Wouldn’t it be nice if people stopped confusing immaturity with politics? Yes, I know, I’m an idealist, and an article from Feministe that reader Wirbelwind kindly showed to me demonstrates just how impossible of a dream this is. The article is a manifesto of a very immature person who believes that the world should service her immaturity by punishing every behavior that upsets her with prison terms. Today, she is upset that her boyfriend cheated on her and wants him to go to jail for that. Tomorrow you might sneeze too loudly in her general vicinity and she will want you imprisoned for causing her intolerable stress with this loud noise.
The painstakingly detailed story revealed by the pseudo-feminist in question demonstrates that her idea of what it means to be in a romantic relationship is less realistic than that of a 5-year-old. This is, for instance, how the relationship with the miserable boyfriend starts:
Before I engaged in a sexual relationship with my last boyfriend, Nadjeeb, I made the terms for my consent very clear: if we were going to become sexually involved, it had to be within the context of strict monogamy. Because he was also in recovery from alcohol and drug addition, I told him that I required full disclosure if he broke his sobriety, and I asserted my right to be informed if he chose to engage in sex with anybody else.
I have no idea how old this woman is but if she is older than 11, the text is very disturbing. Monogamy (polyamory / heterosexuality / bisexuality / asexuality, etc.) is not something you demand from a person in exchange for sexual services. They way adults enter into monogamous (polyamorous / heterosexual, etc.) relationships is by revealing to each other that this is the kind of relationship they want at this point in time. You can’t make somebody monogamous (bisexual / heterosexual, etc.) by making ultimatums or entering into trade agreements of the “I’ll give you sex in exchange for you changing your approach to sexuality.” This approach is a recipe for disaster, and, of course, the disaster soon came.
We didn’t officially consummate the relationship until about a month had passed, but, as I came to find out about fifteen months later, he had begun drinking, doing drugs, and having frequent and unprotected sex with other people behind my back almost immediately afterward. He put a great deal of effort into keeping me unaware of all of this behavior. He enlisted the help of his friends to cover for him and to tell me whatever lies were necessary to keep me in the dark; he came up with convincing excuses about why he couldn’t see me certain nights, or about why he was acting distant, and he participated in long-winded conversations about our relationship and my concern that he didn’t share my interest in a deeper level of emotional intimacy.
This story of “OMG, I trusted him so much and the jerkwad deceived me cruelly” is the favorite song of all deeply immature people. In reality, nobody can deceive anybody with whom they are having a supposedly close relationship about drugging, boozing, and cheating for 15 months. The only way one can manage not to notice such things is either by being stonily indifferent to one’s partner, or by pretending not to notice. The story’s protagonist even lists a number of signs that the monogamous relationship she convinced herself was developing between her and her boyfriend was nothing but her fantasy. With this degree of willful blindness, I’m sure she wouldn’t have noticed if the guy started shooting up and having group sex right in front of her.
Sex acts, for this blogger, are never a product of desire. They are only and exclusively a reward she sometimes gives to her partner when he begs her convincingly enough and demonstrates behaviors she approves:
In the midst of all of his secretive drinking, drugging, and cheating, he would repeatedly coax me into have unprotected sex with him. He used his clean bill of health and our monogamous status to persuade me to do this, and occasionally his arguments would work, and I would concede.
Yes, what a shock that the guy was seeking oblivion from such a passionate and profound relationship. Of course, in response to being manipulated and humiliated by the girlfriend, the boyfriend also becomes manipulative:
Again, there were times when his inconsistent and distant behavior gave me pause, but when I talked to him about it, he would become emotionally manipulative, sometimes breaking down into tears. He would talk about his fears of rejection and intimacy, the emotional abusiveness of his past romantic relationships, the tragedies of his childhood, and his troubled relationships with his parents—all part-truths that served to disarm me, elicit my sympathy, and make him sound all the more convincing.
The couple is playing a highly manipulative game of “Jump high enough and you’ll get the prize.” What shocks the story’s author is the realization that the boyfriend was playing the same game with her. And nothing shocks a manipulator more than the realization that she is being manipulated, too.
Continue reading “Criminalizing Cheating”