shit and like to make these guys uncomfortable. One time these guys were going on and on about girls kissing each other in movies, and I mentioned how I kept waiting for Christian Bale and Sam Worthington to get it on in “Terminator: Salvation.” I mean, seriously, they had some serious chemistry going on. I got dead silence in return. There’s nothing more uncomfortable to these guys then female sexuality or even just preferences.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

Velvet Goldmine. Remember that scene with Christian Bale and Ewan McGregor? It’s very useful for illustrating how strong that particular double standard is.

This is also the reason I have a lingering affection for visual kei despite it’s tendency to take the 90% of everything is crap rule and extend it to 99%. I just like the idea of a genre that flips the script and has mostly straight men pretend to make out for the entertainment of a female audience, plus the focus on men being pretty in general.

Shiraz
Shiraz
8 years ago

I loved Velvet Goldmine, Cassandra. The soundtrack, to me, was incredilble.

And of course, the idea of a female gaze is terrifying — should certain people not know what that is, take a look: http://www.flickfilosopher.com/blog/2010/06/061410defining_the_female_gaze.html

Aaliyah
8 years ago

Does anybody have a go-to link that clearly explains the difference between being attracted physically to someone and objectifying them? Because whenever someone claims that the two are equivalent it makes me want to pull out all of my hair.

If they’re dumb enough to fail to understand rhe difference between treating someone like an object and saying that they look nice, not even a good link can save them, really. But here’s a good link. Warning, the first commentator is terribly stupid.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

Part of the reason I’m so in-your-face about my preferences is because it does freak some men out so much. I figure it’s like free therapy – it’s good for them to confront how totally wrong their assumptions about female sexuality are.