Feminism is wrong, but it still can be necessary.
Two weeks ago on The Brazen Heads, I admonished guys for getting their picture taken with cosplay girls at Comic-Con. Guys are distancing themselves from girls when they do this. Not only are they putting girls up on a pedestal, but they’re not even attempting to talk to them in a real way, or make any sort of connection. Here you have a real girl right in front of you, yet you still treat her like she’s in one of your Playboys. The implication is: I’m a loser who’s relegated to a life of just looking at girls.
On the other hand, guys love their comic books and video games, so maybe the cosplay girl thing is less about the girl and more about the costume she’s wearing. I’m not going to actually talk to one of these cosplay-worshiping urchins to find out for sure, so let’s suffice it to say that perhaps I over-reacted a tad. Fair enough.
This last weekend, however, I was blinded by a beacon of lameness that proved my point. I was out at a bar with a few friends, and we noticed a swarm of guys around a group of three girls, but one girl in particular. And yes, the guys were all getting their picture taken with her, one-by-one. All but a line was forming up to this girl. I figured she must be a celebrity. My friends and I didn’t recognize her, so I ask another guy who this girl was.
As though the universe is trying to tell me I’m right about everything, the guy shrugged, “just a hot girl.” That’s it, a hot girl. I looked at her closer. Her mouth was smiling but her eyes weren’t, which is the worst look a girl could ever give. The only thing worse than being sad is having to pretend to be happy. She must be new at being a hot girl.
When I went to the bathroom, I ran into a guy who had gotten his picture taken with the girl of hotness fame. “Why did you take your picture with that girl?” I asked. He looked down, and before he could muster a sound, I continued: “Maybe you should try talking to her and get her number.” He blushed like a tween girl buying her first Leonardo DiCaprio poster. Talk to her? Get her number? I might as well have asked him to do a pull-up.
Afterward, I went to the bar to close out my tab, which put me next to the famed girls. The bar star is now flanked by her two friends. I look over and say, “sucks to be you.” She chortles, but apologizes for the room, “no, it’s not that bad.” I shake my head, “Eventually, you’re going to have to learn to be a bitch.”
A few days later, on a subway platform, I saw a guy talking to a stunner of a girl. You could tell by the interaction they just started talking, but it wasn’t flirtatious yet. Maybe the guy just asked her for directions, and she was helping him out. The guy didn’t seem too confident, and not three seconds after I thought that, he sulked away. He wasn’t rejected, he just stopped. I would maybe talk to this girl, but I already talked to three girls that day, which is my limit. (I put a limit on how many girls I talk to for the same reason I put a limit on how much I drink.) So instead, I go to the other side of this sulker and urge him on. He blushes not unlike the guy in the bar. He’s a tall, good-looking dude, but he does have some acne, which you can tell he thinks about all the time. I roll my eyes and prod: “dude, she was smiling at you, what more do you want?” Given how much porn this guy probably watches, he wants her to hold him down and fellate him against his will.
About a minute later, the sulker, the stunner, and I all get on the train—with about five other dudes. Then the dudes, as though they think they’re being sneaky, all sit near the stunner, and it’s not like the train was crowded. More than 75 percent of the seats are empty. Then they all just sat there. I guess they weren’t drunk enough to get up the courage to ask to get their picture taken with her, and this was their back-up plan. Not surprisingly, she got off at the next stop.
The validation of feminism
If we as men, when we see a girl, balk and pine and avoid, then we don’t deserve to live in a world without feminism. In fact, if this is how we’re going to act, then we need feminism. If we’re not going to be assertive and make definitive, intentioned decisions, then somebody has to. Chicks suck at it, but they have to at least try for the sake of society. Feminism isn’t borne of truth and reason, it’s a metaphysical arm flail.
The antidote to feminism isn’t a well-reasoned argument. It’s not logic. It’s not complaining about feminism. And, unfortunately, it’s not making fun of feminists. If it was, feminism would have been a fart in the wind.
The antidote to feminism is giving girls a reason to need men. Maybe you can’t walk up to a girl and tell her what’s on your mind. That’s fine. At least start by going to a bar and saying hi to a girl instead of taking her picture. Or, if you’re in a pathetic conversation with a girl about directions, at least ask for her phone number. She’ll probably say no, but at least you’ll be expressing what you want. Plus, you may even start to respect yourself. This isn’t only about talking to girls, of course, but the way you interact with girls is the way you interact with life.
As much as I rip on feminism, it’s not the problem. Feminism is no more a problem than a nagging woman is a problem. The problem is men’s response to feminism. If feminism didn’t speak to a wussy nature in men, it wouldn’t work. If it didn’t expose a weakness, then Betty Friedan would have been famous for making a casserole for her block association. Feminism, if it didn’t speak to a yearn in the male psyche to relinquish responsibility, would have been quashed it in 1962 with a hearty laugh.
But since feminism has become a part of culture, its deformity is an expression of a deformity in men that was never challenged before. We can either continue down the path of indignant misunderstanding and allow feminism to unknowingly weaken us further, or we can use it as an X-ray that exposes our hairline fractures. Only then can we rightfully spout off our zingers about hairy armpits and Birkenstocks. Though only then we won’t have to.