There's not a lot I can add to the dialogue about the piece in Babe.net about a date with Aziz Ansari except that kind of thing is pretty familiar to me as having mostly dated straight men. I don't think we talk about this thing we call dating or trying to have relationships with the opposite sex from a feminist perspective in a forthright way often enough--although Melissa McEwan's description of The Terrible Bargain is the best thing I have ever read about the subject.
As women, we get done dirty by men over and over again. We get talked down as being comic shrews and nags. We are chided for not wanting sex enough, but not being asked how we want it. We get asked to perform the emotional labor of making the relationship talks happen, but are scapegoated for being "serious" when we do. We are the ones who insist on the condoms, for some reason, like our reproductive propensity or our general health. We are supposed to draw the lines about what level of sexual activity is done involving our bodies, but are told we are wrong about where we draw those lines for reasons that have everything to do about our partners' satisfaction, and little to do with our own bodies.
When we say anything in the vicinity of "No", it registers as "maybe" if we don't literally stand up and walk out. If we stay, there's still a "maybe", no matter what we say. If we consent to sex, we aren't supposed to stop it, even if we have a cramp or he's on our hair or there's a panic attack or I know my diaphragm moved or whatever. But this is obviously bullshit. What a woman feels during sex matters. And for what it is worth, yes, removing a condom is a breech of a very serious contract. Why wouldn't a woman need to consent to the potentiality of pregnancy or STI? Why is her evaluation of her ability to deal with certain potentialities subordinate to any man's satisfaction?
But there might be a generation gap here. I had to slap partners and tell them out loud when they were wrong-riding me. They sometimes came up sharp and acted aggrieved like I was accusing them of rape when I tried to tell them how they were failing to attend to my being a feeling human being. It wasn't rape. It was selfishness. All I wanted was to not be treated like my feelings had nothing to do with my sexual encounters. They had everything to do with them. So what do I make of a millennial who felt like she had to do oral before she could make her exit while a man who pretends to be a feminist ally just points at his johnson over and over again?
Oh, my sweet summer child. We have all been here before, sucking a dumbass dick and hoping like hell he does not want some other fucked up shit before we get the hell back in our clothes and into a car headed home. We all sometimes tell him our period started or we think we have the flu and he could get puked on. We fail to deglove fingers that end up in our mouths with our razor sharp teeth and ignore assaults on our asses. But it is in all actuality unforgivable that men think we are ambulatory pinball machines that will play once they figure out the right combinations of coins and body English. We cope with their idiocy if not their contempt sometimes with appalling and potentially life-saving gestures.
I get why Katie Way tried to defend her story from the sharp criticism by Ashleigh Banfield, but can not forgive her ageism and failure to Google. Banfield came straight for Way's wig saying straight up "Make like an Uber and come when I call you." And I say Way might as well work on her next story before she tries it. This thing about saying some woman is 2nd wave feminism is by no means a slight when she was a feminist at all, and we are right up in 4th wave feminism now--the digital promised land where we should be about telling men what's up instead of sniping at each other.
I have been under men struggling with their incompetence and lack of empathy and inability to hear a "no". #Me too. We need men to do and be better. We might have to even directly talk to them about it. This conversation does not degrade us and is long overdue. I don't think Ansari needs a career-adjustment, just to keep trying to get more mindful. And women need to sort out our real voices, too.
This isn't about #metoo as harassment or victimization. It is about how feminism can be about men just doing it right with us, and not being creepy. Asking us and not making everything penis-centric.