After Amy Schumer’s fantastic acceptance speech at the Glamour Awards last week, the internet has basically been on fire with ‘catch a dick’ love. One of these was Reina Gattuso’s article pointing out that the puzzle of being a woman today is that you simultaneously struggle to follow the rules of beauty to catch a dick while also being barraged with dicks from all sides (dick pics, harassment, man feels).
The reaction of “oh that feel” from tons of feminists indicates that this is something we need to talk about more, that this trapped feeling is one that resonates with lots of people. It seems to me that there might be some added elements that can help us puzzle out what these conflicting obligations are and how to navigate them.
This added element is of course that women aren’t supposed to want to catch dicks. They’re supposed to want to catch men by ensnaring their dicks so thoroughly that the man loves them. Women aren’t supposed to actually want sex, remember? We’re beings who are supposed to be beautiful not to get laid but because we want romance and love and emotional support, which we earn by being the most fuckable. So fuckable that an animalistic man might deign to try to figure out things like emotions.
And of course women must also be liked by everyone, which when it comes to male/female relations means not offending any dicks. If your face or body is not intimately fuckable, then you’re not likable, and you’ve failed at being a woman. Beauty is the price of admission for being alive and female in these parts, whether or not you’re actually trying to catch a dick.
Fuckability isn’t just a measure of whether guys think they’d want to get with you, but in a lot of cases it comes down to whether they give you thinks like love, respect, or basic decency. Especially if you want a guy to date you, you better be so damned fuckable that his dick never wanders. Otherwise it’s basically your fault if he cheats or leaves, right?
Since women are supposed to be emotional we aren’t supposed to want the actual fucking, just the extra stuff that comes with it. Even fat girls are supposedly fuckable, but only in a secretive don’t tell anyone kind of a way, in the way that doesn’t come with a relationship or the lights on while you’re fucking or respect.
There are of course variations on all these themes. Some forms of ugly are supposedly so ugly that no men would want them, but men are also supposed to be so horny that anything is fuckable. Some women are supposed to be dirty sluts, and that means no one actually wants them. There are enough stereotypes about beauty, sex, and gender that most of them contradict each other.
But underlying the tension that Gattuso points out seems to be the assumption that all men want to sleep with all women, but all women want commitment. The anxiety about being beautiful enough is about way more than being attractive enough to get laid. It’s about being attractive enough to be worthy of being alive.