Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Worst Date Stories: 'Your Male Privilege Is Showing' Edition

So, I went on this date once - obviously, this was awhile ago - with a fellow grad student (he was in the English Department, I was in the Spanish Department). The conversation turned to our favorite books and authors, and I listed a few I was excited about at the time. I'd just discovered Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis, so that made the top of the list. Sarah Vowell is one of my favorite humorists and my sole source of U.S. history, so she made the 'favorites' cut as well. I believe I was reading Gertrude Stein's Three Lives at the time and wanted to talk about it, and I was also halfway through Jhumpa Lahiri's Interpreter of Maladies and loving it (truly a great collection of short stories, I can't believe I haven't read her novel, The Namesake, yet). Anyway, dude looks at me and says, "So, are you -like- one of those girls who only reads books by women?" Seriously, the guy had just given me a list of all of his favorite authors - all of whom were men - and I didn't ask if he only read books by white guys. But, you name too many books by women, and you're 'one of those girls'? Come to think of it, he probably meant feminist... so yeah, I'm one of those. We don't just read books by women though, we also have bra burning parties and hairy leg contests. Sheesh.

That wasn't the worst comment like that I got on a date, though. The worst was when I went out to coffee with a guy who, when I mentioned working with the Women's Center, asked if I was a feminist. I said yes. So he says, "Answer me this, then. If women are as smart as men, why are there no women geniuses?" (No, it wasn't Larry Summers - I'm not that old). I think we both knew it wasn't going to work out by then.

Anyway, those are my two 'bad date' stories from the Your Male Privilege Is Showing category. Anyone else want to share? Ideas for other categories? Feel free to list your favorite lady authors and lady geniuses as well.


SLiver of Jade said...

Other than date rape, I don't have anything. Favourite author: Marion Zimmer Bradley or Barbara Hambly.

Lindsay said...

Word to Sarah Vowell and Marjane Satrapi. I'm also a fan of Katha Pollitt and Mary Karr.

As for categories - how about statements made my family members? I've got a great one for that.

FeministGal said...

wow, those two guys sound like winners ;)

My worst almost-date story happened in college, freshmen year, after a really hard calculus test that we both took. He said, "that test just raped me." I said, "really? that test sexually violated you? do you want me to help you file a police report?" He said, "what you can't take a joke?" I said, "I can, just not about rape." We didn't quite make it back to his place where we were going to watch a movie and order in chinese food...

I'm sure there have been others... i've interacted with my fair share of asshole dudes and dudettes over the past years... but i try to block out as much of it as possible ;)

Kekla said...

I'm reading an Audre Lorde at the moment. Haven't read some of the other authors, but will look forward to it.

Not sure this fits your category exactly, but I met/had coffee with a guy once who said on the phone to me the very next day: "So, when can I call you mine?" I said "Never," because I don't like the attitude of possession, and he said "Oh, you're like that." He already had a few strikes against him, so we never spoke again.

:-jon said...

scientists who burst into the Old Boys Club, back in the day:
Barbara McClintok
Marie Curie
Rosalind Franklin
Ada Lovelace
Jane Goodall
Margaret Mead

Mary Doria Russell
PD James
JK Rowling
Barbara Kingsolver

Tracey said...

Ooh, male privilege date stories! Not as interesting as yours, but I was on a first (and last) date with a guy who totally cringed when I told him that I wanted to go back to school to get my masters in Women's Studies. Like, his face literally contorted like I had just ripped off his testicles. When he finally calmed down, all he could do was roll his eyes condescendingly.

On another date once, the subject of feminism came up, and the guy said he was "fine with women's rights and all, as long as it doesn't go too far like it so often does to give women MORE rights than men."


DJ Dual Core said...

I just finished The Gnostic Gospels by Elaine Pagels. I'm pretty sure that's a woman.

Sarah Vowell is one of the funniest living Americans. I love her!

professorwhatif said...

Can't think of a date story, so how about a classroom story? Old white male prof gets all angry at me for coming into the classroom 10 MINUTES after his class is over so I can set up to teach my class... "I am not done in here!" he fumed. "Well, my class starts in less than five minutes, your class ended over 10 minutes ago." He begrudgingly packed up, taking his time... Then, he looked me up and down, with a long look at the breasts, staring straight at said breasts, he said "that's a really pretty necklace" and gave a flirtatous smile. Gag.

Why is than some w/ male privilege think it's a-ok to be total a-holes and then try to pick up on you?

As for some fave current authors: Sarah Waters, Miranda July (read her collection of short stories!)

feministblogproject said...

I don't know anything about anybody outside of writers - guess I'm pretty insular that way.

But my favorite authors: Marion Zimmer Bradley, Audre Lorde, bell hooks, Julia Alvarez, Anne Sexton, MARY OLIVER. Mary Oliver being my all-time favorite poet in the history of poetry, fyi.

Oh, I'd also like to say that my boss is a brilliant genius and a real inspiration, but I'm not going to reveal her name just because I'm not sure people at work would be cool with my blog. My boss probably would, but her boss? Most definitely not. And I'm paranoid about stuff getting tracked back to me. I don't want to risk a great job. Which I hate, but that's a rant for another time.

crankosaur said...

Ah, classic stuff. When I was in high school I had a messenger bag on which I had written a bunch of feminist slogans, one being, "Feminism is the radical idea that women are people." One day, my then-boyfriend turned to me, pointed to that slogan, and informed me that, "No, feminism is the idea that women are BETTER than people." I dated him for about three more months. Obviously, I needed a bit more time to develop my feminism.