This is getting out of hand.
Yesterday, I read a story in which a man accused George Takei of sexual abuse. I admit that I didn't read the whole piece -- it got a little too redolent of gay porn -- but what I did
read seemed open to more than one interpretation. Frankly, it looked like a simple case of misunderstood signals. The man in question was not underaged at the time of the encounter; there is no allegation of rape or of a threat against a career.
Look: This whole "mating dance" business can be icky and squicky, which is why I'm glad to be beyond all of that. It's a dance which relies on subtle cues and easily-misread body language. It's also -- let's be honest -- a contest in which fortune favors the bold, and men learn early on that he who can't muster up some boldness may enter his forties with virginity intact. That's a lesson we (presuming "we" to be hetero) learn FROM WOMEN, not from other men, though women invariably tell themselves and others that they teach no such lesson. Everyone knows that the bad boy gets laid and the sweet nerd spends his Saturday nights reading books and playing computer games. If women truly want men to be sweet and polite, then they should fuck
men like that. Otherwise, stop bullshitting everyone. (And I say that as a basically shy fellow who got so sick of pretending to be someone I'm not that I often preferred
to spend my Saturday nights in Barnes & Noble or conquering another level of Doom
.) Women must also understand that if they continue to fuck bad boys, they increase the chances that some boys will take badness too far. On some level, I think, women do
No, I'm not justifying threats, force, ruhypnol, workplace harassment, the use of demeaning terms, the seduction of teens or "advertising one's shortcomings," as Louis C.K. did. All of that is obviously beyond the pale. But some of the current horror stories we've been hearing have nothing to do with workplace harassment or cognate sins. We're now hearing "Tales from date night" -- and at that point, I run out of sympathy.
On date night, there is no longer a hard-and-fast line separating acceptable boldness from non-acceptable. I know what you're about to say: "Yes, there is a line. No means no. That's the line."
Uh-uh. That should
be the line and that used
to be the line, back when the rules were simple and clear. Unfortunately, in recent times, we've moved the line and applied a Gaussian blur.
Nowadays, a Bold One can be considered a rapey beast even if the female does not
say No. Guys are supposed to read minds; we're supposed to back off when a woman thinks
No. How dare
our culture require women to say words that aren't easy to say? In some of these online "date night horror stories," we're supposed to sympathize with a female who freezes and feels confused and doesn't know how to respond to unwanted advances. At this point in the story, we usually get a hyperlink to a psychological study in which an Important Expert assures us that a "deer in the headlights" reaction is natural and expected, which means that a woman need no longer feel any responsibility to make her feelings known. And why should she? We live in a world in which all men are Penismonsters and everything is always their
fault. How convenient!
God, I'm glad to be this age. Dating was tough enough a couple of decades ago; it must be hell
now. Fortunately, there are still a few operational Barnes & Nobles, and emulators allow modern computers to fire up Doom
As long as I'm pissing off everyone, I might as well mention something that has long bothered me about Fox News. The grisly revelations concerning Bill O'Reilly and Roger Ailes should surprise no-one, since the corporate culture of Fox should be apparent after an hour's watch. All the men on screen are aging blowhards -- and all the women go before the cameras dressed for a date
, not for the office. Lots of cleavage, lots of thigh. The recent scandals have confirmed something that we've always suspected -- that these women were directed from on high to dress that way.
Vile? Of course. And I agree that most of the blame goes to the men at the top of the corporate hierarchy who advised women appearing on camera to sluttify their wardrobes. But let's be honest: Shouldn't a female television personality show a little more self-respect and a little more defiance? Shouldn't she say: "No, I will not
dress that way"? If you have to debase yourself on national television in order to keep your job, don't keep that job. Quit. And write a tell-all book or article.