Street Harassment – everything you needed to know, ever.

Literally the best thing I have ever read, including the comments:

http://rookiemag.com/2012/05/it-happens-all-the-time/

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Rug Munchers and Other Mythical Beasts

As a former student of Linguistics, I fail to understand the semantic link between ‘this is my girlfriend’ and ‘I very dearly want you to fuck me with your manly penis’.

No seriously, I don’t get it.

I have been in a lesbian relationship for over a year now, and I am beginning to sympathise with the Angry Lesbian stereotype. Not because, in addition to requiring low slung jeans and banded underwear, I am genetically programmed to simply BRIM with angst, but because:

+ Unless I take specific care to be in a gay bar at the time, men interpret my dancing with my girlfriend as an invitation for sex.
+ If I introduce my girlfriend to a straight man whom I have recently met, they interpret that as an invitation for sex.
+ If I tell a man that I am unavailable due to my being a committed relationship with a woman they INTERPRET THAT AS AN INVITATION FOR SEX.

I would argue (perhaps radically) that a vast majority of general populace do not in fact, believe, in lesbians.
Hear me out.

Anecdote:
I recently attended a university club event with my girlfriend and several other friends. We had several (read: all of the) drinks and were enjoying ourselves immensely. We were also on a boat, which is necessarily a good time.
During the last hour or so of the event, I made friends with a few young men on the dancefloor. I learned their names, I told them a bit about myself, I danced embarrassingly and they danced embarrassingly. Then my girlfriend approached, and I introduced her to my new friends.
They looked surprised, then disbelieving, then interested. We had drunk dancing fun together, and when the event finished we convinced them to attend our favourite trashy gay bar with us, instead of the official after-party.
On the way to said after-party, my girlfriend got into a cab with these boys and I followed separately. I was several minutes behind, and when I finally managed to track down my girlfriend (she had left her phone in my coat pocket), she was in tears.
Upon arrival at the bar, the boys had become irritable at my absence, and had admitted that they had only come with us in order to ‘watch you make out’. When I failed to turn up on time, they stormed off, asserting that we had ‘ruined their night’.

After years of making out with women in public (well, in venues) I have a hundred of these stories to tell.
It gets a little…tiresome.

That covers my interactions with the majority of  straight men with whom I do not have a prior acquaintance.

Maybe I’ll start carrying laminated copies.

Anecdote:
I attended the birthday of a woman with whom I have been friends for many years. We boarded together at high school and became a member of each other’s families.
He family was at the party; I spoke with them all and introduced them to my girlfriend for the first time.

Two weeks later  when I was meeting my friend for A Nice Glass of Wine, she said to me (slightly shocked and moderately offended):
‘You’ll never guess what Dad said after meeting your girlfriend!’
I said: ‘I bet I will. But she’s too pretty to be a lesbian’
‘YES!!’

I probably don’t need to unpack this statement (which I have heard a great many more times than once) for people who read this blog, but I will anyway.
‘But she’s too pretty to be a lesbian’ = ‘But you are attractive, so you must be able to get guys to fuck you. It’s only women who are too ugly/aggressive/fat/etc to get men who need to resort to lesbians.’

On the one hand, I experience men who absolutely can not conceive that two women might sexually interested in each other for any other reason than to attract or enhance the pleasure of men. I have tried to convince them. I have been firm, angry, polite, charming, and even borderline violent (of which I am not proud). I have spent literally hours trying to cheerfully explain my own experience to men, before realising that they were just glazing over until such a time as they deemed appropriate to cut me off and deliver their own personal reflections.

So I have decided that for most people, Lesbians are less a concrete reality, and more an abstract concept with which they can account for the failings of women and/or their failings with women where applicable.

I would really appreciate any handy tips for deflecting such attentions in the future, for I fear that the next time it happens I may headbutt someone.

 

The Medical Need for Wang

I never thought I would be one to criticise The Hairpin, for it is frequently my go-to for internet based good times.
HOWEVER.
In this most recent ‘Ask a Lady’ column (which is usually some excellent reading), a reader submitted this question:

I’m bisexual. And not the “bi now, gay later” kind of bisexual that some gay men feel duty bound to hilariously bring up whenever I mention it. Bisexual for real! I have been with women and men and it’s great with both and I don’t plan on choosing sides at any point in the future. But I’m not promiscuous, I don’t suddenly switch from one orientation to the other, I’ve never cheated on anyone in my life, and I don’t have any oddball tastes in the bedroom; put simply, there aren’t any surprises or stereotypes in store for my partners. So if I’m pursuing a lady, how soon should I bring this up? It doesn’t affect the way I behave in relationships, and I worry that some women may freak out unnecessarily if it comes up before they know me well enough to see that I’m not weird.

As a regular and long-term peruser of said column, I know that this question, and variations of such, are not of the infrequently-asked variety. They are usually dealt with in the sort of ‘your own personal shit is your own personal shit and you should not feel pressured to reveal your sexual history unless and until you want to’ kind of way. Which is basically what A Lady did. Except:

That’s all if everything you said is true — specifically that being bi doesn’t affect the way you behave in relationships. Which honestly I don’t think is true in your case. Because if you don’t ever, ever cheat on anyone, but also don’t plan on choosing sides at ANY point in the future, then it means that whenever you’re in a relationship with a woman, you’re not going to be satisfied by that relationship unless you’re getting a little dick (a nice, normal-sized dick) as well. Which you’re not getting, ’cause you never cheat on anyone — so you settle for whatever sex parts your current partner has until things don’t work out, which does absolutely count as affecting the way you behave in a relationship.

I read it. Then I re-read it about four times, because I have faith in The Hairpin and A Lady, and was kind of shocked that they would betray me like this. Did she just say that we had to choose sides? Did she just imply that we would inevitably cheat on our partners until we did because, you know, we couldn’t be satisfied by just one set of genitals?

The fuck, A Lady.

I immediately scrolled to the comments, which obviously I rarely do, because comments are for some reason inevitably filled with illiterate mouth-breeders who seem compelled to vomit hatred and vitriol all over their keyboards. But this time, it was full of people being all: The fuck, A Lady. We don’t appreciate the inference that we are all unfaithful, slutty deviants.

Also, did you see the part where he clarified his bisexuality for you in the preamble because he is used to receiving bullshit from people who, like you apparently, assume this means he is an unfaithful, slutty deviant?

Anna Paquin is bi, and people not believing in it pisses her off too.

One of the worst things about being bisexual is people completely rejecting your existence. When I came out to my mum, she told me that she ‘didn’t really believe in bisexuals’, and she gave me that special look that people give you when you use the word bisexual – doubt mixed in with disbelief.

I tend not to use that word when identifying myself to new people. Most people my age (especially those not particularly familiar with the ways of the gay) seem to associate ‘bisexual’ with drunk girls who make out with drunk girls in order to impress/attract dudes. Which doesn’t help much.
Other people (and by people I mean dudes) tend to interpret ‘I’m bisexual’ as ‘I really want to sleep with you’.

My point is that it’s hard enough without people who are supposed to be on our side (and again, almost always are!) purporting this kind of degrading stereotype.
I will admit that there are people who identify as bisexual and eventually move on to realise that they are/come to terms with being/come out as gay or lesbian. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t  bisexuals who are and will remain attracted to both sexes for the duration of their lives, and it would be nice if we could be taken seriously.
Bisexual is not a layover on the way to gaytown, it’s not a ‘college experiment’ and it’s not mutual masturbation in between ‘real relationships’.
It’s a thing.

BONUS FEATURE:
(my favourite comment from the column)

Heyyyyy, whoa. This kinda grates on me. I mean, I’ve dated people who weren’t way-deep-obsessed with music like I am, but it didn’t mean I whiled away my time until things broke enough that I could lunge at someone in a Weakerthans t-shirt.*

Being attracted to more than one gender doesn’t mean you NEED to get some of both at the same time. Some people do, some people don’t, and this sounds like one of the folks who doesn’t. The question was “When do I disclose the bi,” not “When do I disclose my MEDICAL NEED FOR WANG.”

* No, seriously, SEND ME CUTE BOYS IN WEAKERTHANS SHIRTS SO I CAN TEST THIS THEORY