I’ve been reading a lot of Reina Gattuso, well you know, whenever she’s published at my favorite blog, or whenever something is sitting in my Twitter feed. She writes the way I want to write. Open. Kinda vulgar. Mostly honest. But she gets it. And she says it in a way that makes you get it. I like that. Someday, I’ll write like that.
Her most recent piece had me feeling like, ugh, yeah, man. Like, what the fuck. Excuse me while I now quote profusely and borderline commit plagiarism:
We are told that sex — excuse me, that sex with cis men — is a scarce commodity that we must work very, very hard to earn. We have to earn it through wearing certain things and dancing in certain ways and eating or not eating and talking or not talking or saying some things and not others. We have to show skin but also not show skin, put out but also not put out. Sex with men, we are taught, is very, very precious, and we are locked in competition with other women to obtain it.
Meanwhile — and in total contrast to this scarcity-economy thing — dick is pitched at us all the time. We walk out onto the street and we’re hit with a barrage of dick, a fusillade. It’s chucked at us in the hey-babys, in the subway gropes, in the aggressive uncles…
If we do have access to dick, it is a victory, proof of our worth. If we don’t, it is a failure, a character flaw, a defeat. Dick is simultaneously pitched in abundance, and a scarce, precious resource of which we must prove ourselves worthy. That’s the tension that produces the entirely understandable, and entirely fucked-up, genre of thought, which I have certainly entertained, and which I’ve heard a lot of other women vocalize…
Could I have caught dick today (like a cold, like salmonella)? Sure. There was the dude at Coney Island who asked for the time and then if I had a boyfriend, and the three men on the walk to my sister’s apartment who said they liked my dress, and between five to seven Tinder matches from all the bored subway-swiping, and could I have had sex with one of these people? Probably, yeah.
Would that sate the cultural voice that says I am totally unfuckable and thus valueless? Partially.
Would that actually get me out of the system that bases female worth on the arbitrary and always unsatisfiable metric of fuckability? Not a chance.
And this is my problem with selfies. Those I’ma pose just right, slightly twisted to the side, push my hair up around my face, push my boobs in, slightly smile selfies. This is my problem with my friends who complain about their lack of Tinder matches. This is my problem with the clothes and the music and the world. It’s a constant question, a constant challenge, a constant conversation: are you dick worthy? And you can’t escape it. Rationally, we all know our value is not tied to someone’s dick (sorry), but it’s out there in the world to prove it is anyway. And I just get tired of the inundation because we as females hear it all the time to the point that we stop fighting it. We stop seeing it as an external valueless pressure, and we start believing that yes, this is my stock. This is my rank, and so we pose and we wear the shitty short dress and we wax and we curl and we do the shit to get the attention that we think matters.
But it doesn’t matter. But we forget.
And I just want to tell all the women, stop. If you stop, maybe someday they will stop. It’s inescapable, but we have to keep ignoring it. We have to keep trying, we have to stop posing all the time, everyday. This is not what matters. Your fuckability is temporary. And when you’re invisible, you should not rue the days you were dick worthy. You should rue the system that puts us into the visible/invisible dichotomy. Right?
My body is my own, and I don’t fucking care if you like it.