The Sexist

Sexist Beatdown: The Withered Genitals of Feminist Dating Edition

In this edition of Feminist Dream Phone Sexist Beatdown, Sady Doyle of Tiger Beatdown and I help all the hetero feminist ladies out there find a man! There's been some very Serious Feminist Literature written on the subject of Feminist Dating as of late, covering such important topics as establishing a feminist litmus test and learning to sarcastically accommodate man-children. What is this discussion missing, besides more hamburgers? Personal information about Sady and I, apparently!

Important Note: This Sexist Beatdown will make a lot more sense if you imagine Sady and I throwing sassy hand signals (such as "the hand") at various points throughout the dialogue, inserting the word ". . . girl" before and after each of our sentences, and exiting to the enthusiastic applause of hundreds of single women at the discussion's conclusion. Thank you.

AMANDA: Hellooo.

SADY: Why, hello! First, allow me to extend a brief litmus test to you, to determine whether we may chat.

AMANDA: OK.

SADY: My litmus test is: Rape Culture! Are you a fan?

AMANDA: Fuck, I know this one. I know this. I'm going to go with "not a fan"?

SADY: A-ha! We may proceed!

AMANDA: Great! Can I also request that we make this a speed Sexist Beatdown, because I reeeaaaally need to go eat this hamburger pretty soon?

SADY: Sure! The thing is, my own Litmus Test (which is not so much a Litmus Test as a Litmus GRE, I must admit) is not that much more subtle.

AMANDA: OK cool. So do you have an actual, like, question you will ask a potential boyfriend?

SADY: Personally, I just talk about feminism all the damn time. There are no questions! There are only answers! Answers provided by ME!

AMANDA: Right. Yes. That tends to be pretty effective in weeding out a whole lot of people.

SADY: I find myself a little unbearable. But I, like, hit on a guy and then transition into talking about Dworkin's thoughts on the Tolstoy marriage in “Intercourse” (ACTUALLY HAPPENED; TRUE STORY TIME) and if their genitalia withers at the mention of the name of Andrea D, well, that's when I find out!

AMANDA: And did it? Wither?

SADY: We are dating now! This man and I!

AMANDA: The genitalia doth not wither! I actually haven't been on the market since I became insufferably outspoken on the issue of ye olde rape culture, so I haven't been able to have that really fun experience yet.

SADY: Ha, yeah. Can I tell you it will be TERRIFYING? (Not that you are going to break up with your boyfriend. But! I am going to talk about me now, because that is my area of expertise and interest!) It is the worst part of breaking up. You are like, "but I can't break up with you! I became a FEMINIST BLOGGER! Now I'm NEVER going to get laid EVER AGAIN!”

AMANDA: I have heard, "You talk about rape all the time," from the significant other, who tolerates it. And he's not wrong. I feel like there are feminists, and then there are professional feminists, and if you are lucky enough to get within genital-withering distance of a professional feminist, then you're going to have to listen to a lot of theories about rape. But I imagine it's kind of like a lot of things? For example, I often have to silently log government acronyms in my brain that I will never understand, and it is something that I generally tolerate. But I feel like it's made out to be scarier or more annoying when the shop talk that is boring you to tears on your first date is of the Feminist persuasion.

SADY: Right. Because you have to navigate it. It actually has to be a topic of conversation, like: "Look. Look at me. This lady right here? Feminist. We can't avoid that. Let's talk about how I won't genitally mutilate you over a disagreement, as you may have heard The Feminists enjoy doing from time to time." But when you are not a Professional Feminist, when you are just Regular Feministing It Up, I feel like it is almost harder.

AMANDA: Because it's not necessarily the first thing that a potential partner knows about you?

SADY: Yeah. And because you can't be like, "but actually I know my shit on this topic, enough to get paid for knowing it from time to time." You are just a wacky lady with a cute little hobby of thinking she's a person and stuff, and people don't treat it with the same level of respect.

AMANDA: Oh word. God getting laid is so hard.

SADY: It really is! It amazes me that people ever manage it! And (FOR ME!) I didn't have the same level of confidence, Back in The Day, so I'd try to slip it in there on like the ninety-seventh date and in a very quiet way, whereas now I am like, "oh. Right. I got this."

AMANDA: The only thing I truly remember addressing in previous relationships is the pro-choice thing, which has direct and immediate application to having sex with a person.

SADY: Ha, right. I was very up-front about birth control. Still am! Still talk about it! Because, that is my own personal body we are discussing! But also I would go to ninety-seven Judd Apatow feature films with you and sort of quietly stew and not tell you what was wrong. You know what I recommend though? Is, like, looking around for dudes who do the feminism.

AMANDA: But where?

SADY: Uhhhhh... the Internet? I think a lot of feminist ladies who blog on the Internet date or have dated or are currently dating feminist or political dudes who blog on the Internet. Seriously like three separate feminist ladies I have talked to have been like, "and we met through work." Or, "and we met because of The Blogs." And I totally recommend that! Actually! Because like more or less all your junk is out there already, and that is easier than doing your Missionary Work (ZING PUN BLAM) and trying to convert anybody. So, Step 1: Start feminist blog. Step 2: Meet dude who runs feministish blog. Step 3: Scientifically determine dude is awesome. Step 4: PROFIT??? IN THE ROMANTIC ARENA????

AMANDA: I have this hilarious image of a single lady like walking into a Men Can Stop Rape meeting and being like, "well HELLO feminist allies," all sexy like. Kind of like That Guy who shows up at a pro-choice rally in a "This Is What A Feminist Looks Like" t-shirt in an attempt to get some ass.

SADY: Oh, dude. If they figured it out, it would be OVER. It would be like the weird guy who walked up to you after Women's Studies classes to say you'd Opened His Eyes, creepily, times a thousand.

AMANDA: I think I'm still at a stage in my Comfort With Internet where when I am going out with a person I met over the Internet, I'm really self-conscious about it. Like, "Oh, I'm going to get a drink with someone. YES WITH MY INTERNET FRIEND. WITH MY INTERNET FRIEND OKAY." But I'm realizing that the Internet is becoming more like Real Life now so it's not so tortured. And why not cultivate sex partners that way, I guess! I just wonder if being a feminist and dating requires more of a premeditated campaign than having some other particular hangups and dating... I mean, I think it can just happen naturally, like anything else. Not that the Internet is unnatural! Oh god! Oh GOD.

SADY: JUDGER. Yeah. I mean, I always want to meet people From The Internet if I work with them, to REMOVE that creepy "it's like a friendship, but on the Internet" feeling. Then it's just a friendship. But maybe there should be like a feminist J-Date! Oh, my God, I just became an online dating entrepremillionaire. Just by typing that sentence.

AMANDA: F-Date. F-Fuck.com. There are possibilities.

SADY: YES. GOOD. MARK THE DOMAIN NOW.

AMANDA: It is shockingly unclaimed!

SADY: NO TIME FOR CHATTING! GOT TO ESTABLISH ONLINE FEMINIST-EXPLOITING CAREER!

AMANDA: I only date other professional exploiters of feminism, personally.

SADY: And at last, we discover the true purpose of both feminism and the human desire for companionship: To Make Us Money.

AMANDA: Excellent! So now that we've solved the Feminist Dating Dilemma, I guess I can go eat a burger now?

SADY: You eat that burger, my friend. And I myself will be making some pasta and cashing in harder than you've ever seen. The next time you see me, I will be eating a burger made from a cow cloned for me personally. Because that's how feminism works.

  • http://jaded16.wordpress.com Jaded16

    Haha both of you are great. You have also raised the Super-Important-Issue-Of-The-Shortage-Of-Feminist-Men. I (plus my lady parts) are just withering away from the lack of Feminist or un-anti-braincell-men as I like to call them. You should step on the F-Date website right away :)

  • https://scatteredfemthoughts.blogspot.com Ami

    Last two lines of this exchange...poetry in motion! :)

  • Pamo

    Not to ignore the post (which I enjoyed as always), but good lord, Dream Phone. To this day my friend will randomly pipe up with "I know who it is, but I'm not telling! Ha ha!"

  • Opie Curious

    I endorse F-Date hard, if only because I would no longer wonder whether I am being creepy by explicitly stating that women I am interested in must self identify as liberal/progressive and feminist, and they should ideally be rather activist-y about it. What if I'm taking this crazy important thing and making it sound like I really just, as Jaclyn said last week, like the idea of a person rather than the person? Because that is bad; my feminism is unquestionably a work in progress but it is really important to me and is really a necessary facet of anyone I date. But it is just one facet!

    Well, on F-Date, it is a given! Yay! No more "Is this weird?" feminism requirements. DO THIS THING!

  • b-bop

    He looks cool in whatever he wears...but he's not wearing yellow.

    He likes most sports...but not basketball

    I know who it is, but I'm not telling!

  • JD

    Hey Amanda,

    "I have heard, “You talk about rape all the time,” from the significant other, who tolerates it. And he’s not wrong. I feel like there are feminists, and then there are professional feminists, and if you are lucky enough to get within genital-withering distance of a professional feminist, then you’re going to have to listen to a lot of theories about rape"

    Sure, this makes sense, in a way. If you're with a hairdresser, you're going to hear more about hair than when you're with plumber, joe or joanne.

    And personally, I'd want a woman who is feminist in the sense of being interested in equality between the sexes. But still - I would find it *so* hard to not take the theoretical talk about oppression and rape and privilege personally. Feminists seem to generally be able to separate their theoretical discussion of rape and rape culture quite well from their personal life - think "yeah, men have oppressed women through rape for an eternity. Now take me and throw me on that bed, tiger!".

    I certainly enjoy occasional discussions about gender, yet I'd find it very hard to not let a relationship be defined by gender power relations instead of a relationship between two equals if talk about gender relations were a dominant aspect of that relationship.

    It would be a constant reminder of problematic aspects of male sexuality and it would generally make it difficult for me to feel like an equal, like a real partner, like someone who can legitimately call her out on her shit.
    This talk would implicate me and generally devalue everything I say as potentially informed by systemic oppression. And I would not really know how to deal with that, and there is not much recognition of how difficult this can be for guys.

    You say your s.o. tolerates it, but maybe you should, on occasion, ask him how it makes him feel as a man that you're constantly talking to him about rape culture, possibly just before snuggling up to him on the couch. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't want a woman to touch me let alone initiate any kind of physical intimacy right after a discussion/lecture about/on rape culture, as it would always emotionally, while not logically, implicate my own male sexuality.

    Let me know if you have any practical ideas on how to *not* take such talk personally...

  • SJM

    You gals are great!

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