Thursday, August 14, 2014

Let Me Tell YOU Something

"I think that your vagina is ... your soul.  And if you let that go too easily... {*mumble*mumble*something unintelligible}... but if you really love someone..."

I'm spending a mighty uncomfortable 15 minutes before the store closes being that-retail-clerk-who-can't-tell-her-customer-what-a-putz-he's-being. 

He refers to me too often, pointing out that if we were dating... or if I had my breasts "fixed"... (as he looks pointedly at them) and all the things that lonely women do do not make men love them and all the things men do are terrible... 

But not him.  No.  He loves his wife and loves holding her hand, and running his fingers through her hair, and watching movies while sharing Dr. Pepper.  But she is going through the menopause... and sometimes they have sex and he will give her three orgasms in a row, but it is infrequent now.  Maybe I can talk to her.

Even if I agreed with something this man said, his mansplaining* attitude wrecked any compassion I had for him.  It is rarely okay to talk at an adult.  I realize there are people who miss this point, so, if at any time, you have a confusion about who it is ok to talk at please refer to the chart below:

People to talk at about how great you are vs. everyone else
Retail clerk

"But, Chutzpahgrrl, I thought that people specifically came to you to talk about sex?"

Yes.  Yes, they do.  But not to talk at me for 15 minutes about how wrong the world is about sex, how you are a much better person in that regard, and not let me talk at all.  I felt like a receptacle, a toilet, a dumping ground that was expected to mirror back how great this guy was for enjoying attributes of his relationship with his wife other than sex, and for recognizing what all other people think, how they behave and what they want.

It would be like going into a clothing shop and going on a tirade to the sales clerk, who is hanging clothing, about how boys wear their pants around their knees.  And how they might think it is cool, but they are so wrong, and it will not get them the kind of attention they want, and you can not understand why they are like that because you enjoy your pants crawling up your butt, and washing them.  And, you know, the soul is in the underwear, and if you show that to just anyone...

Right?  The sales clerk may have an opinion about people wearing pants around their knees but it is not pertinent to whether or not you will be buying a pair of pants, what your particular needs are pants-wise, and by the way, do you have any that fit well around the knees?

Part of what is creepy here is the power of someone's need to completely overtake another person. There are issues with sex in our culture.  It would be foolish to think otherwise.  And we can talk about them if we maintain the humility to know that we can not speak for everyone and we do not know everything.  And too, that we are not better than anyone else.  But trapping someone alone who can not, out of job duty, tell you to take it elsewhere, is scary.

*Mansplaining is when a man has a conversation with a woman and, despite her own steady grasp of the concept at hand (sometimes her own life or experiences) he explains them to her with an attitude of superior correctness.