I have found myself in a 'funk' about men at the moment. Indeed, if I am completely honest with myself – I think I'm losing my faith in them.
Why? Let me tell you why.
(The following is a collection of moments over the last month that have either happened to me, or to women of my acquaintance. And yes, it's a little bit ranty.)
The other day I was sitting on a bus and looked up to see the following ad:
All of a sudden, I got mad. Really mad. I would almost consider my rage illogical except that I think my reasoning is sound. But before I begin, let me say that I know STIs are currently spreading like wildfire, and I know that I can have Chlamydia and not even know. That is why I get an STI check whenever I have a pap smear. So who is this campaign targeting? I'll tell you who. Women. The website, the resources, the information – all clearly pitched at women. Which is all fine and dandy, but let me tell you about "No Condom Man"
No Condom Man is a common occurrence in our modern world. He is of 'normal' appearance and is therefore very difficult to spot. In fact, he only appears at the 'crucial moment'. That moment when you are on fire and you desperately want him, No Condom Man appears. "Oh baby, you're on birth control aren't you?" "I'm clean, aren't you?" "But it just feels so much better without one". These are his mantras. No Condom Man is an expert at making you feel bad for insisting, and even occasionally 'sneaks it in' before you can stop him. And once that happens? Well. It's easy to get carried away, because it does feel good. But guess who feels guilty afterwards? It certainly isn't No Condom Man.
And here's kicker. Even when you manage to persevere, and the condom comes out of your purse/bedside table – No Condom Man doesn't own any – guess what happens? The minute the latex touches his skin, he goes floppy. Does No Condom Man apologise? No. Because who's fault is it? The woman who insisted he use one. And who's the one left feeling frustrated and even a little bit guilty? You.
So tell me, where is the national ad campaign targeting No Condom Man? Why is it women have the responsibility of not only paying for birth and STI control, but for negotiating its use as well? When we talk about the personal being political, your encounters with No Condom Man are the perfect example. One person has the power to make the other feel uncomfortable, guilty and occasionally, disgusted with themselves. And I tell you what, the person with the power is usually a man. And why shouldn't it be? No one's tax dollars are being spent blaming him for STIs he could have and not even know about.
And besides, it's perfectly okay for a man to put his dick wherever he chooses, unless he's in a relationship, right?
Which brings me to my next point. Men lie.
Okay. That is a rash generalisation – women lie too. All the time. Lying is a people thing, not just a man thing. But until you have had sex with a man, who immediately blurts out afterwards that he's married, has a son and his wife is pregnant, it's hard not to generalise. Especially when it is mother's day weekend. And he asks you if you can have a 'casual thing'. And his wife is calling him as you kick him out the door.
And while you cannot feel bad about someone cheating on their wife with you when you didn't know they had a wife – this sort of thing does not make you feel particularly optimistic about men. Especially when you hear similar tales from other women. And men.
And so to my last point. Men are bastards.
After chasing you for weeks and finally pulling the moves on you, they go to the bathroom and never come back. They tell you you're amazing and then they never call. They leave before you wake up and they take your money. They let you down.
And yet, despite all of this, we keep going back for more? WTF??
Last night I was told an old german saying – if you put all of the bad men in a bag and beat it with a stick, you'll always hit the right one. I like this saying, and it rather characterised the evening. May hasn't been a great month for me and mine.
So what have these recent experiences taught me? I've discussed this at length, with a variety of close lady friends and after many words of wisdom, reassurances and curse words the general consensus is thus ….
It's time to revisit the selection criteria, and it is time to take a break.
So. I am officially declaring that June 2010 will be a man free zone. Or at least a sex free zone. Or perhaps a no sex with men I haven't met before zone. Or something like that.
Now, this isn't going to be easy. I am going to need all the help I can get. But it must be done. I cannot even begin to think up a list of formalised rules, and while logically 'no drinking' should be right up the top, this is not going to happen. Maybe in July … maybe.
So, dear Interwebs, I ask you to wish me luck, and keep me honest.