posted by meowser
Pursuant to the “fat women are only useful inasfar as I find them fuckable” BS that Marianne takes on with such aplomb here, I would like to add to that theme. And this goes double for all the “butbutbut you can’t MAKE me find you attractive!!eleventyone!” d00ds of D00d Nation too (or is that t00?).
I honestly do not give one falling space turd about whether you personally find me attractive or not. I’m set there, thanks. If you want to hold out for a woman aged 21 to 23, between 5’4″ and 5’6″ tall, with waist-length naturally red hair, weighing no more and no less than 120 pounds, with exactly five freckles on each butt cheek, and none on the face, and you would much rather spend your spooge allowance spanking it into a washcloth thinking about your fantasy babe rather than getting it on with me or any other real-life human standing before you…that is absolutely fine. It. Does. Not. Matter. To. Me. At all.
Here is what I do care about, and passionately. I care very much about how you treat my boyfriend.
If you are a stranger, what are you thinking when you see him with me? Are you thinking about what must be wrong with him that he has to “settle” for someone like me? Do you think I must be his pity date and that he’s just too much of a wimp to let me go, or that I must “have something” on him that prevents him from leaving? Or that I’m just a fast fuck and that he couldn’t possibly like me, because you think no “normal” man who digs women possibly could? Would you ever be rude to him because of me?
If you are his peer, do you refuse to really be friends with him because he’s with me? Or refuse to invite us over to the house or out to a meal (when you’d happily invite just him) because you think the sight of us together would gross everyone out, including you?
If you are his boss, do you refuse to promote him because his partner (me) isn’t enough of a trophy for you? Do you regard him as being less intelligent and less capable than he is because of me? Would you refuse to hire him if you knew he had a fat woman for a partner?
And in any of those situations, if he did or said something to piss you off, would a cheap shot at his partner’s body habitus and/or his liking of it be one of the first things to jump out of your mouth?
If you can answer “absolutely, positively not, never ever” to every single one of those questions, and really mean it, we’re cool.
And if you can’t…why on earth not? Does everyone’s taste have to match yours, or it’s “wrong”?
July 1, 2009 at 10:26 pm
July 2, 2009 at 12:21 am
Does everyone’s taste have to match yours, or it’s “wrong”?
If you make the same decision as i do, then that makes my decision More Right. After all, if i was wrong, why would you have chosen the same? We see this all the time on an interpersonal level, with anything/everything from a coworker waiting for you to order your hamburger before they feel comfortable Not Ordering A Salad, to siblings who try to tell you why you should take their chosen career path, to friends who imply that you should totally like this new show that came out.
Now take that to a societal level. Indecision is outwardly indicative of lack of personal strength. Strength is (supposedly, mind you; we’re talking symbolism, not actual bits) masculine, powerful, successful, and carries the implication of Control. Lack of strength leads to lack of control, lack of certainty. Fear, in our culture (and i’m sure not just our culture), is a sign of weakness… which is ZOMG totally a fate worse than death. So a lot of people overcompensate by being aggressive bastards.
There’s a lot more to it, but i’ve typed enough to remember why i like being a hermit.
July 2, 2009 at 1:31 am
I wonder if this is also related to the fact that humans generally make decisions by comparing things – there’s a great book called Predictably Irrational which looks at this.
So if I have to make a decision on whether or not to hire your partner, and it comes down to a decision between him and some other guy with the same experience but a thin girlfriend? Most people will probably choose the other guy, sometimes without even knowing why…
And that is just so wrong.
July 2, 2009 at 9:21 am
One of the more infuriating aspects of the Dood Nation (Me like! Me use?)
Dood’s: Take a second. Center yourself and gather your Chi. Now- Step outside Yourself and take a good gander at the other Doods around you. . . . Fuzzy. Vacant. Packet together. Lots of ridiculous bleeting noises and a tendency towards predictable reflex action when startled. You’ve seen this before. Their called ‘Sheep’ and they travel in herds because, A) their not too bright and, B) their afraid of, pretty much, everything moving that isn’t them. Now, do you REALLY want to be like them? Really??
July 3, 2009 at 4:24 pm
In all fairness, that’s really our entire species in a nutshell there…
July 2, 2009 at 12:36 pm
Do women take the perceptions of their friends into consideration when selecting mates? What would you make of your gorgeous, slim, super model caliber friend with the chubby 30 year old boyfriend who bags groceries for a living?
I grew up with post 1960s liberalism, girl power, Oprah shows about young women and self esteem, I’ve had my whole life to hear the grievances of the opposite gender and to reevaluate my own attitudes, when does your introspection start? When do you start examining your own attitudes and drop the pretense of moral superiority? This is not a rhetorical question.
July 4, 2009 at 2:18 am
“What would you make of your gorgeous, slim, super model caliber friend with the chubby 30 year old boyfriend who bags groceries for a living?”
If she was happy, I would be happy for her and hope that her bf and I had things to talk about. Like most mature people.
Your non rhetorical question is answered. My life of introspection has led me to believe that everyone deserves to be treated neutrally… basic respect and so forth. Even if I decided I didn’t like my friend’s bf, it would be my responsibility to make sure that I never allowed my personal opinion to make my friend or her significant other unhappy. I think that’s the least that people owe each other, regardless of sex.
This OP is about specific men who behave this way, your reply seems to be aimed at all women. There’s a problem there.
July 4, 2009 at 9:58 am
Personally, I’d treat him like a friend and get to know him. Then I’d probably find out why she’s attracted to him. For example, maybe he’s a brilliant musician who’s just bagging groceries to pay the rent. Maybe he’s just a great guy who does his part around the house and treats her really well.
This is because my friends don’t date losers, and I don’t make binding judgments based on appearance, job, or level of education.
July 18, 2009 at 1:57 pm
I don’t take my friends into consideration when choosing a mate, though it is nice when they get along with each other.
I am with my boyfriend because I love him. I am proud of him. And anyone who wants to cut him down because they don’t like his appearance or his job? Well, don’t let the screen door hit you on your way out.
I expect that my friends are the same way – they choose someone as a mate because that person appeals to them and makes them happy. If this chubby bagger makes her happy, then there is probably something about him that makes him a good person! Maybe he is the romantic guy she’s always dreamed about. Perhaps he’s incredibly generous with his time and affection. It could well be that he’s bagging groceries ’cause he’s going through a hard time and trying to keep a roof over his head.
In the end, even though I am more comfortable with an ambitious mate, I know that is not true of all people. If he makes my friend happy, he makes my friend happy, and I wish them all the best.
And yeah, sometimes I do have to remind myself of that. I’m not perfect and I forget sometimes that my likes and dislikes are not everyone’s likes and dislikes. I think that forgetting that is part of being human – it’s pulling yourself to remember that makes you a good person.
September 4, 2010 at 11:29 am
Er… I know many women who are quite beautiful and/or successful with boyfriends or husbands who are neither conventionally attractive, nor have high-powered careers. As long as they are happy and their guy treats them well, I am extremely happy for them and don’t question their decision.
Some women would probably find my own husband questionable in some ways, but I have never had a true friend say one word against him. And, frankly, if they did, I would feel completely comfortable telling them to back off. I know why I am with him, I am happy with him, and that’s all that matters. It’s ridiculous to base a lifetime relationship on anyone’s opinion but your own, and it’s ridiculous to judge another person’s relationship when you obviously aren’t a part of it.
I don’t deny that some women can be just as disparaging as some men can. Notice, I say “some”. There is no point in saying “all women” or “all men” as the idea that everyone in one gender is the same is obviously ridiculous.
That said, I can honestly count on one hand the number of women I have heard make nasty comments about a man’s weight or physical attractiveness. Yes, I have heard more negative comments about a man’s ability to earn money. I do not applaud them. Generally, the women who make such comments are not women with whom I would bother spending time as the comments belie an overall attitude that I find abhorrent.
I have, however, (at this point) heard at least a hundred men comment on weight or physical attractiveness. Often it’s a derogatory comment about a female, but sometimes it’s also about other men. I have noticed that the first line of attack that many men (at least of those to whom I have been exposed throughout my life) use against other men is also about their physical appearance–their teeth, their hair, their big nose, their weight, their “beer gut”, their lack of musculature. I assume (and have been told by male friends) that this is because they assume the physical appearance contributes much towards a man’s ability to “get laid”, which I can then only assume is what many men consider to be the main indication of their success in life. I find it sad that men degrade each OTHER in this way. I mean, surely, there are more important qualities to value in one another than your ability to have sex? Why do so many men seem to do a disservice to themselves by judging each OTHER so narrowly? They seem to encourage each other to continue being neanderthals because “boys will be boys”. Doesn’t it rankle you that you don’t expect more of each other, and that the media doesn’t expect too much of you either? If so, why aren’t you doing something about it?
Moving on, can you please explain one thing to me? Obviously, the men I am talking about do consider the physical digs towards other men as derogatory. But then they comment on the physical attractiveness of other men’s girlfriends/wives as though it’s completely normal and not at all derogatory to question the attraction of any woman who is not shaped like the typical supermodel. Sometimes, I admit, this is expressed as a dig, but often it’s just matter-of-fact. It’s almost as though they are commenting on the man’s choice of clothing or vehicle. Obviously this concerns me because it indicates that the belief that women are possessions is still ingrained in the male psyche, regardless of how deeply buried it may be. It’s extremely difficult to hear a man talk about how enlightened he is, and then defend his decision to treat a female as an extension of a man as “guy talk”. Can you explain to me how this behavior and an “enlightened”attitude toward women can coexist?
And why have I rarely heard a man comment on the other qualities of the girlfriend/wife of another man? I have never heard a man say (IF the female in question was shaped “appropriately”) “Wow, your wife has a really ugly face. What’s up with that?” or “Damn, your wife is stupid. How can you stand talking to her?” or “Oh my God, your wife has really bizarre decorating sense. Don’t you feel like you’re living in a gigantic, fluffy, pink and orange aquarium?” Obviously, I don’t think any of that is really appropriate, but why is that off limits when giving other men crap about the weight of their partner is not?
Similarly, why is it also okay to comment positively on it? It’s equally problematic for a woman to walk into a room full of her man’s friends and have them eye her ass and tell him before she has even opened her mouth, “Hey, nice job. She’s hot.” Why is it okay to a man to have other men base their approval of the woman in his life purely on her body? Why is it okay for his friends to degrade the woman he loves in that fashion? Why is it okay for his friends to assume that his own depth of character is so shallow? Have you ever really THOUGHT about what this behavior says about those who display it and about what these casual comments really MEAN?
It’s ALL totally objectifying and, frankly, needs to change.
So, in summary, yes, women should not objectify or judge men based purely on one subset of attributes. Nor should men do this to women. Agreed. However, from my own experience, this is much more rampant and socially accepted in male relationships than in female ones. Both should change.
As a female, I can change myself and talk to my female compatriots about it. What I would love to see is more men take responsibility for their own behavior, work on changing it, and not be afraid to tell other men that it’s inappropriate.
This reaction would be far better than the one I typically see, and which you’ve just embodied–saying “Women do it, too!” and then, lazily, dismissing the entire issue and your own culpability.
July 2, 2009 at 3:46 pm
Men really do police each other in subtle and not-so-subtle ways when it comes to wives/girlfriends. It can be outright nasty in certain circles.
My husband is of that age where most of his co-workers are either married to women in their late thirties and early forties, or divorced from women in that same bracket. Normal, right?
Through a series of odd life coincidences, he and I got married despite being twelve years apart. He’s the older one. Not typical, but you know, fine, statistical outliers happen. We’re happy.
But when these guys see me, a late-20s woman, you can SEE them congratulate my husband with this “look” I can only translate as “way to go, dood.”
It’s fucked up and irritating, because someday I WILL BE 40, 45, 50; my worth cannot now be built upon the shifting sands of (relative) youth and (even more relative) beauty. It always evaporates like the cheap perfume it is.
But WHY they police each other like this, I’ve no idea.
July 2, 2009 at 4:27 pm
“Are you thinking about what must be wrong with him that he has to “settle” for someone like me?”
Long ago, in my thinner days, there were a couple occasions where I’d be out with my death-fat ex at a club or restaurant and other blokes would actually come up to me and say ‘don’t fancy yours much’ or some similarly pointless observation intended to publicly big himself up in front of his micro-dicked buddies. Now that I too am every bit as fat as my fiancée and those same guys could probably say the exact same things to her, I suspect they’re of the opinion that we’ve had to ‘settle’ for one another; fortunately, they couldn’t be further from the truth.
July 2, 2009 at 7:34 pm
[…] OK, D00d Nation, THIS Is What I Want From You […]
July 2, 2009 at 7:36 pm
Bob, considering that I don’t have the most fascinating job on earth and basically never have, and I’m 45 years old, the last thing on earth I’d do is judge anyone harshly, regardless of gender, for not having an “exciting” career. Also, did you miss the part where I am autistic? Please read my other posts (hell, you probably only have to go back maybe three months to get an idea of what kind of person I am) before commenting further. And especially for deciding that I lack “introspection,” which is something I don’t think I’ve ever been accused of in my life. (I mean, the very idea.)
July 2, 2009 at 8:05 pm
I made the Femostroppo Reader! Squee!
Lindsay: Yeah, it does seem like people are invested in general in getting other people to conform to their agendas. You must do x, y, z, you must like x, y, z, you must hate x, y, z. Even not hating something enough can be cause for snubbing, right?
randomquorum: Predictably Irrational, heh. Sounds like my kind of book.
Bilt4Cmfot: I think Dude Nation was originally Twisty’s of I Blame the Patriarchy. I just horked the spelling. Actually, probably A Sarah horked the spelling “d00d” and I jumped on it.
friendlydaughter: There are certainly circles where the age difference between you and your husband is the norm, not an outlier. But you certainly hit the nail on the head: If marriage is supposed to be “forever,” and women have a “sell-by” date by which they’re supposed to be useless as partners, how does that possibly add up?
richie79: “Settle for one another,” yeah, okay. These are the same guys who won’t date anyone over a size 6 (US) and then complain that the trophy women they chase treat them like crap. Yeah, I “settled” for someone who treats me like frigging royalty, d00d, how about you?
July 3, 2009 at 1:37 pm
except for the butt cheek freckles (no idea really), i fit your description when my hair was longer. it totally squicked me out to be honest.
otherwise – word
July 3, 2009 at 8:53 pm
The d00d thought process is a weird contrast to my own — as an example, there was a young man who was a regular at one of the clubs I went to, who was both REMARKABLY pretty and possessed of a sweet and pleasant personality. His girlfriend, who I didn’t know well, was no-question-about-it fat. Well-dressed and a pretty face, but fat. My internal reaction, beyond the first quick surprise, was “She must be a pretty awesome person, because Gorgeous Boy could have any partner he wanted, and he’s choosing to be with her. They seem happy together. That’s nice!”
July 3, 2009 at 9:01 pm
Sita: That’s why I mentioned the butt cheek freckles — I tried to make the description as specific as possible, so that there would be very, very few women, if any, who “qualified.” Sorry if that weirded you out.
Rikibeth: Or maybe Gorgeous Boy just likes, you know…women. Of whatever size. Or maybe even especially digs the fat. But it is a beautiful thing to see, I agree.
July 8, 2009 at 6:49 am
Rikibeth, I must go with Meowser here and assert that “Gorgeous Boy” just likes women…with ‘size’ as an asset, not a liability. The most shockingly beautiful woman I have EVER had relations with was almost universally derided as ‘fat’ & ‘cow’, et seq. I still have pictures, and she was ( and probably still is,) a knockout. SAT scores greater than 1400 and ACT of 30 doesn’t hurt, but we ARE speaking of male preoccupation with appearance…and she was a BEAUTY!! ….circumstances…..
Meowser knows, you can be a screaming hottie, but if you carry a few ‘extra’ pounds, expect excoriation from the mainstream.
Thatt’s why I consider conventional wisdom to be a near total crock o shit.
July 28, 2009 at 9:38 am
Thanks for writing this. It inspired me to blog about how my boyfriend’s parents feel about me… a long standing issue. I’m tired of my worth as someone’s partner based on my weight.
My letter that I wrote to them (which someday I hope to have the balls to send) is here: http://emilylzbth.livejournal.com/1640.html