Monthly Archives: June 2014

I Will Not Meet Your Friends Because Chili’s is Patriarchy

It is out of my respect for you as a liberated cisgendered female and sexual collaborator that I refuse to go to dinner with Bob and Jody because Chili’s is patriarchy.

Instead, I insist that we stay here on my roommate’s couch, watch Netflix, and bang heteronormatively.

I’m a bit shocked that you are proposing that we go meet your friends at all, given the many times you insisted to me that you act on your own desires and don’t bend to society’s rigid expectations that cisgendered females your age should be monogamously pair bonding their way to an engagement ring. Now you want to introduce me to Jody and Bob and show them you have a man? I understand that as your roommate, Jody is curious about who you’ve been running off to meet in the middle of the night. Why don’t you just describe to her the sexual fireworks that have been happening here on this couch, which I just vacuumed by the way, instead of asking me to put on a shirt and play double date at Chili’s, which is the intersection of intersectionality, the very nexus of misogynistic patriarchy, all smothered in the rib sauce of androcentrism? What was your minor in women’s studies even for? Did I mention my roommate is out of town tonight?

know they just want to meet me. That’s the problem.

I understand that as a reluctant embodiment of heterosexual male privilege, I am able to have sexual congress in relative obscurity while the gender binary puts incredible pressure on female-identified individuals, like yourself, to publicly claim a single sexual partner as a way of safely constructing a space for female sexual agency that doesn’t threaten the patriarchy. But I didn’t think you would bend to that expectation. Not when we have Netflix here, as well as a bottle of wine my roommate won’t miss.

Your ability to win a staring contest with the male gaze, your refusal to be slut-shamed, your variety of riot grrl t-shirt and leather jacket combos, all of it has made the last six months of fortnightly sex so wonderfully refreshing. Now I see you look weary from fighting the good fight. And you are willing to let Chili’s, whose logo is a throbbing red phallus, break your wild spirit, all so your roommate and her boyfriend can evaluate the source of the texts that prompt you to sneak out of your apartment at three in the morning to meet me on this couch.

This couch is a safe space free of the misogynistic expectations and body ownership that shine down from Chili’s carefully calibrated mood lighting. You are tired. Refresh yourself. Stay here with me and let Bob and Jody mix and match their fajitas while their erotic outlets stay forever fixed. My roommate is gone for his sister’s graduation, and any anxiety you might feel about having sex on the couch in the room between his bedroom and the bathroom is gone with him.

Bob and Jody chose Chili’s because that place beats you over the head with the expectation of cisgendered monogamy. Baby back ribs? Southwest pairings? They want to see me buy you dinner, they want to be sure that I can take care of you, because they view you as fragile, just like the way Chili’s views my sobriety after only two skinny pineapple blueberry margaritas. Well, you’re not fragile. And I can have a third skinny pineapple blueberry margarita and drive just fine.

Once we go down this road your identity will be destroyed, your beautiful spark extinguished. In a year I’ll be asking your father for your hand in marriage, like two farmers negotiating the sale of a cow. You are not property, not mine and not your father’s, and I won’t let you be owned by Chili’s, which is spelled as a possessive. Chili is the name of a man who owns you and your vagina as soon as you walk through that branded door.

I refuse to stand idly by while another beautiful human being takes her place on the assembly line constructing the patriarchal infrastructure that the media and legal system installs over our heads, under our feet, and inside our Tex-Mex platters. Don’t let foreman Bob and project manager Jody construct it around your wild, beating heart.

Shhhh. Take off those clothes, let your beautiful body be free of attire forged in the hearth of third-world slavery. I will share my body with you, here, on this newly cleaned couch.

Share your body with me. Also, your Netflix password. I think my roommate changed his.



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The Top Ten Reasons Why I’m Quitting the List Game

By A (Righteously Indignant) Veteran Top Ten List

10. You don’t even need to be a top ten list to be published anymore. In my day, if you had seven items, or sixteen, you’d be either sent to Santa or thrown away in the supermarket parking lot. Now there are “top twelve lists” and “top forty-two lists.” What’s next, the top two reasons to buy a car in the winter? The top 6.8 ways to win on eBay?

9. The pound sign has been murdered and turned into something called a hashtag. Pound signs were for lists and lists alone. Pound signs were used to organize ideas. They made each one dignified. Hashtags ruin ideas. They commodify ‘em and make ‘em cheap. Hashtags turn everything into whores. And not the good kind.

8. Half the lists aren’t even lists. People used to read lists because they knew they were getting something special, something with some punch. Maybe even a blue joke. I used to put those around number four and give the reader some time to collect himself before the big payoff at number one.  Now everywhere you look people are writing journal entries and disguising them as lists. “Top six reasons I had a great day.” These bastards are betraying the public trust in lists and Obama is just letting it happen.

7. Letterman’s about to go. Damn shame. That was the only real place an up and coming top ten list could get noticed anymore. I remember I was on that show in 1992. Nancy Kerrigan read me. Nice broad. Legs up to her ears.

6. Some of these lists are just pictures. They don’t even have copy. You’ll see fourteen unattributed pictures masquerading as a list. Now, I’m not against pictures. After I came back from the war, I was working as an FBI most wanted list at the post office. People just looked at the pictures, I know that. But we still had text, whether anyone read it or not. That was where I met my first wife actually, she was a pretty little telegram. I made her a top ten list of stamps, “flowers of the west” they were called. That was one night she didn’t use STOP, if you know what I mean.

5. These lists today repeat themselves. You can’t have “the through the dorm shortcut” and “stopping inside somebody else’s dorm for warmth” on your “38 ways you know you went to the University of Alaska at Juneau.” You should be trying to reduce items anyway, not repeating yourself. Get it to a round number at least. God almighty. Why do I even bother?

4. There’s no integrity anymore. Lists used to matter. You had to verify your sources and be ready to ask the tough questions. You know we were this close to getting a Pulitzer category right? They almost gave it to a list who worked with Sy Hersh. The “Top ten reasons that Agent Orange will be a huge headache for the U.S. government.” Headache? Ha! He had balls that one. Good list. Ahead of his time. Married a cocktail menu. Died in a swimming pool.

3. The lede can be anywhere these days. We used to bury that sucker, bury it all the way down at number one. That was something we were proud about. We would go into the newsroom and call all the new stories pussies for putting the lede first, trying to buy the reader off. Might as well open with chocolate and flowers. We buried our leads with pride. Made you earn it. These days the best one is always number seven or something. Pathetic.

2. Fucking Buzzfeed. I’d add 23 reasons why anyone who reads that can go to hell, but I have enough respect for you not to just choose numbers out of the air and pretend they matter, like some sort of carnival gypsy. I was once Nixon’s enemies list you know. Twenty assholes, all heavyweights, and I carried them all, pulled a double and barely avoided the shredder. You were always worried about the shredder when Ol’ Dick was around.

1. A list doesn’t even get a proper end anymore. I’ll take the shredder over an icon of a recycling bin any day. Now there’s no pageantry, no respect, no ceremony, none of that beautiful shredder engine starting up, none of the dignified howl as the paper gives up the ink. No, now they just delete you and you’re gone, like you never existed. Well not me, dammit. I’m retiring and I’m going to see the country as an old-fashioned chain letter, a list of ten awful things that will happen to you if you don’t mail me forward. With any luck, I’ll go out helping a cowboy light some kindling. I’m not going to die as a fart coming out of some computer’s ass, I’ll tell you that much.

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