I Really Wasn’t Going to Do This… I Was Going to Step Away from the Whole Subject, Calmly and Maturely

Okay, here’s my question for Caitlin Fucking Flanagan: Who are all these feminists who aren’t putting out?

I know a lot of feminists. Many of them are married to men. Not a one of them is all, “Ha ha! I got married, so now I never have to have sex again! Fooled you, bucko!” Most of them, in fact, would be out the door if they weren’t getting enough sex.

And as a single feminist, I see consistent sex as one of the greatest potential advantages of marriage. Largely because I was born after the sexual revolution, I have never once needed to be cajoled into sex by someone I was actually attracted to–and I really don’t want to imagine what conditions would bring about such a dynamic in a long-term relationship. Sure, I’ve had the occasional genuine headache, or been too tired, or felt the flu coming on, whatever–but I’ve also been turned down for all the same reasons, about the same number of times, which ain’t all that many. If you are in a marriage in which one person is constantly begging for sex and the other just isn’t interested, the problem isn’t feminism, it’s your fucking marriage.

To demonstrate that my version of feminism is equally man-friendly and sex-positive, let me generously offer all frustrated 21st-century husbands this:

Kate’s Handy 2-Step Plan for Getting Your Feminist Wife to Fuck You

1) Quit acting like an entitled asshole.
2) Repeat Step 1 until she explodes with desire.

Trust me, it works. (And if it doesn’t work, then you can conclude the problem is her, and dump her frigid ass with my blessing. Just make sure you’ve truly exhuasted Step 1. )

Flanagan’s solution, however, is even simpler. Men: Don’t you ever change! Ladies: Think of England! But isn’t that just reinforcing the idea that women naturally consider sex a chore, and must marshal untapped depths of self-discipline to have it at all? And isn’t that, um, the fucking opposite of feminism?

I mean, one could argue that Flanagan’s actually trying to reinforce the tired notion that feminists are all man-hating lesbians, but she’s talking about married women, and these days, I don’t see a lot of man-hating lesbians marrying men. (And we have feminism to thank, in part, for their no longer feeling such cultural pressure to do so.) So it’s safe to assume that most women in recently acquired heterosexual marriages–at least most of those whose lifestyles might include knowing who the hell Caitlin Flanagan is–prefer sex with men, even if they’re feminists!

Thus, if they’re not putting out, then either A) we’re back to the theory that women just don’t like to fuck, which you really, really can’t pin on feminism, or B) something’s gone wrong with that relationship in particular. I’m not saying it’s necessarily all the guy’s fault (although I would love to see this guy face off with Flanagan on TV), but something’s gone wrong. And if we accept that B is probably more likely than A, then… feminists are assholes for wanting to fix that something, instead of adopting Flanagan’s “Nonconsensual sex is a family value!” policy?

There’s not a lot in this world that makes me inclined to agree with Wendy Shalit, but for the purpose of this argument, I’ll readily concede one of her basic points: feminism made it about a gazillion times easier for men to get laid. And the thing with Flanagan is, she seems to want to put herself in the same camp as Shalit–promoting the good old days when women were ladies–but she won’t concede that point. The whole “Suck it up and do your marital duty” thing, as an admonishment to feminists, is just prima facie absurd. Feminists have spent decades fighting for the right to fuck more. (And I, for one, am grateful.) The only agenda feminism’s advanced that runs contra to more fucking would be the one where women have a right not to be raped by anyone, including their husbands. And Flanagan’s not really creepy enough to be debating that, is she? Please tell me she’s not that creepy.

The more I think about this–and I really wish I could stop–the more I think Col nailed it: Flanagan is, at heart, that girl who will say anything to make boys like her. That’s the only explanation I can think of that would bring this “Feminists are all filthy… prudes!” argument within a light year of logic as I know it.