Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Why I Suck at Being a Woman Reason #3467623

It's lunchtime. I leave my office (which is FREEZING cold) to go get lunch across the street. I walk past one of the many burly security guards in the lobby of my building. Here's what happened:

Guard: Hey. Get back here!

Grace: (turns around and walks back to the security guard) Yes?

Guard: (taking Grace by the arm) Why are you walkin around all shy like that with your arms folded across you?

Grace: Umm...I'm not shy, I'm just cold. They should turn the air conditioning down a little.

Guard: What floor are you on?

Grace: The X Floor

Guard: Guess I'll have to make a trip up to the X floor to warm you up then, won't I?

Grace: (pulling her arm free with an uncomfortable laugh) Have a good afternoon!

Guard: With legs like that I would APPRECIATE warming you up.

Grace: (uncomfortable laugh again) thanks. (walks away)

LATER (Grace, returning from lunch, walks around the building to avoid having to talk to the security guard.)

I could NOT have handled that worse. Go ahead. Ridicule me. I have it coming.


Fannie said...

"I could NOT have handled that worse."

I disagree...because, sometimes it's just not worth it... you know?

Plus, considering your job and the fact that he's a security guard, you actually COULD have handled it worse (eg- kicking him in the nuts or something)...

Grace said...

I know, Fannie. And you're right that sometimes it's just not worth it. Clearly I wouldn't have kicked him in the nuts, but something even slightly more assertive, such as saying "Hey, Dude. That's not really appropriate." is what I should have done. And the fact that I just hid my discomfort by giggling and thanking him for his comment about my legs makes me feel like a tool.

Army Girl said...

I agree with you on this could have been a bit more assertive. I would have said thank you for the compliment but to please be more reserved in his comments because it is a professional work place.

Is it assault if you kick someone in the nuts after you have been provoked? I kicked a guy in the nuts once. It caused his testicles to ascend. Sucks to be him.

Maybe he deserves a practical joke to teach him a sexual harassment lesson...

Jane Know said...

all you lezzies are man-haters and this proves it.

i had a similar situation occur over the weekend, only it was in regards to a homophobic comment i heard. instead of saying something like, "there's nothin' wrong with being lezzzzbian," i kept walking and pretended not to hear the white trash homophobe behind me.

Harmless Error said...

I fucking hate burly security guards and their gross comments to anything in a skirt. (The not so burly ones I don't mind as much, sadly.)

That being said, you definitely handled better than I would have, which would have simply been to smile stupidly because I wouldn't know what to say and thereby lead him on. Ugh.

obsquatch said...

I am a burly security guard and take offense to this post. We are just trying to show women that we do have a set of skills, even if it isn't remotely close to the set of skill that you would look for in a man. You want sensitive and compassionate? Well, I've got idiotic and harassing, is that close enough? I think you need to compromise a little bit, Grace. This guy obviously won't take the covers at night if he is this concerned about your biological thermostat. That's a plus, right?

Fannie said...

"Maybe he deserves a practical joke to teach him a sexual harassment lesson..."

I could ask one of the guys I work with to go to your workplace and tell the security guard that he'd sure love to wrap his hairy legs around the guard to keep him warm this winter.

Rachel said...

can we please focus on what counts here!? grace's legs.

Anonymous said...

Any hot pics of oyu in a miniskirt?

John said...

"I could ask one of the guys I work with to go to your workplace and tell the security guard that he'd sure love to wrap his hairy legs around the guard to keep him warm this winter"

That's funny.

How come something like that never happens to me? I'm a straight man so I wouldn't be interested, but I wouldn't mind the attention.

Nobody has ever hit on me, ever, and I would appreciate is someone, male or female, would.

Christian said...

I don't know how you could have handled it better, Grace, except to write his name and what he did down, in case it turns up useful. :(

Do these guys have any idea they area sexually harassing a future prosecutor? That's nutty.

My sister used to get a bunch of construction workers whistling at her whenever she jogged, so I went out jogging with her, and when they started the noise, I turned and blew them a kiss. That shut them up pretty quick.

Rachel said...

right. but about grace's legs...
p.s. who else loves the, "i'm a really good guy who respects women more that i can say and i don't understand those Neanderthal men!" approach?

Grace said...

"Did I mention, my leg is 44" from hip to toe. So basically we are talking about 88" of therapy, wrapped around you for the bargain price of $3000 dollars." -Pretty Woman

Christian said...

When I first read that last night, your description of the guard's behavior made me feel embarassed as a man.

But reading some of the things that some of you have put up about Renee on this blog, I think some of you are more like that guard than you realize.

Grace said...

How so, Christian? Seriously. I would LOVE to know.

Rachel said...

No, no Christian. We shit-talk Renee because she's an ignorant, self-righteous fucker, and for no other reason. It’s like the fat person rule. You NEVER call a nice fat person fat. It’s seriously uncool. But an asshole fat person...well that's a "have no mercy" situation. You kick them where it hurts. Renee sucks and is all about the biology of her pregnancy, so that's where we shoot. Geez! Don’t you have sisters or daughters?!

Fannie said...

"But reading some of the things that some of you have put up about Renee on this blog, I think some of you are more like that guard than you realize."

Why? Because we sexually harass her?

Opine bloggers are all about turning the tables: the harassed are the harassers, the bigots are victims of bigotry, the homosexuals are the ones discriminating against heterosexuals by virtue of their attempts to "neuter" marriage.

Gimme a break.

Fannie said...

and ps,

Physical sexual harassment is not really akin to internet-poking-fun at someone.

Sorry, it just doesn't work like that.

Grace said...

Seriously Christian,

Still wondering what we said about Renee that is the equivalent of sexual harassment?

Christian said...

"the homosexuals are the ones discriminating against heterosexuals by virtue of their attempts to "neuter" marriage. "

I'm the one who coined the term "neutering marriage," and it does not apply to you, for example, since you've said that you don't care about the word "marriage" but just don't want the rights. Nor does it apply to "homosexuals" as a group. Your misrepresentation is both overinclusive and underinclusive, since most of the fanatics in the ssm movement are heterosexuals like Steinem who want to "destroy the link between marriage and child-raising" (her words, not mine) for reasons that have nothing to do with the rights of gays.

You all get so sensitive and accuse others of bigotry and misogyny every time we disagree with you, but then you make harassing and baldly misogynistic remarks about Renee's sexuality on this site and others.

Please don't play stupid. If we'd done anything remotely as misogynistic as Jane's cute little lines "Everytime Renee mentions her breasts, do a red-headed slut" or the underwear shot & accompanying text, you'd have been screaming that we are bigots from hell.

"We shit-talk Renee because she's an ignorant, self-righteous fucker,"

You think that your political motivations justify misogynistic slurs? What about other sort of bigoted behavior? For example, if someone thinks that Barney Frank is an "ignorant, self-righteous fucker," and opposes his politics (e.g. his position on the Kosovo war), then it would be OK to use homophobic slurs against him?

"Opine bloggers are all about turning the tables: the harassed are the harassers, the bigots are victims of bigotry"

Yes, all bigots think that they are the victims of bigotry. What you don't seem to grasp, or what you are deliberately evading, is that they are often right. The Germans really were the victims of injustice and bigotry at the first Versailles treaty, but that did not justify or even mitigate the horrific acts of the Nazis. The Serbs really were the first victims of attempted ethnic cleansing, which is what propelled Milosovic into power, and the rest is history.

Your moral simplifications are dangerous. Guess what? The fact that you have been victims, does not mean that everything you do is right, that ends justify means, or that anyone who disagrees with you is a bigot.

That's been tried before.

Christian said...

And I absolutely didn't say that you "sexually harassed" Renee. Yes, sexual harassment is more damaging than anything you've done. What I said was this: "I think some of you are more like that guard than you realize."

Sexual harassment is about power. That security guard sounds like he feels like he owns the building, so decent norms of behavior do not apply. It's like when a male wolf joins a pack and the head wolf mounts him in a symbolic submission thing. You're going into "his" building and he's showing you who is in charge.

Men and women aren't that different from each other in terms of core motivations. That's probably why woman's inhumanity to woman, e.g. genital mutilation and foot-binding, endures so many generations. Every generation of women said, now I'm in charge, and it was done to me, so now I get to do it to someone else.

Your sexually degrading comments towards Renee seem calculated to to put her in her place as part of turf war sadistic bravado. You rant about "why is it that so many marriage defenders are male," but the reason is obvious: because so many ssm advocates are so much vicious to women who stand up for marriage than you are to any of the men. You've illustrated the reason why female marriage defenders either stay out of these arguments, or assume male sigs. Your remarks to Renee go beyond the bounds of mere nastiness to sheer sadism.

Christian said...

"Still wondering what we said about Renee that is the equivalent of sexual harassment?"

I do not think what you've done is the equivalent of sexual harassment, anymore than a gang of kids giving the new kid a wedgie is the equivalent of gang rape. But the similarities are disquieting. Hence, "I think some of you are more like that guard than you realize."


Anonymous said...

Wouldn't lesbian marriages need to be "spayed" rather than "neutered"?

Christian said...

Since equivocation is the hallmark of most pro-ssm arguments, I suspect that this recent "anonymous" poster is a pro-ssm ringer setting up a straw man. (Is that you again, Aaron Toleos?).

Obviously, "neutered marriage" does not specifically refer to the relationships of same-sex couples, male or female.

Anyone with the slightest education about grammar realizes that neutering a word is not the same thing as neutering a dog.
To NEUTER an abstract means to remove gender connotations from it. Marriage is the union of man and woman. Neutered marriage is the union of two persons.

There are different historical ways of allowing same-sex couples to "marry," without actually neutering marriage. And there are obvious tricks in the legal system for creating loopholes without obliterating the general rule. All I'm objecting to here is redefining marriage as "union of two persons."

If the Goodridge court had said that for a lesbian couple that had been living together with children, that the court would recognize one of the couple as "constructively male for purposes of marriage," then I'd have no problem with it.

Again, the issue is the redefinition of marriage, not the question of who is allowed to do what.

Grace said...

Jeeeeeeeeez, Christian. Are you serious?

Just to make a couple of points. First, we used Renee's words, we didn't make them up. We just shined light on them. Ask yourself honestly, if Renee were made the spokeswoman for Opine Ed and SSM, how would you feel? In the interest of being kind (ugh did I just say that?) why don't you make that question strictly hypothetical, in case she ever reads this blog.

Secondly, FYI, "do a red-headed slut" might sound very different if you didn't know that it actually is a kind of drink. A kind of shot to be exact. It's very delicious, very strong, and Fannie, Jane and I have been known to enjoy them on occasion. It does have a sort of nasty name. Maybe I'll take on the mixologists of the world after I tire of your people.

The underwear, like the Freddy Awards as a whole, was supposed to be a joke. You guys just supplied the jokes for us. Renee is the one who went on and on about her lesbian friend from college. We didn't make it up. We just put it on underwear.

Christian said...

Grace, please don't play stupid. You graduated from U of Chicago and I just barely survived a much lower ranked school; I know you're not stupid. You chose the drink because the name provided you insulting ammo against Renee.

My crack about you not being able to be a Prosecutor if you converted to Christianity was supposed to be a joke, but when your feelings were hurt, I didn't use "just a joke" as an excuse. Nor did I use the excuse that you provided me with the material by saying that you'd started working as a prosecutor. I apologized. The fact that something was a joke does not justify abusive treatment. It was a shitty thing for me to say to you, and what you said to Renee, was incredibly cruel.

Christian said...

If *ANY* of us were made the spokesperson for Opine, half of us would quit. We don't do the whole groupthink speak with one voice thing. If one of us is a jerk to a stranger who disagrees with us on marriage, others stand up for the stranger. We are a panel of diverse opinions, backgrounds, etc. We publically argue with each other about a number of marriage-related things, ranging from SSUs to whether affirmative action is a useful analogy for the preferences involved in marriage.

If any member of Opine had spoken about one of you like that, I'd have stood up for you. I'm not making a victim argument to score political points. I'm saying, one feminist to another, please don't sexualize personal attacks, and particularly please don't single out female opponents for especially cruel treatment.

Grace said...

ok first of all Christian, I NEVER said what law school I went to. There are 6 law schools in Chicago.

second of all, if I meant "red headed slut" as an insult, I'd just say admit it. I wouldn't lie about it. I actually picked the shot because it's what Fannie, Jane and I used to drink, and it was for their amusement. Honestly, I didn't mean in any way to refer to her as a slut. I think she's NUTS, NUTS, NUTS but i wouldn't call her a slut. Believe me or not. I have no reason to lie.

Also, I don't think Renee was singled out for being a woman. I actually don't think she was singled out at all. Everyone at Opine was pretty much covered equally. But if she was singled out, it would be because I personally think her comments are SO out there, and SO weird, and she has such a weird obsession with talking about things like cervical secretions, that she makes me laugh more than the rest of you.

Christian, this is not a serious blog. This is not a blog where I want to get into heated debates about things. I want to post conversations with my dog. I want to take pictures of loud talkers on public transportation.

If you're coming here looking for some sort of intellectual discussion, you're not going to have much luck.

And another thing, when did I ever say I was a feminist?

What have I said to make you think I refer to myself as a feminist? Or was that just an assumption?

Or is it that feminists are the only people allowed to be offended by sexual harassment?

Clearly, I make a piss poor feminist.

Christian said...

OK, Grace. I won't second guess you if you say that's what you meant. Clearly I make a piss-poor mind-reader. :D

As for feminist, sorry if I confused you with someone else.

"Or is it that feminists are the only people allowed to be offended by sexual harassment?"

Not sure how that's salient, counselor, since I've already said twice that I'm not accusing you of sexual harassment.

And I certainly never said that you didn't have the right to be offended by what happened to you.

I didn't think my comment was that intellectually profound. Apologies. ;)

Christian said...

Ah. I think I see the comment that set off the brain alert. That was aimed at anonymous, clarifying the whole "neuter" thing.