Sex Crimes?: Let’s talk about the celebrity nudes scandal

Unless you’ve been living under a very large rock for the past month or so, or trapped on a desert island like Tom Hanks in Castaway (WILSON, sob), then you have probably heard about the hackers who stole nudes of a whole bunch of celebrities. In case you haven’t seen it, this is where it all began, and I applaud you on having a life unlike the rest of us internet dwellers.

In the latest development, Jennifer Lawrence – who up until recently has been entirely silent on the issue – has given a statement about her experience, which is both heartbreaking and honest. In her view the hack is a violation and a sex crime, and not only the hackers and websites containing the pictures are at fault – people who viewed the images are also “perpetuating a sexual offence”. In response to those that might have suggested this comes with the territory of being a public figure, she also points out that her body is her own and not public property, and so the ultimate choice about sharing those photos was her own.

I honestly can’t say I disagree with a single word said there, but the whole hacking scandal has brought to light a whole bunch of issues that we have to talk about.

Consent and nudes 

We all know about issues of consent when it comes to sex (or at least I hope so, but if you don’t then here’s a nice video for you!). What people might not be so clear on are issues of consent when it comes to nudity in videos or pictures, which I guess is understandable, since most pictures can’t exactly get up and say “OI! I never consented to this!”.

Could you imagine if the Daily Prophet had a Page 3?!
Could you imagine if the Daily Prophet had a Page 3?!

While the same principles apply in theory, (i.e. an excited, resounding yes is given), it’s often very difficult to work out as a viewer whether someone did actually consent not only to having their picture/video taken, but to this being published on the web. This is especially a concern since incidences of revenge porn seem to be increasing.

So how do we know if someone has consented to all of this? Well, you really should use a website with strict rules about who can post what, and avoid known revenge porn sites or sites with a distinct lack of rules like the plague. Commercial porn websites are *usually* pretty safe for example.

BUT, and this is a big but (pun intended), don’t assume it’s all safe because a place appears to have strict rules on the subject. Take Reddit for example, which has a whole bunch of sections devoted to amateur porn, and is widely considered to be a “safe-space” for exhibitionists. Now a lot of people think it’s pretty safe porn, because they ask users to verify their posts – usually by posting a picture or video with themselves in it, holding a plaque with their username and date on it. Except, you can post pictures on their without having to do any of that – the moderators pick who has to verify their photos. Maybe that’s how leaked celeb nudes ended up on Reddit. Safe.

When you know it’s safe, look all you want. When you know or suspect it isn’t (and in this case you knew it wasn’t), then don’t click on it. By looking at these personal images without the consent of those in them you are violating that person, and you are indeed perpetuating a sexual offence. It’s that simple.

Blaming the victim

Every time something like this happens, in the midst of all the anger and blame directed at the hackers, a (hopefully) small bunch of folks make some rather stupid comments about how no one should create these images in the first place, lest this should happen. Actions have consequences, right folks?

I try to remind myself of that same thing any time I see stupid things on the internet.
Not featured: Dog enjoying a lovely cat-stew.

There’s one thing that everyone seems to forget when talking about the creation of personal images; that is, the reasonable expectation of privacy that goes with them. Let’s say I come home one day and spontaneously decide to get naked – maybe I’m having a bath or something. If no one is in the house (except people I would feel comfortable being naked with), and all the doors are shut, I expect that my nakedness is between me, the four walls, and anyone I allow to view it. You would therefore be violating my privacy if you secretly filmed me, or burst into my house to gawp, which are highly unusual situations.

Except perhaps if you live at the Playboy mansion – they probably have a lot of cameras.

That sort of situation is very similar to the one in which nudes are created – people are choosing to create these personal images for the benefit of a limited few, and can expect those images to remain between them. It’s up to them to share those images out after all – no one else gets to make that decision. For most people, it remains a safe thing, with no one breaking the ground rules of nudes. In highly irregular situations, jerkwads will steal those pictures or distribute them without consent in an attempt to generally fuck shit up for the person that made them. Again, that’s violating their reasonable expectation of privacy.

“Hold on a minute Laura,” you might protest, “you have to concede that a lot of hassle would be saved if you just didn’t create them in the first place!”. Sure, I get it. By the same token, I could avoid a lot of hassle by not getting naked in my own home, lest someone should secretly film it, or burst in to gawp. But maybe I like being naked; maybe I want to share some intimate part of myself with someone else. Why shouldn’t I be allowed to, just because some asshole feels entitled to look at everyone’s genitals ever?

People make nudes. People will probably always make nudes. Therefore, telling people not to make them is just not an effective solution. In fact, all it does it upset people, and detract attention away from the real villains – the people that distributed those images without consent in the first place.

Plus, on a slightly more obvious note, it already happened, so preaching about shit afterwards gets you nowhere.

Except maybe Dumpsville…

Sex Crimes?: Let’s talk about the celebrity nudes scandal

I Talk Shit (Sometimes)

Once upon a time, there was a man who hated a certain sort of person. They got on his nerves so much that he would scream, and steam would come out of his ears. His doctor thought this most unhealthy. One day, the man came up with a cunning plan. “Aha!” he thought, “I can take to the internet to complain about those people!”. So he took to the internet and wrote huge essays in which he branded all those sorts of people “psychopaths”, complete with his own definition of a psychopath…

You’ve probably noticed that I write a lot of stuff which can be said to be somewhat factual; usually based on my own interest or *cough* “expertise”. But, it’s also full of opinions – like my love of pants or my firm belief that prisons don’t really reduce crime (have I mentioned that?). A lot of blogs are that way – if you skim through a few posts, you’ll find an intricate mix of fact and opinion. That’s great; who wants to read a boring, perfectly-balanced essay outside of erm… a place where that sort of thing is standard? Exactly – only weirdos. Fact.

Weirdo.
Weirdo.

The problem comes when you consider that people like my Auntie, or the users of 4chan, actually use the internet. By which I mean those people that believe everything they read, even if it doesn’t make sense or contradicts other information they have read. Where a non-gullible person might look at an obviously wrong thing (say, an instance where the whole world is branded psychotic) and think “what utter nonsense this blogger is talking!”, other folks will look at it and think it’s some seriously deep shit, kept from us under lock and key by the man.

So what?

To explain why this is such a big problem, we need to return to my Auntie. Sorry, Auntie… I’m not poking fun, you’re just a very good example. You see, she is one of your typical Facebook spammers. She LOVES to share things, and puts no consideration at all into whether or not anyone wants to read it. She especially loves the “shocking” “facts” that do the rounds on there – stuff like secret changes to privacy settings, or about new bugs that will eat your insides out that are everywhere, totes. She genuinely believes this stuff, as I mentioned before; she doesn’t even think to double check any of the information she meets, leading to problems where she has made her Facebook page easily accessible to just about anyone, and half her Facebook friends won’t buy pillows anymore for fear of being eaten alive.

Exhibit A.
Exhibit A.

It all sounds relatively harmless – but there’s more than just Facebook on the internet. What about scammy emails? For starters, my Auntie is a prime target for the Prince of Nigeria. And what about health misinformation? What if seriously ill people suddenly stopped all their treatments, convinced they were going to die if they carried on?

 I’m not exaggerating. In fact, to get my Auntie to stop sharing every bit of crap she came across, another relative told her they all contained viruses that she unwittingly sent to all her Facebook buddies. She didn’t check this and automatically believed it; we’ve not heard a peep since.

And what?

What I’m trying to say is that the internet is full of crap, and if you flick through a few blog posts, the same is true. But the internet is also being used by people who find it super difficult to work out what is real and what is fake. We have to put some responsibility on people to use their common sense and fact check things, sure, but we also have to accept that people are lazy and gullible and just don’t do that. Some responsibility therefore lands on the people creating the content. So for everyone’s sake, please consider this when writing your blog! It takes two minutes to state where the fuck you are getting this from, and if you can’t find something to back it up, state it is an opinion (not the same as fact), or just don’t write it. Simple pimple.

I Talk Shit (Sometimes)

10 Things I Will (Not) Regret In Ten Years Time.

I made the mistake of going on Facebook today – apparently some woman is having her second child, it’s the talk of erm… Britain. (Maybe she’s important somehow, like maybe she was working on the cure for a disease or something? I mean, the media is kind of going crazy, so she must be soooooo important!)

Anyway, among the drivel about a peanut-sized fetus, there was this gem about how I am totally going to regret these ten “choices” in ten years.  I mean, that’s vastly important information so I thought I’d better read it, before I get that tattoo of my driving license on my arm.

Apparently, it's been done... Photo courtesy of Dave (the tv channel).
Apparently, it’s been done…
Photo courtesy of Dave (the tv channel).

Except, as I read through these ten things, I found I was kind of underwhelmed. I was expecting (stupidly) an insightful list of things I totally think are a good idea now, that I will regret later. That’s what the title led me to believe. What I got was disappointing common sense, things that aren’t even choices, and a few things that are not so black and white as the article suggests.

1. Wearing a mask to impress others.

Okay, so obviously this refers to pretending to be someone you’re not, and not to literally wearing a mask all the time (unless you’re trying to impress members of the KKK or people who really love gimp suits, obviously). In which case the article is totally right – if you pretend to be something you’re not all the time to impress other people, you’re going to feel shitty. Firstly with exhaustion, and secondly with the realization that no one really knows and respects the real you, which is pretty lonely.

On the other hand, there are times when you should probably put your best face forward, and that might involve a little mask wearing. I doubt anyone has ever regretted showering and acting polite when they felt shit on the inside during a job interview, if you catch my drift.

2. Letting someone else create your dreams for you.

Every sci-fi in history says this is totally a bad idea – not least because people in your head will attack the person fucking your dreams up.

This bitch is going down!
This bitch is going down!

But seriously, living your own life is just common sense. Nothing to see here folks!

3. Keeping negative company

Okay, everyone likes nice people. You should hang out with nice people, people who make you feel good. But this one totally contradicts with things happening later on in that it’s kind of selfish and douchy when you think about it. I mean, nice people aren’t nice all the time – people fluctuate. Don’t give up on your buddy because they were honest with you about that haircut you love but they think is hideous, or because they were a bit mardy with you that day their husband died, or because they don’t want to hang out with you when they’re in the depths of a long depression. Just like you, they have fluctuating moods and personalities and are not perfect all of the time.

4. Being selfish and egotistical

 I donate to charity whenever I can – time and money, I give everything to support causes I care about. Some people would say I have a selfless side; other people would rightly realize that I do get a bit of a kick out of doing good, so some of it is still kind of selfish; other people would say I don’t do enough because I don’t deal in absolutes. I mean, I sleep at night rather than spending all day and all night helping folks, so I’m just not giving enough. The problem with selfishness is that it’s almost entirely decided relatively – as in by comparison between you and some bugger else. So, basically, stop worrying about being “selfish” by other people’s standards and just do what you think is right.

5. Avoiding change and growth

What can I say – some change is good, some not so good. Avoid the good, go for the bad. Wait… that’s the wrong way around!

6. Giving up when the going gets tough

Over the summer I had a shit job. Most of us have been there – it looked okay, and actually it turned out to be a steaming pile of shit. But I stuck it out based on the notion that I shouldn’t just quit because it was crap and thus kinda hard to put up with.

In doing this, I ended up putting up with stuff that no person should ever have to put up with, including but not limited to: four hour daily travel, eight hours without a break, doing everything on my own, sexual harassment (that was ignored), and an unsafe working environment. My nerves now completely shot, I have quit.

Sometimes, you should preserve. Others you should run for the hills. Learn to recognize which is which to avoid regret and unnecessary bullshit.

7. Trying to micromanage every single little thing

This is explained in terrible wishy-washy bullshit in the article (which I find ironic given later advice!), but the principle remains that you can’t manage every aspect of life. Sometimes things just happen and you can only deal with the consequences of it.

8. Settling for less than you deserve

Hold on a minute… the article said don’t be selfish, and yet this involves that very thing! Sometimes in life, this totally applies – if you work a certain number of hours, you deserve a certain amount of pay, for example. If you pass all of your assessments for a qualification, you deserve to be awarded that qualification. If, however, you are nice to a chick that’s a friend, and she doesn’t shag you, you can’t exactly claim you were swindled – no one said you “deserved” that as a reward. So, bear that sort of thing in mind.

9. Endlessly waiting until tomorrow

We’re all going to die! HOLY SHIT WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE! And we haven’t got a clue when, it’s true. So while that does mean trying to get the most out of your life, what it doesn’t mean is not making any future plans simply because you can’t be totally sure you’re going to be alive by then. Future plans are still awesome, and some tasks take longer than a day to complete.

[Insert obligatory picture of Rome here]
[Insert obligatory picture of Rome here]

10. Being lazy and wishy-washy

Have you ever spent the day sat in front of the TV? Of course you have, you lazy bastard. There was so much more you could have done that day – maybe you were even thinking that as you watched Jamie and Adam blow the shit out of stuff on Mythbusters. So why didn’t you do it? Are you lazy and unreliable? Are you afraid of taking responsibility for shit?

Or, just maybe, you really needed a fucking rest. Just because you aren’t leaping from buildings or running a marathon every day doesn’t mean you aren’t doing something quite important. Just like sleep, taking a regular break to be lazy is very important. Think of RSI, but for your whole body and brain. Yeah, you can go back to watching Mythbusters in your pants now – do it for the welfare of you, man!

You got to the end!

In which case, you deserve a reward. Like my number one tip for not regretting anything ever? Don’t choose to regret stuff. You aren’t perfect, and shit happens. That, like you, is perfectly okay bro.

10 Things I Will (Not) Regret In Ten Years Time.

Pornography is complicated, so let’s talk it over

NSFW: Expect graphic imagery in this post!

As a self-identifying feminist, I am frequently asked by people why I totally hate porn. At this point I like to shock everyone, by announcing that Aha! I actually do not hate porn.

You read that right: I don’t hate porn. In fact, I’m perfectly okay with the fact pornography exists. But, BIG BUT, I’m not so cool with the society in which it exists, and the really awful stuff that happens to porn stars and porn viewers.

So I don’t watch porn – don’t ask me about my favourites, okay?

Why I am okay with porn

Pornography has been around forever and ever, and did I say forever? I mean, the Kamasutra anyone? Totally counts. What about this lovely Roman oil lamp?

It was the longest he'd ever managed...
It was the longest he’d ever managed…

I hear you – you’re more of a Manet/French prossie fan, got ya. Sure, you could argue that those are just pieces of art, and that nudity is just the done thing in art. The same argument could be applied to a lot of things, like erotic novels, or sexual photographs, and porn movies.

Let’s face it, folks have been viewing sexual imagery and getting off on it since forever. Some people would question whether we should, but hey, it happens, and I’m totally cool with it. Do what you will my buddies – take charge of your own sexuality, work out what you do and don’t like, watch/read/stare at some porn.

A tenner to whoever can work out what on Earth is going on here...
A tenner to whoever can work out what on Earth is going on here…

 

You have my blessing – provided you do it ethically and sparingly!

Why I don’t like porn so much

The last thing you might be worried about when watching ‘Mary’ have an OTT threesome with two dudes is about the ethics of it, I get that. But for the sake of Mary and her two male buddies, for the sake of their lifetime of wondrous shagging, please please think of the ethics.

For starters, her two male buddies will not get paid half as much as Mary for their shag-fest. Which sucks, if you’ll pardon the pun. They put just as much effort into it (if not more, considering that they have to manage to keep an erection and have an orgasm on demand, whereas Mary could just fake it), so they should get paid the same amount.

But they don’t. Because the porn industry is designed almost exclusively for hetero men, and rightly or wrongly, the folks in charge assume that hetero men don’t want to watch two blokes. I look forward to the days in which the world isn’t designed exclusively for blokes that just refuse to pay other blokes to screw ladies for their pleasure. THE SACRIFICE, MAN.

Besides, the fact that the industry is pretty much exclusively designed for straight blokes just outright ignores huuuuuuge demographics of potential porn-watchers. Ladies especially are barely catered for, even though they need to get off too. Lesbian porn – pretty much designed for men. “Bisexual” porn – well, that’s just an excuse for a (usually two-chick) threesome in porn land, which I must say isn’t doing my image any favours. It would be super duper nice if women could have some porn that actually reflects and caters to their sexuality, instead of stuff that peddles the myth that female sexuality basically revolves around male pleasure, or that sex should end when the bloke is finished. Maybe something in which the ladies have actual, real orgasms and actual fun? Then maybe guys would get paid more, too, because there would be a greater demand for penises!

OKjcq

Then there’s the problem of desensitization. It’s been well documented that some people just cannot get aroused without porn, because they’ve consumed waaay too much of some seriously hard shit. Now, how much is too much will vary depending on the person, but the risk is still there. Maybe before dropping your trousers and double-clicking, you should take a moment and wonder if you even need to watch Mary having an OTT threesome to get your rocks off. There are other ways, my friends!

I could go on forever – there’s issues of consent and revenge porn, kids accessing it, rape porn and other violent stuff, for example – but I’m supposed to be revising for my exams. Needless to say, we need to take a long, hard look at porn (haha!), and actively seek to reform the industry so that it’s fairer for the people in it, at the very least!

 

Pornography is complicated, so let’s talk it over

Anti-misandry.com: myths and misunderstanding

I was casually searching the web the other day, feeling sorry for myself because they only made a cool t-shirt for men, and there wasn’t one in my size. Isn’t that the worst?! Anyway, I stumbled across this t-shirt made by the people at Anti-misandry.com, and naturally I just had to see that one. Not in a mocking sense (well, maybe a little), I just like to expose myself to opposing ideas and beliefs really.

The website, so far as I can tell, seeks to document what it considers the systematic oppression of males by feminists and “… the government”, through a series of interesting ‘articles’. Let’s take a look.

How it describes itself

The information they give about the actual website is intensely amusingly written. They were obviously trying to make it look like a ‘real’ conversation between two people about misandry… and failed miserably. Come on, one of the questions on there is literally just “uh?”. That sounds more like a conversation of grunts between two moody teenagers to me!

It’s here that the bizarre conspiracy theories start; while grounded in some truth, they are distorted for their own ends. Consider this passage, for example:

Can you give me some demonstrations of misandry? Sure. Have a look at the second-wave feminist view of men for an example. Valerie Solanas, the radical feminist* who shot Andy Warhol in 1968, provides a famous example of misandry in her self-published SCUM Manifesto. In case you’re wondering, SCUM is an acronym for ‘Society for Cutting Up Men’, practically a call for gendercide, the culling of men. Quite literally, Solanas expressed her desire to “institute complete automation and destroy the male sex.

*The hover-over link describes feminism as: “A person who demonstrably affords women the assumption of good and men the predisposition of bad whilst claiming to seek equality”.

Valerie Solanas did indeed shoot Andy Warhol in 1968, and the SCUM Manifesto is a real thing, though no one really knows if this is related to her wounding Warhol and his colleague or if that was perhaps more to do with her paranoid schizophrenia (she spent some time in a psychiatric hospital as part of her prison sentence). The Society for Cutting Up Men acronym is a disputed term, and the only member of that society was Valerie herself. The whole thing is still pretty controversial today – some feminists completely disagree with it, and others think it’s an extreme reaction to the state of society at the time and frustration at the lack of progress being made by non-violent protest. I can’t comment exactly because I haven’t read it. I can say however that to suggest this is in any way representative of feminism as a whole in that period is… well, horseshit, if I’m honest.

It goes on to suggest that misandry is taught to children from an early age:

The next time you switch on the television, count how many programmes have the token ‘stupid boyfriend’ or ‘abusive husband’ or ‘paedophilic father’ figure. Switch over to a children’s channel / time window and watch how many cartoons or programmes reflect ‘silly daddy’ characters or ‘bullying big brother’. Don’t forget, of course, nearly all the women in these same programmes will be smart, sexy, sassy and full of beans, capable of juggling a career lifestyle with children, a husband and a social circle – let’s not forget that she’s undoubtedly a wonderful cook and always remembers everybody’s birthdays. If these images are being constantly spread out over our airwaves, what does that tell our children who are growing up watching & learning daily, hourly, that men are just so stupid, abusive and … well, useless?

This is very interesting. I watched – and still do, sometimes – cartoons reasonably regularly as a kid. It took me a while to think of a single instance in which adults of both genders weren’t depicted as a bit stupid in cartoons. Blue’s clues – not a single woman in it, as I recall. Dexter’s Laboratory – Dexter is a genius, everyone else except his computer and his arch enemy are pretty dim. In the Rugrats, the parents are pretty ditzy (probably to the extent the kids would be taken away in real life. Grim). Fairly Odd Parents, same story. In Ed Edd and Eddy, there are no parents at all; it’s pretty much the same in Spongebob. In fact the only example I could think of was Ms. Sara Bellum in The PowerPuff Girls – not even a main character. Sure, those are largely the kids programmes I grew up with, but some of these are still on, and the themes emerging from kids TV nowadays is very much more of the same. If I grew up with this view of men as being just as equal and deserving as I am, well, I can’t see how the same stimuli is going to colour the view of today’s kids against men.

Making up stories

Among some of the more amusing bits of fibbing, this one has to be the most striking. You might recognize the photo (below) from ‘Defined Lines‘, a popular feminist parody to the Robin Thicke song and video, Blurred Lines. The idea behind the video was to create a deliberate role reversal in an attempt to deliberately emphasize how sexist the original actually is. In their own way, the crew at Anti-Misandry.com picked up on the exact same thing; though they rather dull the point by stripping it entirely of its context and its message.

feminists oppressing men

I wanted to comment letting them know of their mistake, but in order to leave a comment you have to know the correct answer to their ‘random’ question, which just so happens to be “Does feminism seem anti-male?”. I could try putting in ‘yes’ of course, but I’m just not a liar.

It isn’t all bad (amazingly!)

Actually, there were one or two things I noticed when flicking through the website that really struck a cord with me. On some issues, we actually agree. Like, for example, the bit where they talk about a lack of adequate provision for male victims of domestic abuse, or the fact that women are much more likely to get custody of children in a divorce, and even the bit where Female Genital Mutilation is illegal and male circumcision isn’t (maybe I’ll write a post about why I disagree with the practice some time).

This isn’t the first time I’ve met with this realization – last year an anti-feminist came to our university and delivered a very bad talk (in which he was actually homophobic) that convinced most of the audience to side with feminism, but on some issues, we all seemed to agree. The problem is, they attribute these problems to the women’s rights movement, when they are actually a part of the patriarchal system. Men don’t receive as much help for domestic abuse because people think – even the men in abusive relationships, to an extent – that a woman can’t hurt a man, as they simply aren’t strong enough. The people in charge see women as weak and defenseless against these strong males, needing additional protection. Men do suffer, though not on the same scale, from domestic abuse and they should receive the same provision for it. Similarly, women get custody more often in divorce because of this messed up notion that women are caregivers first and foremost, so they’re “better” at it, and that it doesn’t really matter if the father is present in the kid’s upbringing. This is backed up by research in the fifties and sixties that didn’t even include father’s in the testing; they thought they didn’t need to. Add in the fact that men are more likely to move out of the family home (because they earn a higher wage, so they can afford a new place) and you have a recipe for custody-bias.

So, now what?

I’m convinced that sexism actually comes from ignorance – sometimes unknowing, sometimes willful. Instead of freaking out when we see stuff like this that we might disagree with, let’s enter into a thoughtful and evidence-based discussion about the issues at hand. If that doesn’t work? Well, you can’t debate with someone who isn’t listening to any counter-arguments; grab a nice cup of tea, politely excuse yourself and take your efforts elsewhere. Eventually they might decide they’re willing to talk.

I look forward to seeing this woefully misrepresented on their website shortly!

Anti-misandry.com: myths and misunderstanding

You don’t need “what men/women need to know about eachother” lists. Here’s why.

I recently had the misfortune of reading the WallStreetInsanity “article” (and by article, I actually mean emergency toilet paper) entitled ‘50 Things Every Woman Should Realize About Men. How original, right? It’s not as though we’ve seen these sorts of articles A THOUSAND TIMES REMOVED. Thank goodness someone had the good sense to write it!

If you have a few minutes, and want to read something that will make you determined to scoop at your eyeballs with a lemon baller, go ahead and read that shit. I dare you.

Now, maybe it’s just me – except I’m certain that it most definitely isn’t – but I am entirely sick of women and men telling each other what they totally, totally need to know in order to not instantly attempt to murder your opposite-sex buddy by hitting them repeatedly over the head with the entire collection of ‘Lost’. I think there are several, totally legitimate reasons for this, too. So now you get to indulge in my long, bullet-pointed rant  about why those totally suck (the irony), and are totally useless for all of humanity. You lucky, lucky bastard!

  1. They’re heteronormative. Coming from the perspective of being partial to a bit of lesbianism (no bisexuality doesn’t make me indecisive or greedy, nay-sayers!), these lists do absolutely nothing for me. I don’t automatically assume that having a vagina means I know exactly what the thoughts and needs of all my fellow women are. This is especially true in their relationships, because those are super complicated things. I know, I’ve had a few. So, tell me, where are the articles for same-sex couples saying “here’s how to tell what the hell they’re screaming at you for”? Or are those relationships just so freaking awesome that they don’t need them?Never fear, I know the answer! Those articles don’t exist because…
  2. They assume that men and women speak a different language. Now, I can certainly see why the authors of these articles think this, because sometimes on the surface it sure as hell looks like we don’t understand each other. Here’s an interesting idea though – what if the supposed differences between men and women, actually resulted from this very sentiment itself. WHOA! HEAVY, RIGHT?

    Society has been telling men and women to act, think, and feel differently for centuries. You can hardly be surprised that some men and women might outwardly seem to be wholly different, considering. But what you can do to start moving away from this is to just treat them like a normal freaking human being, like you treat everyone else. You know, if you feel sometimes like you don’t understand what your partner is saying, it’s totally okay to calmly ask for clarification. Getting to know their communication style is kinda a big part of being in a long, good quality relationships. Try it. It’s relationship counselling approved advice.

  3. They assume men are simple, lazy and sex-obsessed. I can’t help but feel sorry for the people that write these articles, because they have so little faith in men. They talk about their lack of ability to sustain attention in anything that isn’t TV, their desires to bang literally anything with a pulse (sometimes maybe even without a pulse), their desires for constant external validation of their masculinity, and how they basically will never overcome their shortcomings and understand the opposite sex so they aren’t going to try.

    I don’t know how many males these people know, but none of this is true at all. Yes, I realize by saying this I’m opening myself up to a stream of comments by similar men and women with low self-esteem who will endlessly wail that it TOTALLY IS TRUE, DAMMIT. Except it isn’t. Men aren’t born these simple, sex-obsessed neanderthals, and it isn’t hard-wired into their brains. Trust me, I literally study this shit. Some men become this way because of the insane pressure we’re all under to conform to these ridiculous and unhealthy gender norms. Speaking of which…

  4. They assume women are hysterical, complex, stupid and sexless. Do we even need to talk about this one? I mean, surely we all know the many, many reasons why this is utter horseshit. Women and men are equally as fucked up, peeps. We’re all horny beings of reasonable intelligence, who are insanely complicated (again, I am a psychology student, so you can trust me!) and occasionally prone to stupidity and hysterics. Deal with it.
  5. But women need to take charge, because men are incapable or too busy. Forget your day jobs ladies (what am I talking about, of course women don’t work!), you need to help this broken heap of junk take charge of his life and his relationship! What do you mean you aren’t a qualified counselor?! Hop to it woman! He’s a very busy man, with lots of beer-drinking and TV watching to do (at least according to the author of this particular article), and this comes before any hobbies, achievements or career goals of your own obviously.
  6. He doesn’t need to change, but she definitely does. You can’t change a man, ladies; the only way to make your relationship work is to simply accept him for who he is unquestioningly. (I mean, I’m not sure if those rules extend to situations where he’s a murderer or a drug dealer or domestic abuser, but I think it’s safe to assume so.) Ladies, you just have to try and fit yourself around his wants, needs and interests – while forsaking your own. Because he doesn’t like how you are, but you have to like every inch of how he is. SOUNDS LEGIT!
  7. The identity of women is completely muddled with those of men. I’m sure you were getting this impression anyway, but you’re right – to be a content woman, you have to have a content man. Which often means sacrificing the things you like doing, like maybe your job, or seeing your friends (especially those straight male ones these articles loathe), or not having babies, or not getting married, maybe even that haircut that you think makes you look kinda cute. Because men are the masters, obviously, so they’re more important than that. Shut up and make them some sandwiches already.

There are SO many more reasons to hate these things, but so little time. The moral of the story is that absolutely none of these things make healthy relationships with anyone ever, so can we just quit it please?  Can we move the fuck on?!

You don’t need “what men/women need to know about eachother” lists. Here’s why.