Note from Josh: Hideous tics, still can’t type much, but it’s good news today. Here’s Ashley Ambirge from The Middle Finger Project. She has one of the strongest, loudest, shrillest voices on the web, and she can really write. I love her madly. You should too.
He goes for his wallet. I go for mine. Despite my gesture that would imply the opposite, I’m secretly hoping that the next words out of his mouth will be, “No, absolutely not. You’re my lady tonight, and I intend to treat you like one. Put that away, you ___________(gorgeous, intelligent, sexy, achingly beautiful) woman of my dreams.”
Instead, he proudly whips out his cell phone to calculate precisely 10 percent of the bill, and with no shame and a straight face, proceeds to tell me that I owe exactly $28.46, payable in U.S. dollars only, followed by one of those overly dramatic, cheesy winks that says, That’s right, doll, not only can I gel my hair to perfection, but I can do math, too!
Mentally curse again. Force half smile. Force vomit down.
Another one bites the dust
The gold neck chain should have been a sure sign. What was I thinking?
You see, when you ask me out, and I eventually accept (after making myself “unavailable” for a predetermined length of time, so I don’t appear desperate, of course, and you foolishly play into my dirty little scheme to make you fall madly in love with me) and we frolic off to have some oh-so-intellectually-stimulating conversation all about the nuances of fantasy football and/or the time you single-handedly won the championship game in high school, the least I expect is that when the check comes, you’ll be so generous compassionate humane as to purchase my piece of lemon chicken.
On second thought, maybe that’s unfair. Maybe you happen to be an awesome guy–sans gold chain–who made me snort from laughing so hard, had my heart racing when your hand touched mine from across the table, and caused me to question whether or not soul mates really do exist. Sorry, cupcake, no dice–I still want you to pick up the check.
Feminists, deep breath. Hang tight. I got you
I’m just going to go ahead and put this out there: Knowing me, who I am, and what I believe in, THIS MAKES NO SENSE.
For those of you who are familiar with me and my writing over at The Middle Finger Project, you know that I’m the biggest, loudest, sassiest, in-yo-face advocate for shunning the status quo & anything done “just because.” I’m fiercely independent, as are my readers, and certainly don’t need a man to pay the bill. (Although a foot rub is always welcome.)
So why is it, then, that I still want him to?
I thought about this long and hard, and I’ve come up with only one solid, plausible reason:
Because I want to have sex.
The whole notion of gender equality is all good and well with me. I’m all about equal voting privileges (thank you, suffrage), equal workplace rights, and just generally being considered on par with my male counterparts.
But there is one exception, and that exception is in the bedroom.
That’s right: As a female heterosexual, it’s for damn sure I hope that there’s at least one thing that isn’t equal about us.
And when we go out to dinner, it has nothing to do with whether or not we can both stand in line for 39 hours to cast our ballot for the next presidential candidate, whether or not you’re making more money than me, or whether or not we are both, in fact, wearing pants.
It has to do with whether or not we could be potential future mating partners.
And without having sex with you, somewhere in between the appetizer and the main course, the only way I can gauge your potential mating factor is by how willing you seem to want to care for me, AKA provide me with heaps of lemon chicken.
Sure, that’s an oversimplification, but it’s a truthful admission of my inner-dialogue. And, admittedly, I feel pretty bad about this. Not the fact that I come across like the webmaster of www.moneygrubbing@&$!#.com, but the fact that I have this huge conflicting need:
Am I independent, like I think I am, or am I actually more dependent than I’d like to believe?
ME TO BRAIN: But, brain! Feminism is a noble ideal, one that you like! You are a strong, secure, forward-thinking, progressive liberal. Why, oh why, brain, are you playing this whole damsel in distress role all of the sudden?!
BRAIN TO ME: Sorry, slugger. This one’s got nothing to do with me. By the way, next time, can you go on a date with a scientist or something? I’m getting kind of bored over here.
Turns out, *drum roll* there’s a school of thought referred to as sexual essentialism, and apparently me and my sexual cravings are big supporters. In essence, it’s the notion that sex is a natural force that exists prior to society.
It claims that there is something natural or biological, rather than cultural, about deeply felt urges such as motherhood, man as protector, man buying Ashley lemon chicken and, oh, say…wanting you to throw me up against a wall. (Did I say that out loud?)
On the flip side of the coin, radical feminists tend to reject sexual essentialism and instead believe that sex and all it encompasses is a construct of society, or in other words, learned behavior. It’s argued that sexuality is not an essence; it is not a biological quality or natural inner drive whose character is the same across time in space, but rather a pure cultural construct.
Normally, I’m big on social constructs, but with this one, I’ve been able to determine only one thing: It doesn’t make sense to me. Social constructs, by definition, are constructed by society. If there are almost 200 countries in the world, it’s safe to assume that there are at least 200+ different societies. Therefore, there are 200+ different ways of constructing reality of the world. Yet one thing all societies have in common is that the people that comprise them have sex. Coincidental? I think not, Watson.
My ideas are just as valid as those of a man’s. My self-worth is just as much as that of a man’s. I am independent. Fierce. Balla, if you will. And, if given the chance, I can most likely kick any dude’s butt in beer pong any time, any day, anywhere. But when it comes to getting my groove on, I’m okay with taking a step back, and letting myself be taken care of, if just this once. (Note to future suitors: If it’s any consolation, I don’t like diamonds, so hopefully they will cancel each other out.)
Perhaps its not a sign of dependence, but a sign of interdependence, in which I reveal my cards as being an actual human being whose sexuality, by definition of being a human being, carries important social functions, beyond the biological, of creating physical intimacy and bonds among individuals. Could it be that in hoping you’ll pay for my lemon chicken, I’m really just hoping you’ll give me a hug and love me forever?
Traditional? Could be. Old-fashioned? Maybe a little. Perpetuating female oppression everywhere? Hell, I hope not.
But does it make me feel nice and will I be more likely to go out with you again and maybe–maybe–give you a good night kiss, you lucky son-of-a-gun?
Case in point, hombres.
Now, back to business: Anyone know a good place to meet a scientist?