Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Conversations Part 4

Out to dinner with my nephew Guinea Pig and his stepmom, ArchaeoloChick.

THWC: You know, when we were your age, we didn't have Siri. Or iPhones and Androids at all.

Guinea Pig: Why not?

THWC:  Because they hadn't been invented yet.

ArchaeoloChick: In fact, we didn't have a lot of the stuff you had. No internet.

THWC: And you know how you can go OnDemand and watch your favorite shows when you want? Or watch a movie?

Guinea Pig: Yeah.

THWC: Nope. 

ArchaeoloChick: We had to wait until it came on Nickelodeon. And Nickelodeon was over at seven. Then it switched to Nick at Nite.

Guinea Pig: And that stuff's not 'propriate for kids?

THWC: Actually, it was old shows we could all watch. I Love Lucy...

ArchaeoloChick: Bewitched...

THWC/ArchaeoloChick: I Dream of Jeannie...

Guinea Pig: Did they have computers?

THWC: Yes, but most people didn't have one at home.

Guinea Pig: Did they have phones?

ArchaeoloChick: Yeah, with wires. We had to stay in one place when we were on the phone!

Guinea Pig: Did they have saws?

THWC: We're not that old, buddy.

Guinea Pig: How about cars?

ArchaeoloChick: We're not old at all. Times move fast.

Guinea Pig: How about giant saws? Or tiny saws? Or itty bitty saws?

ArchaeoloChick: Aaaaaaaaannnd we lost him.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Parenting Advice (from a Non-Parent)

I know, I know, I haven't shot a squirming, crying watermelon out of my lady place, so I don't know the incredible joys, wonder, sorrow, and depths of childrearing (although I will point out, fewer people will be President of the United States than will be parents, yet we are forever telling the President how to do his job). I do however, work in both education and retail, the two professions upon which the spawn of the stupid are most frequently inflicted, and I do feel it is my duty to point out some things to modern parents that are apparently (frighteningly) not obvious.

  • It is actually not the most precious thing in the world when Turdface Jr. takes an $80 candlestick and sword fights with it. Yes, I will charge you if it breaks, and yes, I will laugh if he hurts himself with it.
  • Your 16 month old cannot use the big girl potty, because she's fucking 16 months old. Whatever dipshit thing you read on the internet doesn't change that.
  • Conversely, excepting special cases re: ability, your child doesn't need praise for using the potty after age 3. That's when it should just be a given.
  • If you don't want kids to know who's winning or losing a game (which is a great life lesson, by the way), don't teach them how to count.
  • Martha Stewart did not design motherhood. When you do crafts/projects with your kids, they will look messy, sloppy, and if it's baking, they'll probably taste god-awful. Embrace the ugly reality.
  • Spare a thought for your kid's teacher. Just because you want your darling angel to know the wonder of how babies are really made, doesn't mean the 19 other sets of parents at preschool are going to be thrilled when Little Booger-breath demonstrates the art of conception by smooshing Raggedy Ann and Andy* together on the playground while their kids look on in horrified wonder. And upon whom will they turn their displeasure? The woefully underpaid teacher--should she have kept a better eye on the kids? Maybe. Could you have just locked the damn door during sexy-time and avoided this whole mess? Definitely.
And finally (for now)
  • Poop is funny. Farts are funny. There is nothing about butts that is not inherently hilarious. Accept it and move on. They will never not laugh at butts.
One last piece of advice for the dads. The second you find out your lady love is pregnant, start putting on a cup as part of your daily routine. You can take it off when your youngest graduates high school. Because at some point during their childhood, each one of your kids is gonna nail you right in the groin.

*Yes, I know, Raggedy Ann and Andy are brother and sister. But Little Booger-breath doesn't.

Monday, May 28, 2012

In Remembrance

Today, I had to work. Working on a holiday sucks. It's a universal truth, right up there with blue skies and Catholic popes.

But there are undeniable advantages to my job. I had a specific start time and end time. I could sit. I could go two doors down in the shopping center and get something to eat or drink. There was air conditioning. The most dangerous thing I had to worry about was an irate customer or stubbing my toe on a table. When I finished out my shift I knew I'd go home to my family and sleep in my own bed.

Across the globe our servicemen and women are at work, and they will have none of the advantages I just listed, ones I and countless others take for granted every day.

Today is a day to remember those who've paid the ultimate sacrifice, securing our freedom with their lives. It is also time to remember those who were prepared to do so, simultaneously sacrificing their comfort, safety, and the time to spend with their loved ones in service to our country.

To all of our Military and Veterans: I salute you, and hope that the appreciation of a grateful nation brings you some comfort until you can go home. Thank you for your service and sacrifice.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Taking Responsibility

I wrote before about the current/impending paradigm shift in our culture, one where those who do not fit the default mode of straight, white, Christian man are clamoring for their place. It's not happening soon enough. The relegation of those who are perceived as "Other" to the sidelines is problematic in and of itself. But it also perpetuates greater problems.

On Friday, May 25, the wonderful and talented Jessicka Addams asked her followers on twitter: "I have a question (open to men too). Why do so many girls hate other girls? Why does our gender turn on each other?" I spent the rest of the day thinking about why we do so, and again turned back to the default view in which we as a society subconsciously view the world. Despite the progress we've made and are continuing to make, we live very much in a man's world, where women are sidelined into supporting roles in men's story. We jockey for a place in a world that relegates us to second-class, and even when we've carved out a niche for ourselves, the post is precarious at best. We are fighting for the respect and recognition that are automatically granted men, and that constant state of struggle leaves us, as a group, insecure and fearful of our place in the world. When the space is so limited, we view other women as the enemy of our own success: "If her, then not me." We lash out against each other, and we need to take deliberate steps to abolish this thinking while simultaneously working together to create footholds in a society that is just as much ours as men's.

Note: This is not men's fault. This is not women's problem. Sidelining each other and playing the blame game leads to circling the drain and nothing gets done. This is a social issue we all have to take responsibility for.

Our Government
...needs to stop treating breasts and vaginas as things possessed by alien life forms. Lactation and gestation are two of the five characteristics that define an animal as a mammal, scientifically rendering the body parts that enable them as both natural, and fundamentally essential. Women's health is just health. We can't expect our girls and women to feel comfortable in their own skin when we treat what makes them women as public property instead of body parts. Parts that occasionally have medical issues that need to be treated in a timely, private manner that places paramount the needs of the patient, without the need for legislation and rallies to protect our basic rights.

Our Media
...needs to showcase women in all areas that display a rich variety of the human experience, allowing for weakness, strength, doubt, ugliness, beauty, and a host of other opposites, so no matter what woman is watching, she will not only see a representation of herself and her experience, but vicariously experience other women as well. A rich variety, incidentally, is not the same as a token variety. The beautiful badass in an otherwise  all-man team (Avengers) is not enough. It's merely one woman who broke into the boys' club, and it encourages jealousy instead of stomping it out. Our films, our music, our stories are reflective of our times, yet the primary voices are men's. Even Pixar, a studio that gave us such a rich tapestry of female characters as Jessie, Mrs. Potato Head, Barbie, Bonnie, Boo, Ellie, EVE, and Sally Carrera, waited until 2012 to tell a story where the female character's arc isn't just informing the male hero's role. The most successful female driven film of last year was Bridesmaids, a film centered around what is traditionally called "the most important day of a girl's life", the transition from Miss to Mrs. Not the most important day of a couple's life, a man's, or a person's. Just a woman's. When we continually only tell women that there are only certain roles they can play, and only certain stories in their lives worth telling, it limits their perspective, and creates unhealthy competition for those roles, on film and off it, furthering our insecurity and jealousy.

Most of all, we
...need to stop acting as though "Society" is some nameless, faceless entity that is forcing us to dwell in the shadows. We are society, and we control what it wants, how it works, and what values it holds dear. If we want to curb female jealousy, we need to a) stop giving it so much room to grow, and b) stop rewarding it when it occurs. We want stories that showcase women? We need to write them, we need to finance them, we need to produce them and share them. We want women's health to be afforded respect, funding, the basic accordances that every other division of healthcare is afforded? We need to take it, uncompromisingly, and with a no-nonsense attitude.

The day our culture views women (as a whole) living complete, full lives, regardless of where we are in relation to men, is the day women will feel as secure as men that they have an important, irreplaceable hold in our society.

And that is the day when female jealousy loses the battle it's instigated in our gender.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Pizza and Prime Rib

It's a common thought that sex is like pizza. Even when it's bad, it's still pretty good. Hell, Domino's managed to spread ketchup on cardboard for years and still turn a profit based on the idea that there really is no such thing as bad pizza, and consequently, no such thing as bad sex.


Sex is like pizza alright--for men.

For women, sex is like prime rib. Everything has to be perfectly timed in the perfect environment. One fuck-up, no matter how seemingly minor, and sex becomes "Fuck it, no, it's gross now. Get it away from me, I don't even want the fucking thing anymore. The whole night is ruined, I'm putting on sweats and grabbing some french fries and eating them alone. Don't come near me."

French fries are masturbation, by the way. You don't always want them, but sometimes they are all that's gonna satisfy that craving.

And no one wants to share.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Immortality from an Atheist Perspective

On Monday I attended a funeral. I wasn't well-acquainted with the deceased, but she was the grandmother of a beloved friend and I wanted to show my support. It was a Catholic Mass, which I, being raised as such, am accustomed to. The service reminded me of all the losses I've faced in life, the times I've said goodbye to my loved ones within the doors of a beautifully appointed church.

However, I'm an atheist, and have been for almost all of my adult life. So while people who believe in God(s) can be comforted by the idea that they will one day again see their dearly departed, when I lose someone it's a supremely unhelpful platitude, one that I nonetheless bear with a grateful smile, because I know the speaker means well, and the time and place for refuting life views is not in the midst of dealing with a loss. And hell, having never been dead personally, I can't say for sure if any part of the human consciousness survives death. It doesn't seem likely to me, but I'm not so arrogant to say I've got the universe figured out. I'm sure that will take me until at least 40.

What I do know, however, is that there is immortality. And we are all living examples of it.

Human beings are social creatures. We've evolved many times over in our existence, but the fact remains that we continue to live interdependently of each other. We live in family units, which make up communities, cities, countries, and finally the planet itself. We write, we make art, we leave imprints of our thoughts and philosophies for those left behind. That is a minor example of immortality.

Those left behind is the major example.

We are none of us absent from the influence of our fellow man. People affect us, sometimes without us even being aware of it. Children change us, parents raise us, friends influence us, strangers offer new perspective. And all of those people have been influenced in their own way as well. Reading this will influence whomever is on the receiving end, in however minor a way. I've had students, neighbors, a nephew, people I may not even remember. Like the ripple effect, they've been influenced by me and I by them. And I am the product of the inspirations of people who came before me, in ways they probably couldn't even fathom in life. This is true for everyone in the world.

The really beautiful part of this truth is that it takes nothing away from those who are religiously or spiritually inclined. You can enjoy the beauty of it while still hoping for Heaven or Nirvana, or whatever you believe death holds for you.

And when you think about it, it makes the idea that "He/she will always be with you." a universal truth rather than an worn-out cliche. A comforting truth is the most beautiful thing in a time of grief.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

A Belated Note on Mothers' Day

It's been exactly one week since Mothers' Day, and since I only started this blog six days ago, I missed it. So a quick word of thanks to my mother:

My mother was a wonderful mom, a tradition she continues to this day. Looking back on my childhood, she gave me a lifelong love of the shore, exhibited endless patience with me when I was cranky and tired, invested time and energy into my weird interests, worked a job she hated at nights so that I'd always have a parent home with me and was the source of comfort I ran to when I had a nightmare.

But at the time, the thing I noticed most about her was the frequency with which she said "No". No, I could not skip my Girl Scout meeting. No, I could not play in the pool unsupervised. No, I could not watch The Simpsons (animated =/= kid-friendly, people). No, I could not watch tv at all before my homework was done.

The "No"s got even more frequent during my teen years. No, I could not wear makeup. No, I would not be attending an all-day concert in Jersey unsupervised. No to this, no to that, it was her favorite word, and she wielded it like a weapon.

To say the least, I was not her biggest fan whenever she pulled out her favorite weapon. I spent more hours than I care to remember bitching about her on the phone with my friends, probably at the same time she was on the phone to hers for the exact same reason.

I was a big fan of Gilmore Girls at the time, insanely jealous of Rory and Lorelai's relationship, wishing I had a cool mom who shared my CDs and clothes instead of a suburban mom who didn't want me out late on school nights.

The thing is, we have that relationship now. We trade dirty jokes, share each others' books, gossip, laugh, antagonize each other teasingly into doing various chores around the house. And the reason we can do that now, is because our relationship slowly morphed to friendship as I grew up. Maybe as a kid I would've had a cooler childhood with a more free-wheeling mom, but I doubt it would've given me half of what I learned from being told "No" by my stricter mother. And childhood ends. Adulthood is eternal. I'd rather have a mother as a kid and a friend as an adult than a friend as a kid and an obligation now, because in reality Rory would've wearied of having to be the center of her mother's social life and yearned to branch out in a way that was denied her as a kid. So thanks Mom, for not always being the mother I wanted but being exactly the mother I needed.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Of Playgrounds and Vaginas

Playground: A super fun place to hang out. It is public property, anyone can be there, and everyone has a say as to what is done there.

Vagina: A super fun place to hang out. It is private property, the only people who can be there are at the owner's request, and only the owner has a say in what is done there.

No one can deny that our United States Congressmen and women are hard workers who need a break. Well, plenty can deny it. And they'd be totally right. After all, serving one term in Congress earns a person lifelong financial and medical security. But that's a post for a different day. Let's say for argument's sake, that the U.S. Congress is greatly in need of a rest, and went looking for a super fun place to hang out. So far, all well and good.

It seems however, that Congress has accidentally confused the definitions of playground and vagina. Given that both share the same first sentence in their definition, and taking into consideration the collective intelligence of Congress, it was an easy mistake to make.

So bearing that in mind, I'm willing to give Congress the benefit of doubt. Clearly this is a matter of confusion, and it's incumbent upon us to point out their mistake.

Dear Congress:
You are in the wrong place. Throwing your weight around, declaring yourselves kings of the hill, making up new rules as you go along, and punishing people who don't play the same game as you are behaviors completely appropriate to a playground, but entirely unwelcome in a vagina. In fact, showing up in someone's vagina without their consent, and refusing to leave when you are told to is commonly referred to as rape. It is considered a very bad thing. Signed, Everyone who reads beyond the first sentence.

Incidentally, I think we can all agree that the literal playgrounds across this country would contain far less crack pipes and graffiti if Congress spent more time on sustainable economic growth and improvement of educational resources instead of hanging around other people's vaginas.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Comparative Definitions

Default: Straight White Christian Man

Other: Gay White Christian Man, Gay White Christian Woman, Gay Black Christian Woman, Gay Black Atheist Woman, Straight Black Christian Man, Straight Black Muslim Woman, Gay Asian Buddhist Woman, Straight Hispanic Christian Woman, Bisexual Hispanic Jewish Woman, Straight Asian Atheist Man, Bisexual Hispanic Pagan Man, Asexual White Buddhist Man, etc...

Society likes to compartmentalize people, attach labels and put them in boxes. This isn't news. And it isn't even necessarily a bad thing, so long as how we remember to move beyond the label when we relate to each other. The real problem is the prism through which those labels are viewed. Our society is so steeped in heternormativity, caucasian majority, and Christian patriarchy, which are not in and of themselves bad, that the people who fall into those categories tend to view those who don't less as gay, black, Jewish, women etc. and more as Not!Straight, Not!White, Not!Christian, Not!Male and so on. And that's the problem. It was the problem when people resisted giving women the right to vote, the Civil Rights movement, it's the problem with the current opposition to same-sex marriage, because we treat that which is Other as a satellite to the planet of our own experience--and it's hard to care about the solar storms sandblasting the surface of the moon when Earth is dealing with tsunamis.

Not to say the moon isn't important. It affects life on Earth and we do need to be mindful of it as it revolves around us, its experiences informing our lives.

But human beings aren't the fucking moon.

Women don't exist to inform the experiences of men, those who are LGBT aren't the foils to straight people, and Black/Hispanic/Asian/Multi-Racial people are that race simply because they are, not that race because they aren't White.

Humans are countries that exist independently of each other, each with its own culture and experience, but anchored to the others by a basic sameness, and working together, if we are smart, because not only is it mutually beneficial, but because we are stuck with each other and we may as well make the most of it.

It's hard to shift the paradigm when the people who benefit the most from it are so resistant--who wants to give up a whole planet just for a piece, just because everybody vaulted down from the Sea of Tranquility and started demanding their fair share? But it's happening, and those who've gotten cozy in the heteronormative patriarchy have only one choice to make: Friendly Merger or Hostile Takeover. Want a third option?

I hear the moon's available.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Why the Nice Guy Doesn't Deserve the Girl

It's a ubiquitous trend in popular culture. Transformers is a recent and extreme example. Pale Everydude Shia LaBeouf saves the world and thrice gets a phenomenally hot supermodel who becomes so enamored with his planet-saving prowess that she vaults onto his dick and thanks him until he sees God. Nice guy gets the girl, cut, print, roll credits.

Transformers is actually superior in several ways to the general trend than some other appearances of the "Nice Guy". LaBeouf's character is actually proactive during the movie(s), instead of moping around waiting for the magnanimity of his "niceness" to dazzle his prey love interest into dropping her bull-headed beefcake boyfriend and flinging herself into his untoned arms, pledging undying love and kinky sex for ever after. And Transformers is marketed to a specific audience of nerdy guys who are living out their fantasies on the big screen, unlike, say, Friends or The Big Bang Theory, where Nice Guy Ross and Nice Guy Leonard pine impotently after Hot Girls Rachel and Penny in front of a mainstream American audience until their patience is rewarded with effusive kisses by Hot Girls Who've Seen the Light.

This isn't the point where I bemoan the fact that instead of being fully-formed characters in their own rights, Rachel, Penny, and their ilk are merely foils to suit the Nice Guys. This isn't the part where I'm upset over the fact that physical beauty is once again considered paramount over internal qualities or mutual compatibility. I'm not going to complain that women aren't possessions, and representing them as "rewards" for good behavior is misogynist and barbaric. These are all valid points, but my take has less to do with the women and more to do with the men.

Specifically, the trend of Nice Guy Gets the Girl has carried over to the actual zeitgeist of reality, spawning an entire generation of men who are so imbued with this ethos that they feel entitled to a beautiful girlfriend solely on the basis of their niceness, and are actually angry when she doesn't materialize.

Now, I know that single people who want to be relationship people get frustrated and bitch endlessly about the meat market to whomever has the misfortune to listen, but I've noted that the complaints are frequently specific to the gender of the person making them. I myself have complained to friends about the guy who  contacted me on a dating site and decided to break the ice by asking for a golden shower (No, I didn't, and no, I won't). I've complained about a guy who confused "first date" with "therapy session", and unloaded how much he hated his mother and how she withheld affection, all over coffee, which I paid for and was not $150 the richer after, thankyouverymuch. I've known women to complain about guys who kissed badly, were rude to waiters, arrived late, dressed poorly, and the list goes on ad nauseum, with reasons of varying depth and validity, but the point is women complain about the things men did. I've known men to decry a woman as a bitch, a whore, and even a cunt for not wanting to talk to them, not accepting anything more than a drink from them, not possessing the requisite depth to fall in love with them, when after all, they are such nice guys. In essence, they are angry with women for having the audacity to not want them.

It's a problem on many levels, not only on the previously mentioned misogyny issues and the sense of entitlement that it is incumbent upon the world to reward them for good behavior, but also on what this generation perceives to be "niceness"

Niceness has three levels, and only one is the realm of legitimate niceness, while the other two are mere facades. However, all three levels fail to hold up the long-term concept of Nice Guy Gets the Girl, even disregarding the problems of misogyny and entitlement.

Level 1: Default is not Nice
Given enough time and enough alcohol a disillusioned singleton will start whinging about their pathetic love life, and generally women will start examining all the things they are or they do that are putting men off. Men will generally wonder why women can't see all their wonderful qualities, which they will list given the slightest encouragement. A sample overheard recently at a bar:

"I don't hit girls."

"I don't cheat."

"I don't lie."

Mercifully, none of these men were close friends, and I'll never be dependent upon them to provide a character reference. Their idea of nice boils down to "not being an abusive, immoral, raging dick". For anyone whose attitude toward niceness falls in a similar line, please read the following carefully.


If you want a reward for being nice, you're going to actually have to be nice. There's no reward for inaction, which is at best neutrality and at worst laziness. Firefighters run into burning buildings to save total strangers, Nelson Mandela spent 27 years in prison for fighting apartheid, and Oskar Schindler saved 1100 Jews from concentration camps, and the universe has yet to deposit a negligee-clad Heidi Klum on their doorsteps. If that's what you're waiting for, you're going to have to do a lot better than hanging out at the baseline.

Level 2: Nice to One Girl (So She'll Fuck You) is Not Nice
I've known more men than I'm comfortable with who are generally jerks or defaults (see above), that behave solicitously toward the girl of their choosing in the hopes that his kindness will charm her into removing her panties. This is less a question of niceness and more of a play. It's far more subtle than playing hard to get, acting the class clown, owning a motorcycle, or playing in a band, but it's just a ploy, and if it's not successful, the dumbshits employing it have no one to blame but themselves for not moving on to a better one. The wisdom is that a man who is nice to you but rude to the waiter is not nice, and it's called wisdom for a reason. Plus it's exhausting for those who aren't actually nice to keep up the charade, and my advice is to don some ironic glasses and a white t-shirt, strap on a guitar, and wait for the groupie booty to accumulate.

Level 3: Actually Nice
I'm not so cynical to think that the majority of men out there aren't genuinely nice, and rather than being angry that women aren't seeing them for the great guy they are, they're merely perplexed. It's not totally their fault, either. They have, after all, had the Nice Guy Gets the Girl paradigm pounded into them from childhood on, and no matter how attractive (or not) the guy on the screen is, the girl is always a beauty who adores him beyond all reckoning, leaving them with a very specific idea of what to expect from dating. So they've coached kids' soccer on the weekends, carried their elderly neighbors' groceries, and waited patiently for the yoga instructor of their dreams to look beyond chiseled chins and muscular arms and open themselves up to something real, and the universe just doesn't work that way (unless I'm wrong, in which case I've been kind to old people, kids, and wounded animals so I want Norman Reedus at my door fucking yesterday, Universe, you tardy bitch). The real-life Nice Guys have a variety of scenarios that all play out badly so long as they're toting around that kind of baggage. They actually may find a beautiful girl who's been burned by a string of jerks with more style than substance, and who is so overwhelmed with gratitude at finding a guy who treats her well because of his nature and not her naughty bits that in the beginning she inspects his asshole for the first rays of sunlight every morning, but the haze of infatuation has a nasty habit of wearing thin, and the poor Nice Guy discovers that unlike the Rachels and Pennys and Mikaela Banes who fall for our intrepid heros in a delightfully formulaic way, the beautiful girl in reality has a job, a family, friends, hobbies, and in short, a life that doesn't revolve around him. No one is writing contrivances to keep her perpetually by his side, batting her luxuriously lashed eyes at him in adoration. The Girl of our collective impression is a fantasy that spawns itself in various forms all across our collective consciousness, and it's a nasty surprise when the real-life version comes with real-life complications. Another problem is that culturally women are expected to look beyond appearances much more than men are, so our stories consistently feature men of all shapes and sizes paired up with chicks who rock a bikini like Bo Derek in 10, and their highly visual nature leads guys to automatically friend zone any girl who isn't as hot as he thinks he can get, regardless of how wonderful she is or how compatible they might be, leading to years of frustration on his part while he wonders what is wrong with the girls around him. Finally, the Nice Guy who prizes beauty above all else sinks a gorgeous girl who lacks what we shall call basic human decency, and treats the guy like shit, something he puts up with, because hey, she's hot, so this is what he's supposed to want.

Now women aren't without problems in this area. You can switch the words girl for guy everywhere in this post, extrapolate the virtues therein, and it will be applicable to a not negligible portion of the female population who wonder why their handsome guy friends can't see beyond their cellulite and acne to venture on the great romance of their lives, and are as of this publishing waiting patiently in unsexy pajamas for their Adonis to dump whatever Svetlana/Consuela/Gonorrhea bimbo they're playing poke the bear with and open themselves to the right one who was there all along. The reason this post targets primarily men is that Pretty in Pink is really the only mass audience appealing specter of pop culture where the Plain Jane gets the Hot Guy. Most other occurrences are found in sappy romances appealing to the fantasy/escapist ideals of an almost exclusively female audience. Some guys may like them, but they are targeting women.

Most guys are wonderful, complex men who deserve to fall in love with women who are equally wonderful and complex, and those women deserve the same. But dating is a bitch, and from what I hear relationships are not without their difficulties, much like unicorns are not without their horns. A culture that educates us to expect a partner to materialize because we've possessed a quality long enough to rack up the requisite amount of points is fucking us up even harder than we already are, and we owe it to ourselves and each other not to make the chasm between men and women even harder to bridge.