Friday, September 21, 2012

Assumptions and respect

A few days ago, Mina started a trend among bloggers and tweeters about what assumptions people make about us. I couldn't think of anything until the next day when some assumptions became very  apparent.

One thing I've noticed is, even though I disclose that I'm in a relationship with someone on my twitter profile, a lot of people assume:
  1. We are in an open relationship or, kinky means poly. I don't say whether we are or not, but there is an assumption that we are. Apparently being on twitter and talking about sex means we're both ready and open for any other partners. 
  2. I am looking for other partners. This is really an assumption I've seen men make. A lot. This isn't just saying how they think I'm attractive or how they love that I'm open minded, or even how what I post on twitter, tumblr, or my blog is sexy. No, it's completely assuming that I'm not only looking for a date, but that the way I want to meet someone is via twitter and it's totally normal to be asked out within 5 minutes of the first "Hi" they tweeted to me. It's presumptuous and rude, in my opinion. I just met you 5 minutes ago, why do you think this is enough information to go on so we can go have drinks?
  3. I want to sext with you. Obviously when I talk about MY sex life, that means I want to send you sexy messages so you can get off, right? No. I don't. I'm not here to be chat with you and help you cum. I post plenty of stuff on my blog that should help you, you don't need my personal interaction.
Now let's talk about respect. Making assumptions and acting on them is a rude. I guess that's a sign of our culture - the female is the prey, the male is the hunter? Is it assumed that because I like sex I'll be a slut for anyone and I'm just ready to jump into bed with ever offer that rolls in the door? This type of attitude isn't sex positive at all. It doesn't treat me with respect or even consider how I might take such an offer - or what your assumptions are about me and any other woman you randomly happen to meet.

Lately on tumblr I've been seeing more posts with captions that share this disturbing trend of disrespecting women:

"My bitch of a girlfriend sucking cock."
"Asian bimbo looks ready to fuck."
"Slut bitch just ready to be used and have her holes filled."

I'm not going to deny there's a time and place for name-calling. I love to use dirty talk myself - during sex where it can be incredibly hot. But these are captions on images of women that you know or don't know (I don't know which is worse). Do you know anything about her? Do you think she wants to be called or likes to be called this by a complete stranger?

Just because her image is out there does not mean its appropriate to label her how you see her. These labels aren't friendly or respectful. You're making assumptions off of one photograph and a fleeting moment. The Asian girl had large, obviously fake breasts - so that makes her a bimbo? And the other girls are obviously enjoying themselves during sex - why does that make them a bitch or a slut?

All I think about when I see these captions or labels on images is how women are seen as tools for one use: sexual gratification. They are dehumanized through words. It shocks me because its so inappropriate and yet I can't say I'm surprised. I'm disappointed, for sure.

But then, is assuming I want to jump you because you said, "Hey, ur sexy" on twitter any different?


  1. "But then, is assuming I want to jump you because you said, "Hey, ur sexy" on twitter any different?"

    What I really super-hate about this sort of exchange is when I send back a polite response and they send back something uncalled for and totally rude:

    Him: "Will you peg me mistress and fuck my ass?"
    Me: "No thanks, I'm not looking for a play partner right now."
    Him: "Ok. Fuck you. You're probably ugly anyway."

    If I had agreed, at least it's clear I'd be pegging a real asshole. Ha! :)

  2. I've only been on Twitter and blogging for three weeks so I have yet to experience this, but it is weird knowing that it will happen at some point. I guess that knowledge is disturbing in itself. Is it melodramatic to think it is part of rape culture? I suppose the negativity is. Certainly there must be an element of slut-shaming in there. At the very least sexism, dear lord how dear a woman have an opinion on the internet! *sigh*

  3. Great post! We've written extensively about assumption, but only with regard to the assumptions our vanilla friends and acquaintances might make about us. We've never given that much thought to the assumptions that the online community might make about us. But it's true: Since joining Twitter in 2011 we've been subject to many of the same assumptions you mention.