Several months ago, I assigned our Multimedia Editor Luis Rodriguez an article on DateMySchool.com, a dating site exclusively for college students. An .edu email address is required to create an account, and users can view fellow students from their school, their city or around the country, and subsequently message, and if all goes well, meet other users.
It sounded innocent enough to me. Two parts curiosity and one part willingness to help Luis with his research encouraged me to create an account, and thus began my deadly plunge into the dregs of the male population.
A male user had found my profile and sent me a message a few months later, long after I had forgotten about the website. But an email notification sent me back to DateMySchool.com where I, at the behest of my gag reflexes, read this:
“hi honey, you have a good look. i think we would look good anywhere together. we need to meet to see how good we fit in each others arms. i like the fact that your 5’6”, you can wear high heels if you wanted and i would still be a little taller. i dont like the idea of being shorter than my girl even when shes in heels. You have to enjoy cuddling or it wont work out. i think i enjoy cuddling more than sex. feel you get warm and creamy in my arms then we fall asleep holding each other. If you decide to reply i want you to ask me anything you need to know before we can start spending time together.”
Gag me with a spoon, right?
I often delude myself into thinking nice guys exist. Hell, for all I know they might in some far-off, Disney animated dreamland. But something about the personality of Lex Sachdev is a moving target for barneys like the aforementioned d-bag.
I told this jerk off in typical, snarky-Lex fashion:
“I think that’s incredibly forward of you to say to someone you haven’t even met yet, let alone know anything about. I can only wish you luck in your future endeavors with women. Call me a b**** if you’d like, that’s fine, but just know I’m now more offended than I am flattered. Feeling ‘warm and creamy’ in a stranger’s arms is quite possibly the furthest thing from what I want. And the fact that you’ve mentioned sex – again, without even knowing me – is downright offensive. And again, to assume we’re going to “start spending time together” is entirely too forward, seeing as I have displayed absolutely no interest in you.
“Really, good luck. You’re going to need it. Perhaps a simple, ‘hi, how are you?’ would have sufficed and I would have responded more favorably. But should you continue to speak to women in such aggressive ways, you’ll only strike out in the end. Happy Holidays!”
If you’re no stranger to my Tumblr, this probably sounds familiar.
I have a point, I promise.
After spending the bulk of my senior year of high school and freshman year of college catching up on the staples of feminist literature and geeking out over the history of the Women’s Rights Movement, Women’s History Month holds a special place in my heart. It serves, at least in my eyes, as not only a reminder of the greatness our fellow women have achieved, but also that women are forces to be reckoned with.
After reading and editing much of the content in this week’s issue surrounding Women’s History Month, the aforementioned incident oiled the gears of inspiration.
At first, I was just deeply offended, and rightly so. But after revisiting the conversation recently, CreeperGate 2011 reminded me of the deeper message.
Men, or rather, boys still have a deluded mentality that women are possessions. They believe they can own us, abuse us and control us. And let’s remember that for most of history that was more than a mentality, but the law. But it couldn’t be further from the truth. They think women want these fantastic Disney romances with white horses and fairytale weddings. We don’t. We want, nay, deserve respect.
But the blame shouldn’t fall solely on the XY chromosome. Ladies, raise your hand if you or one of your girlfriends has ever complained about how a man is treating you. Now consider: Did you ever put a stop to it?
You are not powerless, and it’s an antiquated mindset many women – often myself – adopt that tells us we are at the whim of our male suitor. We’re not.
And perhaps that’s the message I’d like my fellow ladies to take away from this declaration:
You deserve respect, and if you’re not getting it, demand it or walk away. You are not his property. Celebrate yourself this month, and every month.
Alexis Sachdev can be reached at email@example.com.