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MRA’s and Their Future-tense Schadenfreude: Memeday, Early Edition

Found on AVFM's Facebook page
Found on AVFM’s Facebook page

Every Friday is Memeday here at We Hunted the Mammoth, but this week I’m going to start the celebration a day early, with a collection of “told you so!” memes I found, mostly, on Men’s Rights and other antifeminist Facebook pages.

Now, most of us human beings enjoy a bit of Schadenfreude now and then; it’s not the most noble of emotions, but it’s kind of hard to resist laughing a little when some horrible person gets their comeuppance.

Men’s Rights Activists are a pretty bitter and immature bunch, so it’s hardly a shock to see them giggling away at other people’s misfortunes. But it’s still a bit surprising to see just how many of the memes they create and/or pass along are little more than meanspirited “told you sos.”

Even more striking is how many of them offer up a sort of future-tense Schadenfreude. They’re not laughing because some feminist they hate has gotten their comeuppance; they’re laughing at the possibility that this feminist will get their comeuppance some time in the future. And I don’t think I’m wrong to see a sort of anxious desperation underlying these memes; I think on some level most MRAs know their Schadenfreudy fantasies aren’t going to come true.

The meme posted at the top of the page — I posted it before in a roundup of memes from A Voice for Men — is a visual representation of the rather tired claim, repeated endlessly by MRAs, that feminist women will end up dying alone surrounded by a small army of cats.

It’s not clear to me exactly why MRAs find this prediction quite so hilarious. Women tend to live longer than men, which means that even the most staunchly antifeminist women are likely to outlive their partners, giving them pretty much the same chance of ending up “alone” late in their lives, at least if they have no family or friends outside of their late husbands.

But for some reason there aren’t a lot of feminists sitting around cackling at the thought of GirlWritesWhat dying alone at some date in the not-so-near future. Because that’s petty, and tacky, and mean.

In addition to being a stony-hearted bunch, MRAs also tend to be a bit impatient, and like to imagine their sworn feminist enemies having their Waterloos long before they get to the age of seventy.

And so MRAs fantasize about feminists having a sudden realization that they were wrong and the MRAs were right — shortly after hitting age 30 or whenever it is that modern misogynists like to imagine that women magically turn into pumpkin-faced uggos.

nothingtoshow

Dudes, only MRAs, misogynists and pedophiles think that a woman’s “best years” are in her teens and early 20s.

By why wait for these imaginary feminists to have some sort of drastically premature mid-life crisis when you can just pretend that they’ll all be miserable just as soon as they graduate from college with their women’s studies degrees.

sandwich

Whoever made this meme picked an awfully cheerful-looking woman to represent a young feminist brokenhearted over having to work at Subway.

But women don’t have to work in food service to be miserable, the mememakers insist. Having to work ANY job at all is going to make them regret their feminism. Because apparently, before feminism came along, women were pampered creatures who slept all day on silk sheets, surrounded by bon-bon wrappers and an assortment of tiny dogs, while their husbands worked 25-hour-days in the salt mines.

thelook

Huh. Somehow I missed the part where feminism told women that working in an office was the closest thing to paradise on earth

Then there’s this tired trope, a lovely example of misogynoir turned into a meme by a black MRA cartoonist I first noticed on DeviantArt a couple of years ago.

beatutchick

And let’s end this survey of future-tense schadenfreude with a meme that somehow manages to work in two historical cartoons I really like and that I think I’ve posted here before.

worthit

I’m going to say, “yes,” except perhaps the portion of her life she spent married to a dickhead.

And because the first two cartoons there deserve better than to be shoved into a dopey antifeminist meme, let’s look at them in all their full-sized glory.

nobody

We love you, kickass suffragette girl!

This cartoon was originally intended as anti-suffragette propaganda, but, seriously, that girl is AWESOME.

Looking through the collection of anti-sufragette cartoons featured on the post I linked to above, I noticed another one that shows pretty clearly just how ancient and utterly unoriginal the “you feminists will all die alone” trope really is.

suffragetteat50

See, wanting the vote makes women UGLY!

Is is even necessary to point out the obvious: that despite all the mean cartoons they inspired, the suffragettes WON.

And here’s that other cartoon, of more recent vintage:

rmancelib

Wait, is that redhaired gal dating Carl Sagan?

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katz
5 years ago

They are three years old!

Nooo they are still babies they will always be babies (covers ears, goes “la la la”)

dust bunny
dust bunny
5 years ago

it is sad that some people don’t see the value in non-romantic relationships, or don’t see them as being just as fulfilling.

I’m going to defend this position a bit. I don’t think it’s reasonable to literally forsake all others, and more than once I’ve been disappointed by friends disappearing as soon as they’ve found a partner and no longer see the point in maintaining their friendships. It is sad when that happens, for everyone involved.

But our culture doesn’t have traditions, scripts, models or infrastructure for friendships that are so strong and close they can replace a life partner. It’s harder to have a successful relationship without all that. Most people are not open to the idea.

In theory non-romantic relationships can be just as fulfilling as romantic ones. But in practice, it’s harder to have all your needs fulfilled from them alone.

ETA: ideally you’d have both of course. And if you have to choose one, then you’re probably better off choosing friends over spouse.

@ Mortarius

The betas and white knights go on to orbit younger, prettier women of course. Because everybody knows that it’s feminist men who have a tendency to creepily hover around younger women.

Wwaxwork
Wwaxwork
5 years ago

My widowed 74 yo mother has more of a social life than my 16 year old niece who she is raising & lives with her due to family issues. My mother not only is raising a teen in a troubled time, she goes out at least twice a week to regular events (including card games & square dancing), she dates & goes out with her girlfriends to lunch & shopping or the movies at least once a week. Oh & she’s a legally blind, type 1 diabetic with a pacemaker and a feminist (as was my father until he passed 10 years ago).

I suspect they are merely projecting their worst fears onto others.

D_dan
D_dan
5 years ago

hehe, talk about projecting :,)
Most of the old naggy femnazists I know in my family (7 older sisters to my mother) are so freaking awsome with tons of political power and a large social life. And they laugh so much when we discuss how men behave on the interwebz in their “4ever alone” bubble.

Best regards from sweden

ScarlettAthena
ScarlettAthena
5 years ago

I love hearing about all the widowed family members leading active lives! The trick really is to cultivate interests and find people you want to share your time with.

The saddest people I have known have been retired men who don’t know what to do with themselves in retirement. They had no interests outside of work. Often, they have no social life, especially if they relied on their wives to organize their social lives and now the wife is dead or ill.

The complaining meme-makers won’t fear the same fate, though: they will still be able to complain on the internet, their main interest!

Falconer
Falconer
5 years ago

@katz:

Nooo they are still babies they will always be babies (covers ears, goes “la la la”)

My daughter frequently declares that she is a baby who is too little to walk. This is how she asks me to carry her.

She also declares herself Max the Glow Train while my son likes to be Katy Caboose.

When they’re not being Thomas, Percy, Rosie, James or Donald, or perhaps even Tayo the Little Bus.

arash
arash
5 years ago

i’m a little disappointed, why can’t we see the future misery of male feminists… they don’t recognise us, do they?!
and here are some totally alone feminists in old age:
http://jwa.org/sites/jwa.org/files/styles/artifacts/public/mediaobjects/badaugh.jpg?itok=Z3SU-mqu
Bella Abzug
http://chicagotonight.wttw.com/sites/default/files/article/image-non-gallery/mayaandbob2.jpg
Maya Angelou
comment image
Margaret Sanger

Wait, is that redhaired gal dating Carl Sagan?

i giggled all along but this one made me explode with laughter 😀

sevenofmine
sevenofmine
5 years ago

Why do these guys assume that feminists never have romantic relationships or marry?

Because feminists hate men as evidenced by the fact that these guys believe feminists hate men. Duh.

ms_xeno
ms_xeno
5 years ago

Yeah, I don’t want to live into my Seventies. I want to marry some MRA who likely thinks beating or shooting me and the kids = “Marriage counseling.” Sure.

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
5 years ago

i’m a little disappointed, why can’t we see the future misery of male feminists… they don’t recognise us, do they?!

This would be a classic example of the difference between a feminist who happens to be male and a Male Feminist™ if Arash wasn’t just an MRA.

You can’t troll in one thread then pretend everything’s normal in the next. We’re not cartoon goldfish. Dickhead.

Ashara Payne
Ashara Payne
5 years ago

Their ideas are totally false, anyway. I did exactly what they suggest, i.e. married at 21, had my first baby at 23 (an accident caused my naive belief that when he said it ‘didn’t matter and it would be ok’ not to leave a space at the end of the condom, I actually believed him. He’s since declared that I shouldn’t have because men will say anything).
Due to having no usable qualifications (I was planning to return to studying before the pregnancy), no ability to earn enough to pay for childcare, no relatives nearby who could help with childcare, and him being unprepared to adjust his schedule to help, I became a SAH mum.
He has since said that I should have had an abortion if I wanted a career, and believes that the fact that I’ve ‘never had to work’ is somehow a monumental advantage and I owe him all the admiration and respect he felt he was owed.

He ended up cheating and leaving me for a woman who DOES give him all the feels he needs, i.e. someone who is only with him for his money and knows her place, which is not as his equal.

So, even if you do what they say, it’s not enough to guarantee a long-lasting relationship.

They would probably argue that it was my fault he left me because reasons.

I could have done with more feminism in my youth, I would probably have made better choices (such as NOT giving up a career, friends and family by moving halfway across the country so that he could go watch his adored favourite football team, and NOT dropping out of school at 17).

It’s also not true the crap they spout about men only being attracted to girls under 25. I’m 50 and I have many young men contacting me on dating websites. True, they are only looking for easy sex, but it really irks them that the reverse isn’t true. They basically hate the fact that it’s easier for women to find a willing sexual partner, and are frantically grabbing around in the dark for any excuse to hate on women.
Most of them are likely just 17-20 year-olds who don’t yet have the social skills to get a girlfriend.

davidknewton
5 years ago

Jesus… Ashara, I’m so sorry all that happened to you – it sounds like he never had any respect for you at all. I hope that you and your son/daughter are doing well without him.

DS:

So not that I’m representative of the general population or anything, but I’m a male feminist married to a female feminist. My wife is bisexual and wanted to explore polyfidelity. We’ve done that, and long story short, far from either of us being lonely and sad, we have twice the companionship, a wife variety of expanded horizons to pursue, and a cool new friend to geek out with. And all because I said, “hey, if my wife is in to it, I want to be sure she has the right to explore it.”

I want this story of an enjoyable double-quadruple-feminist relationship shown to all MRAs everywhere just to watch their heads explode.

Florkje
Florkje
5 years ago

Why wait? become MRA/MGTOW and you can be lonely today!

Thanks for the giggleguffaw @Jamesworkshop 🙂

arash
arash
5 years ago

@Scented Fucking Hard Chairs

This would be a classic example of the difference between a feminist who happens to be male and a Male Feminist™ if Arash wasn’t just an MRA.
You can’t troll in one thread then pretend everything’s normal in the next. We’re not cartoon goldfish. Dickhead.

oh that happens to be a myth:

Goldfish have a memory-span of at least three months

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goldfish
we?!are you some sort of self-appointed representative?!maybe(who knows!).
and i’ve got some news: i’m not here to please or act according your prejudiced bitter views.

i’m a little disappointed, why can’t we see the future misery of male feminists… they don’t recognise us, do they?!

and can’t you seriously understand that i’m mocking MRA’s cliche of a feminist?!which is a lonely Misandrist “woman”

Imaginary Petal (formerly dhag85, trying out pronouns - they/their)
Imaginary Petal (formerly dhag85, trying out pronouns - they/their)
5 years ago

Women! You can choose between taking care of a cat or taking care of Dean Esmay. Obviously you would choose Dean, right?

msexceptiontotherule
msexceptiontotherule
5 years ago

When did we start carrying axes? When *didn’t* we carry axes!?!

Nikki the Bluth Wannabe
Nikki the Bluth Wannabe
5 years ago

ScarlettAthena, I feel you on the retired-men thing. My dad retired a bit ago and other than the occasional weekend gun show, he does nothing but sleep, read, watch TV, listen to conservative talk radio, go on the computer (his sites of choice also being mostly conservative), and annoy the living daylights out of me and my mom. I love him, but I may have to throw something (that causes little damage-maybe my little squeezable rubber stress zombie?) at his head the next time he goes “Are you guys OK?” or “What are you doing?”

This Charming Girl
This Charming Girl
5 years ago

What Ashara Payne posted above is true. I did the SAH thing. Cooked, cleaned, etc. He controlled all the finances I owned my own home and had a career prior to getting married. He pissed through the proceeds of the sale of my home, my 401K on hookers. I kid you not! He walked out after he ran out of money and shacked up with a woman much older. Paid little to no child support. No alimony as he hid all his income (self-employed).

After being out of the work force for 8 years, I had to start over. I also had ‘0’ credit rating because of that long period of inactivity. Guess what? 3-4 years later I dug myself out of that hole with my own bare hands!

If I could give any advice to a young girl it would be;
1.Education – STEM!
2.If you’re going to marry, make sure it’s 50/50 responsibility, ALWAYS! This includes cooking, cleaning, paying bills and CHILD REARING!
3.Never ever ever quit your job, EVER!
4.Never mingle your money.
5.You are your own knight in shining armor.

Also as a side note, men in their 40’s seem to want ‘relationships’ now more than they did as younger men. It’s nice and sweet but in the back of my mind I always wonder if it’s because they want a nurse maid for when they get older. I know this is because I have absolutely some serious trust issues. I can say though, I am having a lot of fun ‘dating like a guy’. I also love not having to answer to anyone.

brooked
brooked
5 years ago

@arash

SFHC said “cartoon goldfish”, so it actually works. If someone references Wile E. Coyote it doesn’t mean they believe coyotes can set explosives or not die when an anvil falls on their head.

Razwick
Razwick
5 years ago

and can’t you seriously understand that i’m mocking MRA’s cliche of a feminist?!which is a lonely Misandrist “woman”

Can someone please explain to me why “woman” is always in scare quotes?

Do you guys know what the scare quotes are supposed to mean? Are feminists/misandrists not actually women? Is this part of the lizard person conspiracy?

Inquiring minds would like to know.

Addendum: Since when is “Misandrist” a proper noun?

Dr Hoveiny
Dr Hoveiny
5 years ago

Can someone help me decipher this okc message I just got, beyond the hint of racism? Snakes? What?

“….Hi beautiful. How are you.I am what you are looking for. Tall, dark hair, handsome, Caucasian, great personality and spontaneous. PICS are not needed they just fill the mailbox. NO FLAKE THE SNAKES”

Razwick
Razwick
5 years ago

@Dr Hoveiny

I figured I’d find something about flakes and snakes on urban dictionary but all I found with a quick google search was confused people asking yahoo why their reptile’s skin is flaking (side note, do research before you get a pet, people).

Also the flake part led to a much more disgusting entry I am choosing not to share, that for some reason involves orgies.

Also lol @ the PICS part, I roughly translate that to: “you don’t need to see me, it’ll just waste valuable sex time, come over and sleep with me right now and you’ll see… well feel, because I’m not going to turn the lights on”

Imaginary Petal (formerly dhag85, trying out pronouns - they/their)
Imaginary Petal (formerly dhag85, trying out pronouns - they/their)
5 years ago

@Dr Hoveiny

Literally nobody has ever said “no flake the snakes” before. It’s a googlewhack (sort of). I have no clue what it’s supposed to mean.

Three Snakes
5 years ago

“There is always a certain meanness in the argument of conservatism.” – Emerson

opposablethumbs
opposablethumbs
5 years ago

Bizarre. Does there exist a snake cartoon character or something, who is supposed to have the characteristic of being “flakey”???

Re the MRA “… and then you’ll be sorry you wouldn’t shag me” fantasy – hell, if it actually were a choice between them and the cats I’d pick the cats any day. Mejor sola que mal acompañada (better off alone than in bad company), as the saying goes.

If the OH kicks the bucket before I do, I’ll be sorry – but I won’t be alone, since unlike the MRA fantasy person I have an ordinary, yanno, life.

contrapangloss
contrapangloss
5 years ago

Googlewhack?

What’s a googlewhack?

Mr. Andry
Mr. Andry
5 years ago

The men I know who are the most lonely tend to have misogynistic views of women. At the very least, these are the guys I would never hook up with my single female friends.

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
5 years ago

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goldfish

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cartoon

and i’ve got some news: i’m not here to please or act according your prejudiced bitter views.

You do, however, have to act according to the rules of the site.

and can’t you seriously understand that i’m mocking MRA’s cliche of a feminist?!which is a lonely Misandrist “woman”

… Was this bit posted in the wrong thread?

Imaginary Petal (formerly dhag85, trying out pronouns - they/their)
Imaginary Petal (formerly dhag85, trying out pronouns - they/their)
5 years ago

@contrapangloss

Type exactly two words into Google without quotation marks. If you get exactly one hit, it’s a Googlewhack.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Googlewhack

I recommend this stage show/movie.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dave_Gorman#Dave_Gorman.27s_Googlewhack_Adventure

Imaginary Petal (formerly dhag85, trying out pronouns - they/their)
Imaginary Petal (formerly dhag85, trying out pronouns - they/their)
5 years ago

@Dr Hoveiny

I found this gem on creepyPMs

http://www.imgur.com/RPXfDHc.jpg

Joel
Joel
5 years ago

I’m a bisexual feminist (who happens to be male). I’m married to a bisexual feminist (who happens to be female). I have a boyfriend who is ok with sharing me with my wife, and she will hopefully find a girlfriend who is ok sharing her with me. MRA’s heads would absolutely explode if they saw this.

Buttercup Q. Skullpants
Buttercup Q. Skullpants
5 years ago

I love, love, love Dave Gorman, Imaginary Petal.

The problem with Googlewhacks is that as soon as somebody posts one online, Google will find it and it’s no longer a googlewhack (assuming they don’t have robots.txt enabled, etc.).

Imaginary Petal (formerly dhag85, trying out pronouns - they/their)
Imaginary Petal (formerly dhag85, trying out pronouns - they/their)
5 years ago

@Buttercup QS

The Googlewhack Adventure really was a great movie, if it can be called a movie. I’ve seen it a few times. The line about his average speed always cracks me up.

I don’t have the patience to find a Googlewhack anyway, but it’s a fun concept. :p

EDIT: Fingie is wrapped around my feet and purring loudly. Squeak!

Imaginary Petal (formerly dhag85, trying out pronouns - they/their)
Imaginary Petal (formerly dhag85, trying out pronouns - they/their)
5 years ago

@Buttercup QS

I’ve been meaning to ask, do you write anything? Anywhere? A blog or something?

Fruitloopsie
Fruitloopsie
5 years ago

It’s funny MRAs and other anti feminists will
claim that feminists are crying about first world problems but will cry about the “friendzone”, they think that all feminists are straight single women and I’m disgusted with their hate for single mothers but turn around and complain that fathers especially single fathers don’t get enough love. What a bunch of misognist hypocrites.

And what’s wrong working at subway or some other restraunt, etc? We need to get jobs to pay off our school tuition, etc and what about the disabled? It’s very difficult for them to get jobs and function. It’s hard to get a job and pay off stuff and save so we can go to get degrees and get better careers. I’m disabled, I live with my mom and grandma and I don’t understand the world very well and even I know this. Do these people live in a different dimension?

Ashara
That’s awful I’m so sorry that happened, I hope you and your child will be ok. Hugs if you want them.

Dhag85
Pfft “good guys” I hate when guys false advertise and not talking to someone who is non white is apparently racist now, who knew?

Dr Hoveiny
Dr Hoveiny
5 years ago

IP and Razwick

Lol, yes! I found the same thing about snake care when googling.

This guy had no photos or information in his profile, for that matter. Take me, take me now.

And “probably racist,” lol, yep, nice guy mating call.

Dr. NicolaLuna
Dr. NicolaLuna
5 years ago

Being a feminist has enabled me to have my current lifestyle which I’m pretty fucking happy with. It helped me to leave a crappy relationship because I know I don’t need to be in a relationship.

And thanks to feminism I can vote, I was able to go to college and train to get my dream job. I’m able to work in a job I’m passionate about and raise my 2 wonderful sons on my own. If it wasn’t for feminism, if I’d found myself in the situation of being pregnant and single, who knows what would have happened to me and my children. So yes, feminism is amazing. I’m currently sat on my sofa watching netflix, my boys are sleeping soundly in their beds and I’m surrounded by my 4 cute cats. I am content. My kids are happy.

I’m sure MRAs would whine about how feminism has enabled me to have sex before marriage without consequences.

Maybe one day I’ll meet a nice, feminist, vegetarian man who does volunteer work. I have a date tomorrow in fact with a guy who volunteers at the homeless shelter where I volunteer on Saturday nights. But if I do end up single when I’m 70, it doesn’t bother me. I’ll still be volunteering, looking after my kitties and hopefully spending lots of time with my kids and maybe grandkids. And I’ll still be a kickass feminist with rainbow hair, covered in tattoos.

Ashara Payne
Ashara Payne
5 years ago
Reply to  Dr Hoveiny

@ Dr Hoveiny
Don’t know how much experience you’ve had on dating sites, but if it’s not much, be aware that lack of a pic is a red flag, it usually means the guy is taken and looking to cheat.

As for flaky snakes, no idea!!
Maybe his trouser snake is flaky?
Flaky seems a generic insult men use against women if they, eg, cancel a date at the last minute for no reason (I think this is the meaning, not too sure-is it a U.S. term? I had one guy on a dating site call me flaky because I’m suffering from depression/anxiety).

Rhuu
Rhuu
5 years ago

@Tracy: I always love hearing about people who are awesome like that, thank you for sharing!

@dust bunny: People thinking you have to find yourself a romantic partner and then cut off all of your other relationships is a good reason to continue to say that friendships can also be fulfilling.

And completely fulfilling for some people.

Buttercup Q. Skullpants
Buttercup Q. Skullpants
5 years ago

@Imaginary Petal (love your new moniker, btw!) – I used to have a blog, but it’s lain fallow for, oh, 4 or 5 years now. Coincidentally, that was right about the time the twins came along. In fact, I think my last entry was a birth announcement and a cheery “Be back in a few weeks!”

…Oh, how I love to laugh.

I also have some poetry, microfiction, and fanfiction scattered around here and there online. Someday soon I’ll get back to it. How about you? Do you write?

Also, check out Are You Dave Gorman?, for another silly quest (with charts: Miles Per Gorman!). He’s a great storyteller.

@Falconer – No, no, the babeez cannot be 3 years old now! Unpossible! How did that happen?

Looking at these memes again, it’s so baldly transparent and despicable, the way they threaten women with excommunication and loserdom if they so much as put a toe out of line. Love is apparently only for obedient women, and can be granted or withdrawn at will. (This, from the “ONLY MEN LOVE UNCONDITIONALLY” crowd.)

Also note the certainty with which the memes assert that if you behave in X fashion, you will reap Y rewards. It’s the just-world fallacy. I have quite a few female friends who followed the prescribed life path and still got screwed over terribly by cheating husbands, divorce, illness, financial setbacks, and other random events. Most of them became less judgmental, less dogmatic, and more feminist as a result.

Life is absurd, privilege is arbitrary, and fortune doesn’t follow sensible rules. There is no solid argument for exalting some people and oppressing others. It seems to me that suffragism and feminism, far from being a rejection of love, is part of the process of growing into an awareness of other people. If that’s not love, what is?

Imaginary Petal (formerly dhag85, trying out pronouns - they/their)
Imaginary Petal (formerly dhag85, trying out pronouns - they/their)
5 years ago

@Buttercup QS

Thank you. 🙂

I don’t really write, no. I would be more than willing to read more of your stuff though. You have a way with words and humor!

Freemage
Freemage
5 years ago

On feminist women and aging:

My mom and dad divorced when I was 1-2 years old. While I understand the actual separation was fairly acrimonious (and thus led to some acting out by my brother) by the time I got old enough to know what was going on, I had a pretty set definition of ‘normal’–live in a house with mom and my brother, stay at a neighbor’s house after school (until I was old enough to just stay home), go to see dad in the city every other weekend and for a week or two during the summer, and periodically spend a week visiting other relatives on my mom’s side of the family on school breaks (including as much as a month in summer with my maternal grandparents).

Dad got to be the ‘cool parent’, mom made sure we never wanted for anything. Good home, good neighborhood (when ‘working class’ still meant you could stay out on the street after dark without worrying). Read to me until her eyes got weak, then had me practice reading to her (she’s the one who hooked me on Ray Bradbury).

My folks were always good about never denigrating one another when talking to me (though those occasions where everyone was gathered in one place tended to include a social undercurrent that convinced me that the divorce was in my best interest–the two of them could snipe at one another with the skill of a couple of Oscar Wilde protagonists).

Over the years, when budgets got tight (she was a manager at a private social work agency–not a career that you get rich at, even in the upper echelon), she’d find extra work–at one point, holding down three jobs to pay down the mortgage on the house a bit and clear some credit cards. All this while raising two boys–one from toddler age, the other from 9 years old.

She dated semi-seriously over the years, but either they wanted her to settle down and start a second family right away, or they were not interested in marrying a woman with kids at all; she never found a guy who just wanted her as she was, so she stayed on her own. At a few points, my Dad got sick (he’d lived an intense and storied life, and that can wear on the heart after threescore and ten), and she was always willing to take him in for a few months while he got healthier again.

She did have a female partner awhile back, who passed after several years living in the same house. Our entire conversation when she ‘came out’ to me after they’d been living as ostensibly platonic housemates for awhile: “There’s something I’ve been meaning to talk to you about.” “Is this about [Partner]?” “Oh, thank God.” Of course I’d figured it out months prior, but I had no reason to bring it up.

Also, about… 25-ish years ago, now, she and some friends had been going to realtor open-houses in one of those little historical towns that dot the Midwest. (It was a guilty pleasure; of course they weren’t actually going to buy a home, they just wanted to see the interiors of these gorgeous houses.)

And then she came home, and mentioned that she and her friends had come across this fantastic 3-story manor home that had been abandoned for over a decade and was thus in horrible shape, but was also dirt cheap, and what did I think about the idea of the three of them going in together and buying it to fix up as their retirement home? I was flattered that she’d felt the need to ask about it because it would involve her using the money that theoretically was my inheritance, but seriously, how awesome was this?

So they bought it, and spent years fixing it up–the back part of the house was usable as a kind of apartment, so they rented that out to a a guy who was willing and able to do odd-jobs that required some expertise, and of course they did a lot of the work themselves, and after about a year, they could stay in the kitchen and back bedroom year-round and in the upstairs bedrooms in the summer, letting them do even more work, and about 8 years ago it was in such awesome shape, with a huge yard, that it was only natural that it was where my wife and I got married, because the view from the hilltop down on that little town was amazing.

She’s living there permanently now, as is one of the other women (the third is still a part-time resident, until she retires too). She’s become a dynamo in the community, and a social gadfly. The place is large enough that they usually have multiple guests who come up to stay the weekend during the spring, summer and fall.

Of course, she doesn’t stay there all the time–since taking up residence, besides coming back across the state for family affairs and periodic visits with her sisters (spread out across the midwest, still), she’s been to (among other locales) Alaska, Norway, Antarctica and Cuba. She’s visiting Montana now, and has been sending back fantastic photos of the mountain terrain, and a bighorn sheep she got to see up close.

Not bad for a feminist in her 70s, what?

dreemr
dreemr
5 years ago

I don’t comment often, but as an over-the-hill (50+ yr old) feminist myself, I feel like I need to speak up, as I am probably one of those lonely old spinsters they fantasize about?

I like men plenty, I’ve had a husband (and he was a good one!) and long-term partners (no abusive ones at all), I have a child (a son – raising him feminist of course), but when all is said and done I simply like my independence and freedom. I like having my own money, my own home, my own stuff, having time to myself to pursue the hobbies and interests I have. Maybe I’m a selfish, or at least self-centered, person, because I like being able to do what I want when I want to do it, without having to worry about what someone else wants to do or being part of a matched pair.

For a portion of my life I felt like I “should” pursue a relationship, that I “should” make time to invest in a romantic partner, lest I grow old and become lonely. I stopped feeling that way sometime in my early 40s, when I just admitted to myself that, as much as I genuinely enjoy the company and friendships of men, I simply don’t like living with them and would prefer to be on my own.

I’m honestly very happy and contented. Life is very good. I have many rich relationships with family and friends. I am not lonely. I have only one cat (and one dog). I have a job I enjoy and I own my own car and home. To what would be the utter shock of MRAs, I also enjoy the friendship and company of a nice man when he and I are both in the mood for such things.

When I read these future fantasies it mostly just leaves me bewildered, because I tend to forget that society/media/our culture tends to promote romantic love as an important goal. And I believe it IS an important goal to many people who choose it. I think there are quite a number of us who are much happier/contented without it, too.

WeirwoodTreeHugger
WeirwoodTreeHugger
5 years ago

Since MRAs and MGTOWs are constantly ranting about how terrible marriage is and how the only way to be free is stay single and childless, it’s kind of a tough sell when they try the “you’ll be alone with your cats forever!” threat on us. According to their own worldview, it’s a good thing to be alone.

Besides, don’t we want to be alone at 70 because we only marry betas when we’re in our thirties so that we can get knocked up, divorce them, and get rich off of alimony and child support? I thought women were incapable of love and only want men for the cash. So why should not being loved as a seventy year old scare us?

It never fails to amuse me how inconsistent these guys are. It’s so transparently obvious that their position is whatever allows them to blame women for something or try and make us feel bad in the moment.

WeirwoodTreeHugger
WeirwoodTreeHugger
5 years ago

I hope no one minds if I whine a bit here as the open thread isn’t active.

One of my remaining two wisdom teeth started hurting earlier this week and it got bad fast. I’m going in tomorrow to the dentist and will probably get both remaining wisdom teeth extracted. This just happened on the other side of my mouth in October. I’m so pissed I’m dealing with this again so soon. I’m trying to save money to move out of dad’s house but that’s going to be delayed another few months because expenses keep cropping up. Two dental emergencies, my laptop died, I had to get a new phone.

Gah!!!

Ashara Payne
Ashara Payne
5 years ago

Aw, hugs if you need them, WWTH.

I had two wisdom teeth out no problem, no reason (new dentist just decided I should). The third (no fourth) was impacted and ignored. After fifteen years of (premenstrual, ridiculously) pain with it I finally had it removed. Then got dry-socket! Take care if it’s on the bottom, as I’m sure you’re aware.

Bina
5 years ago

And today, I learned what a googlewhack is! Isn’t the internet wonderful sometimes?

Ashara, you probably don’t need anyone telling you this since you already know, but you’re so much better off without the louse. He’s someone else’s problem now, and who knows…maybe she’ll get sick of HIM. I don’t know about you, but I’d laugh if that were the case.

Also, how refreshing of that dating-site dude to at least not clog up Dr. Hoveiny’s inbox with dickpix. There’s a welcome switch, I’ll bet…but I still wouldn’t take the word of anyone who self-identifies as “handsome”, as one person’s prince is another’s frog. (And some princesses even like the froggies, so there’s that!)

And now, to google “NO FLAKE THE SNAKES”. Can’t wait to see what turns up.

PS to WWTH: Hang in there. You’ll get there sooner or later…

Freemage
Freemage
5 years ago

WWTH: Internet hugs if you want them. Dental problems suck, in no small part because this country doesn’t even seem to think of the idea of dental insurance (you can get it, but I’ve rarely seen anything offered better than coinsurance rates for most actual work, which means you’re still paying 20-50% of Too Fucking Much, which at best drops it down to Too Damn Much).