Tag Archives: sexism

Nice Cans?! FFS, Really?

26 Jul
Melissa Lee (a.k.a. LilaMae)

by Melissa Lee (a.k.a. LilaMae)

“You have nice cans. That should count for something! I wish I could help. I really don’t know much about networking. I’m a software guy.”

That, dear readers, is a quote from an email I received from a fellow skeptic and TAM attendee. (I was asking him if he knew of any net admin jobs available) And because I’m sure you’re curious, here’s my reply:

I can’t believe you just said that to me. Nice cans?! What are you, Larry from Three’s Company? Jeez. Next time I see you I’m measuring your dick just so I can make references about its size, henceforth. Software huh? Yeah I bet. Oooooh!

Yes I have my own style, don’t I?

I’m not going to get up on a soapbox and preach about sexism here. I’m still kind of suffering from sexism-fatigue in the aftermath of…you know. What I find interesting is that after reading that email, I immediately questioned myself and what I must have done wrong to let a man believe he could say something like that so casually to me. Is is because I wear low-cut tops? Is it because I curse? Is it because I’m too permissive when it comes to sexist jokes?

I know some would say it’s totally not my fault at all. But is that really true? We do teach people how to treat us. Have I been a poor example for my gender? Every once in a awhile, not very often, but occasionally I ask myself these questions and I wonder if other people do too (of either gender)…and what they do about it.

And just for S’s & G’s, here’s the rest of this lovely exchange:

“If you want to measure my thingy, you’ll need a yardstick.”

Me: You seemed so nice & quiet in person. And then you got behind a computer….sigh.

(Update: I would like to note that this person has since apologized profusely and sincerely. And I accepted his apology. So, the moral of this story is, if you get some jerkwad telling you that you have nice cans, posting it on your blog is an excellent way to teach him a lesson. And a good life lesson he did learn. )




In Which I, A Female, Take Questions From Members Of The Male Gender

9 Jul
Melissa Lee (a.k.a. LilaMae)

by Melissa Lee (a.k.a. LilaMae)

Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past few days, you are aware of something known as “elevatorgate“.  Since clearly every last human being on the planet has posted their comments on this issue, I have been seeing many, many comments from men asking [if I may paraphrase] “Well am I now not allowed to do this or that?” or other expressions implying they are now afraid of what is ok to say or do. I feel for these poor souls & would like to help if I can. I know it’s not a clear-cut issue and can be very puzzling.

So I decided to ask some of my skeptic male friends if they had any questions they would like to ask me as a woman about what’s cool & what’s not. So yes these are actual questions from actual men I know personally. Please don’t judge, I give them full credit for having the guts to ask what they might get chewed out for elsewhere.

Now, I’m not saying I’m any kind of feminist ambassador or anything. I’m just giving answers from my own personal perspective. I hope they are at least somewhat helpful..even with a lil dash of my signature snark. 😉

Remember, men, we don’t hate you.

(Oh, also remember, I speak frankly here. Very frankly. Be prepared. That’s all I can say.)

When and where is it appropriate to pursue women romantically?   

In a bank line. On Tuesdays. But only on Tuesdays. Between 7:30am and 10:15am. Happy dating.

Ok, seriously you can’t possibly expect a clear-cut answer on this, dear, I’m sorry. That’s just the nature of the human mating dance. It’s not our fault. Blame the millions of years of hominid evolution.

I will say this, stop searching for tactics that will work. It’s not about tactics. Forget tactics. You’re not at war. It’s much worse…you’re trying to date. Women will be confusing to you always (for reasons why, see above), yet billions have somehow managed to mate..go figure. For me personally, nothing turns me off faster than a man who is blatantly obvious in his contrived spiel to woo me. Are you trying to get a woman to like you, any woman? Or are you trying to get me to like you? I’d like to feel there’s something special about me that sets me apart from other women that you genuinely feel compatible with.

So again I’m sorry to break it to you but the art of the romantic pursuit is a nuanced process so complex and arbitrary it can’t possibly be explained in words. I’m going with the fortune cookie answer – Let your conscience be your guide in all things. It’s true, people.

If single women aren’t looking for potential mates, what the hell are they doing at functions with like-minded people?  Merely to expand their circle of friends?

Ok let’s start with off with why that anger isn’t going to help you in your romantics pursuits. Um, yes anger & resentment..not a good way to start things off…doesn’t get any woman’s panties wet I’ll tell you that.

And to answer your question, YES. You see, women don’t think about sex all the time or at least not nearly as much as men do. We are not hyper aware of potential sex partners all around us. Think of yourself at a baseball game. You’re focused on the game not what the dudes are wearing, I’m assuming. Well pretend any social event for a woman is a baseball game and the presence of potential sex partners as important as what those sexy steroid juice-head hunks are wearing like you give a shit, right?

I know it would be much easier if we just walked by you and sprayed our scent on your crotch and show you our engorged labias to indicate we are ready to mate but that’s never going to happen.

When a woman is interested in you, you’ll usually know it. And if you can’t tell, she’s either not into you or she’s perhaps one of those women that loves to play games in which case you don’t want that dummy anyway…we hate those bitches too. Don’t encourage them.

Can I look at your chest if you’re wearing a low-cut top?

This may surprise some but yes. I think I’d be a hypocrite if I said no. Just please be discreet about it. Don’t stare. Get a sense & look away, agreed? Can we make that the social contract?

It rarely happens but sometimes a dude is so obvious I want to whip out a ruler and politely ask, “I’m sorry, would you mind if I just measure your penis real quick? I just want to see what you’ve got packing.”

Can I speak to you on an elevator?

No. I would think that would be clear at this point. You may never ride an elevator with me. Men must forever take the stairs henceforth. I’m sorry but that’s how feminism works.

7/10/2011 Additions…

Is it ok to hit on a woman while she is at her job( think of jobs like retail, in the service industry, etc.)?

I would say no in most cases. It’s putting a woman in a position where she has no choice but to talk to you. How would you possibly know if she likes you if she’s paid to have to serve you. Well…you know what I mean. If you’re really interested in a girl and she’s at her job, politely wait until her shift ends and then follow her to her car later to ask for her number. And when the blinding sting of mace wears off, realize that I was being sarcastic.

But if you think you’ve found the love of your life and you just can’t let this one go without trying to make a connection, ok fine. Who am I to step in the way of true love? Just remember what I like to call the four “F”s –

1. be friendly
2. be fast
3. be self-effacing
4. get the fuck out of there

If a woman is friendly with me, does that mean she is interested a relationship?

No. No. And no. You are in creepy guy territory. Beware.

Guys get this wrong ALL the time. You have to stop this way of thinking right now. Women will be friendly and smile and show what you in your horny primate brain think is romantic interest, but she is just being polite. That is how women are. We are – surprise – wired differently! Vive la différence, right? Well that means you have to take the good with the confusing. Women evolved to use both sides of our brain simultaneously, that’s going to make us a little more complicated than “You man, me woman, we go to bed.”

Look, let’s be brutally honest here. We have within the skeptics community a slightly higher percentage of socially awkward people. Many are clearly on the autism spectrum. Well, some of you may have to face the cold brutal fact that you may not be ready for dating. If you can’t pick up on the subtleties – which, really are the an essential part of human relationships – you are not going to be successful in any romantic endeavor. If you think you may be completely lost because of your social difficulties, you may not wish to look to women necessarily first for pointers, but to men who do have an easy time with women and seem to “get it”. I think these men could help by taking on a greater role in helping those who are struggling to get it.

By the way if you’re a dude who is intensely frustrated & angry about women, obey what nature has been trying to tell you in the first place and kindly remove yourself from propagating the gene pool.


More Q&A will be posted as the questions come in. I’m still waiting to hear back from some of my male friends. Feel free to ask a question in the comments section.