(image via Pixabay)
I don’t usually read the comments.
At least, I try not to.
But yesterday, I got a doozy. I try not to ban, but I banned this gentleman. When I got back, some woman I presume was his wife was on the thread calling me stupid for blocking him, so I blocked her too, deleted her comment, closed the thread, and washed my hands afterwards. Not a usual policy of mine.
The man, who called himself “Trinko” and used an actual photo I presume was of himself, referred to me as “The Author.” A certain stripe of commentator always call me “The Author.” It’s sort of fun; it makes me feel like Socrates. Trinko said “The author clearly doesn’t know much about men” and that I was “spewing the worst form of feminism; women are better than men but they need constant protection because they’re too weak to defend themselves.”
Trinko then ranted for three paragraphs, mostly about abortion. I am very much against abortion, I don’t ever want a woman to feel forced to make that choice. But Trinko went further than that. Trinko tried to justify sexual assault.
“I don’t support what Trump said however unless the women protested how is he supposed to know they don’t want him doing it? News Flash Mary; we can’t read your mind.”
First of all, Trinko, commas. And a semicolon isn’t supposed to be used for the same purpose as a colon. And thank you for learning my name, though I liked “The Author” just fine.
As for that other bit…
Sorry, that’s the sound of my Wolverine claws coming out. I type with them when I’m especially angry. It’s a worst-kind-of-feminist trait.
Yes, Trinko, I am indeed the worst kind of feminist, a pro-life Catholic feminist. As a feminist, I do not believe that women are better than men. I believe that women are equal, not necessarily alike in every way but equal in dignity and value, to men. I believe that women should be treated, not necessarily as alike but absolutely as equal, in our culture, in our interactions, and by the letter and practice of the law. I believe that the ways in which they are treated unequally are grave injustice. And I believe that, in situations where there is an uneven balance of power, the person who is in effect weaker has to be protected. Women are not weaker than men, but young women low on the business totem pole working for powerful men are definitely in a weaker position, for example. If they’re in danger of abuse in that position, then yes, they deserve to be protected. And when a man is low on the totem pole he deserves protection as well. It works both ways, because I’m the worst kind of feminist.
Wait, I’ve got it! I’m the worst kind of feminist. I believe that women are capable of speech. And, since men and women are equal, that means that men are capable of speech too! I mean, that doesn’t exactly follow logically, but I presume they are.
You know what that means, Trinko?
You can ask before you kiss or touch genitals.
Or, you can wait to be asked.
Yup. The way you know that a woman wants to be kissed or have her genitals touched, is to ask her, “May I kiss you or touch your genitals?” And if she says “yes” or “of course” or “Okay, but only for a minute,” then you can do it. But if she says “no” or “no thank you” or “I’m carrying mace,” keep your hands to yourself.
Or, if you’re feeling too demure to ask, you’ll have to wait until she asks. If a woman walks up to you and asks “would you like to kiss me and touch my genitals?” and if you both are in an area where it’s not illegal to engage in sexual display, you may kiss her and touch her genitals until she tells you to stop, either by speaking or by physically trying to remove herself from your embrace.
There are some exceptions to this rule of thumb, of course. If one of you is a minor or too drunk or mentally disturbed to be competent to make her own choices, or if there’s a gross imbalance of power (such as that you’re her boss or much wealthier and more powerful than she is, or the reverse) you can’t kiss her or touch her genitals even if she says “yes” or if she asks you to do so. And if the woman is not breathing, you can give her mouth-to-mouth without asking, and if there is a poisonous snake attacking her genitals there may be some additional leeway.
Of course, none of this is (ahem) touching on the Catholic moral issues of when it’s okay to touch genitals (in the context of a lawful marriage only unless you’re a gynecologist or something, and yes, you still have to ask for consent in any case). It’s only touching on the bare legal and ethical issues of when it’s not the crime known as sexual assault.
And before you ask: yes, I apply this to Bill Clinton as well as to Trump. Always have. And yes, I realize that killing a person is also violating them, but we’re talking about sexual assault right now.
I hope that clears up that issue, Trinko. If you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a nice hot trash can full of burning bras to tend to, and I have to refuse to make my husband a sandwich. I’m the worst kind of feminist, after all.