by Cunt Incognita (Vittu in Finland)
.. today’s lyrics: PJ Harvey — Hook
I met a man. In her 60’s.
A party arranged each year by a lake outside Budapest, Hungary. I had met with Dani the day before. After the talk: Of course — I drowned the usual rejection (personal, political) by drinking. Trying to hit on some muscular 22-year-old bartender. Just being obnoxious and blee-blaa. I don’t know why the constant rejection is so hard to take. If if if…
“If” Dani weren’t sexist. “If” she would remember that she said she loved when we met in Tampere. “If” she wouldn’t say 6 different things and expect me to know what is true at what moment. If. If. If. If only. Maybe then there would be some real communication. It wouldn’t be so scary to be open. Rejection would feel more okay to take. I wouldn’t “even out” my heart swelling with love and sexual affection [and: re-jec-tion] with a drink (2, 3, 4… more… and then starting to hit on whoever happens to be in my vicinity). Wanting the hurt to go away. Rejection – like a slap on my face. A “fuck your politics – and fuck you!”
[and this is real, and this is true: if i knew when to shut up, i would be able to get laid.]
Luckily I didn’t “get laid” in my drunkenness. I most likely ended up making a pathetic display of myself. Got home with some bad hick-ups. Not remembering going to bed. Waking up with a horrible head-ache. Going to this party by the lake.
I had a nice sharing caring talk with a woman who had lived 13 years in Hungary, involved with church activity, giving free english lessons. I talked about how men don’t shake hands with new women in the scene, if there’s any recognition given to our presence it comes in the form of kisses on the cheeks. Twice people had assumed that I must be there as the “girl-friend” of somebody, not going to a meeting or an event in my own right.
She talked of an occassion where she had been with her husband. A man greeting the husband, but when she reached out her hand the guy was behaving as if she had done something shameful or embarassing.
When I talked with the woman who had invited me to the party – a feminist friend – about this, she said that the refusal to shake hands was an “extreme” reaction. I disagree. I see it as a part of the normal everyday life. Not “extreme”. Normal.
The same woman wanted to explain a situation that happened at the party as “extreme” as well. The man in her 60’s. At first we had a talk. She clearly had a thing against feminists. Saying the usual things about us hating men. Talking about men being superior in strength and intelligence. [telling my feminist friend though that she was an exception to the rule: an intelligent woman. a statement that she was intelligent enough to refuse… “i hate and despise women, but you’re ‘okay’, you’re ‘different’, you’re ‘special'”… yeah. right.]
Later I observed the man sitting by the water. Fishing. Right next to her there were some stairs leading into the water. A woman going for a swim. The man saying something. Then, when the woman was in the water, the man aiming towards her with the fishing rod. Swinging a fish hook her way. I saw the situation, but made excuses in my head. Thinking that she wasn’t doing it on purpose.
The woman came out of the water. And the man made another comment. They got loud. My feminist friend walked over. Two women being loud. The man being loud.
So what happened was that the man had told the woman not to go in the water, cause she would “disturb the fish”. The woman figured it was a public beach, and that the man could have placed herself somewhere else than right next to some stairs leading into the water. The man was calling the woman “whore”. And later after she had left, the man was saying that the woman had gotten into the man’s “space” cause she wanted to make contact with her…
My feminist friend was both being loud, angry, and laughing at the statements made by the man. The girl-friend of the man was listening to the conversation. Saying that it was “interesting”. All the time I was making parallels in my mind to my own way of relating to sexism in people. How come the sexism in the man’s behavior is functioning as an instant repellent, while I’m wide open and available to a man like Dani – also horribly sexist, with degrading and demeaning behaviors to women.
(r) who’s shared 3 years of her life caring for Dani – a woman cleaning Dani’s pants when she’s been shitting on herself because of excessive drinking – stated with emphasis that: “Dani is a bad person”. Dani sometimes disappearing for days. Staying out of touch. Avoiding discussion. Now in contact once a week, once every two weeks. Still not taking the hurt of this woman seriously.
(r) said that if there would be a relation with Dani and me that the roles would be “reversed”, that Dani would have to get used to being in the “other” position. We agreed on Dani being a person dominating relations and situations. i said that from my point of view, Dani is not interested in relations where she can’t control. (and i would definitely not want to be “dominant”. the only thing i’m looking for is equal.)
I myself recently wrote on a forum in desperate attempts to try to relate to Dani how her behavior can affect persons she’s getting involved with intimately [this when Dani tried to convince me that talking through the problems is not a good way of dealing with things, instead she was saying that she wanted to take some time to start an intimate relation with another woman… saying that this would improve the relation between her and i…] My response to this was:
i feel for you. i do. STRONGLY. but as i said in one of the last chats. I LOVE MYSELF. which means i’m not going to be engaged to a relation with a person who doesn’t take my needs into consideration. and when i say there is a severe power imbalance and SEXISM going on, then this person should listen. NOT HUNT DOWN MORE WOMEN to drag through the same ordeal that i’ve gone through. NOT WITHOUT BEING HONEST WITH THEM. saying that “one of the women who i’ve been intimate with is wanting to deal with the problems, but i don’t and she’s said that her interpretation of what’s going on is this”:
“i’m the type of guy who likes the falling in love part, like i can put a lot of energy into making that happen, but after that i kind of just hang around in the relation, and when there’s a problem i put my feelings first, even though i might be the one who caused the bad feelings with my actions, right now i’m having a severe conflict with X amount of women, and i’m not taking their concerns into consideration, i’m focusing on trying to heal myself, by spending time with you instead. but if there will be a problem, that i can’t face. i’m not gonna face it. but i will be by your side forever and ever and ever, if you just accept me exactly the way i am. and if you want to have intimacy and share love with me, it’s good if you stay in a submissive giving insecure fearful mode, cause otherwise i won’t open up to you. i have problems with domination, and can easily take over a situation with my behavior (sexually, emotionally), and i’m a combination of being dominant-spontaneous-mad which can be really harmful if what i want to do is not really going in line with respectful caring and sharing behavior. i strangled one woman in bed, and i don’t really know why. and i was also mentally abusive towards a woman i had a 3 year long couple relation with, and she is still suffering from it. i’ve also used sex-appeal to control and dominate women. i’ve been told i have problems with sexism, but i’m not doing anything concrete to deal with it. and here is the name and number and email of this woman in case you feel that you would like to have support in your reality when there’s a conflict with me 050 …. milla@something..”
Back to my feminist friend. The lake. The man. The woman who had been refused a handshake some years ago. Made to feel that she should be ashamed for assuming that she should be treated as an equal. — This woman had been very sensitive to my situation. Me: Once again being put down by Dani. Refusal to talk about the sexism in our relation. Political and personal rejection. This woman fully recognized the hurt in the breach of trust when it’s someone you feel for intimately who has had abusive behavior towards you. [Her sensitivity to my situation felt like balm to my soul.] The additional level of hurt and humiliation when it’s someone you love who hurts you. Wounds going deeper than the occasional man throwing a fish hook after you whenever she feels her territory hasn’t been respected. Invaded. A woman being a “whore” for going to a public beach and going for a swim. “Looking” for the abusive attention of the man.
How to refuse the patriarchal reality? How to relate? One reality fully supported. The other called ‘insane’. I met a man. And what some feminists want to name “extreme” I would call display of fully accepted and normative behavior. Our everyday reality. So normal that we swallow it daily: Fish Hook and Line.