This is part 2 of “women-identified women”. Here is some insight about dealing with het relationships if you are a straight or bisexual woman, as well as how to deal with male attention. Since I am just one woman albeit with many experiences under my belt, this is nonetheless a small sliver of radical feminist analysis and proactive engagement. I know it comes off as a self-help post, that’s the point. Hopefully, it is useful in some way.
Know your boundaries, including political ones
Remember “the personal is political”? If you really think porn is horrible, it’s a bad idea to date men who use porn. You can ask potential dates or a lover if they use it; after all, it’s important for you to know. Ignorance may be bliss, but to remain ignorant is to do so at your own risk.
I mention this because all porn users have similar characteristics: they’re not ‘really there’ during sex, they desire harmful acts and have misogynistic views about women (the madonna-whore dichotomy is one). If you’ve experienced one, you’ve pretty much experienced them all. Why reward yet another pornsick male with sex or a relationship?
Yes, many men use porn, but a smaller dating pool is not going to hurt. We aren’t entitled to relationships any more than men aren’t entitled to sex.
It’s also okay to have requirements like “must have a job and house” or “must have a car”. Don’t settle for a scrub who will expect you to pay for everything, or mostly everything.
Have a support network
You don’t need him as much as you think you do. Make and keep friends, and socialize with them even when you’re in a relationship. They give you what men can’t – a platonic relationship for its own sake, without the expectation of sex.
It’s possible to have friends of the opposite sex without ever having sex with them. The belief that men and women can’t be friends because it’s inevitable they will have sex, regardless of sexual orientation or attraction, is a myth that needs to die.
Get a new hobby
If you have several hobbies, great! But if you don’t, you may want to get a new hobby to occupy your time, energy and interest.
Do you enjoy weed? Blaze it, it’ll make you feel better than any man could.
Videogames, if they are your thing, also have a bad reputation. Gamer girls exist, and let’s face it, video games are much healthier than porn will ever be.
Examine any flattered feelings
It’s okay to desire being wanted or seen as attractive. It is not okay to take male attention too seriously. Learn to feel good about yourself without needing men to do so. Of course, this is easier said than done. It is a long process of reclaiming your body from male colonization.
There are 2 things about male attention: sexual harassment and sour grapes. The first is either 1.) strange men yelling or commenting at you in the street or elsewhere, making unwanted sexual innuendos and advances, or 2.) men you are chatting with who compliment you at first, but when you reject them (or seem to reject them) they get nasty and call you slurs. Sour grapes, similarly, is just like Aesop’s fable: After being unable to get the ‘grapes’, a man decides they were sour and not worth it anyway.
Yes, you CAN pleasure yourself
Most men aren’t that good at sex. If you learn to pleasure yourself as much as you want, you won’t feel the urge to see men you would otherwise not be enthusiastic about.
Celibacy or being single for a while is underrated, and masturbation is seen as taboo. You don’t need to be in a relationship all the time.
Don’t give men more than they are worth
Not all men are serious relationship material. Not all men deserve monogamy. It’s okay to pursue sexual relationships without having to live together or eventually get married.
Use birth control and make use of abortion if needed
I cannot stress this enough: If you are having relationships with men and don’t want to be permanently attached to any of them for life, childfreedom helps ensure you won’t have a connection to them in the form of crotchfruit. Many feminists who become mothers drop their feminism as soon as they have children, particularly sons.
Realize that het relationships WILL interfere in radfem analysis
Sorry, but it’s true. Straight feminists by and large are biased, whether they are lesbophobic or pull a “not my Nigel”. All men are part of the problem and there’s no getting around this fact. Men demand that women make huge sacrifices for them if they want a serious relationship: giving up a career or other aspirations, having their children, getting married and changing their last name, giving up talking to exes as friends, etc. “Feminist until you’re married” also applies. The influence of male values can be insidious, and there are few things more influential than ‘sleeping with the enemy,’ a member of the oppressor class.