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On The OkCupid Honesty Project: An Exercise in Truth-Telling

@I'm a loner Dottie If you aren't meant to describe yourself in great detail in a personal ad, or if you're meant to do that without giving any indication that you are interesting or that you find yourself interesting, I don't think I understand the point of them at all. But what I do find funny is that this reads like all the other personal ads I used to read, male and female -- the writers of whom were presumably not engaging in an experimental honesty project -- back when I was on OKCupid, right down to the "obsessive" (naturally) listening-to of music. Never even mind the avocado and quinoa business.

so either everyone is a radical truth-teller or her insides are a lot like other people's outsides. Whichever. I would like to believe that everyone who claims to read Herman Hesse is lying for some mysterious purpose but I guess that can't be the explanation here.

The business about feeling a(n apparently non-trans-identifying) man or alien in a woman's body = completely average woman in every excruciatingly gendered way possible. How can someone so full of reflection not know that? But perhaps she does know that.

But all in all and taken as a package, I liked it. and the idea that other people do not find self-deprecation or intelligently displayed low self-esteem amusing and engaging is so far beyond me that I must be some kind of alien in a woman's body. As is apparently the thing to say.

Posted on October 16, 2013 at 4:30 pm 7

On "The digital porn guy wants a fantasy that doesn’t exist, but the postfeminist girl wants one as well"

@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose Likewise!

Posted on October 10, 2013 at 10:15 am 0

On "The digital porn guy wants a fantasy that doesn’t exist, but the postfeminist girl wants one as well"

@Better to Eat You With I believe it but it's so weird to me because I can't imagine it very well. I didn't grow up with filmed pornography and I'm just as glad not to have, but the kind I did grow up with was largely male-authored, unsurprisingly. The effect it had on me and the effect that I always assumed it has on a lot of women is to instill a kind of fetishistic mental voyeurism: you find it sexy independent of how sexy you find the actual content, because when you read this, you know what a man is thinking when he's thinking about sex. I mean you know exactly. And because it's made for men and because all the discourse about it, pro or con, is about the male gaze and male desires, you get to feel like they can't see you looking; they think they're alone with it but you're there and you can see into their brains. It's erotic because it's knowledge; men know what they want but you know what you want and what they want.

But this whole layered secret double voyeurism sort of precludes identifying with or wanting to emulate the female images you see, I would have thought. So I guess I believe that research you mention because depressing things are always true, but I find it very weird.

Posted on October 10, 2013 at 10:12 am 1

On "The digital porn guy wants a fantasy that doesn’t exist, but the postfeminist girl wants one as well"

@whodathunk "The other one is [...] not sold to women as something they are entitled to find. (which one, again?)"

This one -- quote: "aggressive, disarticulated from the domestic, selfish in the bedroom."

The whole bad boy mythos that does get sold to women and that many women do enjoy revolves around being good in bed. Resentful nice-guy complaints fully acknowledge this: women want a bad boy, they say, and put up with all sorts of crap from him, just because he's hot and a good fuck. There's an actual archetype, if you like. There's something men might feel anxious about living up to.

Whereas the porn image sold to men is, as described above (and I think correctly) all about being shitty in bed. I am going to go ahead and say that no woman fantasizes about a man who is shitty in bed. I know, I know, exceptions to everything, but I think in this case, very few. There is a limit to what we can be sold.

The idea that you can be impossibly bad in bed and (crucially) the woman you are with will not express even the tiniest unscripted opinion about that is a male fantasy, not a female fantasy. I know I am not right about everything but this opinion, I will go down defending if I have to.

Posted on October 10, 2013 at 9:41 am 1

On "The digital porn guy wants a fantasy that doesn’t exist, but the postfeminist girl wants one as well"

@Mae "If you're unsatisfied by both patriarchy and neoliberal postfeminism, how do you negotiate your way between them without existing in a cultural vacuum? What are we trying to aim for?"

Well, feminism, for starters.

(Or, I guess, there is definitely nothing of value that lies between patriarchy and postfeminism, so negotiating a way between them sounds like a thankless business to me.)

Posted on October 9, 2013 at 2:38 pm 0

On "The digital porn guy wants a fantasy that doesn’t exist, but the postfeminist girl wants one as well"

This supposed bind that men are in, from the last quoted paragraph, is nothing like the virgin/whore complex, which has sort of diffused all over the place in common usage but still means one of two basic things: either, A, men want a woman to be one or the other of those things, there are two kinds of women, you have to be one of them and you can't be both, or, B, you CAN be both at once and indeed have to be, because the knowledge that you are performing an uncomfortable role for a man is his primary erotic motivator and expecting you to be two contradictory things at once ensures that you are always in the wrong, which is the primary function of paradoxical female archetypes in the public imagination.

So this bears no similarity to the male dichotomy that's posited, because the thing about the virgin/whore thing is both roles appeal to the same audience -- men -- and even both to the same man, very possibly, consecutively or concurrently.

Whereas these dual roles for men, nice human being and horrible fuck, are not two sides of the same coin in that way -- only one of them is something that women as a faceless mass expect or desire (and it isn't an unattainable fantasy role, either, for that matter.) The other one is an image sold to men only, not sold to women as something they are entitled to find. It is what men are told that they want, not what they are told women want from them. You could say this is more insidious but it definitely isn't the same issue. Two different sets of people wanting two different sets of things from you is not an insoluble dilemma; it isn't even a dilemma.

Posted on October 9, 2013 at 2:27 pm 13

On Running Blind

@de Pizan I do too (the Congressional Cemetery in DC, which I live near to, is very lovely) but I cannot stand to meet other people there. Or for other people to be there at all. It is no good reminding myself that they have as much right to be there as I do; I think for me it is like Queen Bee Syndrome only instead of being the only woman in a group of men I want to be the only living person in the city of the dead. Don't pay attention to the other live people, ghosts. I'm the prettiest.

(I don't mind the dogs that run around off-leash there, though. they are not ghost competition.)

Posted on October 8, 2013 at 5:34 pm 0

On What Is the Worst Possible Job for You?

@LilRedCorvette oh but oh my god, museum security guard is one profession where bitchy resting face would not only be an asset but would maybe be worth listing on one's resume even or something. Every time I go to the National Gallery and one of the doorway guardians gives me a Stern Look it is without fail just after I thought that some particular painting would be nice to steal. How do they know??

I thought about that as a stopgap job a time or two, except I don't think it is terribly highly paid and there is no way I would put my body between great art and great art vandals like for example that guy who used to protest-vomit on Mondrians.

Posted on October 7, 2013 at 2:37 pm 4

On What Is the Worst Possible Job for You?

Middle management. and just guess what I do.

all I want is power without responsibility but instead I have the opposite. the worst of all worlds.

to all young people: if you ever land a kitten-petting, novel-reading job like what I used to have, never let it go. You will say to yourself, oh, I need to move up in the world so as to pay "rent" and buy "food" and make more than "minimum wage" but you will be sorry, so sorry.

Posted on October 7, 2013 at 2:26 pm 3

On Interview with Filmmaker Izzy Chan: "Have we adjusted our expectations of what a man needs to bring to the table?"

@RNL re: making good points but being unfair: story of my life! But I think I am being mostly fair here, if mean. The person I was responding to made the classic error of assuming that because only men's dignity and fearfully precarious sense of adulthood and pride and social importance are acknowledged and reinforced by the culture at large, men are the only people who have those things, and men suffer more by losing them. That isn't true and it's a direct insult to women to say that -- as people do, every time some aspect of the human condition comes up that's common to men and women alike, someone says, yes, men and women both experience this but it's harder for men. It isn't true. They say it about unemployment, about sexual violence, about relative economic inferiority, about any number of things. The argument is always that even if men and women suffer the same affront, men's shame always outweighs women's -- women's shame is not even admitted to exist, sometimes. It makes me really angry.

I am not making light of depression and anxiety and fear when the happen to men. I think that it is just as scary to be an unemployed man as it is to be an unemployed woman, and that's pretty scary, even if you're married. But fear and humiliation and powerlessness are not worse for men than for women and I feel really strongly about that. It's true they're talked about in the culture as mattering more for men -- emasculation is a word and everything -- but that is a sign of men's concerns being taken seriously and women's being ignored, not of women's not existing.

Posted on September 26, 2013 at 1:30 pm 11