Why Progressives Should Stop Using Violent Rhetoric

(Content note: hate and threats, including violently misogynist hatred and threats of rape and death.)

Progressives condemn the hateful vitriol aimed at feminist women.

Why do we aim it at people we don’t like?

fireAs you probably know, Texas pastor and conservative activist Rick Scarborough recently commented on the right-wing Christian fight against same-sex marriage, saying, “We are not going to bow, we are not going to bend, and if necessary, we will burn.”

Many progressives responded as if Scarborough had threatened to set himself on fire. And many of those progressives responded to this supposed suicide threat with glee. They said things like, “I’ll give him the matches,” and, “Can I bring the marshmallows?” When the Supreme Court decision on marriage equality came down, they called for Scarborough to make good on his supposed promise, and mocked him for not doing it. (This isn’t just one or two people, either — it’s been all over my Facebook feed.)

I have a couple of problems with this. One, as Ed Brayton (Dispatches from the Culture Wars) has pointed out repeatedly on Facebook, is that Scarborough’s statement was not, in fact, a threat to set himself on fire. It was an absurd statement of a willingness to fight marriage equality to the death — but it wasn’t a threat to kill himself by burning. But that’s not what I want to talk about. I want to talk about my other problem with this progressive response.

My problem is that I see it as a threat.

Here’s the thing. I’m a feminist writer on the Internet — which means I get a whole lot of people publicly saying that I should experience brutal violence or die in some horrible way, and expressing pleasure at the thought of it happening. And when they do, I see it as a threat. Most of my readers see it that way, too. When people publicly tell me “I HOPE YOU GET RAPED,” or that “someone should tattoo a giant cock across your face,” or that “I think I’m going to become a far right wing, woman raping clergyman,” or that I should “GO CHOKE ON A DICK AND DIE,” or that I should “just die already,” or when they tell me to “Go fuck yourself with a knife,” or when they tell me “Kill yourself” — most of my readers recognize it as a threat. When other women are targeted with hateful messages saying, “You should be killed very slowly,” “Will somebody please rape Rebecca Watson,” “This bitch needs to be punched in the throat,” or “Kill yourself Kill yourself Kill yourself Kill yourself Kill yourself Kill yourself Kill yourself Kill yourself Kill yourself Kill yourself Kill yourself…”– most of my readers recognize it as a threat.

My readers understand that a threat doesn’t have to be explicit to be real. [Read more…]

The Irresistible Woman: A Micro-Horror Collection, Part 7

Content note: fantasy/horror violence, and plenty of it. Also some references to sexism, misogyny, misogynist violence, and some sexual content.

In response to this post on Facebook, from dating coach Jonathon Aslay:

How a Woman Becomes Irresistible To a Man… She chooses to set high standards for herself. She’s clear on what she wants. She knows the value of friendship before sex. She comes from a place of gratitude (not expectations). She is confident and willing to ask a man out on a date because she knows a relationship is a two way street. She demonstrates trust and respect by accepting him for who he is. She’s in no hurry to get to the destination. She can take of herself, she doesn’t need a man. She shows up interesting and interested. She comes from a place of compassion (not entitlement). Lastly, she knows how to inspire a man, because she leads by example. Did I miss anything?

Facebook feminists bring you: The Irresistible Woman. Part 7 of a series. All micro-stories reprinted with permission of the authors, credited and linked to (or not) as they requested.

DISCLAIMER: References to violence, death, destruction, physical torment, psychological torment, supernatural torment, world domination, eternal nightmares, or the warping of the entire space-time continuum to exact revenge on one sexist jerk, are all intended as metaphor. These are fictional expressions of rage and mockery, aimed at the impossible, contradictory, ever-shifting standards of female desirability, and at the barrage of advice given to women about how to meet those standards. None of the authors actually want to do these things, or think they should happen. No, really.

*****

It’s not even about the list at this point. It’s this torrential outpouring of surreality only vaguely provoked by the initial words, mostly provoked by life lived under the thumb of a culture that demands that women be always pleasant, always accessible, and always always responsible both for their actions and the reactions of others. Always beautiful. Always kind. It’s tiresome in its neverending crush. Sometimes you lose the desire to rage. Sometimes all you can do is cough back an equal amount of nonsensical madness, providing yourself and your friends a little amusement, a brief reprieve before we go on to be criticized by our relatives, our doctors, the things we watch and read, before we click away and find another and another and another puff piece telling us how *we* should be, when all we ever wanted was equality and yet *we* are already so put upon to be and be and *be* this thing and the other thing and the next thing here. Decent is how everyone should be. It is not difficult to grasp that these are attributes that literally everyone should possess. But by saying “woman,” you gently echo what we hear every day: that we are not ideal, that we are not trying hard enough, that things fall apart and it is our fault, that we must “share responsibility”, not be demanding, not be entitled. And by saying man, you draw a box around that group of women that not only want relationships, but want them *with men.* Forgetting that even though men love women, women love women, too. Forgetting that some people are neither men nor women, even, if that was a fact you ever knew. And that grates. And then, that women should strive to be irresistible followed by a list that reflects only basic human decency . . . and this is framed as a thing to which we must *aspire*. A goal. A thing we are not presumed to have already. We are presumed to need these lists. This is fair advice, for the most part, though presented as a groundbreaking new observation, that we all — sorry, that *women* — be excellent to each other. To men. Because of course we are directing our actions at men. And yet . . . it rubs wrong. Tastes bitter, a flavor like being so tired you can’t stand up, but too exhausted to sleep. And when sometimes it takes only a feather to tip the scale and send everything spilling. A million tiny acts, tiny words, tiny interactions that we must smile and nod through and fight to find the “meaning well” that lies at the center, and suddenly, the weight of a sesame seed sends everything crashing into chaos. Some lash out in irritation, and that is . . . less than ideal, though certainly understandable. Others, though, are simply inspired to utter surreality. It may seem even more senseless than the anger, but at least it is beautiful. What can you do but laugh? What can we ever, ever do but laugh? –Amanda Gannon [Read more…]

The Irresistible Woman: A Micro-Horror Collection, Part 6

Content note: fantasy/horror violence, and plenty of it. Also some references to sexism, misogyny, misogynist violence, and some sexual content.

In response to this post on Facebook, from dating coach Jonathon Aslay:

How a Woman Becomes Irresistible To a Man… She chooses to set high standards for herself. She’s clear on what she wants. She knows the value of friendship before sex. She comes from a place of gratitude (not expectations). She is confident and willing to ask a man out on a date because she knows a relationship is a two way street. She demonstrates trust and respect by accepting him for who he is. She’s in no hurry to get to the destination. She can take of herself, she doesn’t need a man. She shows up interesting and interested. She comes from a place of compassion (not entitlement). Lastly, she knows how to inspire a man, because she leads by example. Did I miss anything?

Facebook feminists bring you: The Irresistible Woman. Part 6 of a series. All micro-stories reprinted with permission of the authors, credited and linked to (or not) as they requested.

DISCLAIMER: References to violence, death, destruction, physical torment, psychological torment, supernatural torment, world domination, eternal nightmares, or the warping of the entire space-time continuum to exact revenge on one sexist jerk, are all intended as metaphor. These are fictional expressions of rage and mockery, aimed at the impossible, contradictory, ever-shifting standards of female desirability, and at the barrage of advice given to women about how to meet those standards. None of the authors actually want to do these things, or think they should happen. No, really.

*****

In response to someone named Aaron, who called the others in the thread “killjoys”:

The irresistible woman kills all your joy. –Yvonne Rathbone

The irresistible woman kills all joy and then reignites it with her flaming wings, but not Aaron’s joy, never Aaron’s. The irresistible woman will leave Aaron without joy forever. -Amy Lou Renner

The irresistible woman would never kill your joy, for she needs it alive in order to continue feeding on it. Rather, she keeps it under lock and key, visiting when she needs to siphon screams from its pulsating form, promising only what she must in order to ensure that it remains alive still, throbbing, nectar-sweet. You will never see it again, but she will give it hope, for it is foolish joy, without forethought. -Gertrud

She is known by many names, all sobriquets. For every moniker by which she is known, there are always three more to be discovered. None are her True Name, though, for to know that would be to stare into the Abyss and know madness, and to speak it would undo the Cosmos. –Scott David Weitzenhoffer

The irresistible woman is not a person at all, but a force like gravity. Or magnetism. All will love her & despair, for to deny her does not change the laws of physics. –Kassiane

The irresistible woman doesn’t eat your food. She dines on pulsars and shipwrecks. –Yvonne Rathbone

She not only puts up with you. She opens up with you. Opens so far that you see vast plains and stretches of sky, and stars stretching for infinite distance. You fall in. Before you know it, you find yourself on a strange new world, inhabited by creatures made only of teeth and talon, with no regard for the silly plaything that you call “life.”

Desperately you try to cling to the last vestiges of humanity, recalling your shape, your skin, your name. Nothing. You are one of them now. -Gertrud

Her straw reaches across the room and starts to drink your milkshake. She drinks your milkshake!

::slurping noises::

She drinks it up! . -Gertrud

And they’re like…
“Oh, God, somebody, please, help me!”

Damn right, it’s better than yours.

She can teach you to feed on the souls of the living, but she’ll have to charge. -Kitt McKenzie [Read more…]

Caitlyn Jenner, and a Brief Rant on Second Wave Feminists Policing Women’s Bodies

No. No, no, no, no, no, no, no.

I am so very sick of feminists insisting that every other woman do womaning the same way they do.

caitlyn jenner vanity fair coverTo Ellen Goodman at the Boston Globe, and to Elinor Burkett at the New York Times, and to all the second-wave feminists taking it on themselves to tel Caitlyn Jenner how to be a woman:

Do you really not understand that your experience, as a woman who’s been seen as a woman her entire life, is radically different from the experience of a woman who is finally, after decades of suppression, expressing her femaleness in way that she chooses?

Do you also not understand that trans women are in a nasty double bind? If they present in a traditionally feminine manner, they get told that they’re a caricature of femaleness, or that their gender presentation isn’t sufficiently feminist. If they don’t present in a traditionally feminine manner, their trans identity is called into question.

And to Goodman in particular: why on earth does it matter what “most women” are thinking about at age 65? isn’t the point here that every women gets to decide for herself what it means to be a woman, and how she wants to experience and express that? Caitlyn Jenner is not telling you how to be a 65 year old woman. Why are you telling her — and by extension, any other trans women who might be reading this — the right way to be a woman?

I did not become a feminist to listen to women policing other women’s bodies. Whatever happened to “Our bodies, our right to decide”?


Comforting Thoughts book cover oblong 100 JPGComing Out Atheist Bendingwhy are you atheists so angryGreta Christina is author of four books: Comforting Thoughts About Death That Have Nothing to Do with God, Coming Out Atheist: How to Do It, How to Help Each Other, and Why, Why Are You Atheists So Angry? 99 Things That Piss Off the Godless, and Bending: Dirty Kinky Stories About Pain, Power, Religion, Unicorns, & More.

The Irresistible Woman: A Micro-Horror Collection, Part 5

Content note: fantasy/horror violence, and plenty of it. Also some references to sexism, misogyny, misogynist violence, and some sexual content.

In response to this post on Facebook, from dating coach Jonathon Aslay:

How a Woman Becomes Irresistible To a Man… She chooses to set high standards for herself. She’s clear on what she wants. She knows the value of friendship before sex. She comes from a place of gratitude (not expectations). She is confident and willing to ask a man out on a date because she knows a relationship is a two way street. She demonstrates trust and respect by accepting him for who he is. She’s in no hurry to get to the destination. She can take of herself, she doesn’t need a man. She shows up interesting and interested. She comes from a place of compassion (not entitlement). Lastly, she knows how to inspire a man, because she leads by example. Did I miss anything?

Facebook feminists bring you: The Irresistible Woman. Part 5 of a series. All micro-stories reprinted with permission of the authors, credited and linked to (or not) as they requested.

DISCLAIMER: References to violence, death, destruction, physical torment, psychological torment, supernatural torment, world domination, eternal nightmares, or the warping of the entire space-time continuum to exact revenge on one sexist jerk, are all intended as metaphor. These are fictional expressions of rage and mockery, aimed at the impossible, contradictory, ever-shifting standards of female desirability, and at the barrage of advice given to women about how to meet those standards. None of the authors actually want to do these things, or think they should happen. No, really.

*****

The irresistable woman only wears short skirts and long jackets, and has the theme song from “Chuck” in her head right now. She also has the intersect, and is even now foiling a nefarious terrorist plot while being charmingly unaware of how hard she is falling for you. Because you are a man. A studly, studly man, who has the power to 3D print an a la carte woman who strangely lacks any dimension that doesn’t point directly to you. -Emily Moskal

Somehow you manage to obtain one of those 3D printers that prints cartilage, prints meat. You program it painstakingly, designing her in a modeling program, equal parts Angelina Jolie and Marilyn Monroe, long legs and a round bottom, not *too* well endowed up top, but ample enough. You make her eyes blue, but with just a hint of green around the pupils. Her fingernails, you think, are the crowning touch. So delicate, so perfect. You. You created her in your mind and bring her forth with a touch.

You load the printer with the flesh gel and set it into motion with the click of a mouse, close out the progress window and leave. The suspense is too great.

You come back when the process is complete, a few dollars poorer and a few beers heavier, proud of yourself for respectfully not bragging about her when she isn’t even born. You open the door, throw the keys into the bowl, and notice an immediate metallic, salty odor.

You don’t know what it is, actually. Not blood, you’d recognize that. Something else. The carpet squishes under your shoe — you can’t feel it but you can hear it, a slippery squelch. You wonder for a moment if another pipe has broken, flooding your apartment with the upstairs neighbor’s bathwater, but when you flick the light on you see the truth.

She is here. She is everywhere.

Flesh spun like cotton candy or spiderwebs, over the walls, bunched in the corners, eyes and orifices, mouths, tongues, reasonably-sized breasts. It spreads like a colony of slime molds throughout the apartment.

Some yellowish fluid saturates the rugs and furniture; amniotic fluid, lymph, you have no idea how to tell which. The horror of it is overwhelming.

You stagger backward toward the door, doorknob banging painfully against your back. You reach for it, twist, feel the latch disengage but the door will not move.

You turn, and see that she has spread over it, gossamer tissue creeping, thickening, forming something. A knot of flesh, a *face*, lips parting in a sweet, sensual smile. A perfect, upturned nose, a beauty mark placed just so on that youthful but chiseled cheek.

Her eyes open. They are blue, with a little green just around the pupil. She is everything you asked for, and so much more.

You look into her many eyes and you love her. You love her so much. Her little fingers pluck at your sleeve, demanding you remove your battered Steelers jacket, and beckon you toward the bedroom.

She does not speak — you never intended her to do that — but you can sense it. How she wants to show you how grateful she is for her existence. Without you, she would be nothing. She loves you. And she needs you.

She needs you *so much.* –Amanda Gannon

In response to someone named James, saying they loved the thread: [Read more…]

The Irresistible Woman: A Micro-Horror Collection, Part 4

Content note: fantasy/horror violence, and plenty of it. Also some references to sexism, misogyny, misogynist violence, and some sexual content.

In response to this post on Facebook, from dating coach Jonathon Aslay:

How a Woman Becomes Irresistible To a Man… She chooses to set high standards for herself. She’s clear on what she wants. She knows the value of friendship before sex. She comes from a place of gratitude (not expectations). She is confident and willing to ask a man out on a date because she knows a relationship is a two way street. She demonstrates trust and respect by accepting him for who he is. She’s in no hurry to get to the destination. She can take of herself, she doesn’t need a man. She shows up interesting and interested. She comes from a place of compassion (not entitlement). Lastly, she knows how to inspire a man, because she leads by example. Did I miss anything?

Facebook feminists bring you: The Irresistible Woman. Part 4 of a series. All micro-stories reprinted with permission of the authors, credited and linked to (or not) as they requested.

DISCLAIMER: References to violence, death, destruction, physical torment, psychological torment, supernatural torment, world domination, eternal nightmares, or the warping of the entire space-time continuum to exact revenge on one sexist jerk, are all intended as metaphor. These are fictional expressions of rage and mockery, aimed at the impossible, contradictory, ever-shifting standards of female desirability, and at the barrage of advice given to women about how to meet those standards. None of the authors actually want to do these things, or think they should happen. No, really.

*****

In response to the previous poem, and someone telling Amanda Gannon they wished they had an Internet to give her:

I already own the internet, Peter. My shadowy tentacles reach into 2.8 billion homes worldwide. I am always watching. Even when I am asleep. I have lost count of my eyes. –Amanda Gannon

She listens as only she can, hearing everything and collecting fragments of sound to weave together into her magnum opus, a song that nobody will ever be able to remember. It will be transcendent beauty so great that the strongest shall fall to their knees and weep, spanning every experience in human history from the sacred to the profane.

This will be the song that calls the cosmos back from its outward flight, collapsing it into a single proto-universe again, before releasing it to create a new universe. Perhaps this time it will be acceptable.

She does not remember how many times she has done this. -Peter Eng

Actually, she has a Puckish sense of humor. She took it from Robin Goodfellow, along with several other things he wouldn’t need any longer. -Peter Eng

She has Puck’s humor. She keeps it in a jar at the back of her fridge, which she keeps meaning to clean out. –Yvonne Rathbone

The irresistible woman has transformed her skin into a superconductive ceramic shell. The cold, the cold, you touch her skin and the cold feels like burning, like acid, like inconsolable grief. Her skin burns off your fingerprints. You are no longer yourself, you will never again be yourself. You can recognize the other men who have touched her, by the smooth scarring on their fingers, their faces, their hearts.

You do not leave a mark on her. None of you has ever left a mark on her. None of you ever will.

The irresistible woman has transformed her skin into a superconductive ceramic shell. The transformation on the cellular level was torture; her screams were the cries of the phoenix, the newly-born spider devouring the body of its mother, the Christ hanging himself on the cross and crying out in despair, “Why have I forsaken myself?” When it was over at last, she was left with one small piece of her human skin, her own index fingertip, set in a locket. She is saving it for her daughter. –Greta Christina

“The irresistible woman is clear on what she wants, but has no expectations and accepts men as they are. She has high standards, but has no sense of entitlement. She has no need for a man, but cares deeply about being irresistible to them.”

The irresistible woman hears the contradictions, and laughs — a harpy shriek she immediately muffles into her elbow, for fear of giving the ending away. They think the contradictions will baffle her, frighten her, weaken her, send her into despair. They have no idea.

The irresistible woman takes the stage, strips, scratches her face with her perfect nails. She writes the contradictions on parchment in her blood, wraps it around her naked body like a shroud. The parchment twists at her command, and she twists along with it, her body bending, stretching, contorting into a Moebius strip, slicing itself into twisted loops that interlock. Her audience looks on: entertained, then captivated, then gradually paralyzed as the realization sinks in.

The words she spoke to the parchment were spoken at the same time to their brains. Their neurons, axons, dendrites, have twisted inside their skulls. It happened bit by bit, like the heat under a pot of water gradually boiling the live frog. The knots inside their brains are bleeding.

They had no idea.

She unwraps her body with a snap, eases out of the parchment. She knows her way out. She slips into a terrycloth bathrobe stolen from a hotel. She exits through the gift shop. –Greta Christina

Let us tell the story of what happened in the hotel, when she stole the bathrobe. [Read more…]

The Irresistible Woman: A Micro-Horror Collection, Part 3

Content note: fantasy/horror violence, and plenty of it. Also some references to sexism, misogyny, misogynist violence, and some sexual content.

In response to this post on Facebook, from dating coach Jonathon Aslay:

How a Woman Becomes Irresistible To a Man… She chooses to set high standards for herself. She’s clear on what she wants. She knows the value of friendship before sex. She comes from a place of gratitude (not expectations). She is confident and willing to ask a man out on a date because she knows a relationship is a two way street. She demonstrates trust and respect by accepting him for who he is. She’s in no hurry to get to the destination. She can take of herself, she doesn’t need a man. She shows up interesting and interested. She comes from a place of compassion (not entitlement). Lastly, she knows how to inspire a man, because she leads by example. Did I miss anything?

Facebook feminists bring you: The Irresistible Woman. Part 3 of a series. All micro-stories reprinted with permission of the authors, credited and linked to (or not) as they requested.

DISCLAIMER: References to violence, death, destruction, physical torment, psychological torment, supernatural torment, world domination, eternal nightmares, or the warping of the entire space-time continuum to exact revenge on one sexist jerk, are all intended as metaphor. These are fictional expressions of rage and mockery, aimed at the impossible, contradictory, ever-shifting standards of female desirability, and at the barrage of advice given to women about how to meet those standards. None of the authors actually want to do these things, or think they should happen. No, really.

*****

The irresistible woman lies
soft upon the ground,
her body a quaking monument
thighs shiver-shifting,
perfect in herself,
the arch of spine
arch of rib
arch of breast.
red lips parted,
gasping at the thin air.
If you believe
that a woman’s life is performance
it is easily mistaken for
a forward gesture of submission,
an invitation not given,
but begging to be taken. [Read more…]

A Quick Note About Feminism and Transgender People

Transgender symbolGeneral principle: My feminism will be intersectional, or it will be bullshit. (Not original with me: this phrase was coined by Flavia Dzodan.)

Specific application: My feminist gender theory will include the lived experience of transgender people’s lives, or it will be bullshit.

If my feminist gender theory doesn’t include the lived experience of transgender people’s lives, it will be bullshit for (at least) two reasons. It will be bullshit because it will be shitty thinking and shitty science. Theory is supposed to explain reality: the whole freaking point of gender theory is to explain the reality of gender as it plays out in people’s lives, and if I have to reject the reality of trans people’s lives to hang on to my theory, it’s a crap-ass theory that should die in a fire.

And more to the point: It will be bullshit because trans lives matter, and trans people’s lives and experiences are more important than my goddamn theory.

I’m just sayin’, is all.


Comforting Thoughts book cover oblong 100 JPGComing Out Atheist Bendingwhy are you atheists so angryGreta Christina is author of four books: Comforting Thoughts About Death That Have Nothing to Do with God, Coming Out Atheist: How to Do It, How to Help Each Other, and Why, Why Are You Atheists So Angry? 99 Things That Piss Off the Godless, and Bending: Dirty Kinky Stories About Pain, Power, Religion, Unicorns, & More.

The Irresistible Woman: A Micro-Horror Collection, Part 2

Content note: fantasy/horror violence, and plenty of it. Also some references to sexism, misogyny, misogynist violence, and some sexual content.

In response to this post on Facebook, from dating coach Jonathon Aslay:

How a Woman Becomes Irresistible To a Man… She chooses to set high standards for herself. She’s clear on what she wants. She knows the value of friendship before sex. She comes from a place of gratitude (not expectations). She is confident and willing to ask a man out on a date because she knows a relationship is a two way street. She demonstrates trust and respect by accepting him for who he is. She’s in no hurry to get to the destination. She can take of herself, she doesn’t need a man. She shows up interesting and interested. She comes from a place of compassion (not entitlement). Lastly, she knows how to inspire a man, because she leads by example. Did I miss anything?

Facebook feminists bring you: The Irresistible Woman. Part 2 of a series. All micro-stories reprinted with permission of the authors, credited and linked to (or not) as they requested.

DISCLAIMER: References to violence, death, destruction, physical torment, psychological torment, supernatural torment, world domination, eternal nightmares, or the warping of the entire space-time continuum to exact revenge on one sexist jerk, are all intended as metaphor. These are fictional expressions of rage and mockery, aimed at the impossible, contradictory, ever-shifting standards of female desirability, and at the barrage of advice given to women about how to meet those standards. None of the authors actually want to do these things, or think they should happen. No, really.

*****

She’s got that red lip classic thing that you like. She has had that thing since its conception. She is ageless and immortal, wisest and fairest of all beings, and she consumes the souls of any man foolishly drawn to her bright colors. Red is also the color of blood. Beyond it, darkness looms. -Abigail Pritchard

She never goes out of style. She never goes out of style. –Amanda Gannon

When she goes crashing down, she comes back every time. She cannot be destroyed, no matter how the innocent may try. -Abigail Pritchard

Maybe I’m being too literal but I always thought what makes a woman irresistible is the paralytic venom she injects into her prey. -Kylen Knapp

. . . You weren’t supposed to tell our secret. Now they know.

Which is fine, I guess. It’s not like there’s any way to prevent us sneaking in through your windows or under your closet door, or through the floorboards. It’s not like we aren’t always there, waiting.

You have to sleep sometime. Everyone has to sleep sometime.

Except us. One of our heads always stays awake. –Amanda Gannon [Read more…]

The Irresistible Woman: A Micro-Horror Collection, Part 1

Content note: fantasy/horror violence, and plenty of it. Also some references to sexism, misogyny, misogynist violence, and some sexual content.

I have seen many fascinating responses to sexist dating advice. I have seen feminists respond with humor, with rage, with snark, with dismissal, with carefully patient and even empathetic education, with sarcasm that could wither a Venus fly trap.

But until May 14, I had never before seen feminists respond to sexist dating advice with a impromptu collaborative outpouring of fantasy horror micro-fiction.

In response to this post on Facebook, from dating coach Jonathon Aslay:

How a Woman Becomes Irresistible To a Man… She chooses to set high standards for herself. She’s clear on what she wants. She knows the value of friendship before sex. She comes from a place of gratitude (not expectations). She is confident and willing to ask a man out on a date because she knows a relationship is a two way street. She demonstrates trust and respect by accepting him for who he is. She’s in no hurry to get to the destination. She can take of herself, she doesn’t need a man. She shows up interesting and interested. She comes from a place of compassion (not entitlement). Lastly, she knows how to inspire a man, because she leads by example. Did I miss anything?

Facebook feminists bring you: The Irresistible Woman. All micro-stories reprinted with permission of the authors, credited and linked to (or not) as they requested.

DISCLAIMER: References to violence, death, destruction, physical torment, psychological torment, supernatural torment, world domination, eternal nightmares, or the warping of the entire space-time continuum to exact revenge on one sexist jerk, are all intended as metaphor. These are fictional expressions of rage and mockery, aimed at the impossible, contradictory, ever-shifting standards of female desirability, and at the barrage of advice given to women about how to meet those standards. None of the authors actually want to do these things, or think they should happen. No, really.

***

She uses the sustentacular cells in her sinus cavities to manipulate local magnetic fields. –Yvonne Rathbone

She keeps watch in the night, in the shadows. Many-faceted eyes guard the tender sleep of innocent paramours. If she doesn’t hear that scratching sound, it must not be there. If she doesn’t hear that scratching sound, there is no one there. If she does not hear any scratching sound, there is no one anywhere. An irresistible woman never leaves crumbs in the bed. -Ashley Protagonist

She keeps her mandibles sharp and shiny. -Amy Lou Renner

She knows where her man left his keys, his coffee mug, his bones. Her chitinous endoskeleton will never be found. She uses Groupon to pay less for spa days. -Ashley Protagonist

She doesn’t worry about fine lines or wrinkles, because her skin is only a temporary raiment, a mass-produced bauble from a cheap conveyor belt manned only by sighs and deflated ambition. She doesn’t need night cream. She does not worry about her freckles. Her beauty is on the inside. -Ashley Protagonist

She turns herself inside out when the moon is dark. –Yvonne Rathbone

She doesn’t dwell on failed projects, on misplaced hopes. She starts fresh, shedding her old wishes along with her broken or dulled incisors. She always has what she needs, and she always uses what she has. -Ashley Protagonist

All beauty is on her inside. She devours beautiful things with hunger. Men, men are such pretty creatures, she says, tired of the way our culture’s idea of “beautiful” is firmly bound up with ideas of the feminine. More for me, she sighs, and spreads her mouthparts wide. –Amanda Gannon [Read more…]