Equal oppourtunity sexism!

Well, I guess all those facetious requests for equal-oppourtunity patronising, stereotype-based advice were finally heard…

’20 Things Your Boyfriend Should Forgive You For’.

and

22 Things You Should Forgive Your Boyfriend For’.

So, first up: things you did that your boyfriend should forgive you for. These include suffocating him with your nail polish fumes, and cheating in him with a move star.

What do you need to forgive him for? Wearing “mandals” and leaving the cap off the toothpaste.

In all seriousness, though, some of the tips are, as Melissa points out, are actually worrying. You should forgive him for repeatedly trying to talk you into anal sex? Um, nup. Any person (male or female) who badgers the other for something sexual (that clearly they aren’t saying yes to, given that they are trying to talk you into it repeatedly) doesn’t deserve a free pass for it. Have you heard of consent? Because it isn’t being given. Asking is one thing; repeatedly trying to talk someone into something is another.

And lots of these seems to be just veiled go-aheads to excuse some genuinely shitty behaviour; behaviour that would be shitty in or out of a romantic relationship. Throwing away his nasty shoes that he loves for no reason? “Accidentally” deleting a recorded program of his so you can make room for something of yours? Reading the subjects and senders of mail in his inbox just because it’s open on the screen? Apparently we are supposed to be ok with people doing passive-aggressive stuff in relationships.

And some of the tips are just pointless, and assume that all men and all women do the same things and feel the same way. Why assume that a woman wouldn’t already be ok with her boyfriend looking at porn? Maybe they watch together, or she watches, or he isn’t ok with porn. I suppose that, given this is an advice list after all, it will pretty much be solely based on stereotypes, but I’m sure there are some genuine tips on this topic in there somewhere. Although the thing about forgiveness is that it really is very, very person-dependent, and for some people the toilet seat up/toothpaste cap off/15 minutes late without a text wont be a big deal, and for others it will be a total dealbreaker. So I suppose it is really a case of trying to churn out a list of definitive answers for a question where there isn’t one. Still, I’m not down with these lists at all.

3 Comments

  1. Boganette says:

    I think the list is ridiculous for another reason: I mean I call Mr Boganette a selfish prick when he’s being a selfish prick, I say I’m fine when I’m not if I can’t be bothered discussing why I’m upset, I wear his clothes whenever I want, I have long hair therefore it will block the drain, I stay up and read if I want to stay up and read, I’ve replaced some of his clothes that were falling apart, I use his shaving cream all the time, I always delete his poker shows on MySky when there’s something I want to record.

    So I’m an awful partner. I mean never mind that that’s what being in a relationship is about. Just as I don’t have to apologise and seek forgiveness for those things he doesn’t have to apologise and seek forgiveness for: leaving the seat up, wanking, wearing ugly shoes (he wears old man shoes and I think that’s cute), working too much (funny how that wasn’t on the other list – women never work too much amirite?), not liking my food (he hates the food I cook that’s why I don’t cook), being too drunk to screw (that’s not a male-only thing y’know), “lame” (ughh) presents, looking at other human beings, purposely deleting my recordings of America’s Got Talent because he thinks it’s a stupid show….I mean I could go on – but why bother. I mean fucking seriously if you’re in a long term relationship nobody gives a crap when the other person farts. Let alone expects them to apologise and be forgiven for it. For God’s Sake. Or maybe we’re just a weird couple.

    To me the list is ridiculous because it seems like it’s written by someone who has never been in a relationship.

    But I do find the anal and strip club comments pretty fucked up. It’s like there’s all these ridiculous nonsense examples and then BAM two completely fucked ones. Those two issues are ones you should actually sit down and talk about properly. Not just “forgive” them for doing those things without discussion.

    • steph says:

      Yeah, I totally agree with you: it’s like “here are a bunch of stereotypical things that dudes and chicks do and those things SUCK BIG TIME and when you’re in a relationship those things will drive you CRAZY, but you should forgive the person”. It’s really just a list of things that people do that don’t really warrant a mention, like farting or leaving the toilet seat up or sometimes cooking food that sucks. Stuff that just is.

      Except for the few that are, as you said, issues that really are possibly crossing boundaries/comfort zones/lines of consent for fucks sake. Those warrant some discussion, not “forgiveness”.

      • Amanda says:

        Oh absolutely, to both of you. Putting farting and pushing for anal sex into the same “badness” catagory in a relationship is yet another way society smooths over real issues, like sexual agency, and autonomy in a relationship. We may have made rape in a relationship illegal 40 years ago, but it’s still inherent, niggling little things like this posited as the “battle of the sexes” (I really REALLY hate that term) that muddies it up for agency and autonomy.

        Good FSM, the discussion about “forgiving for asking about anal sex” is a discussion all in itself.
        1) “How about we try something different, like anal?”
        “No, I’m not comfortable with that.”
        “Ok hon, that’s cool. Sorry, didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable”
        “That’s ok. We can talk about other sexual things tho, but later.”

        2) “I have lube! Let’s sodomize!”
        “No”
        “Awwwww goooo oooon. You know you’ll love it…”
        “No, it makes me uncomfortable”
        “*whine*”
        “I said no, and pushing me to do it won’t make it happen”
        “*WHIIIIIIIINE*”
        “What don’t you understand about the word NO”
        “Imma gonna write a blog post about it and tell the whole world and your mother you’re a slutwhoreprude!!11! Then I’m gonna sulk and make your life generally miserable, withhold money/sex/car, talk shit to your friends, maybe beat you, until I get what a I want!”
        “… Yeah, no coersion in that, whatsoever…”

        Two different things, dearest social bloggers.