I'll come up with something in a minute.

I find your intellect to be intellectually attractive.

Gather ’round me, everybody
Gather ’round me while I preach some
Feel a sermon comin’ on me
The topic will be sin and that’s what I’m ag’in’
If you wanna hear my story
The settle back and just sit tight
While I start reviewin’
The attitude of doin’ right

Johnny Mercer & The Pied Pipers

Do me a favor, look at this comic. If you’re wondering what is behind that link, it’s a comic about how internet sexism tends to work. Specifically how female artists tend to get squicked by “You’re work is so good, it makes me want to have sex with you.” comments and how men tell them that they’re stupid little girls for not taking the compliment correctly. I’ll start by saying that I think the women who are complaining are entirely justified.

Women have a hard enough time trying to avoid unwanted sexual advances, and telling them that they’ve got to accept these comments that reduce them down to a sex object is just adding to the insult. It’s hard to feel you’re being accepted as an artist and a human being when the best you can hope for is to be sexualized yet again. Men don’t see it as a problem because we’re rarely reduced to some squeezably soft bits and a few holes to stick hard object into. Well, okay, granted. We’re also rarely reduced to a penis and a tongue. Happy now? No? Good! The point is that men are rarely looked at merely for our sexual desirability and are allowed to be autonomous creatures while women have to struggle just to be seen as a fellow human being rather than a breeding partner.

I’ve watched two of these events unfold in the last couple of weeks and it’s got me thinking about several aspects of the problem. Just follow me for a moment or two…

Aspect Number One: I find smart women more attractive than stupid women.
Yes, I actually AM attracted to your brains ladies. That means if you say or do something clever, it makes me want to be around you more. I won’t say that a nice smile and big… eyes don’t figure into the equation, because they do, but first and foremost I like someone I can have a conversation with. I have a hard enough time finding people who are smart enough just to keep up with me when I talk about something*. Finding someone who has her own interests, that can come back and inform me with something I didn’t know, that is really spectacular. As a result, I do find myself attracted to smart women on the internet. However, I know that saying “I’d like to fuck your mind” sounds more like I’m about to begin the sort of stalking that ends in skin suits and less like a compliment. I think there is a solution, but I’ll get to that later.

*There are few things worse than realizing the rest of the room is totally lost on what to you seems an extremely simple concept. Worse yet, when you realize they don’t know what “Word X” means.

Aspect Number Two: Some women encourage this behavior.
I’m not about to blame the victim here, but young men have a tendency to think of women as a single voting block. There are women who use their looks and sexuality to gain more attention and compliments to their work. A local artist recently did an art show where she hung her paintings from chains that she had draped over her. The only thing she was wearing was the chains and the only thing covering her modesty was the paintings. As people bought the paintings, more of her was reveled. That would never work for me though because A) no one wants to buy my paintings and B) that situation would be seen more as a threat than a promise. The point is that this can cause mental confusion in young lads who haven’t quite worked out that women are humans who don’t all work exactly the same way in all situations.

Aspect Number Three: Women do this to men as well.
One of the things that people rarely think about is that a lot of the guys who give the “compliment” about wanting to bang their favorite female online is that the guy probably has no idea what said woman looks like. She could be young or old, fat or thin, blonde or brunet, it really doesn’t matter that much. The point is that her intellect sparked an attraction and the guy wants to express it. NOW! The thing is, women will do this to men and no one complains. Don’t believe me? How many people complained about Fuck Me, Ray Bradbury? Women asking a male artist for sex is supposed to be just fine, but it also reduces everything to a sexual point. It gets worse when a male artist is remotely good looking, because then all compliments about his art are then shunted to the same bullshit land that all other compliments go to. It’s hard to know if the girl really likes your work, or if she thinks you’re hot and is just complimenting you because she wants to get you into bed. Men aren’t supposed to complain, because it’s supposed to be great to have constant offers of sex, but it’s really not. The feeling is diminishing, and sort of annoying. I don’t hop into bed with everyone that offers, and I’m annoyed that anyone thinks their tits are enough to do it form me. There is a larger problem involving how we view sex and gender, but I’m not going to get into that today. I don’t have time to explain it doesn’t matter if the teacher is male or female, and that it’s just bad when a 30 year old has an affair with a 15 year old.

All this is fine and well, but it comes to nothing if I don’t offer a suggestion…

Possible Solution
Let’s agree to reword the compliment so that it genuinely reflects our feelings. I intend to try “I find your intellect to be intellectually attractive.” We’ll see how that goes. It might need a little rewording to sound more elegant, and it might need to have a thought or two added, but I think this might work.

November 3, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment