There’s a chill in the air in Logan Square. No it’s not the season. It’s not the Winds of Lake Michigan. Nor the cold echoing off the city concrete. It’s my fucking face. I don’t know why. Because I’m smiling. Making eye contact. I look fantastic. But this very fact is what seems to freeze all the bearded motherfuckers I pass by daily as I look over invitingly hoping for a little human interaction in the midst of this shitty Chicago Winter. Maybe just a nod. Maybe just a fucking nod of recognition to a woman who is staring directly at your stupid face in a clear act of acknowledgment. But no. These days if not just switching focus intently to the ground all I get in return is the goddamned Whale Eye. A hard face turn away, a terrified eye rolled back towards me assessing the threat until we’ve passed. Look - a well-dressed attractive smiling woman, The Horror! Recently learning that scaring men on the street is no longer just my experience it now seems like an appropriate time to talk about the Misogyny of Fear.
Though I have to be very clear that not all of them do, out of the confirmed majority there are several categories of men that fear women. You have the Insecure Alphas, desperately needing to dominate feeling that their worth depends on intellectual, psychological, even financial superiority and general competency over any woman they encounter whether fucking, dating, or just chatting in line at a coffee shop. There are the double standard enforcers, not accepting our growing sexual independence and dwindling focus on attachment and relationships. And finally you have your Basic Bros who just want to fuck their mothers. Which let’s face it - that’s really all of them. In your time as a single adult female you will come across at least one of these guys. Maybe a couple. Maybe the ever so dangerous combination of all three. In any case you must know this and never let a well-played game or flattering talk fool you: They’re all misogynists. All of them. With no exception. For the very fact of fear implies nothing but.
I never fully understood what it meant when a man was scared of me. I am so frightening in general I would just get a power trip and treat him however I saw fit. The truth is I normally slept with really nice guys who simply kept their distance and any fear that I picked up on was only an acknowledgment that I was unavailable. So when I found myself hopelessly stuck on a man that I had no real interest in, no intentions of dating or even seeing outside the hours of 2 and 5am, and no desire to talk to when I did, I never made the connection that my obsession had nothing to do with him as a person and only relied on the unfamiliar ways in which he was treating me. That motherfucker was a chauvinist pig. A great fuck. And a total idiot masquerading as a man of superior intellect. I went berserk. And am still shocked he never called in a restraining order.
We met at Butch McGuire’s, resident late-night bar for all Lincoln Park and similarly designed singles who haven’t made a match yet and need to move the show to Gold Coast once the 2am establishments shut down for the evening. It’s a fucking gold mine for me. With that many drunk desperate men and my unicorn appeal in the sea of going-out blouses, skinny jeans, and long loose curls, I can take someone home with every visit. On that particular night I was feeling the summer heat dressed in my micro-mini neon yellow denim shorts, a matching skin-tight crewneck t-shirt covering a barely visible red lace bra, mile-high platform wedge sandals and a silk blazer I was more comfortable slinging over my purse than shoulders. With that perfectly straight blonde bob, black eyes, and bright red lips I looked like a horny human highlighter writing sex all over anyone who’d cross my path. I was. It’s the only time I’ll ever go to that goddamned miserable bar. Most men didn’t dare talk to me which is usually the plan with an outfit like that. I need the boldest of the bold - those who are either confident enough to know they can satisfy me or the mommy issue misogynists who have too much to prove. Unfortunately during this period of my life I never put much thought into the latter group. Because in either scenario the sex was great. Who cares what’s in his head. I know what’s in mine.
While standing alone waiting for a friend to use the bathroom I was confronted with the opening line. He was normal looking. Average build, height, attractiveness. Dressed in a white t-shirt, jeans, and sneakers. None of it really made an impression on me, I was too blown back by the overwhelming stench of insecurity. He said he was afraid to talk to me as if my big badass boyfriend would come beat him up. Ok. Whatever. Self-deprecating and admitting my power. Sorry - my Boyfriend’s power. Go on. He was worried that I was sober and judging him in his inebriated state, a theme he carried on throughout our relationship. Of course men who distrust sobriety prefer a woman with lowered capacities for all obvious reasons, including a decreased ability to see him or his foolishness clearly, ideally being a fool herself. After too much of the badass talk and some other crap concerning him not being cool enough I gave the guy a break and just invested. It was late. He at least had the balls to approach me. It didn’t take us long to get back to his place and as anticipated the sex delivered. He was a purebred Insecure Alpha, dominating and aggressive bordering on degrading, unapologetically requesting cuddles immediately after orgasm. I went home the next morning and forgot about it. Until I got horny a week later.
The true test of the evolution of a man is how he responds to a woman who is interested in casual sex. I’m sorry to say that most fail. However to the degree that they flounder says a lot about their place on the spectrum of modern sexism and immaturity. I may not help the situation by being so outspoken about my rejection of relationships and desire for the Fuck Buddy System, but we’re adults and it’s 2016. It’s time to accept what actual human sexuality looks like. I texted my hopeful fuckfriend late with a clever lead about whether or not he had reason to get up early the next morning. He didn’t get it. Or maybe just didn’t want to. I proposed that we meet at Inner Town Pub for a drink as if sex was secondary. Our conversation was lacking - he didn’t share much about his cliché politco-masked self-congratulatory man writing and I really only made a point to rant about my distaste for marriage and children which I can guess by now is my glaring red flag. By the end of the evening I had concluded that we need to fuck again, right now, and these nice little drink chats can be taken off the table. As we left the bar he paused pretending to check out one of the local papers sitting on the counter in front of the door. Choking on a snort I quickened the pace to get him back to my apartment and out of his pants.
The next morning he launched the first assault. I didn’t see it coming. And it came hard. Perhaps he sensed that I didn’t give a fuck about him or his mind. That half-assed breakfast I made was only for show, part of my playbook, now in its last stages of dissolution the lazier I got with feeling that I needed to appear desirable as girlfriend material in order to keep men coming back for more sex. We were sitting at my coffee table quietly pushing around eggs when he started intently staring at my books. Assessing them. Out loud. Then tells me of course this is what he does, judges people’s (women's) books. (After all the man’s a writer, remember? He wrote a book about writing a book. You know, the original one that didn’t make it to publishing.) The problem with a move like this on a person like me is that I immediately feel stupid, exactly what he had intended. It’s not that I actually think he’s smart, I made my decision on his brain last night. It’s the gall he has to position himself as intellectually superior that scares me into believing it. After the way he just fucked me any quick forceful gesture even if psychological can be used to manipulate easier than I’d like to admit. We’re conditioned to think that men have intelligence on us. They’ve wanted us to believe this for millennia. They even found ways to prevent us from learning how to read and write as early as they could. Women can’t have knowledge, imagine what we’d do if we had an understanding of the world and how little men actually knew it! We’re only now being exposed to the brilliant game-changing females in all of history that have been conveniently left out of the records. We’re just not supposed to be smart. It’s too dangerous. What would they have left, their strong shoulders? Their beards? Their dicks that we immediately send in group texts and laugh at any time they feel vulnerable enough to share them with us? Reinforcing this ugly turn of dynamic on the way to my car so courteously offered as his ride home he asked me about the giant cover up tattoo on my back. Clearly not understanding my explanation having to do with bird intelligence versus the human intuition that we’ve clouded due to constructs built in order to have what we think is a functioning society, he shrugged and told me that didn’t make any sense. I drove him home. Awkwardly. As he commented in a shocked and condescending tone that the music in my car was rather cool. Yeah you fucking asshole. That’s one more point for me.
I must have known how fucked this behavior was without a conscious awareness. I followed up with a text indicating that I’m not looking to date, only regular sex. He responded with a remark on how he doesn’t want to get an STD. I ignored it. Because after living in a household where I was forced to endure shitty treatment with no option of ever leaving I have developed a pretty high tolerance for disrespect and an invincible ability to move beyond it maintaining a working relationship with my abuser. I still wanted the dick. And now in addition to prove to that asshole that I was the one with the functioning mind here. He was nothing but a sex toy. A dirty sex toy who loved to fuck hard, spank and choke me, sit on my face and shove his cock in my mouth cumming in or on it at the end of every session. I live for that shit. Men like him don’t understand what that actually means. That I continued to booty call him knowing what a prick he was only indicated our perfect relationship as Top and Bottom. Fake Dom and True Sub. I had all of the power, he meant nothing, and it terrified him to the point of hostility and pushback.
The problem with always dating good guys who feared me because of my distance versus finally facing a bad guy who feared me for my strength meant that I had no idea how to tell the difference. I knew exactly what I wanted and my pursuits never implied otherwise. However I grossly misunderstood what was in his head. I made a hobby of trying to guess. An obsessive cyclical bordering on psychotic habit of analyzing his mind and creating theories as to who this man was and why he communicated the way he did, fucked me so, wrote his shitty Redeye column with the blatant overinflated confidence masking crippling insecurity every week. Ego was a theme. Self-absorption. Narcissism. Feelings of inadequacy. But never the notion of sexism or the anger towards women. How was I so unfamiliar with the idea that most men can’t handle being used for sex? How did I not understand that he saw my light immediately, picked up on my indifference, couldn’t possibly fathom that someone wouldn’t want his time or affection. Didn’t think he was smart or special. How did I not know that the time he said I was bad for him because he needed a nice girlfriend who didn’t let him cum on her face while I was still naked lying next to him was a clear sign of brute misogyny rearing it’s nasty self-hating head? We would rest on his mattress on the floor (YES he was an adult male with a mattress on the floor) as he made me hold him and point at his bookshelf telling me how smart he was. Look. Yes, Yes I see that you own books, unlike mine oh so judgable these must be way more worthy of praise. Good for you for reading, pat pat on the ass. Oh of course there is the one you wrote. All 12 copies of it. You’re a star! You’re so important! Can I have one? Is that why you have so many, to give the ladies a consolation prize as you shove them out the door? No need to usher me into the streets tomorrow morning, I’m leaving at 5am before you wake up. I don’t want to deal with talking to your stupid face before I’ve had my coffee. Having to placate you during this forced pillow talk is draining enough.
That’s right. I had hit the female-fearing misogynist’s jackpot. This man was not just an Insecure Alpha, he was also unaccepting of being objectified the way he did every other woman in Chicago, and in his simplest form all he really wanted was a mother figure to tousle his hair and tell him he was special. In finally grasping just how oppressive this is I have been able to shed light on almost every other man that I interact with on a daily basis and all the losers I see my friends struggle with in their romantic lives. Everyone has to face the facts - women don’t need men anymore. At this age most of us who are still single are so by choice. And we’re typically pretty exceptional people for having spent most of our adult lives focusing on improving ourselves and our careers over finding a mate to feel complete. This horrifies our male adversaries. Not only is a woman who may outshine him threatening enough, but one who doesn’t need him to survive? What happens to his sense of self-worth? Most men are raised to think that their value is in their ability to provide and protect. That it is masculine to be dominant. While some of these traits are sexually exciting and attractive in a partner the reality is that they are attractive in everyone. I seek out strength and power in my female friends just as much as I do in lovers. But traditionally it’s been taught that the male’s primary purpose is founded in his ability to lead and control. A very long time ago their physical supremacy led them to believe that they held all-encompassing power over us. Hey, they were strong enough to enforce it. Our brains lost their value, ridiculous feats of benign masculinity developed into impressive signs of superiority. The male way of thinking that’s actually rather narrow and one-sided became our code of logic and reason defining the difference between the pragmatic (strong/male) and emotional (weak/female) instead of linear (simple) and complex (evolved). But suddenly women all over the world have been finding empowerment with the use of our abilities for abstract reasoning and multi-dimensional intelligence. Really our abilities to do whatever the fuck we want. Though the fight for advancement still remains the awareness that we deserve it is widespread. With the overwhelming evidence that we no longer need personal teachers, leaders, or protection, some men are losing their fucking minds. When we’re all on an even playing field, what’s a guy to do when he doesn’t have a leg up?
What misogynists aka most men seem to imply with their behavior is that we exist on a scale with one another instead of separate independently moving planes. On the first model when one person makes any sort of gain it automatically lowers the other. And if you can’t build strength individually you can do so by actively weakening your partner. There’s no room to mutually grow, but our successes supposedly devalue our other for not being as successful by definition. We are set into competition instead of a support system. In this regard I’m finding that each new man that enters my life or a friend’s can’t deal with the idea of dating a woman who matches or even outshines him. Instead of appreciating and respecting our advancement there becomes a fear that our triumphs imply a masculine failure. We aren’t existing on these separately operating planes where our relationships are to each other as thinking feeling humans and not as dated symbols of femininity, masculinity, power, weakness, or success. Still bound to be primarily identified in such simple terms there is no chance for equality. This is misogyny at it’s core. And don’t be fooled by the flattery of fear - a man who is driven to awestruck compliments in which he places himself on that scale with you by confronting his own feelings of unworthiness. It all means the same thing. He’s uneasy with your visible light. He may fuck you in ways that make you feel small. He may throw out snide comments to make you feel stupid. He could slut-shame you post-sex when he feels unimportant. They lose control. For the very fear that they are losing their control.
I didn’t handle the situation with this mediocre man writer very well. I went a little crazy. Maybe really crazy. Of course it never helps being in a difficult relational dynamic when you’re mentally ill. And boy was I struggling with my psyche at the time. But my total ignorance of what was really going on led to an all out assault on this guy through Facebook and text messages. I wasn’t sure what I actually wanted. I had his intentions all wrong. I only knew that something was unjust and I had to correct it. It took a very long time and a forced rejection for me to stop the harassment. I avoided Lincoln Park for fear of a run-in and the inevitable embarrassment for years after that. It wasn’t until I started rereading the real-time documentation of this relationship in my Book of 2012 that it finally clicked. Not only was this man scared shitless of a woman so independent that she needed nothing but his dick, trying desperately to put her back in her place to prove his worth then attempting to get affirmation with coerced cuddling and coddling post-coitus, but most men feel the exact same way even if they don’t act like such unabashed assholes. When I’m told that I’m intimidating because of how impressive I am while a man’s trying to get in my pants it’s not because he’s excited to meet someone of such caliber. He’s actually admitting that he would be more comfortable talking to a woman who was less impressive, easier to get a handle over, maybe more appreciative or even scared herself of what he had to offer. When I pass men on the street and they look away in panic it’s not really about a striking image, but rather for the fact that I am looking right at them. I’ve heard that a lot of women are afraid to acknowledge men out in the world for how much harassment we have to endure daily. I’m never bothered by it and instead challenge first with a smile and confident step. This could be the very thing that freaks them out. If I’m not offering up the sidewalk what am I really saying, that I own this land? Can a woman own anything? Can I own their dicks too?
In retrospect I’m not so sure that all the other men who seemed like such nice guys were actually as thrilled by my power as I thought. Some were dead-set on influencing me with their own life-views, some constantly needed validation and got pretty testy when it wasn't offered after provocation. Others were up-front about their feelings of inadequacy thinking this would soften me to more sex. It did. Because as I’m pretty clear about I’m never that concerned with how a man’s trying to pick me up, I’m down to fuck if I think he’ll be good at it. Overlooking all of the ways in which he is terrible is my specialty.
I’m done overlooking. I had a lot of fun in my twenties. But the formula I always stuck to suddenly turned disastrous once I hit 30. Maybe it was a shift in my own worldview. Or it’s the rapidly changing attitude that we’re seeing in men around this city. But I’m becoming increasingly aware of how difficult it is for dates and potential fucks to keep their cool around a woman who is smart, self-sufficient, and doesn’t need to rely on a relationship to feel fulfilled. I know there are men around who would be thrilled to meet someone like me. Excited. Enthralled. Not threatened but rather interested and genuinely impressed. There are those who feel pride when they are coupled with another powerhouse rather than eclipsed. It’s rare, maybe even more so in the Midwest, but it exists. For now I’m just going to keep grinning at each passerby, scorpion hand glaring, black eyes shining and monster boots stomping. I’ll wait for a tall clean-shaven secure man with a stride to match to look right at me and smile back. Maybe he’ll even have the confidence to speak up. And say something that’s not indicative of an insecure baby who wants a dimwitted fuckdoll who will wipe his ass and tell him he's special on a regular basis. Yeah I’ll wait for that man. Until then I’m stuck with whale-eyes and shell-shocked terror. I don’t mind. For just as they fear - they are and always will be secondary. Sorry guys, we've done our part, time for you to start evolving too.