🚨EMERGENCY HALLOWEEN EDITION🚨
I had an entirely different post written for tomorrow (ok, it was half written; give me a break) BUT THIS IS AN EMERGENCY where I get to yell at a dipshit guy so here we fucking go, babies!!!!!!
OUR SWEET ANGEL, WHOM WE ADORE:
I'm a 20 year old girl, in my second year of uni. My boyfriend is the same age as me. We met during first year and he's coincidentally been my first in everything. My first boyfriend, my first time, my first kiss (with a guy) all that scary fuckin stuff. Except it wasn't so scary cause it was with him. I really do love him.
We share a lot of opinions on things that matter to me, LGBTQ+ rights, politics, hobbies, future plans; I'm a big feminist so it meant a lot that we stood on the same page with these things. He also deals with a lot of my bs cause I'm way more emotional than other people lol.
However, recently I bought a Halloween costume which is definitely more on the revealing side and he got really angry. He expressed his opinion that he didn't like it, to which I responded that I was going to take that into consideration, but I still want to wear it, I'd be with him and his mates the whole time anyways so I didn't think it's be a big deal. He didn't like that, the argument spiralled and he said some really hurtful things like he'd be ashamed to be seen out with me and couldn't possibly take me home again to his family if they saw pictures of me on social media looking like a slag. He also made it out that I was looking for attention from other guys, which I know is at least partly due to his insecurity, but it's still very hurtful to hear.
I don't often feel very confident with how I look, I was chubby growing up and my family always used to make fun of me for it, so it's been hard to build myself up to be at a stage where I do feel good enough to wear short dresses and whatever. A few days after our initial argument, I told him this and tried to tell me how he made me feel and he responded that he still thinks I looked like a slag and he wasn't gonna change his mind about it. I called him out for it, he knows that I'm not a slag (not that there's anything wrong with that) but he said that he just cares a lot about what other people think of him so I should just compromise. I told him I wish that someone taught him at a young age how to respect women and their choices 😂
Being a slag isn't necessarily part of my personality, but dressing how I like and feeling confident and empowered no matter how I dress is important to me, and he made me feel so fuckin rubbish and insecure over it. I don't know if this is something that I want to keep arguing about for the rest of my life (we've argued about it before, too). I wish he would just be happy and proud to be stood next to me and uplift me when I'm looking and feeling most confident, not ashamed to be associated with me.
Do I throw away a relationship that otherwise makes me feel so loved and so uplifted and so happy over something as stupid as this? Am I being really stubborn and inconsiderate by heading out with my friends and enjoying my favourite holiday of the year, after he told me he doesn't like it?
We're not talking right now and I'm just crying about it a lot lol. How do I stop doing that x
KSJe;flkjasdkfja;lskdfjald k I AM GOING TO LOSE MY MIND AT YOUR BOYFRIEND!!!! I’M GOING TO COME TO THE UK OR WHEREVER ELSE THEY USE THE WORD “SLAG” AND SHOUT AT HIM!!!!
Ok, here’s the thing (😉): your boyfriend is—as you well know—being a massive fucking tool. I would feel so utterly betrayed by a person who insists they love me treating me this way; I’m so sorry that he’s doing it around a big, fun event which you love. That is an extra dollop of bullshit, in my opinion!! Be an ass on a fucking bank holiday, not Halloween you little shit!!!!
We’ve established that he’s being unfair and mean, now let’s dive into why precisely I think he’s so being so (half intentionally/half-unintentionally) cruel. Why? Not to publicly berate him, which he also deserves, but to show YOU just how reasonable you’re being.
You are not in any way, shape, or form overreacting to this. You are in the right 100% and regardless of how you move forward, you should act as such.
Here is what he is worried about: other people seeing your body. That’s it. Them seeing it. SEEING THAT YOU HAVE A BODY. Guess what pal!?!!? She’s had titties the whole fucking time and other guys knew about it!!!!!
If he’s worried that other people might want to fuck you? Uhhh they already do and who cares? That is frankly none of his goddamned business. NOTHING to do with your body is actually his business (other than health stuff that you could pass to him). NOTHING to do with your body is his business any more than his boss’s body is his business. Dating you did not buy him the right to control over your body AT ALL. ZERO VOTES. NONE.
He’s worried you dress like a slag??!!?!??! (note: this letter is the first time I’ve ever typed this word I’m having a thrilling day!) FUCKING GOOD. Great! That doesn’t even mean anything? You somehow DRESS like you have had sex one time with lots of guys instead of lots of sex with one guy? That is a fucking bizarre way of thinking, and honestly, perhaps worth interrogating because apparently he thinks some or all of the things below:
There is such a thing as a slut/slag. (This isn’t true).
If someone dresses a certain way, they are encouraging sexual advances. (YIKES for him).
If such a thing as a slut/slag does exist (it doesn’t) that person is lesser, and ought to be treated as such.
That you, when approached with male attention might act on it (CONCERNING if he thinks this!!!)
That you being attractive will take away from him and his control/ownership of you?????
That you getting attention from other people is bad. (ANOTHER YIKES!)
That you wanting attention from other people is bad. (I’ll explain why this is so bad below).
Women exist solely for, and in conversation with, male consumption.
We all agree those are totally banana pancakes things to think in 2019, or really ever. It might be worth untangling which of the above he believes if you plan on staying with him and helping him grow beyond his Sexism 101 issues; then again, it might not be! Use your energy how you want!!!! Think of all the fun you could have not teaching a man that women aren’t there solely for their consumption.
Here is the point in our programming where we are A Little Bit Fair to your boyfriend. Yes, I think he is doing this out of insecurity. Insecurity that you have other options. Unfortunately for him, he is in fact driving you towards no longer sleeping with him with his behavior. Poor, cruel dingus. I get insecurity. I get it. I GET IT. You get it, too, I’m sure. Insecurity does not give you a right to control your partner. Feeling anxious that your partner has other options does not purchase you the right to dictate their life. This is ultimately entirely about him. It’s his insecurity that he is projecting on YOU. He would have it with any girlfriend of his because it’s not about the individual; it’s about the role you’re playing in his life. He has reduced you to His Girlfriend rather than You, and created a narrative around that.
His insecurity doesn’t = a right to control you.
✨So, should you break up with him?✨ There’s the rub! I can’t answer this for you. I think personally, it would be very difficult to not see this side of him all the time, to not seek evidence that he really is a sexist piece of shit. It would be very, very difficult for me to let go of this because he didn’t just tell you what to wear/not wear, he continued to be rude about it and dismissed how he made you feel. That said, I think it’s incredibly easy for me to tell you, “Yeah, totally just break up with this person you love!!!!” because I’m well… not in love with him. So I also get if you don’t. It doesn’t make you a bad feminist to not break up with him after one strike. Now, I will say that I don’t think most people have ONLY ONE moment of being sexist and controlling totally isolated from every other thought they’ve ever had. It’s…pretty rare. So I suspect, although obviously cannot prove, that there is more there, and it will likely bubble up again.
Maybe you decide to come to him and say, “This is YOUR shit, and YOUR insecurity and I’m not dealing with it. I’m going out for Halloween like this. I’ll wear this every day of the fucking year if I want. If you want to stay together, I don’t want you ever dumping your insecurity on me again. You can talk to me about how you feel insecure without making it about my actions. If you can’t do that, we’re done.” Or something like that. Or maybe you’re out. No matter what, you’ll know if this is too big for YOU to get over and move past with him. You may not know today; that’s ok. You will know eventually.
Some rapid fire answers to your various questions & some other notes:
What should you do for Halloween this year? GO OUT IN YOUR HOT COSTUME WITH YOUR HOT FRIENDS AND HAVE SO MUCH FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!
How do you stop crying? You kind of have to let it happen for a bit. Then watch some inspiring videos by Beyonce (namely the first half of Lemonade), take a couple ibuprofen (or whatever anti-inflammatory medications y’all have over there so your face isn’t as red and you don’t get a cry-headache), and put a wet washcloth on your eyes. Lie down and just breathe for a bit. This will work itself out, whether that’s today, tomorrow or twenty weeks from now. Tonight is yours; enjoy Halloween as much as you can, even if you think about Dipshit Head a couple times.
On seeking attention: I am going to lose my ever-loving mind if one more god damned fucking person throws this charge in women’s faces. EVERYONE SEEKS ATTENTION. Everyone. We all want and need attention. All of us. Your boyfriend seeks attention, too. When a guy shouts at a TV at a bar no one says, “He’s just an attention seeker.” When a guy buys a nice watch no one says, “He’s an attention seeker.” When a guy runs in short shorts with his dick about to fall out no one says “He just wants attention.”
Please let me know your venmo/paypal so I can buy you a drink tonight. This is serious.
A note about the line, “I’m way more emotional than most people.” I do not know WHO told you that, and furthermore, who helped them convince you that this was true, but it’s a crock of shit. You are not more emotional than other people just because some people you’re around pretend they’re “chill” but really just repress a lot until they blow up about fucking Halloween costumes.
You could go out tonight with your whole vagone out and about and it would not change a single fucking thing. It wouldn’t change anything about how smart you are, how kind you are, how you advocate for other people. It also wouldn’t change how people ought to treat you. It’s a fucking body part. Like elbows, except more fun to rub.
Bless up, I hope your boyfriend either comes to you and says word for word, “I’m a massive dipshit who made multiple mean mistakes in a row about your body and I don’t think I realized the implications of my actions, or just how poorly it might make you feel. Not knowing is not an excuse because I want to own the impact of my words as well as the intent behind them, but I’m sorry. This was about my insecurity and I made it about you,” OR we lose him!!!
Sophia Benoit writes this very newsletter; she also writes about sex & relationships for GQ, tries to write about Fleetwood Mac for GQ, avoids writing by tweeting at @1followernodad, works full-time as a researcher for Lights Out With David Spade, and has had bylines in The Guardian, Reductress, Refinery29, Allure, and The Cut. You can reach her or yell at her at firstname.lastname@example.org.