Wellesley and the Privileging of Male Bodies
For those of you who came here from my posts in the comments section of Boston Magazine’s http://www.bostonmagazine.com/arts-entertainment/blog/2014/02/04/wellesley-art-exhibit-students-creeped/ , I invite you to consider the context of this argument before you choose to take up arms, and judge a situation that you do not understand.
Reading Kathy Zhang’s post will also help.
[Trigger Warning: sexual assault]
It’s no surprise that I love my alma mater. I graduated from Wellesley College and I’m incredibly grateful for all the people, subjects, and ideas Wellesley exposed me to. Being one of the more prestigious and well-known liberal arts colleges, Wellesley as an…
#1 - Today I learned…
If you can’t be accountable to yourself, why should anyone else trust you to do something for them?
I really don’t like selling things to people.
As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.
Henry David Thoreau (1816-1862)
Naturalist, Poet, Philosopher
Saturday feels like Monday, and I have a serious case of feels.
Only once or twice in my life have I had the urge that I began to have yesterday. I imagine that its not entirely uncommon, so I’m sure you’ve had it too.
Let’s set this up first:
You’re contemplating a person, someone you really like. You don’t know how much you like them, and aren’t quite sure why your feelings are so strong. But you can feel that pull that his sheer presence exerts over you, the need to be around him, bask as much as possible in the atmosphere that he, somehow, creates. And purely for the sake of your not having to tell him, you hope that he notices. Or, with the same goal in mind, you hope that he does not notice.
Because you could go on like this. You don’t need him to reciprocate, you don’t even know what you want from him. Just being around him is enough for you.
If you’re like me this bothers you. You do not like to need people because most people are fickle, unreliable and intentions aside, compulsive liars. You’ve met a some great people in your lifetime, and you appreciate them beyond their knowledge. But this new guy… you just don’t know. He’s disarming somehow, and while this presents a possible vulnerability, you like it.
He is not disarming by force. He’s disarming because you do not feel the need to suspect or mistrust him. And that is amazing.
This could be anything, his fault or yours, that gives you the feels.
For me, it has been turning around to see him making out with a random drunken co-ed and run off to hookup with her 3 minutes later. Not much earlier, you had admitted your attraction to him. A week or so later, he tells you he doesn’t even want to be your friend anymore. In a roundabout way, he explains that he just.. has too many friends, and you’re not worth maintaining a relationship with.
Having to watch him be expelled by a school council because he and his dumb friends did something enormously stupid. Worst off, this enormously moronic and grossly misogynistic act was about you. Shortly afterwards, he finds you, hugs you and earnestly pleads for your forgiveness. But you have to tell him the truth, which is that you didn’t get him in trouble in the first place, and you cannot help him get out of anything. You don’t tell him that you already submitted a statement on his behalf, and that the powers that be dismissed it as “being nice”. You tell him you’re sorry, turn around and walk away before he sees you crying. You hear him curse for awhile behind you. Your friends look completely puzzled, but you say nothing.
He’s been flirting with you for more than a month. You know him pretty well considering how short its been, and you see each other often. He’s not perfect, but you like him the way he is right now. You know that if you knew him several years ago, you’d think he was a douchebag. But you can see that he’s grown.
You’re in deep conversation with him, and you make the mistake of looking in his eyes. Scientifically, beyond the dilation of his pupils, you know the eyes themselves aren’t expressing any emotion. But the expression around his eyes says that he cares. But what gets you is that he’s concerned.You recognize the look, and you know that he recognizes it in himself. But you’re not quite sure why its there.
In tandem, you both realize that there is a problem here. It’s a problem for you because you’re not quite sure he’s grown out of his cocky, self assured embryonic sack. Also, your friends think he’s a skeezeball and you’re betting that he has a girlfriend. There is just no way.
So, of course, the brief silence breaks as he mentions his gorgeous, talented girlfriend. He thinks she’s the one, which means that you aren’t. However you may disagree, your opinion is irrelevant. You don’t steal, you’re not a homewrecker and you’d think less of him if he ditched her for you. Your rational side may resolve to find a way to still be his friend. But for now there is just..
Where is my drink? I need one. Maybe if I had a couple, I’d forget the bitterness. It would be so wonderful, so comforting, so easy to be angry at him. It would kill three feelings with one stone.
- You wouldn’t like him for a little while. Liking him hurts.
- You could bleed off your feelings of rejection in an angry heat.
- You could pretend you aren’t hurt, and maybe no one would ask.
But you know that’s not healthy. Neither is getting wasted at whatever party you can find and semi-rebounding with the next physically attractive guy you pull into your pile of ashes.
So instead you find somewhere quiet, where you can be alone for a little while.
Chastising yourself for getting so emotional over a Y chromosome, you lick your wounds, tend to what embers you have left and cry if you need to. Your grown up voice of reason tells you that sometime soon, you’ll rekindle your fire. One morning soon, you’ll be over it.