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I’m Not Sexist, Your [sic] Just Stupid

I’m Not Sexist, Your [sic] Just Stupid

One night in my 20s, I let someone feel me up at a party — even though he repulsed me. Why? Because I didn’t want to embarrass him in front of his friends. Because I tricked myself into thinking, “Maybe this is all you deserve.” It’s the same reason I went on dates with two other guys who I didn’t find attractive.

Guilt.

A sense that I owed them something. The idea that it’s a crime for an attractive woman — or anyone — to have standards.

The idea that all nice, funny guys deserve supermodel girlfriends.

One of them even begged me for a kiss. “You’re so pretty,” he said. “And it would mean so much.”

He really needed a self-esteem boost.

It didn’t help that each time, one of my so-called friends was right there, encouraging me to lower my bar.

Today I got an email from a man explaining Ted Bundy to me. Specifically, why it was so misguided to describe him as an incel in an article I wrote back in January. At the time, mainstream media seemed to be celebrating Bundy as a kind of real life super villain.

Here’s what the guy wrote:

It’s one thing to make typos. Everyone does that. Something else to make typos while calling someone else an idiot. Plus, he clearly hadn’t read my article. Not that I’m surprised.

Anyway… If he had, he would’ve found passages where I explain exactly what I mean when describing Bundy as an incel.

There’s a certain type of guy who needs Ted Bundy to be real. It’s the same type who secretly feels entitled to a supermodel girlfriend who always agrees with him and likes sports and/or computer games.

These men take it upon themselves to do things like defend the legacy of a serial killer to some dumb female blogger.

Seriously, what gives? They can’t disagree without applauding themselves for “blowing you out of the water” or referring to a woman’s “tiny third wave feminist mind.”

These men go to great lengths to explain why they’re not sexist, you’re just stupid. They’re not taking up for Ted Bundy, just explaining why you owe him more credit. They want you to understand he killed 36 women all by himself, without any help from the patriarchy. Yes, let’s all stop and take a moment to recognize what an accomplishment it is to kill 36 women and have sex with their dead bodies. Well done, sir.

Some men get so protective when it comes to Ted Bundy. They take pride in knowing more about Ted Bundy than you do.

They get angry when women point out that Bundy wasn’t all that charming, smart, or cunning. Just privileged.

It’s like telling a kid that Santa Claus doesn’t exist.

I’m not sure why else a man would stop in the middle of his day to sit down and write an email explaining why a woman is wrong — specifically about Ted Bundy. Not anything else. Just him.

The most important thing for him at that moment was for a feminist writer to understand that Ted Bundy really could’ve had consensual sex with those women he killed.

Sorry, Timmy. Ted Bundy isn’t the sleek, sexy serial killer you read about in crime thrillers. He’s just not. All of that’s made up.

Some men absolutely hate having to face the possibility that Ted Bundy simply used his white male privilege to exploit a system already designed in his favor. And they especially despise the notion that maybe all those women actually weren’t that attracted to Ted Bundy.

A more likely reality? His victims felt obligated to entertain the attention of a normal-looking white guy, long enough for him to walk them to a secluded location. When you were a woman in the 1970s, that’s what you did. You let men hit on you— because that’s how you were raised.

Ted Bundy didn’t seduce his victims, so much as prey on their good manners and low self-esteem. He did it just like average guys did to me in my 20s, and continue to do to other women today.

A certain kind of person needs to be right about everything. They go in search of smart, confident women and progressive men to try and destroy them. Or I guess, “blow them out of the water.”

They usually want to be right about things like abortion, gun rights, climate change, and serial killers.

They’ll tell you about that time they used their gun in self defense.

Once, a white man wrote a comment on my blog about three black guys who were stalking him in a shady part of town. Good thing for him, he had his revolver. He unzipped his jacket and showed it off, and apparently scared away the would-be muggers.

More likely, the three black guys were just hanging out — and posed no threat to him whatsoever. They left because of a crazy white guy in their neighborhood, looking for an excuse to pull his gun on someone.

And this is what some research supports. Men who own guns wind up using them more often because they seek out opportunities to do so. They take more risks. They’re more likely to drive through high crime areas. Basically, they go looking for trouble. They need support for the Clint Eastwood narrative in their heads.

If nobody’s going to break into their home, they’ll go downtown and make themselves bait for poor, desperate youths.

You might say they’re asking for it. Wow, that phrase sounds familiar. Where have I heard that before?

Recently, I sat through a half-day workshop about being an ally. The organizers spent about an hour talking about what that meant to them, and how great they were at it.

Men talked about being allies to women. And women talked about being allies to LGBT communities. And so on.

One of our VPs talked about what a good job he was doing at creating a more safe and open workplace. Then a woman raised her hand. She stood up and explained some problems she was having in his office.

Boy, was she in for a surprise. The VP started arguing with her. He politely accused her of not following the right protocols. Even suggested she might’ve been too impatient. So basically, he silenced her. Because she contradicted his narrative of being a good ally.

At the same workshop, people were told what qualifies them to be LGBT. Or how it feels to have an LGBT friend. They bragged about how much it didn’t bother them when their friend came out.

Not long after that, a coworker told me I wasn’t autistic. Why? As he explained, “You don’t act like it.”

See, a friend of his had an autistic son. This made him an expert.

True, I’ve spent a lot of time learning how to hide all of my weirdness and accommodate to everyone else’s expectations. And because of that, I’m not entitled to any accommodations of my own.

Sadly this is what allieship can turn into. Some men decide to call themselves feminists and allies. They partner up with some privileged women to hold workshops where they tell everyone else how to act.

I’ve even seen some men express sympathy for single moms, and then use that very status of single-motherhood as a pretext to explain what kinds of career choices they should be making. Since you’re a single mom, you should do this. Not that. And when the single mom disagrees, they start acting exactly like the alpha male assholes they claim to abhor. They want credit for being woke feminists. But when it really matters, they drop the ball. They’re not sexist though. You’re just stupid.

Some men depend on a certain narrative to keep their sanity. They need to believe they’re smart, funny, and good looking. And also that smart, funny, good looking men can have whatever they want.

For a long time, that narrative was true.

But now we’ve found out that smart, funny, good looking women exist too. And in fact, they come in all kinds of shapes and colors.

These women have talents. They have a voice. They’re not phased by some random email or snippy comment.

This explains why we might be seeing more outbursts of toxic masculinity. When they find out they can’t have whatever they want anymore, some of them just try to take it anyway.

And that’s when things get ugly.

That’s why I called Ted Bundy an incel. Not because of the literal presence or absence of sex in his life, but his attitude. He hated women. He felt entitled to their bodies. And if you didn’t succumb to his so-called charm, he’d just kill you and have sex with your corpse anyway.

Charming.

More and more, women are allowed to have standards now. They don’t have to smile at the first not-ugly guy who pays them any attention, and then do whatever that guy says. A confident woman taking Krav Maga seminars would be Ted Bundy’s worst nightmare. He would probably just give up and start leaving snarky posts on women’s blogs.

I’m Not Sexist, Your [sic] Just Stupid

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