I am a feminist, so I deserve to sleep with you
Excuse me, Ms.? Can I buy you a drink? Notice that I called you Ms., not miss, because I don’t want to make any assumptions about your marital status or attach any judgement or sense of value to that status. Though, obviously, I’m talking to you here in a bar, so I’m assuming you’re single. Cosmo? Vodka cranberry?
My name is Samuel, though I prefer Sam, because the nickname’s androgyny helps challenge assumptions about me based on my gender. I figure that’s the least I can do in the struggle against structural sexism. I mean, the very, very least I can do.
What’s your name? Oh, that’s a very pretty name. By that I don’t mean to imply that your value as a person is entirely dependent on you aesthetic appeal. Except to the extent that it flatters you and makes you more into me. Like, if you were very flattered by me telling you how pretty your name is, you could ignore the other thing. Does it flatter you? No? Then let’s go with what I said about your value not being based on your aesthetics.
What line of work are you in? Are you paid adequately for the work you do as compared to your male counterparts, or are you a victim of the gender pay gap that results in women getting paid, on average, 77 cents for every dollar a man makes? Aren’t you impressed that I know that statistic? Does the fact that I know that fact make you want to have sex with me? No? Refill?
I grew up in Hoboken. Where are you from? Is it one of the many states that have tried to limit access to abortion and the morning-after pill? I am not a fan of those policies, because I am obviously a feminist, but also because I enjoy unprotected sex. Do you feel the same?
So how about that Sheryl Sandberg? She’s pretty great, huh? I like how she promotes a theory of feminism that places the onus of overcoming the structural, society-wide barriers of sexism almost entirely on individual women, making any woman’s inability to overcome those barriers her own fault for not trying hard enough. I especially appreciate how it allows men like me to claim to be feminists without any responsibility other than to remind women to “lean in.”
Speaking of leaning in, girl, I feel a spark here, and I think we should get closer. You wanna head back to my place?
No? Come on, baby, Like I told you, I’m a feminist. I treat women right. I know that many of our preconceptions about sex come from a pop culture that privileges the male gaze in a way that turns female bodies into objects to be used for male pleasure. But I’m not like that, girl. I’ll spend, like, at least five minutes prioritizing you and your needs, I swear.
So what do you say? No? What if I promised not to sexually assault you? One in five women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetimes, but I can promise that won’t happen to you with me. I’m very much opposed to sexual assault. Doesn’t my assurance that I’m anti-rape get you all turned on?
But come on! I’m a feminist! Lots of men out there are unapologetic misogynists. But I’m different, I recognize that women are equal to men, and I try to recognize and address sexism when I see it in my life. Don’t I deserve some sex for that?
Ugh, whatever. Women are all the same.