The Harvey Weinstein thing is all about power dynamics, which can be kind of hot sometimes.
This delightful young chap was completely uninformed on the subject of BDSM relationships (which by definition are consensual). But more importantly, what Harvey Weinstein is accused of doing is not sex, or in any way "hot," but sexual assault. I quickly told my date how fucked up his position was, gave him a brief explainer on consent, paid for my latte, and left.
I voted for Donald Trump, and people treat me badly because of it.
"Do they really?" I asked him. "Yeah," he said. "They think I'm racist and a misogynist, which I'm totally not. It's fucked up." I had nothing to say, because he’d basically forced me into this conversation. He’d backed me into a corner, using my job as an entry point to talk about himself. It felt like he was actually asking, “Are you one of the people who believes this?” We didn't go out on a second date.
One of the things I look for in a woman is low sexual partner count.
Instead of rolling my eyes, I asked why a woman's sexual history was important to him. "If she has too many sex partners, it shows she has bad judgment," he said. "And, she probably has engaged in risky sexual behavior." I asked how the two were connected, and he said that he just felt like they were. Cool, dude.
You really think that all sexual behavior is good?
When I was finally able to speak again, I told him that I thought the idea of judging a woman based on how many partners she had was sexist, especially because it's subjective. I then told him that as long as sex was safe, consensual, and happening between two partners who were enthusiastic, that it couldn't be bad. He scoffed, told me I was ridiculous. I asked for the check, paid my share, and left.
I voted to leave the EU.
When all was said and done, I told him I probably would have voted to stay, but that I didn't hold his vote against him. We're getting dinner this weekend. He's a good kisser.
Aren't women equal at this point, though?
I actually laughed. I asked him if the government ever tried to tell him what he could and couldn't do with his own body. He answered no. Then I asked him if he knew that there were actually more CEOs named John in the U.S. than female CEOs. He answered no. I asked him if he'd ever received rape threats on Twitter, or if he was afraid of being followed home after we left the bar and went our separate ways. He answered no.
I asked if that answered his question, and, thankfully, he answered yes.
Why don't women understand that that's just how men talk with one another?
I'm going to crash Hillary Clinton's book signing to get more views on my YouTube channel.
I just feel like I don't know how to help.
I told him the easiest thing to do was to acknowledge us and believe us. When a woman comes forward with a story of sexual assault, believe her and tell her that you support her. When we say that we're not equal, recognize that you can wield your privilege in ways that lift us up.
We didn't go on a second date (we didn't have much in common), but I left that date feeling appreciative that at least one guy is willing to listen.
So here we are: I leaned into the uncomfortable conversations that this year seemed to require, and it hasn't been easy. I've gotten good at navigating around these conversations for the simple fact that I used to enjoy dating, and I'm desperate to again. I've learned some things about how I choose dates, but I've also learned that sometimes it's better to address the elephant in the room than just let it shit all over everything and pretend nothing stinks.