By Katie Stone – I reactivated my OKCupid account after a breakup in April and have been passively checking occasional messages ever since. One thing I did add in my post-breakup haste was add something to the “message me if” section. I’d stopped using this section years ago after realizing any information provided led to a trashfire of an inbox, but like in every breakup, you come away with new things to DEMAND in your next partner, and I had some DEMANDS.
And oh, baby, was this trash fire worth it. I changed my profile simply to say:
I’d noticed that many men (and, honestly, also some women) list 40, 50 favorite musicians, authors, TV shows, podcasts, comedians, etc — and somehow manage to not include a single female creator. This could also infuriatingly be said of creators of different racial, ethnic, or sexual backgrounds but in this instance I wanted to get in a red hot fuckin argument with some folks online, and I wanted to scream about my own experience in the process, so I left it at this caveat I could speak to directly. As a female artist, I am sick of the assumption that the male perspective produces universally appreciable art, whereas the female perspective is niche.
Below are real responses from men who I assume where genuinely trying to sleep with me, or at least form some sort of human connection, categorized from “HEAVY SIGH” to “BURN IT ALL DOWN” –
The underwhelmingly self-congratulatory
I literally went back and checked my likes like “oh Steven Universe is made by a lady. Sweet I’m not 100% patriarchy”
Hey, great point about including art that was made by women. Thankfully there’s so many in the jazz world.
The half-assed non-effort
Oh damn! You just got me super aware of what I have listed in my favorites section. It’s been some time since I looked at it but I am pretty sure I come off like a total cad. Super not cool.
The clear lie
Hey you seem cool and cute! I love me some Simone de Beauvoir.
The belittling yet underwhelming
Hey- I never thought about the fact that all of my books and bands listed are made by dudes. I even looked up a couple authors to make sure. Obviously it’s something you feel strongly about so instead of me not messaging you I figured I’d pick your brain on why you felt the need to say that, because it’s obviously a trend. I love and respect women but I fall into the category you described. Is it a societal thing?
Have you ever read Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison? I have feeling you would like it.
THE TRULY PSYCHOTIC
Him: I’m a huge Brene Brown fan, but what does the gender of the artists on my profile have to do with anything?
Him: If that’s a metric, my career as a scientist is doomed. My name is Keenan. I’ll be in Austin in two weeks.
Him: Also David Sedaris basically is a woman. Are you going to lol me or introduce yourself?
Me: ur dismissal of feminism as an issue, and in fact as a hindrance to ur own career got me bone dry over here so im loling, like, you as a person? so nah
Him: The fact that feminism is in mainstream media means that it isn’t a real issue anymore. Have fun.
There is just… so much gold to mine here. What is my favorite quote? “Im not 100% patriarchy”? The question about whether misogyny is a “trend”? That David Sedaris, as a cis gay man, is basically a woman? That one is immune to sexism if one is into jazz? Literally everything in the psychobabble blog that was linked last?
God bless the internet.
About the contributor
Katie Stone is a stand-up comedian and improviser in Austin, TX. Katie co-hosts a monthly comedy/dating advice show called Naughty Bits at Austin’s New Movement Theater, described by the Austin American Statesman as “wildly popular.” Her two-woman sketch show Menenists satirizing the alt-right has been recommended by the Austin Chronicle. Many men hate her online, which feels good most days.