D.C. blogger The Sexist thinks we have sexuality issues, and answers our 15 Questions on getting laid and finding a (wo)man with that, plus… what the feminist?!
Name: Amanda Hess
Position: Sex and gender blogger at the Washington City Paper.
Who’s your favorite couple, living or dead, real or fictional?
Jack and Kate from Lost! Just kidding, they’re the worst — Sawyer and Juliet forever. But my favorite couple (dead) is Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre. “Hell is other people” is maybe not the most ringing endorsement of human relationships, but they were cute!
In one sentence, what do you do as The Sexist?
I write about all the big and little things that make our sex lives and our ideas about gender messy… and I make fun of people I don’t like.
For the record, what the ‘f’ is a feminist?
A feminist is someone who thinks it’s not feminist to instruct other people what it means to be a feminist. Seriously! Sarah Palin identifies as a feminist now, and we all have to sort of smile and nod because we’re not allowed to eject anyone from the club — there are enough people who want nothing to do with us, so we take whoever we can get. ‘Feminist’ can mean a lot of things now.
Does it mean you pay for dates?
I think it means that you arrive at a pay schedule based on a complicated algorithm derived from your salaries, who requested the date, and who paid last time. Usually you just put two credit cards down.
Have you ever offended anyone on a date?
I’m from that generation of humans that ‘doesn’t really date,’ so the few times I’ve been on one of those two-strangers-getting-to-know-each-other-before-doin’-it situations, I’m not sure I’ve gotten the chance to truly offend. Because I say I’m a ‘feminist,’ though, people I don’t know well are always on their tip-toes, expecting that they’re going to offend me. I write about a lot of offensive stuff for a living, so I’m really hard to offend.
We have a lot of ‘sexually empowered’ contributors. Our hump day confessions are proof that sometimes women just want to get laid. Why is that so taboo?
Because some people still subscribe to a commodity model of sexuality, where a woman’s precious internal chastity orb is depleted every time she ‘gives it up’ to a new guy. Men, on the other hand, rack up points by claiming these chastity bits when we discard them. The sad result is that when women feel good, we’re supposed to feel bad about it. When people are forced to really examine why they feel this way, a lot of them (both men and women) don’t really agree with this, but the cultural narrative is still really hard to shake.
We heard D.C. has a street harassment problem. In our New York headquarters, it gets comedic. Best line ever: ‘If I had you — you know I’d be Obama, right?!’ A friend of the site wonders the success rate of men who stand on the corner all day and holler at women. Thoughts?
If you define ‘success’ at being able to spend some quality time with a pretty lady who walks past you on the street, the success rate is probably next to nothing. These guys are not getting dates or legitimate phone numbers. But if you define ‘success’ at being able to get a pretty lady to look at you for two seconds, or to react to your line, or to show on her face that she’s either amused and/or disgusted by you, the success rate shoots up to like 100 percent. Kind of like how kids act out because they want attention from their parents, even if the attention is negative.
What is the biggest crock of bull you’ve heard lately on sex and gender?
That Elena Kagan is either gay, or a desperately sad unmarried older lady who can’t find a man who would ever love her. She’s in the position to shape the lives of every American for the rest of her life, and we’re talking about whether she’s depressed that she’s not married?
When they start trying to turn our vaginas into weapons, you know rape is a much bigger problem than even a million barbed tampons could ever solve. The skinny jeans thing is a whole other level of victim-blaming — if you wear a short skirt, it’s easy access! If you wear tight pants, the access is too difficult! Whoever can invent the bottoms that will prevent women from being blamed for their own rapes will make millions.
What did you think about Little Girls Going Hard On Single Ladies?
First impression: These girls are awesome, tenacious dancers. Second Impression: OH GOD THE CHILDREN. Third Impression: The adults who are watching this video and forwarding it around in order to indulge in the ‘scandal’ of oversexed 7-year-olds (myself included) probably have a lot more problems with their sexuality than these girls ever will.
It’s time for our game of ‘Can I Get a Man With …’
Male Studies certificate? — You cannot get a man with the Male Studies certificate, but you can get a ‘male.’ Subtle difference, but males do a bit more barbecuing and penis-measuring than regular men.
Heidi Montag’s boobs? — You can get Spencer Pratt with those babies, but you may never get the feeling in your face back.
Female Condom? — I’m not sure you can get a man with a female condom, but if you do happen to find a man, it can help you not get herpes!
Walgreens home DNA kit? (if they hadn’t nixed it) — This thing was like the FreeCreditReport.com of drugstore products. If you feel the need to entrust your DNA sample with some shit you can buy at Walgreens, it’s probably not going to end up producing any good news for you.
OK. Feministly speaking, what do you think is the biggest obstacle keeping women from ‘getting a man with that’?
Honestly, I think it’s all the pressure our culture puts on women and their relationship status. Women are constantly being fed messages about how to appropriately navigate relationships, and they’re coming at us from all sides. Oprah does it, our parents do it, feminists do it, everybody does it. If it’s not “you need to do (blank) to get a man with that,” it’s “you need to find a career before you even think about getting a man with that,” and then it’s “you can’t go too far down the career path or you’ll be too old to ever get a man with that,” and then it’s “you need to be a strong, confident, Sex-and-the-City-watching, cosmopolitan-swilling woman who is never ever freaked out about whether she’s getting too old to get a man with that,” and then it’s “you need to get a man with that right now, if you ever want to get a child with that.” It’s a whole bunch of misguided advice that’s just being dumped on all of us, as if women are alike. We’re not. It’s okay if we all go about getting a man with that in our own way on our own time — and also, some of us are interested in getting a woman with that!
The Sexist will return Friday with commentary on her favorite confessions from canigetamanwiththat.com. In case you missed it, read last month’s 15 Questions.