March 2019
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my amazing bumper stickers and the very strange encounter inspired by them

I had my first experience with a ... sleazy females-are-consumables gay-voyeur today. I was driving along with windows down (as I prefer unless it is freezing cold) in my car with the awesome bumper stickers,

window, from left to right: dragonflies, holographic moon, forever moon symbol, seventh day slumber symbol, purple "I live in peace and love" with symbols of various religions surrounding it, burgundy static cling with green leaf surrounded by the words "I believe in God, only I spell it Nature," unfortunately peeling night pines, "What we think we become" - Buddha, Libertarian. I think the others are readable.

(I made those three, can you tell? :D)

and some patriarchy-cloned male person pulled up next to me and this conversation ensued:

RD: random dude (I'm using the term 'dude' in the sense that this person is a specific kind of person -- the kind who follows the training of masculinity, thus seeing female people as objects designed for use by males)
me: obviously

RD: "hey, are you gay?" (I think ze just saw rainbows and thought, "GAY")
me: "... not exactly." (thinking, "what a stupidly bi-ignorant question -- how do I respond to that??? 'No' isn't true but neither is 'yes'!")
RD: "You're hot."
me: "uhhhh........thank you..?" with a scrunched brow and a headshake (thinking, "dammit, why can't I think of an appropriate comeback?")
RD: "if you are gay, would you hook up with me?"
me: "No!" (relieved to have an easy answer and also WTF, does ze not know what gay MEANS?)
RD: "why not?"
me: "because 'you're hot' is not a line that really works for me."
RD: *starts to say something else*
the light: *finally turns green*
me: *drives away*

with the right responses, which I thought up long after of course:

RD: "hey, are you gay?"
me: "I'm half gay -- are you?"
RD: "You're hot."
me: "no thank you -- I'm not interested in your evaluation of my attractiveness."
RD: "if you are gay, would you hook up with me?"
me: "No!"
RD: "why not?"
me: "because I only have sex with feminists."

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ASL - pfft
tralfamadore ══╣ASL - pfft╠══
How sad is it that Random Dude believed that his evaluation of your level of "attractiveness" would somehow be a driving force behind your wanting to hook up with him? What a horrible mindframe to live in, first to believe that you have the right to judge the attractiveness of any human being on some imaginary scale of worth, and secondly to think that that judgment somehow equates to a compliment worthy of jumping in the sack. Ugh!

I must say though, I am in complete adoration of the way you have chosen to adorn your vehicle. Mine is sadly bare. Not by choice, but because I haven't yet been able to find stickers that really speak to me to put on it. Any suggestions?
belenen ══╣feral╠══
haha, I know. I thought about it later, reflecting on how I was wearing glasses, my hair was a mess, and I'm not by any stretch of the imagination similar to the current ideal, and I think what ze meant was, "You might be my ticket to a hot chick." bleh.

yay! I love stickering-up my car ;-) I made the two rainbow ones, the equality one and the feminist one (ordered them all off of cafepress), got most of the others from and got the libertarian one from cafepress. ;-) If you want any of the ones I made just let me know -- I'm happy to share!
wolfmare ══╣╠══
Bah... Some people are frustrating. I've met similar comments with an old standby that works in most cases, if somewhat inane... "Sorry, can't, I'll be busy. I have to walk my goldfish." That usually jawdrops people long enough for a quick escape from the general creepiness. Then again, I have anxiety issues around people I don't know.
belenen ══╣amused╠══
haha, nice comeback ;-)
(Anonymous) ══╣╠══
belenen ══╣ewwwww╠══
yeah :-p
febrile_lune ══╣╠══
It can be hard to know how to respond on the spot, at least for me. It's one of the reasons why I think they do it, in a way... to assert power. It works in a way because I sometimes freeze up. But that doesn't mean it's my fault (or the fault of anyone else who it happens to).

And yeah, it amazes me how many people think that I'm supposed to take it as a compliment when they say I am "hot" or something and act like I'm crazy when I don't.

I especially loved your last hypothetical line. It will be cool to keep that in mind!

♥ Also, I love your bumper stickers.
lovely_zombie - Lelouch
saturnsdaughter ══╣lovely_zombie - Lelouch╠══
You easily have the most bumper stickers on a car that I've ever seen. I like, I like.
queerbychoice ══╣╠══
You have wonderful bumper stickers - especially the ones you made yourself.
petite_mewsette ══╣╠══
I'm a bit puzzled about why you use gender-neutral terms to refer to Random Dude. Isn't 'Dude' a gendered term? You make a point to observe that he is male, and that he is a product of patriarchy. In your gender-neutral view, how are you using these labels to paint a picture of this person?

Your language evokes the archetypal Male Chauvinist Pig, and in this way it makes it more vivid for your reader to stereotype him as a "typical man" -- which is to say, into girl-on-girl action and generally tactless -- so I'm puzzled about how this sort of language fits into your gender neutrality?
ladywind ══╣╠══
~quietly raises hand with possible possibility~
Because in polite conversation the gender of the human in question is about as pertinent as zir hair colour.

But in this case, dude's being blond-Or-whateverhewas, so to speak, was a factor. And "patriarchy cloned" can just as easily refer to the female bodied beings this dude was hoping to hook up with. "Oh, whee! He noticed us! Let's be his sideshow! Maybe he'll stay forever! Wouldn't that be dreamy?"

~deadpan look~

Is one hypothesis, anyway.
petite_mewsette ══╣╠══
While I would mention this person's gender, it would cetainly -- whether I really meant it to or not -- reinforce the negative stereotype of guys and their one-track minds; it would work to my writerly advantage because my readership would have a more vivid image of this decidedly tackless dude, because that's a present cultural image of men. *ponders* If I wanted to be fair and allow people to judge this guy on the merit of his own creepiness and not on years' of cultural pigeonholing, maybe I wouldn't mention it, but you know... Er. Rambling, sorry.

My question is, if you -- like belenen does -- believe that we should take a gender-neutral approach, this person's being male has no bearing on being a boar. A rude, thoughtless person is a rude, thoughtless person -- mentioning his gender only seems to reinforce the "typical male bullshit" eyeroll, which would seem to be counter to belenen's purpose.
(Just in case I wasn't clear the first time!)

I dunno. I'm not trying to be rude... It just seems to me that if you are going to gender-neutral towards those you respect, you should also be gender-neutral towards those you don't...? :\ And I'm puzzled as to why belenen thought it was fair to point out this person's gender.
belenen ══╣analytical╠══
I debated, but it was kinda important to the story; it would actually have made sense for zir to ask if I was gay if ze was female (though it would still have been questionable on politeness), and might not have been objectifying if ze simply wanted to know if we had that in common. (though of course the 'you're hot' comment made that clear) It can be hard to find people who are also gay without being really blunt about it. But that wasn't this person's intention at all.

I still used gender-neutral pronouns because I wanted to emphasize that it wasn't "typical male bullshit" but rather "typical patriarchal bullshit" -- apparently my method failed, heh.
petite_mewsette ══╣╠══
Ohhhhhhhhh. That makes SO MUCH sense! :D Thank you for clearing it up for me! You're absolutely right -- their "are you gay?" comment takes on a very different colour if this person is female-oriented. <3
belenen ══╣vivacious╠══
no problem, thanks for your interesting questions! ;-)
phydeau ══╣╠══
Thank you for clearing that up. I was beginning to wonder, myself.

So not "typical" of males in the sense that all males are prone to that behavior, but that the behavior is more likely to be of males than females.
gender is a lie
belenen ══╣gender is a lie╠══
yessss exactly! ;-)
gender is a lie
belenen ══╣gender is a lie╠══
I think that people can and will stereotype on whatever they please, and gender is the favorite stereotype, so even mentioning a person's sex makes it easy for your average person to stereotype. Like I mentioned in my other comment, I thought it was important to the story so I included it. I suppose in that sense I made it easy for the reader to stereotype, but there is nothing I can do about that.

Dude is a gendered term; I'm using it in the sense that this person is a specific kind of person -- the kind who follows the training of masculinity, thus seeing female people as objects designed for use by males. I probably should have included this definition in the original entry -- I'm going to edit and put it in. Thanks for the suggestion!
divinemiss_em ══╣╠══
awesome car and stickers!! Not so awesome encounter. I´m sorry that happened to you :( But you seem to be dealing with it with *slight* amusement and detachment, so right on :)

I so very much want a sticker that says "I believe in God but I spell it Nature" That pretty much sums it up for me.
ladywind ══╣Raven╠══
re: bumper stickers-- my favourite so far is the "Tree Hugging Dirt Worshipper" my friend Cat has. Ze carries it proudly. I <3 it.

Of yours, I particularly appreciate the "Love God. Love Yourself. Love Others." Yes, this.
jenniology ══╣Smile!╠══
I loved your thought-through responses. *grins*
jesuisgringoire ══╣╠══
"I only have sex with feminists"

I totally have to use this some time.
NO good
shadowlily ══╣NO good╠══
Ohhh, I always find the right response all too late. :/ Sometimes the words come in handy later, though.. i'd love to quote you on i only have sex with feminists.

grrr, i hate the idea that tossing some compliment at a woman will make them O SO GRATEFUL they'll wnat to sleep with you!
darkpool ══╣╠══
People are funny. Not as bad as the guy in college who's reason I should go out with him was because HE was hot. (per him) I mean at least he complimented you to convince you instead of complimenting himself, lol. What a twit.
darkpool ══╣╠══
Oh and to the "if you were gay would you hook uo?" you should have asked "Oh,are you female?"
on communication, social justice, intimacy, consent, friendship & other relationships, spirituality, gender, queerness, & dreams. Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.
Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.