Quickies

Skepchick Quickies 6.4

Amanda

Amanda is a science grad student in Boston whose favorite pastimes are having friendly debates and running amok.

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  1. “Perhaps that is because this question is relatively new. For much of human history, men and women lived mostly distinct and separate social lives—from primitive times, when men spent most of their time with other dudes on all-day hunts, to the modern era, with its male-centric workplaces and colleges. All the while, women devoted their days either working among other women or staying at home with children.”

    Well, at least he front-loaded the stupid into the second paragraph. Is there anything in there that reflects reality?

      1. Well, I guess this is close to correct: “the modern era, with its male-centric workplaces and colleges.” That is a somewhat true thing. But then he goes on to pretend that’s all over now and we’re lost in this Brave New World of confusing equality.

    1. Haha no. There are still foraging societies today (“primitive times” what the fuck?), and they mostly spend only about 20 hours per week gathering what they need to survive (and, interestingly enough, the bulk of the calories come from gathering activities, not from hunting activities–why not focus on women’s “all-day gathering excursions”?). Foraging societies are quite egalitarian (there is often a lot of overlap in the kinds of activities different gendered people do). Men, in fact, do not spend “most of their time” on all-day hunts. This person clearly never took an introductory anthropology course (or they slept through it or never showed up).

  2. And how does one define “friend” anyway? I’ve had male friends whom I’ve fucked but were STILL FRIENDS. I’ve had male friends I have never fucked, and we’re still friends! I’ve had men I’ve dated and eventually we became friends after we broke up. I have male friends I started dating and we looked at each other and went “nope” and we’re still friends! I have friends whom I’ve had drunken nights with but it wasn’t a big deal and we’re STILL FRIENDS!

    Do friendships suddenly have to stop because someone had sex? NO.

    And, of course, what about the ladies I’ve dated and had sex with and am STILL FRIENDS WITH?

    Such a heteronormative article, among other problems.

  3. Silly me. My little lady brain had thought there might be mutual enjoyment to be had from conversing with interesting people of the opposite gender about anything other than my supposed perpetual search for a proper penis to fulfill my lifelong dreams and validate my existence in this world. It’s been nice knowing you fellas, but we just can’t be friends anymore because other people have been known to cheat on their spouses and there may come a day when my Sinister Lady Bits lead you into temptation, and there will be NOTHING you can do about it! Muwahaha! You just can’t trust ’em, those wild vagina-raptors, always on the prowl for innocent, married prey.

  4. Tangential to the “cross-sex friendship” article: many of the traits I look for in friends are also traits I look for in romantic partners. I am confident that this is quite common.

    It should be no surprise that people are romantically attracted to certain friends,* and this should lead to the unsurprising fact that sometimes misunderstandings happen, spurred on by stories of people who did start dating close friends. (Unsurprisingly, sometimes the attraction is mutual and it all works out). And sometimes, surprising no-one, someone acts awkwardly about it and makes everything awkward. And, without surprise, such ‘drama’ sticks in the head more than the undramatic, normal friendships.

    This whole idea is pure selection bias, and I’m surprised that some people still haven’t got the memo.

    * And little surprise that many of these attractions go unpursued, as said friend is either in a relationship already, or shows no signs of reciprocating interest.

  5. I’m a lesbian with lots of same sex friends. I came out only within the last couple of years and the reactions from a few of my guy friends has been surprising. Everything from “Don’t deny me access to your vagina, I might have wanted to use it at some point,” to “But you hang out with my ex girlfriend. You’ve been best friends for 18 years and live together. WHY ARE YOU TRYING TO GAY SEX MY EX GIRLFRIEND!!!?1”
    It became clear to me very quickly that these men saw me and other women as assets to be acquired rather than people and that I never really had a friendship with them to begin with. But I also have actual male friends who did not treat me this way because they see me as an actual person with like feelings and shit.

  6. Oh great, now I’m going to have nightmares about vagina-raptors and lesbian rabidtreeweasels. Thanks skepchick.

    That article sounded so much to me like one person going “I can’t deal with other-gendered friendships” and projecting that onto everyone else. My big question is whether the author is actually attracted to every woman he meets, or whether he only befriends women (people?) he is attracted to.

    I’m kinda with rabidtreeweasel on that, I have friends who aren’t attracted to men at all and I’m not sitting here pining about “oh noes, her vagina is off limits”. The jump from that to “this non-lesbian woman isn’t attracted to me either” doesn’t seem like such a leap to me. Not to mention the friends I have that I’m not sexually attracted to.

    This probably ties into some of the stupid men-and-sex myths – the wanting sex all the time, with every woman ones. Which are stupid, but if you grew up with them and your self-image of masculinity is tied to them it could get ugly.

  7. It seems as if the writer believes that all his friends’ divorces were caused by a series of unfortunate events. Events that could have been avoided if only they’d followed the writer’s golden rule of happy marriages – chaperones. Chaperones keep all relationships honest. Evidently, without chaperones, we would all fall helter-skelter into the nearest bed… and here I thought I was in in control of my own body – that I, alone, was responsible for my actions. Glad this guy is here to set me straight… infidelity isn’t my fault – it’s simply a terrible accident.

    I can take comfort in the knowledge that if I eradicate all friendships with those bearing complimentary cash and prizes, then my marriage can weather any storm… golden and diamond-flecked, it will stand as a testament to righteousness. I must be vigilant, though, because I have learned that I am incapable of controlling myself in the presence of the gibbering, flesh stained beast within me. I must be cautious to not be overwhelmed, because it is not my choice to cheat that causes infidelity – it is inappropriate relationships with those who tempt the gob-smacked horror within me.

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