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On Feminism and Getting Laid

A little while ago, I wrote a blog post called Some Thoughts on Rape Culture.

Every time I write a blog post like this, as sure as night follows day, the same thing happens. Invariably, I will get at least one, and sometimes several, private emails in my inbox. The content of these emails is always the same, and they're rarely stated in the blog comments. Every time, they're some variant on the same theme:

That must be working pretty good for you, huh? Pretending to be a feminist must really get you laid.

This has happened for years, and this last blog post was no exception.

I'm not quite sure what to make of the assumption that a man who espouses feminist values must be using it as a ploy to get sex. The first time I encountered this, it was quite a head-scratcher, I must confess. Really? I thought. That's your take-away? I am pretending to support values and ideals about women's agency because I'm trying to score sex from feminists? Seriously?

Now, in all fairness, if you look at all my partners, it's very unlikely I would be involved with them if I weren't a "feminist man," or, as I like to call it, "a man who thinks women are people." I have simple tastes; I prefer strong, smart, confident women, and those tend--surprise!--to be women who like being treated as people.

But here's the thing.

The fact that these women would only be likely to get involved with a man who respects the ideals of feminism doesn't mean that they'd get involved with every guy who respects those ideals. Treating women as people is necessary but not sufficient; if you treat women as people, that doesn't guarantee you'll be involved with them, but if you don't, you won't. Yes, in order to have sex with my partners, you have to be a dude who's a feminist. You also have to be a dude who they think is worth having sex with, and you can't fake your way into that.

So as a strategy for getting laid, adopting feminist ideals is, by itself, kinda rubbish.

And pretending to adopt feminist ideals is even more rubbish.

I don't quite get what's going on in the head of some guy who thinks pretending to be feminist is a ploy to get laid, but I have to assume that a guy who thinks that, probably doesn't think women are very smart. If someone pretends to think women are people, but doesn't actually think women are people, I suspect the ploy would be revealed rather quickly. Probably some time between appetizers and the main course, and certainly well before any clothes come off. I really don't think it's possible to pretend to be feminist, at least not for any length of time longer than a dinner conversation.

I don't say that rape culture is a thing because I'm hoping to get laid by women who say that rape culture is a thing. I don't think women deserve agency and personal autonomy as a tactic to try to get them to use their agency and personal autonomy to fuck me. I mean, seriously, what the fuck? How is it that someone might seriously think that being nice to feminists is a strategy for getting laid? Is it because he thinks feminists are so well-known for...um, having sex with any guy who's nice to them?

If I were to advocate some kind of duplicitous scheme to get more sex, I would definitely recommend "learn to swing dance" over "pretend to be a feminist." It certainly seems far more likely to succeed. Pretending to be a feminist when you really don't think of women as real people, just to try to get in the pants of women who want to be treated like real people, is just...it...I just...what is this I don't even.


( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 7th, 2013 10:06 pm (UTC)
Pretending to be a feminist when one is not would seem like an awful lot of work. To convincingly "pretend" you'd have to actually start to *gasp* believe your own schtick and act in ways consistent with the philosophy. I can't even imagine what kind of twisted mind *could* convincingly pretend to be a feminist when they actually were not.
Aug. 21st, 2013 12:08 am (UTC)
It isn't hard. What you do is set up a few times a week or so to be available. Keep to the schtick for a few hours of 'talk-time', ie. non-food or movie theatre time. Keep people separated who might talk and compare notes, ie "Oh, I have this one friend, but they work a different schedule than me". Read up on narcissistic parent behaviours regarding multiple children; it works for manipulative abusers, too. In the end, the only way to realize that the person is lying about it is to spend more time with them, and/or to get into in-depth conversations with other people about the person in question. Bet he never has someone around him for more than an hour or two, so there won't be much to say. Heh.
Aug. 7th, 2013 10:25 pm (UTC)
Feminists who also know how to swing dance are SUPER sexy in my book. :D Still isn't an automatic ticket into my bed of course, but since dancing is frowned on by conservative religious groups because "it might lead to dancing," and because sex is also known as the "horizontal mambo," it's a good start. :)

And I'm certainly right there with you that pretending to be a feminist in order to get laid is about the silliest thing ever. WTF indeed.
Aug. 7th, 2013 11:32 pm (UTC)

Also, I have met quite a number of feminist women who similarly assert that my feminism is a ploy. I cannot imagine the confusion of ideas which gives rise to this assumption.
Aug. 7th, 2013 11:32 pm (UTC)
Yes Franklin you are absolutely correct. The effort put forth to pretend to be a feminist isn't worth the effort if they are trying to get laid. There's MUCH easier targets & ways of getting meaningless sex... *lol*. I wonder why anybody would think you would want to waste your time in that endeavor? first ogfff you woludn't bpother to prtetebndto be who you wreen't- you're a straight up person as faras I can tell... You're way too smart to use a complicated a ploy & you don't even NEED to! *lol*

Edited at 2013-08-07 11:36 pm (UTC)
Aug. 7th, 2013 11:41 pm (UTC)
Sleazy dudes are just a part of dance I've come to realize, but you don't have to deliberately send them our way.... *Grumble and Le Sads*
Aug. 7th, 2013 11:42 pm (UTC)
There's a bit at the beginning of your post where you say that people assume that you "must be using it as a poly to get sex" which made me chortle a bit, not gonna lie.

As a strategy for getting laid being a feminist is... a good start, I guess? Yeah, it boggles me that people think no man can truly be a feminist unless he is looking to get laid by women who are feminists. Wut. As my partner says, it's oppositional sexism at its finest.
Aug. 8th, 2013 12:31 am (UTC)
I too liked the "a poly to get sex" typo :-)

I suspect what's going on is just simple projection: if someone thinks "I'd only do that as a ploy to get sex" then there's a chance they'll project that on to others "you must be doing that...". My guess is that calling it out is then a combination of rejecting the idea that behaving differently might help ("nah, that'd never work"), and possibly looking for a "dude, you should totally do it, it's an awesome strategy" reply. It should probably just be regarded as a close cousin of rape culture.

Aug. 8th, 2013 01:18 am (UTC)
Aargh! Typo is fixed now. :)
Aug. 8th, 2013 12:57 am (UTC)
It is a strange accusation to make. Sadly, the strong women I know would be quite a bit less likely to put out were such a facade attempted, since such a facade would be so very transluscent.

Now, the accusation that you attend anonymous swinger sex parties to get laid, that might have a bit more traction (were, of course, it were true).
Aug. 8th, 2013 05:07 am (UTC)
Oh, come on, Franklin, it's quite simple! The reason they believe it must be a ploy on your part is because: no matter how hard they try, the alternative -- that you ACTUALLY BELIEVE all this -- is even harder for them to imagine! They just cannot wrap their head around how any guy could sincerely think that. So they have to come up with some other explanation, no matter how incredible.
Aug. 8th, 2013 03:11 pm (UTC)
I don't think I've had as much appreciation for any author as I do for you. Thank you for what you write.
(Deleted comment)
Sep. 13th, 2013 12:57 pm (UTC)
"Brogressives" is a good name for the type, too. They're slightly harder to spot as fakes if they're involved in social justice otherwise, but by no means impossible even then. The amount of misogyny we breathe in every day just living in the world, it's very hard to conceal something that's so common unless you've actually made an effort to understand it and recognize it, to de-install the kyriarchal vision-filters that make it something like nitrogen: invisible and ubiquitous.
Aug. 15th, 2013 11:59 pm (UTC)
Aug. 21st, 2013 12:06 am (UTC)
It is true that there are guys who pretend to be a feminist/womanist just to get laid, the way there are guys who pretend to be gay around women so that we'll feel comfortable taking our clothes off. And aren't we SO SPECIAL that we're the ONE girl that could "turn him straight"! Amazing. Magical.

Does this mean that you are doing this? I've read your work for a few years now, starting with posts I saw on other LJ communities. Based on that, I really don't think that's the case. But I do see exactly why other people are paranoid about the idea. And then we have that small group of feminists who think that no man can ever adopt womanist/feminist ideals because all men hate women or something, so you'll always get hate mail from them.

The troubling part is that women DO fall for guys who just pretend to be feminists/womanists. Because some of us are so incredibly surrounded by violence and craziness and misogyny that the second any guy treats us like an actual human being, we think we're really lucky. That this is a special guy. I should know- I did it, too. So it works. And so more guys catch on to that, and the tactic just spreads.
Mar. 6th, 2014 05:35 am (UTC)
https://imgflip.com/i/7d8nb (https://imgflip.com/i/7d8nb)
May. 23rd, 2014 10:17 pm (UTC)
Well to be fair, not all that call themselves feminists are THAT intelligent.
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )