xenologer: (happy!)
If I were a toon, this would be easier.
My feelings could escape however
whenever
as whatever
they needed.

When you tell me nobody has called you adorable since 1999
but in 2000 I started carrying a torch for you and never stopped
I cannot prove you wrong.

Tamping the secret down inside
this well-worn bottle of mine
resistance of compromising confidences is unconscious
I cannot speak of this
but that's all right,
because I cannot speak this.

As a secondary measure my body
gives way to strange impulses
it wants to split open and
spray joyous trilling organs from its cracks,
raining candied memories in your lap.

If I were a toon, this would be easier.




*...two bits
xenologer: (happy!)
So rings are a thing for me. They are a Thing, even. I have rings I wear every day and they mean specific things or help me keep my focus on certain tasks, all that. I only have one or two that I switch out to any degree at this point.

Well, I have a spoon ring that I got when I was five, my mother hid from me for more than a decade so that I wouldn't lose or break it, and which I have worn every day since I filched it back for myself as a young me. But it's so old and made from an actual spoon, so it's kind of bendy and ready to snap.

Brian bought me this.

He knows rings are a big deal to me (I have three I wear at all times and another that I wear every day in addition) and that if he wanted to get me one he'd have to get one that replaced a ring I was going to have to stop wearing anyway soon so that I "wouldn't have to make any hard decisions." That is so many things he paid attention to! That makes me feel good. He saw me favorite it on Etsy and apparently went into the bee folder in my favorites and ordered this one for me!

Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
xenologer: (bye bye)
Love's Not the Way to Treat a Friend by
Richard Brautigan via greatpoets on LiveJournal.

Love’s not the way to treat a friend.
I wouldn’t wish that on you. I don’t
want to see your eyes forgotten
on a rainy day, lost in the endless purse
of those who can remember nothing.

Love’s not the way to treat a friend.
I don’t want to see you end up that way
with your body being poured like wounded
marble into the architecture of those who make
bridges out of crippled birds.

Love’s not the way to treat a friend.
There are so many better things for you
than to see your feelings sold
as magic lanterns to somebody whose body
casts no light.




I have known a lot of people who seem to cast no light. They grab at anyone else's that they can see through the trees and they do it for their own survival, but the really frightening thing about them isn't that they suffer so badly. The really frightening thing about them is that they used to be just like you, wandering through the woods with a light until they were mugged and left in the dark. They're scary because unless you have some way to defend yourself from them, they're your future.

No thank you.

So sometimes it means going without that desperate grasping love that reduces the one so desired into a faceless and nameless carrier of lanterns, but I am really not too sorry to miss out. What I can't understand is how many people seem to think that making it through with a little light left of my own would mean I gave nothing. There are more ways to give than to die.
xenologer: (Ravenna)
My quote of the day comes from the comments to TheFerrett's "But If I Can't Buy You A Coffee, How Will Our Species Reproduce?": How To Hit On Women

You can claim all you like that “it’s not about fucking.” But realistically, what you want is to talk, and get to know her, and go on a few dates, and make it a very intimate relationship…

…and then fuck.

And if fucking’s not a part of it, chances are extremely good that you’re going to feel like she’s wasted your time. Which makes you a liar. It’s like you’re saying, “Oh, no, going out to a restaurant’s not about the eating! It’s about the atmosphere, the good conversation, the experience.” But if you got the bill and went home hungry, you’d be ripped off.

The point is that yes, maybe fucking isn’t your primary intention, but it’s certainly well in the mix. And they know that. And you going up to them and dancing around your boner, going, “No, this is about getting to know each other! It’s about conversation!” is the kind of sad tactic that makes women not trust you. Because yeah. You want other stuff, but all that is stuff you could get elsewhere. You could have many fine friends who you don’t fuck. Instead, you’re lying about the friendship, and what you really want is the sex.

And there’s nothing wrong with that, except that you apparently feel that it is wrong. Most people want sex. But you, you’re going, “No, no, it’s more than that,” missing the point that since all of this camaraderie is going to be worthless WITHOUT the sex, you’ve pretty much made sex the core of it. That’s a scummy lie you’re telling yourself, and it’s doing you no favors, because chances are good women know what you’re really after, and are turned off by your dishonesty.

You say it’s not the first thing on your mind. But I’m willing to bet that if you’re straight, you don’t approach guys like this for fun conversations, or angst about it this much if they reject your hand in close friendship. That means that you’re lying to yourself, because really… it IS the first thing on your mind. You just are doing a little dance to pretend otherwise.


We really can tell.

Ferrett's replying to a guy who commented and seemed to be in denial about what he's really after when he talks to women. What Ferrett is pointing out is not that it's silly to try to get anything out of a woman but sex, but that it's bullshit to pretend that sex isn't the point when to everybody else it's obvious that it is.

So it's less, "Stop wanting things that aren't sex," and more, "Stop pretending you want to get to know her when you'll lose interest if she fails to put out. You are not subtle."

I've never been romantically involved with anybody I didn't consider a friend first. This is not to say that I wouldn't ever under any circumstances hook up with someone I didn't know, but after a lifetime of this shit I actually do sort of need my potential partners to demonstrate to me that my sole winning quality is not in the promise of getting a leg over.

If I think that you would see me as a pointless waste of time without the promise of sex, I personally am done with you as a human being.



I think at this point in my life I would seriously rather have a man come up to me and say, "Hey! I was just noticing how gorgeous you are. Are you looking to hook up with anyone tonight?" Then I can just say, "Nah." I would prefer this over the unmistakeable experience of a man talking to me because he's heard chicks like that and he's sure if he button-mashes enough he will figure out the combination to the supermove that takes off my pants.

If you can't figure out how to talk to women, you need to start with the small stuff and learn how to be friends with women. I don't mean circling around her ankles like a needy cat waiting for her to rub your penis belly; I mean actually figuring out a way for women to feel like you are a good friend to them, and don't do it for the sex. Do it because women are people to you and having female friends is nice. Seriously, though, don't make it about sex, even in your head.

Is this you? Do you have many female friends? If you even have to think, "Do I have many female friends?" you don't. If you don't have female friends, you are probably doing something fucked up that women notice and you don't and until that is resolved, you are not ready to chase us for booty.

I am not kidding.

If you can't befriend women, you'll be a shitty romantic partner and your ass is not ready.



And AGAIN friendship is not some kind of half-romance that needs to evolve into Real Romance. If you have female friends that you value completely apart from the question of getting your dick wet, you have already won. You don't need to do anything else to those relationships. They are already good.

I know you are thinking, "If I can just get them to be friends with me, our relationship will evolve and I will finally be repaid for my investment with the sex I have earned."

You are wrong. You are so wrong that you will ruin everything.


Or less. If it saves you time, I hate you now.
xenologer: (Lisbeth)
CaptainAwkward #247: Marrying into a family with awful boundary issues, or, secrets of dealing with Highly Difficult People
Here are some underlying principles that might help you in dealing with Alice.

You cannot control Alice’s behavior. You cannot predict Alice’s behavior. You cannot prevent Alice’s behavior. Alice is gonna do what Alice is gonna do, which is cry and shower displeasure and guilt on her family, who will cheerfully pass it onto you, because that’s how they roll.

Alice is going to throw tantrums and be shitty NO MATTER WHAT YOU DO. I think that is helpful to know. Keep reminding yourself. Alice will find ways to be shitty and intrusive, because she is a shitty intrusive control freak who needs to make everything about her and who will projectile vomit blame all over everyone.

Also, Alice is not going to get better. She is not going to have a sudden revelation of self-awareness and stop this stuff. She may mellow with age and time, but she is always going to be somewhat like this.

Here’s what’s powerful about realizing this: Once a person shows that they don’t give a shit about the social contract and have no shame about throwing adult temper tantrums in public, it kind of frees you from giving a shit about what they think of you. They hold the threat of their tantrum (displeasure, guilt trip, sulk, whatever) over the family if they don’t get what they want, but you have the power to say “Huh” and not really even acknowledge that it affects you. (...)

When Alice throws a tantrum, she wants you to inventory your behavior and wonder what you’ve done to upset her, and she wants you to walk on eggshells and be worried about upsetting her and to actively try not to upset her (Secret: This will always be a mysterious, moving target and you will never figure out how to prevent upsetting her). Her family wants this too – it’s like they are afraid she’ll turn green and bust out into nothing but purple shorts and wreck the secret flying Avengers lair dining room. Once you figure out “Oh wait, what did I do to cause this…NOTHING, because Alice reacts like this to EVERYTHING” you are free of running that little guilt-game on yourself. Alice, like Hulk, is always angry.

Absolutely.

I will say that the de-escalation techniques that Captain Awkward mention do work. It is a tried and tested way of talking someone down out of the Crazy Tree to continue talking to them like they aren't having a complete shit fit because eventually they will realize that your ruthless sanity cannot be impacted by their childish bullshit, and if they want their way they're going to have to stop throwing feces and sit down on the ground under the Tree with the adults and actually work shit out like a human.

I will also say that this is fucking exhausting, and some people aren't worth it.

Yeah.

Yeah, I fucking said it.

Read more... )
xenologer: (snail cuddle)
I don't talk about my relationship very much, which is probably a good sign, no news being good news when it comes to journal site entries about a romantic relationship. That doesn't mean there's nothing to say, though. It's just that the years have been kind, and I suppose that doesn't motivate me to write as much as the years that came before.

It occurred to me tonight that I think the very best part about my life is how long it has been since I was truly lonely.

Thinking about the world we live in and what an ugly mess it can make of people, it's been years since I wondered whether there were any intersection between the set of people who knew me and the set of people who loved me.

It's been years since I had to live without the certainty that there is someone who wants me to trust them badly enough that they will actually be trustworthy, who wants to be reliable badly enough to be it.

It's been years since I realized I'm beautiful.

It's been years since the old days when I had to promise someone my own destruction to keep them from theirs.

It's been years since the first time I realized that someone else could want me to succeed simply because they wanted me to succeed, and that they could want it without mixing it with resentment.

It's been years since I lived a life that was deformed around the fear of ugly things, and it's been years now that I can twist a life around the lovely ones. My life is slowly losing the shape of those pained and straining habits, those razor-edged defenses that I never used on the people who deserved the blades. It's losing that incessant keening stretched out wordless rage shrieking day and night behind even the best of hours.

It's been years since I figured out who I am when I'm happy and for years now, despite all of the areas for improvement and all the old growth that may never fully unknot itself, I've been someone I could respect and call good.

It'd be easy to believe that these are the best years of my life. They could be the best years of anyone's life. But y'know, we're still going. I see no reason to stop. We never promised forever, but we made certain promises for now, and as long as they're still working... so will I.

It's been more than worth it so far. Even if it ends, even if it somehow ends catastrophically with us somehow hating each other or the world or something equally enormously bad, these years... these years will always have happened.

Wherever the time goes, whatever the world does to me or to him or to the other people we love... we have been traveling a particularly breathtaking stretch of the path, and it has already happened. Wherever we go next, at least we got to be here. Whatever happens to our bodies in the distant future, whatever we become will have at some point in its history been as happy as I have been with Brian these last several years.

So to whatever we'll become whenever we become it, you're welcome. Try to pass it on.
xenologer: (vagina)
‎"A man sexually desiring a woman often has overtones of threat in our culture. From street harassment to horror films to PUAs, women learn that someone desiring you doesn't mean they're going to be nice to you."

This is one of the things that is hardest to explain to guys who get pissed that not every comment they make about a woman's appearance is met with the gratitude they feel they deserve for it. What a lot of guys fail to understand is that a lot of dangerous (not just unpleasant, but actually dangerous) interactions for women start out with a man letting her know that he's attracted to her.

It sucks for guys, I'm sure, to have to fight past that kind of apprehension, but a woman can either err on the side of excessive caution and maybe hurt a man's feelings or frustrate him, or she can err on the side of excessive trust and not just get hurt... but get blamed by it for the very same people who would have told her another day not to assume all men are dangerous.

And yes, I have had to explain this to men before. They were not pleasant conversations. If the problem with a guy's perspective is that he doesn't care what it's like to not be a guy, it's hard to get him to think about... what it's like to not be a guy.
xenologer: (YAY)
...I am now legally married.

How awesome is that?







(Now for the rest of my LGBT family who aren't allowed to. Need to get you in on this shit, because this fun should be shared. Your inevitable marriages will lift something of a shadow from everybody else's, so we've got some politicians to harass until they explode. Let's do this shit.)
xenologer: (Default)
"Not everything has to be proven, the best things aren't. Can you prove that you love your parents or your children? Can you prove that your romantic partner really loves you?"

CAN YOUR SCIENCE EXPLAIN HOW IT RAINS?

(TO which Sokka insists yes, yes it can.)

Anyway, seriously. I've been getting this from a couple of people, and I thought that I'd just put my thoughts on it here. Saying, "It doesn't matter whether there's any proof of X Supernatural Event/Entity, because not everything that matters is about proof. Sometimes you just have to have faith."

When, um. Lots of things that matter are about proof.

This is the kind of thing that people say who haven't been shown evidence of the kinds of things people ordinarily take on faith. I know my partner loves me because I have evidence from the way he treats me. I know my parents love their children because I have seen the sacrifices they made for them.

I wouldn't believe my partner loved me if he didn't treat me in ways that gave me a reason to believe it. I wouldn't believe my parents love their kids if they didn't act in ways that lead me to this conclusion.

Very few of the things people say must be taken on faith are actually taken on faith by anybody.

Why should I treat the love of God any differently than the love of my partner? More to the point, shouldn't I have some evidence that I have a partner, and then proof that he loves me, and then belief?
xenologer: (Default)
"Not everything has to be proven, the best things aren't. Can you prove that you love your parents or your children? Can you prove that your romantic partner really loves you?"

CAN YOUR SCIENCE EXPLAIN HOW IT RAINS?

(TO which Sokka insists yes, yes it can.)

Anyway, seriously. I've been getting this from a couple of people, and I thought that I'd just put my thoughts on it here. Saying, "It doesn't matter whether there's any proof of X Supernatural Event/Entity, because not everything that matters is about proof. Sometimes you just have to have faith."

When, um. Lots of things that matter are about proof.

This is the kind of thing that people say who haven't been shown evidence of the kinds of things people ordinarily take on faith. I know my partner loves me because I have evidence from the way he treats me. I know my parents love their children because I have seen the sacrifices they made for them.

I wouldn't believe my partner loved me if he didn't treat me in ways that gave me a reason to believe it. I wouldn't believe my parents love their kids if they didn't act in ways that lead me to this conclusion.

Very few of the things people say must be taken on faith are actually taken on faith by anybody.

Why should I treat the love of God any differently than the love of my partner? More to the point, shouldn't I have some evidence that I have a partner, and then proof that he loves me, and then belief?
xenologer: (Default)
"Not everything has to be proven, the best things aren't. Can you prove that you love your parents or your children? Can you prove that your romantic partner really loves you?"

CAN YOUR SCIENCE EXPLAIN HOW IT RAINS?

(TO which Sokka insists yes, yes it can.)

Anyway, seriously. I've been getting this from a couple of people, and I thought that I'd just put my thoughts on it here. Saying, "It doesn't matter whether there's any proof of X Supernatural Event/Entity, because not everything that matters is about proof. Sometimes you just have to have faith."

When, um. Lots of things that matter are about proof.

This is the kind of thing that people say who haven't been shown evidence of the kinds of things people ordinarily take on faith. I know my partner loves me because I have evidence from the way he treats me. I know my parents love their children because I have seen the sacrifices they made for them.

I wouldn't believe my partner loved me if he didn't treat me in ways that gave me a reason to believe it. I wouldn't believe my parents love their kids if they didn't act in ways that lead me to this conclusion.

Very few of the things people say must be taken on faith are actually taken on faith by anybody.

Why should I treat the love of God any differently than the love of my partner? More to the point, shouldn't I have some evidence that I have a partner, and then proof that he loves me, and then belief?
xenologer: (snail cuddle)
Look what we have!



Handfasting hasn't happened yet, and we won't be doing any of the legal end of things for quite some time (changing of names mainly, since we aren't signing a marriage contract as long as the laws are discriminatory), but we have our indestructible engagement rings. Look at them!
xenologer: (Default)
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Problem-solving skills are top of the list. Next is the tendency to express affection through playful mockery, and criticism with care. The people who have become closest to me the fastest, and who have stayed there, all seem to have these things in common. 
xenologer: (cocky Kamina)
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The people I've included in my life (most notably my partner) and the people I've excluded. I don't regret any of those decisions.
xenologer: (Default)
1. [livejournal.com profile] archmage_brian and I need to figure out the particulars of getting a domestic partnership in Indiana. We don't know how much it'll cost or what the timeframe on getting all that processed is likely to be, and we need to figure it out without having to pay a lawyer to ask if we have to pay a lawyer.

2. Sinus infection causes asthma flare-up causes no sleep causes inability to recover from sinus infection. GAH FUCK. These things cause time off work, causing a decrease in funds, causing lessened ability to go to a doctor to get an albuterol inhaler prescription causing worsening problem and potentially more time off work. Damn it. I didn't take this much time off when I had a damn head injury. I took three days off last week. I can't keep doing that.

3. There's something fucked up about being told to "join reality" by a man who's been in the miltiary for thirty years and has never done anything else, but saw on Fox News that liberals are out of touch with reality and therefore knows it must be true. I think the military is a more insular environment than talking to people door-to-door, kthx. Maybe I'm not the one who should come join the reality the rest of us are living in.
xenologer: (cocky Kamina)
Thanks to keori for this video link.



She has said everything that should be said. Everything. One bit hits particularly close to home for me, since looking up to a lesbian couple is one of the core reasons why I won't marry my partner in a state where they can't do the same. This video is really profoundly amazing. Share it.
xenologer: (wild)
I don't think it's a good idea to live each day as though it's your last. But I do think it's important to remember that we never have as much time as we think we do.

There's been a death in my religious circle, and while I didn't know her, there is this proximity to mortality that gets you thinking, you know? You get within the blast radius and stuff starts coming to mind.

I don't live each day as though it's my last. If I did, I'd be racking up insane credit card charges to visit everybody I know online before I go, taking time off work to go to Japan to see the Takarazuka Revue, and robbing banks so that I could give all the money to charities I care about (so that I can simultaneously build a legacy on philanthropy and crime!)

I don't like putting things off, though.

I work a job that may or may not have awesome long-term prospects for me, and may or may not actually be stable. But I'm where I want to be right now, and if I knew my time was coming, at least I'd be able to tell myself I wasn't sitting in some veal-pen for wage slaves waiting for the time when I'd have the money and time available to really do something I felt needed to be done. At least I'll know that I didn't waste time putting off what was really important.

As far as my personal life, I live with a wonderful man whom I would marry in a heartbeat if it wouldn't break my heart to have my little straight-pride parade in a state where a woman wouldn't have the recognized right to marry me no matter how right we were together. As it is, I want to have what legal recognition I can get, and I want it now. I can't have it now, and this is the one area of my life where I face insurmountable delays due to external circumstances. He needs to remain a dependent student until the end of the year, and it's only after that that we can get on the same insurance.

It bothers me, though. It bothers me because if something were to happen, I would regret that it had never happened. I don't like leaving room for regret. I want to take every opportunity for happiness that comes my way, and I don't want to miss anything.

Plans. I am capable of planning things in exhaustive detail, an ability to which anybody who has watched me masterminding various social situations can attest. I just don't like making plans, because making plans means investing time and effort now in a future that isn't guaranteed. I don't want to plan to be happy. I want to be happy.

I don't want to plan to have a life. I want to have a life.

I don't want to plan to make Brian my legal partner. I want to have it now.

I want the world. I want the whole world. I want to lock it all up in my pocket; it's my bar of chocolate! Give it to me now!

You get the idea; I don't want all my joy to be in the future.

Plans are such difficult things, and it's always later than you think.

The Pickup

Oct. 19th, 2009 12:10 pm
xenologer: (smash patriarchy)
First: another nosebleed? Really?!

Second:

Schrödinger’s Rapist: or a guy’s guide to approaching strange women without being maced
Gentlemen. Thank you for reading.

Let me start out by assuring you that I understand you are a good sort of person. You are kind to children and animals. You respect the elderly. You donate to charity. You tell jokes without laughing at your own punchlines. You respect women. You like women. In fact, you would really like to have a mutually respectful and loving sexual relationship with a woman. Unfortunately, you don’t yet know that woman—she isn’t working with you, nor have you been introduced through mutual friends or drawn to the same activities. So you must look further afield to encounter her.

So far, so good. Miss LonelyHearts, your humble instructor, approves. Human connection, love, romance: there is nothing wrong with these yearnings.

Now, you want to become acquainted with a woman you see in public. The first thing you need to understand is that women are dealing with a set of challenges and concerns that are strange to you, a man. To begin with, we would rather not be killed or otherwise violently assaulted.

“But wait! I don’t want that, either!”

Well, no. But do you think about it all the time? Is preventing violent assault or murder part of your daily routine, rather than merely something you do when you venture into war zones? Because, for women, it is. When I go on a date, I always leave the man’s full name and contact information written next to my computer monitor. This is so the cops can find my body if I go missing. My best friend will call or e-mail me the next morning, and I must answer that call or e-mail before noon-ish, or she begins to worry. If she doesn’t hear from me by three or so, she’ll call the police. My activities after dark are curtailed. Unless I am in a densely-occupied, well-lit space, I won’t go out alone. Even then, I prefer to have a friend or two, or my dogs, with me. Do you follow rules like these?

So when you, a stranger, approach me, I have to ask myself: Will this man rape me?

Do you think I’m overreacting? One in every six American women will be sexually assaulted in her lifetime. I bet you don’t think you know any rapists, but consider the sheer number of rapes that must occur. These rapes are not all committed by Phillip Garrido, Brian David Mitchell, or other members of the Brotherhood of Scary Hair and Homemade Religion. While you may assume that none of the men you know are rapists, I can assure you that at least one is. Consider: if every rapist commits an average of ten rapes (a horrifying number, isn’t it?) then the concentration of rapists in the population is still a little over one in sixty. That means four in my graduating class in high school. One among my coworkers. One in the subway car at rush hour. Eleven who work out at my gym. How do I know that you, the nice guy who wants nothing more than companionship and True Love, are not this rapist?

I don’t.

She goes on to give some advice to men who don't want the women they're interested in to feel menaced by a potential rapist. Good stuff that's been circling the blogosphere, but that deserved one more reposting.

The Pickup

Oct. 19th, 2009 12:10 pm
xenologer: (smash patriarchy)
First: another nosebleed? Really?!

Second:

Schrödinger’s Rapist: or a guy’s guide to approaching strange women without being maced
Gentlemen. Thank you for reading.

Let me start out by assuring you that I understand you are a good sort of person. You are kind to children and animals. You respect the elderly. You donate to charity. You tell jokes without laughing at your own punchlines. You respect women. You like women. In fact, you would really like to have a mutually respectful and loving sexual relationship with a woman. Unfortunately, you don’t yet know that woman—she isn’t working with you, nor have you been introduced through mutual friends or drawn to the same activities. So you must look further afield to encounter her.

So far, so good. Miss LonelyHearts, your humble instructor, approves. Human connection, love, romance: there is nothing wrong with these yearnings.

Now, you want to become acquainted with a woman you see in public. The first thing you need to understand is that women are dealing with a set of challenges and concerns that are strange to you, a man. To begin with, we would rather not be killed or otherwise violently assaulted.

“But wait! I don’t want that, either!”

Well, no. But do you think about it all the time? Is preventing violent assault or murder part of your daily routine, rather than merely something you do when you venture into war zones? Because, for women, it is. When I go on a date, I always leave the man’s full name and contact information written next to my computer monitor. This is so the cops can find my body if I go missing. My best friend will call or e-mail me the next morning, and I must answer that call or e-mail before noon-ish, or she begins to worry. If she doesn’t hear from me by three or so, she’ll call the police. My activities after dark are curtailed. Unless I am in a densely-occupied, well-lit space, I won’t go out alone. Even then, I prefer to have a friend or two, or my dogs, with me. Do you follow rules like these?

So when you, a stranger, approach me, I have to ask myself: Will this man rape me?

Do you think I’m overreacting? One in every six American women will be sexually assaulted in her lifetime. I bet you don’t think you know any rapists, but consider the sheer number of rapes that must occur. These rapes are not all committed by Phillip Garrido, Brian David Mitchell, or other members of the Brotherhood of Scary Hair and Homemade Religion. While you may assume that none of the men you know are rapists, I can assure you that at least one is. Consider: if every rapist commits an average of ten rapes (a horrifying number, isn’t it?) then the concentration of rapists in the population is still a little over one in sixty. That means four in my graduating class in high school. One among my coworkers. One in the subway car at rush hour. Eleven who work out at my gym. How do I know that you, the nice guy who wants nothing more than companionship and True Love, are not this rapist?

I don’t.

She goes on to give some advice to men who don't want the women they're interested in to feel menaced by a potential rapist. Good stuff that's been circling the blogosphere, but that deserved one more reposting.

The Pickup

Oct. 19th, 2009 12:10 pm
xenologer: (smash patriarchy)
First: another nosebleed? Really?!

Second:

Schrödinger’s Rapist: or a guy’s guide to approaching strange women without being maced
Gentlemen. Thank you for reading.

Let me start out by assuring you that I understand you are a good sort of person. You are kind to children and animals. You respect the elderly. You donate to charity. You tell jokes without laughing at your own punchlines. You respect women. You like women. In fact, you would really like to have a mutually respectful and loving sexual relationship with a woman. Unfortunately, you don’t yet know that woman—she isn’t working with you, nor have you been introduced through mutual friends or drawn to the same activities. So you must look further afield to encounter her.

So far, so good. Miss LonelyHearts, your humble instructor, approves. Human connection, love, romance: there is nothing wrong with these yearnings.

Now, you want to become acquainted with a woman you see in public. The first thing you need to understand is that women are dealing with a set of challenges and concerns that are strange to you, a man. To begin with, we would rather not be killed or otherwise violently assaulted.

“But wait! I don’t want that, either!”

Well, no. But do you think about it all the time? Is preventing violent assault or murder part of your daily routine, rather than merely something you do when you venture into war zones? Because, for women, it is. When I go on a date, I always leave the man’s full name and contact information written next to my computer monitor. This is so the cops can find my body if I go missing. My best friend will call or e-mail me the next morning, and I must answer that call or e-mail before noon-ish, or she begins to worry. If she doesn’t hear from me by three or so, she’ll call the police. My activities after dark are curtailed. Unless I am in a densely-occupied, well-lit space, I won’t go out alone. Even then, I prefer to have a friend or two, or my dogs, with me. Do you follow rules like these?

So when you, a stranger, approach me, I have to ask myself: Will this man rape me?

Do you think I’m overreacting? One in every six American women will be sexually assaulted in her lifetime. I bet you don’t think you know any rapists, but consider the sheer number of rapes that must occur. These rapes are not all committed by Phillip Garrido, Brian David Mitchell, or other members of the Brotherhood of Scary Hair and Homemade Religion. While you may assume that none of the men you know are rapists, I can assure you that at least one is. Consider: if every rapist commits an average of ten rapes (a horrifying number, isn’t it?) then the concentration of rapists in the population is still a little over one in sixty. That means four in my graduating class in high school. One among my coworkers. One in the subway car at rush hour. Eleven who work out at my gym. How do I know that you, the nice guy who wants nothing more than companionship and True Love, are not this rapist?

I don’t.

She goes on to give some advice to men who don't want the women they're interested in to feel menaced by a potential rapist. Good stuff that's been circling the blogosphere, but that deserved one more reposting.

April 2016

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