Anyway, here's the gist: I went to the midnight showing with a friend, his boyfriend, and the friend's former roommate, and also met up with other people my friend knew at the theater. It was kind of awkward because my friend didn't introduce me to anyone (I know his former roommate, had never met his boyfriend, and didn't know anyone else who was going with us) and wasn't really able to talk to anyone other than the roommate because they were all rushed trying to get everyone's tickets and drinks and things before we went into the theater. I was also fangirling hardcore and was feeling rather social, but an event on the way to the theater put me off.
I never caught my friend's boyfriend's name - he was never actually introduced to me and if my friend hadn't told me I'd be meeting his boyfriend that night, I'd have no idea that's who he was. This was a sort of precursor to bad karma to follow. On the drive to the theater, I told my friend that I had a check for the theater tickets, which he'd bought in advance, and this conversation more or less ensued:
Roommate: Kind of a small check, isn't it?Never before had I ever been more aware of my gender than sitting in a car full of men and having this said to me. All because I wrote a fucking check and didn't just say I didn't have time to go to the ATM. Needless to say, I didn't develop a very favorable impression of my friend's boyfriend.
Me: Yeah, it is, but I didn't have enough cash. I had to buy a thank you gift for the professor I did my directed study with.
Roommate: You had to buy him a present?
My friend (something along the lines of): Who buys gifts for their professors? Trying to get a better grade?
The boyfriend (more or less these words): You could have just slept with him.
Me (responding to the Roommate): Well, no, I just wanted to. Figured I should after he put up with my fangirling all semester.
There are many things that piss me off about this interaction and I'm going to try to outline them in the hopes of making myself feel a bit better and do some feminist thinking and evaluating and to maybe try to avoid ending up hating a person I hardly even met (coming from someone who used to be hardcore about instant judgement, this is a bit tough). So, here we go.
2) The implication that women use sex to get what they want, especially in academia: This is not the first time I have heard comments of this kind; it's just the first time I can recall them being directed at me. I'm sure the boyfriend said this to be funny, because for some reason this concept is considered to be comedic, but I'm not laughing. After taking women and gender psychology where we discussed quid pro quo sexual coercion at length (situations where women (generally speaking) are rewarded (with promotions, better reviews/grades, etc) for sexual favors. I find this sort of sexual harassment perhaps the most disgusting, especially because women are already have certain disadvantages in workplace and academic settings. It's also a betrayal of trust and a massive amount of manipulation, all things that are a bit not good. The fact that anyone would imply that women would happily go along with this makes me pretty sick. Not to mention the level of awkward it creates when someone who hardly knows me would imply that I would do this.
3) Everything between men and women is simplified down to one common denominator: As a student who really likes queering up relationships and exploring all the nuanced identities out there, I find it really limiting when people reduce everything in the world to sex. C'mon guys.
This is annoying, too, because I was feeling so good about the world after seeing The Hobbit and having renewed faith in humanity and then this kept lingering in my mind after we'd left the theater and I realized that it's totally awkward to be invited to an event where you and half the other people don't know each other because your friend just invited a large group without thinking about how they'd mesh. And then the roommate was being kind of weird about my love for The Hobbit. So it was a weird situation all around. At least it didn't influence my view of the movie.
This comes with the realization that I think I've truly reached my limit for how college-aged men treat women. I specify college-aged men because they're the demographic I'm around and some of the things they say are appalling. Still thinking that blondes are not as smart or that women all become lunatics on their periods or that we are somehow vastly different beings because we have two x chromosomes. Give me a break. I would never think to insinuate that a man - or anyone, for that matter - would sleep with someone just to better their grade or position and I find it extremely insulting that a such a passing comment can be made by someone who doesn't even know me.
Compounded by current events and (probably) my lack of sleep, I'm feeling more dismayed than usual. However, I'm finding this all segues nicely into a fandom-related post I was going to type out, so, with your indulgence, we'll go forth into that in a following post. So, I'll end here with a song by one of my favorite musicians (and the inspiration for this blog title).