Dating and Dickpics: Episode 13

13. Unlucky for some. But as someone with seemingly endless bad luck, I like to think 13 can signify some sort of change.

Well, unfortunately, there’s no change here. I was recently at work on a Wednesday morning, quite happily tapping away on my keyboard and coding paperwork, minding my own business and listening to Drake (obviously) when my phone vibrated against the cool, hard wooden desk I’d placed it on. I figured it was one of my friends trying to arrange plans for the weekend so I didn’t hesitate to open it.

It was an anonymous dickpic.

my eyes my eyes.gif

Scarred for life

I’m not entirely sure what’s worse: a dickpic from a man you know or a dickpic from a complete stranger. Both are intolerable in my eyes and both are embarrassing but perhaps more so from the stranger because they are under the false illusion that somehow, their penis is so magnificent and aesthetically pleasing that you will jump on the next tube to their place naked.

I told the dick in question that his actions were repulsive and that I was not interested. I told him the sight of his ghastly manhood made me want to vomit. He proceeded to call me a whore. Right, I’m the whore. You’re the one who sent a picture of your genitals to a stranger, but I’m the whore. I preceded to destroy his logic by telling him that clearly he’s the whore out of the two of us because he’s so desperate for sex that he’s flashing his penis to an anonymous person. He then used some colourful language and after telling him to have a quick one-two pump in his hand because that’s all he could manage, I blocked him.

Lesson? I will always call you out on your bullshit and I will always have the last word if you dare disrespect me.

cersei-lannister-gifs

Queen of Effortless Clapbacks aka me

There was another guy who decided to stumble his fuckboy-ways back into my life. He texted me after months and months of silence. His excuse? He’s ‘choleric’. In case you wondered, he’s talking about one of the Four Temperaments which have been wholeheartedly disproved. This was his oldy-worldy way of saying ‘I’m a fuckboy and I’m only messaging you because I want sex and for some reason, I think that I’m so special you’ll break two and a half years of celibacy for me’.

Any guesses on how I dealt with that?

Did I:

  • A: Express my wonder at him texting me again and partake in some polite conversation?
  • B: Make it crystal clear that I am looking for something serious, not a party in my pants?
  • C: Explain how much of a fuckboy he is, only for him to beg for another chance?
  • D: C, but sass him down and block his sorry ass?

The answer is D, because I don’t suffer fools gladly. I was a little shocked that he had bothered to text me but then again, if a fuckboy wants sex, they will magically remember the number of anyone they ever met with a pulse. I don’t think he actually remembered me. He did vaguely describe the night I met him but I really could’ve been any girl he met in any bar in London. He was horny and desperate. I am neither of the two and I have exacting standards.

dfwm

I’ll call you out if you’re a fuckboy

Remember how earlier on I was talking about how 13 is unlucky for some? It seems that this installment of D&D shows a change in luck, for I was recently with someone who met my exacting standards. We spent some time together and it was absolutely magical. It was, quite simply, the best weekend of my life (and I’m happy to say he also enjoyed it). He’s a good friend of mine and someone I feel extremely comfortable with. I don’t have to pretend to be someone I’m not. I don’t have to be perfect. My imperfections aren’t a big deal to him. He makes me smile uncontrollably and laugh like a complete goofball. The best bit? I managed to successfully introduce him to my real, true love, Grey’s Anatomy. It’s all very early days but I’m excited and for once, I’m happy. Long may it continue. And although I love all of my readers dearly, I hope this is the last Dating & Dickpics I have to write in a very, very long time.

cheesy

It wasn’t as cheesy as this but considering I’m a 20-something Bridget Jones, this picture seemed appropriate (note: I am cheesy)

Nicki vs Taylor: Don’t Want None of Your White Feminism, Hun (CultNoise)

30th July 2015

You couldn’t go on the internet last week without hearing about it. Nicki Minaj and Taylor Swift went head-to-head on Twitter and the social media world was at war, either being on #TeamNicki or #TeamTaylor. Here’s a quick recap on what went down:

  • Minaj wrote a series of tweets (that didn’t name anyone specifically) but pointed out that she was being overlooked for award nominations because she is a “different” type of artist and, if she was mainstream, she would probably be nominated for doing the same thing that “other” artists do. Minaj did not name Swift in the tweets, although some Swifties say that it was obvious Minaj was referring to Swift because of her tweet which said “if your video celebrates women with very slim bodies, you will be nominated for vid of the year”.
  • Swift replied to Minaj, saying that Minaj had targeted her and was uncharacteristically pitting women against each other.
  • Minaj corrected Swift and invited her to join the discussion about race and the music industry. Swift missed Minaj’s underlying point about racism in the music industry and interpreted the argument as a personal attack against her.
  • Minaj got the final word in by comparing Swift taking on Spotify and being praised to Minaj, Beyonce and other black artists who were criticized for being associated with Tidal.
  • Minaj favourited loads of tweets that supported her argument and pointed out why she thought Swift’s actions were wrong.
  • Kim Kardashian “accidentally” tweets a picture of her with that infamous Kanye outburst as the caption. She later took it down, claiming not to know anything about the Twitter feud.
  • Katy Perry, Queen of Cultural Appropriation, gets involved with a backhanded yet valid tweet aimed at Swift about capitalizing on rivalry between women.
  • Swift goes quiet and later apologises in a tweet directly to Minaj. But Swift still didn’t seem to recognise or truly understand that as a black woman, Minaj has a harder time in the music industry than Swift will ever have, which was the underlying point of Minaj’s rant.

As a woman of colour, I am #TeamNicki on this. However, I do like Taylor Swift’s music and, in all fairness, Minaj probably did indirectly point to Swift’s video, ‘Bad Blood’, being nominated because the video does indeed feature a plethora of slim women. However, Minaj was making a general point and it is one that a lot of women of colour seem to face – we are often overlooked. Had Swift actually been an ally of Minaj’s, she would have stepped in and spoken in favour of Minaj, acknowledging her own privilege as a white woman and then commenting positively in accordance with Minaj’s tweets. If she was an ally, she would have agreed that yes, Minaj and other black women and women of colour face more hardship than white women in the music industry.

Following the Twitter spat, many began to accuse Swift of being a white feminist and not an intersectional feminist. Many expressed that they didn’t believe that Swift particularly cares about the struggles of being a woman of colour because she is a white, privileged woman and cannot truly empathise with the specific struggles black women face in the music industry.

Before any “but Beyoncé got nominated” comments are mentioned: this is also missing the point. Yes, Beyoncé got nominated and, my god, she deserves it and then some! But Minaj’s point was that on the whole, black women face a great deal of struggle in the music industry because of their blackness, which is something that they should certainly never have to hide or apologise for.

Minaj was trying to call out the institutional racism that still runs within the foundations of MTV and other music companies. And she was trying to call on white women to try to understand the plight of women of colour in music. If we compare white and black women  in music, it’s clear that there are still traits of racism in the industry. Katy Perry appropriated black culture and was considered cool and different for doing so. But as soon as someone like Minaj does something inspired by her own culture, she is branded as “hood” and viewed negatively.

Swift, by responding to Minaj in an egotistical way, completely missed the point. In that situation, what Minaj really needed a tweet from her friend supporting her and other black women in the industry, and not a tweet from Swift that twisted Minaj words, changed the intent and meaning of the message she was trying to get across, and attempted to make Minaj out to be the bad guy.

I’m not saying Nicki Minaj is without her faults and no one’s feminism is ever 100% perfect. I even wrote a piece critiquing ‘Anaconda’ and I stand by that. But at least Minaj’s feminism is more inclusive than Swift’s.

It can sometimes come across as if Swift almost bends feminism to suit her. Even if she doesn’t mean to be this way, her views can be problematic and then some.

The most ironic thing about this Twitter storm is that Swift tried to call out Minaj for pitting women against other women just because Minaj was calling out a very evident truth – that white women are appreciated and acclaimed more than black women in the music industry. I can’t help but think, how can Swift accuse someone of that when ‘Bad Blood’ is seemingly all about women rivalry and she’s making ridiculous amounts of money from it? ‘Bad Blood’ is all about women against women. And although I abhor Katy Perry, she made the exact same point in her (all be it poorly worded) tweet and she does have an extremely valid point that Swift essentially capitalized on the concept of pitting women against each other.

Moreover, why can’t Minaj call women out if they’re being problematic in terms of their feminist views? It doesn’t mean she’s pitting women against women. It just means that she is trying to educate and share with other women to encourage them to learn and attempt to understand more about the struggles of women from other cultures and backgrounds.

Swift used her version of feminism to belittle Minaj’s initial argument, which was valid and something that any woman of colour has experienced at least once. Swift waded into an argument that she didn’t fully understand and tried to make it about herself. She then apologised which Minaj graciously accepted and since then, the situation has been diffused. However, I think a mere apology and no other effort to understand the issue isn’t going to be enough. I truly hope Swift learns from her mistakes, reads up about intersectionality and the plight of black women and other women of colour, stops listening to white feminism and truly makes an effort to empathise with the struggles that black women face everyday.

Her apology should be just the beginning of Swift learning about real, intersectional and all-inclusive feminism. Perhaps the next time she tweets, she’ll check her privilege.

(Originally Published on CultNoise Magazine – currently under reconstruction)

Dating and Dickpics: Episode 5

It’s that time again — time to laugh at the ridiculousness that is my love life. A couple of things first, though.

  • Bridget Jones’ Diary was on television the other night and of course, I watched it. That film resonates with me so much, except I don’t think I’ll quite get the happy ending that she does. Also, I wear better knickers than her.
  • I’ve started seeing someone. More about that in a bit.
  • It didn’t work out with the guy I mentioned in D&D #4.
  • Dating websites just keep delivering absolute treasure.
  • I would definitely bling Drake’s hotline.
I wouldn't stop blinging his hotline

I wouldn’t stop blinging his hotline

Right, so the whole ‘I’m kind of seeing someone thing’. I don’t really know what label we should have but it’s early days and we’re not seeing anyone else. To be honest, knowing what I’m like, I probably couldn’t even find any other person to date me. He’s a nice guy, quite sweet and very polite. On our first date, I really thought it had potential because he was so gentlemanly.  It still does have potential and I guess he does make me happy. But do you ever find someone you like but wish certain things were different? I’m scared. For those of you who watch Grey’s Anatomy, I’m basically like Dr Cristina Yang. I’m not very forthcoming and whilst I like romance, some of it makes me cringe and at times it can just be too much if it’s constant. Cristina freaks out a lot when guys make sweeping gestures because she’s just not used to it and I’m much the same. I think I just need to get used to it. It’s early days so I’m sure with time, I’ll loosen up a little.

She would be my person

She would be my person

Last time, I introduced you all to a cute guy who I was friends with and was going out on a couple of dates with. We had a bit of a thing, I guess, and things were going well. However, he was a bit of a douche in the end, but I had a good time nonetheless. He started playing up so I broke the whole thing off. Besides, I think we both got what we wanted in the end. The funny thing is, as soon as I broke it off with him, he started becoming extremely interested in me, to the point where he was trying to get involved in conversations I was in, constantly looking for any excuse to get my attention etc. It was entertaining, then it became frustrating because guys always want what they can’t have and I wasn’t prepared to go down that route again where there was no promise of anything more serious. I’ve happily moved on but according to various sources, the same can’t be said for him.

As you all know, I go on dating sites. I name and shame. Anyway, before meeting the guy I’m currently dating, I was in conversation with another guy. I didn’t find him physically attractive but I thought we had some things in common so exchanging numbers couldn’t do much harm. However, he went full-blown clingy. He would say the creepiest shit and then try and retract it. He actually thought that he was fourth on my list of ‘ideal men’ (after Tom Hiddleston, Maluma and Drake) although I pretty much told him he had no chance. He was already talking about what we should do on our third and fourth dates despite the fact that he we hadn’t even been on our first date. It was all too much and besides, his personality wasn’t making up for his lack of looks. I politely declined going on a date with him despite him begging to make his ‘wish’ come true and go on a date, even as friends. Correct me if I’m wrong, but friends don’t go on dates, right? All that aside, he wasn’t the kind of friend I needed. Getting ahead of yourself is never attractive to anyone of any sex. You don’t start planning a whole life together when you haven’t even been on one date!

Unimpressed by clingy men

Unimpressed by clingy men

Now, for some gems from dating websites. I’ve screenshotted some absolutely wonderful conversations for you to marvel at.

What a twat

What a twat

Obviously, I’ve written that I’m a feminist on my profile. It’s an important aspect of my life and I can’t even bother considering someone who isn’t a feminist or holds feminist ideals. This guy clearly has no idea what ‘feminism’ actually means. Feminism does focus on men’s issues but guess what? A movement doesn’t have to justify itself to men in order to have meaning to people. The reason why ‘feminism’ is called ‘feminism’ is because women have been oppressed because men have been given all the privilege. However, feminism nowadays does address issues that men face. After all, it’s meninists who make fun out of male rape victims, whereas feminists help male rape victims. And what’s wrong with a movement that promotes women when all of society has promoted men throughout history. I couldn’t even be bothered to argue with this ignorant bastard because it would’ve drained my energy. If you’re that ignorant, I’m not going to help you.

Are you kidding?

Are you kidding?

‘Exotic’ is not a compliment. It is a fetishisation of someone’s race. It’s a microaggression. It means that you’re only interested because I look foreign and ‘different’ to the ‘norm’, therefore you feel like you need to conquer me in order to try something ‘different’. I am not a sexual fantasy, I am a person.

Why do men think this is acceptable online?

Why do men think this is acceptable online?

‘kinkdaddy81’, as he fashions himself, is a prime example of sexual harassment online. Whilst he’s not the worst I’ve encountered, I find it positively bewildering that men think they can go on a dating website and ask people for sex. You wouldn’t do that face to face, so why are you doing it behind a screen? It doesn’t make it acceptable. It is harassment. Also, he wants to ‘introduce’ me to the scene? Why are you assuming that as a young woman, I don’t already know about that scene? There is a wider problem of men thinking it’s perfectly fine to sexually proposition people online. It is harassment, especially when you’re bombarded by scores of men saying similar things. It can make you feel unsafe even in your own home.

So charming, much wow

So charming, much wow

This guy had a real issue. He had an attitude problem and then some. I didn’t reply a few times, mainly because I don’t spend all my time on the website and I don’t check it every day. He kept bombarding me with messages and finally thought the best way to get a woman to reply was by swearing in the first line of his next message. Surely if someone hasn’t replied, it’s best to think ‘wow, maybe they have a life which means they’re not replying to fuckboys like me the whole time!’ or ‘maybe they’re busy’? Or even ‘maybe they’re not interested but I won’t push them’. How can he think things are standing anywhere after the stalkerish amount of messages he sent and the swearing? It’s funny how some men think that the world revolves around them and that as women, we are absolutely 100% required to every fuckboy that exists. Wow. Masculinity’s so fragile.

Dating and Dickpics: Episode 4

It’s been a long time coming! I apologise for the severe lack of dating mishaps on my part; I have been swamped with work and other stuff, such as my brother’s wedding (which was pretty epic).

This episode brings a mark of change. For once, there’s more dating and less dickpics. Well, perhaps not dating, but less fuckboy antics.

Less bad behaviour by boys makes me happy

Less bad behaviour by boys makes me happy

So as I mentioned, I went to my brother’s wedding in Italy. I actually ended up travelling the whole day on my birthday so we didn’t really celebrate, although the airline did provide us with champagne during the flight and the hotel we were staying at made us a cake. Anyway, I wasn’t at home with my best friends so I decided to celebrate the day after landing back in London.

Naturally, me and my best friend decided on going clubbing as it’s a common pastime of ours.

Salsa! in London, our favourite haunt

Salsa! in London, our favourite haunt

We headed to our usual spot. The only problem? We were both completely sober when we walked in at around 11pm. My best friend had just gotten off her shift at work and I just hadn’t gotten round to predrinking. We decided to order some cocktails and sit down until we felt the alcohol flowing through our veins. We had to swat off endless amounts of creepy guys whilst we were downing our drink. One middle-aged guy actually took to following my best friend around the night club until I told him where to go.

Whilst we were nursing some drinks at our table, a guy approached us. Immediately, I reckoned he had approached us because he was looking to get in our good books. He introduced himself and didn’t invade our space like the other blokes that night had. I wasn’t attracted to him, though. Physically, he wasn’t my type.

Maluma. Maluma is my type.

Maluma. Maluma is my type.

He wasn’t creepy or particularly threatening like the other guys who had approached us all night so we started talking to him. He was a pretty interesting guy, very funny and well-spoken. I was already starting to like him. He had great ideas and opinions about a range of topics. After staying with us for one drink, he returned to his friends in the VIP area but told us he’d be back to come and chat to us. Sure enough, he did. He bought us drinks and shots whilst we talked some more and then he invited us to the VIP area where me and him really got talking. We struck a really good rapport and something strange happened. Suddenly I was quite attracted to him. Now I’ll admit that I’m very shallow when it comes to liking guys, but I’d spoken to him a lot that night and he just had such a sparkling personality. Sure enough, we kissed. I was just really infatuated with his personality which is something that has never happened before.

Pucker up

Pucker up

We stayed together for the rest of the night until it was time for us to part ways. He tried his best to convince me to go to the after party but I knew it wouldn’t be worth it — I was tired and just wanted to crash on my best friend’s sofa for the night. We exchanged numbers and said goodbye. In less than 10 minutes he rang me to make sure me and my best friend had gotten a taxi okay, which was a very sweet gesture.

We texted pretty much every day since that night for about a week until I decided to delve a little further. After some basic Facebook stalking, I discovered the shocking truth: he was 35.

35.

Bearing in mind I’m only 22, I was pretty freaked out. He didn’t look or act 35 when I met him; I’d assumed he was like 31 at the most. I mean, he’s closer to 40 than 20. He had asked me out on a date but I decided that it was best to nip it in the bud before anything could get out of control on his part. We do text here and there but it’s the basics, like ‘how was your weekend’ etc.

The only mid-30s guy I'd date

The only mid-30s guy I’d date

There is another guy, however. He’s only recently come on the scene. I like him. He’s funny, sweet and he has this whole other sexy side to him which I really didn’t expect. He’s cute as hell. It’s early days yet so I can’t really comment any further. It might just be a flash in the pan, or it might go somewhere. At least he doesn’t think I’m a potato.

And finally, some general points:

  • Someone sent me explicit images via Facebook despite my protestations. I posted it in a public post on Facebook. They took down my post but didn’t suspend the guy’s account or anything. Sexism much? Why was it okay for him to send me those things but when I name and shame, I’m slammed for it?
  • I met Olivier Giroud at work. Solid 10/10. Bit rude but very handsome in real life.
  • I also met Alfie Allen AKA Theon Greyjoy/Reek from Game of Thrones. He’s really tiny in real life. I’m almost certain he’s shorter than me.
  • I’m really sick of people fetishising women of colour.
  • Does Malik think he’s going to get far with lines like ‘provide you sex and happy life if marry’? Who are these randoms on Twitter?
No but srsly, wtf

No but srsly, wtf


My Anaconda Don’t Want None…of that Body Shaming, Hun.

“Because he don’t like ’em boney, he want something he can grab/Oh my gosh, look at her butt”

The above lines are from the recent hit single ‘Anaconda’ by Nicki Minaj. Personally, I love and approve of celebrating bodies of all shape and size and have been an advocate for body-positivity for years; just not at the expense of other body types.

Fat-shaming has been an epidemic over the past decade, possibly longer. Even walking down the street, we are bombarded by airbrushed and photoshopped billboards depicting oversexualised women, usually digitally altered to appear thinner than in real life. We are constantly fed articles in magazines and the tabloids about the perfect body size and shape, how to lose a ridiculous amount of weight and how we should all be dieting depending on what season or holiday is around the corner. However, we now face a new menace: songs with skinny-shaming lyrics.

Nicki Minaj’s ‘Anaconda’ may seem fairly innocent (except for the sexualised overtones), but the lyrics are damaging. Her lyrics promote skinny-shaming and feed on the vulnerability of people with BDD and eating disorders. Having been anorexic for two years, I can tell you that these lyrics are triggering and damaging. Anyone with severely low self-esteem and an eating disorder may find these a trigger to harm themselves in some way. The line ‘he can tell I ain’t missin no meals’ is particularly triggering and could initiate some sufferers into a spiral of further self-loathing.

nicki-minaj-anaconda

Minaj is not the only one to come out with a song containing derogatory remarks towards thin women. Meghan Trainor’s song ‘All About That Bass’ contains the following lyrics:

“Yeah, my mama she told me don’t worry about your size/She says, “Boys like a little more booty to hold at night.”/You know I won’t be no stick figure silicone Barbie doll”

She also labels thin women as ‘skinny bitches’. Although plus-sized ladies may find both of these songs empowering, they hide a sinister side. They are celebrating one body shape through the hatred of another. We should be celebrating all body shapes and sizes without slandering body shapes different to ours. We should be united in celebrating all bodies and build bridges despite our differences. We should be united in celebrating beauty in all forms, not trying to turn women against each other.

meghan

Despite people labelling these lyrics as feminist, I must disagree. In fact, the ‘celebration’ of the curvy girls that Minaj and Trainor sing about is patriarchy in disguise. Both songs focus on loving having a fuller figure because it gains the approval of men, not because these women are happy in their own skins and happy in themselves. The lyrics are a celebration of curvy bodies because with them, one can attain male attention. The message is that women with fuller figures should be happy because men like that and women, after all, are only there to satisfy the male gaze. The lyrics suggest that a woman shouldn’t bother being happy about her figure because she is genuinely proud of the way she looks; it is implied that she can only have true validation of her good looks if men approve of how she looks.

Although there is a seemingly apparent theme of celebrating plus-size and fuller figures, this is not entirely true. Both Minaj and Trainor focus only on a woman having a big bum and celebrating that fact. As many curvy women can testify, having a naturally ‘big booty’ comes with other big body parts, which are not celebrated or embraced in either song. It seems as though both singers believe that the only type of fuller figure that can be praised is one with a big bum, not any other big body parts. Minaj herself cannot be classified as plus-size – her body is toned and thin apart from her behind, which is speculated to have been altered by plastic surgery. This is not the message we should be sending out to anyone – that it is only acceptable to be a bigger lady if you’re only big because of your backside.

On the whole, both of these songs are extremely damaging. They hide behind the façade of trying to be body-positive and, judging by the sales of both songs, this marketing technique is working. However, it is not hard to see how insulting and degrading they are. Skinny women are to be hated for being skinny, although there may be an array of medical conditions behind someone’s weight, or they may just naturally be that figure. Curvy girls can only be praised if they have a big bum and if they therefore gain male attention and approval. The notion of sisterhood is being smashed apart with both songs. We should support and embrace our own figures and each other’s, not despise one another for being a different size.