Tuesday, July 8, 2014

PattiBlows: Flipping Tables Edition

Before anyone starts to feel like I'm a jerk for being mean to Patti, keep in mind that I've got a goddamn million of these:

There's no curbing Us People, ah tell ya.

Patti's particular brand of sexism is as old as dirt (or at least the fifties,) so while it obviously bothers me, I've sort of gotten used to it. Get married yesterday, starve yourself in the name of beauty standars, cake yourself in make-up, smile and nod, shave your legs, wax your tits, nag nag nag. She's more of an out-of-touch single aunt than a credible force for evil. Her brand of Cosmo-style sexism is on every channel and newsstand in the western world, so you kind of get desensitized. After a while the steady drumbeat of abuse just becomes white noise.

Then she went and insulted my husband.

And it is on.

Patti, Patti, Patti. No you don't.

Sometimes I think it would be nice to live in a world where all this Patti-brand truth is actually true. It's like being four years old again, when you can't quite conceptualize other people as fully human yet, things are what they are, everything is simple and nobody expects much depth and empathy from you. I miss that sometimes.

But then on the other hand, one of the joys of being an adult is appreciating other humans for their complexity and uniqueness. Unless you're Patti Stanger.

You know what Patti? When a four-year-old says mommies bake cookies and daddies go to work and girls are pretty and boys are loud, it's mighty uncomfortable too. But at least they have the excuse of not being able to read and interact with adults on a mature level and just being kind of new to all this "being alive on Earth" business. What's your excuse?

I'm not confused about what "my man" doesn't want to hear. Oh, hey, we can all play along at home! What are the five simple things that man-beast you own seriously doesn't want to hear? Here's mine:
  1. "The dog is on fire."
  2. "This gritty reboot of The Tick is amazing."
  3. "Rush Limbaugh 2016!"
  4. "I want a divorce."
  5. "I think this Stanger lady makes some excellent points."
 Let's see how many we got right!

Yeah, why are women so insecure about their bodies? That's a real stumper, that one. Gosh, my frail womanly mind strains to connect the dots here. Boy. Gosh golly. Wouldn't it be great if someone, like, did some sociological research or whatever? To find out what's wrong with women's DNA that makes them so stupid and hating themselves and stuff? I mean, it's not like Patti's personally and demonstrably responsible for OH WAIT!

The lack of self-awareness here is just baffling. I don't get it. Patti has hosted seven season of a show (still running) where one of the segments is just her and her matchmakerettes mercilessly tearing into women's looks and grading them on a scale, then referring to them by a number based on how desirable which is synonymous with traditionally attractive they are.

(Can I just say though, for the record, that at a glance Trisha looks and sounds like the most interesting person fucking ever? Man, I'd have been so pissed if I were the millionaire bachelor on that episode and Patti cheated me out of meeting Trisha. I want to meet her. Be friends. Bond. Maybe more? Call me!)

Maybe Patti just assumes that if I already own a man, I must be a ten, so I'm not an icky fatty or anything. Can you imagine? A gross four having a man? That's almost as hilarious as a monogamous gay man! Hah!

Beyond the obvious, the most insidious thing here is the blatant assumption that women all feel bad about their bodies. All of them. If you're a young girl coming to terms with how society works and feeling out the world and your place in it, you'll run into this nugget all the damn time. All women are insecure, what's wrong with you that you aren't? Remember, there's girls and boys and nothing else and girls are like this and boys are like that, ergo, you're fat. The very worst thing.

What if it's just a statement of fact? What if I am fat? What if I'm totally okay with that?

And look, I promised myself I wouldn't drag Patti's looks into this, but it's not inconsequential here. I'll never judge a woman for getting cosmetic surgery, but when that woman specifically tells me that she did it because she wanted to "compete" with younger women, surprise, that's still totally fine. Literally nothing about that personal choice impacts my life in the slightest. I'm just not going to that specific woman for advice on how to be confident and happy in the body I've got.

But obviously this isn't about me. This is about how "my man" hates me. Mr. Danger, sweetheart, snookie poo, know that if the feeling you get when you see me unhappy, insecure, put upon and sad can be described as "hate," we are no longer friends.

Well, if I'm married to an insecure asshole anyway, why stop there? Wouldn't it be safer if I never acknowledged the existence of other humans at all?

It's kind of adorable that this is the quote she used when she imagined a woman asking for a favor (which is totally okay, thank god!) I like to imagine her sitting down in front of her computer, thinking long and hard about how to make "women asking for favors" into a sexist nightmare, and having her eureka moment. Nagging! Women nag! That's what they do! Oh Patti, you sexy cupid, you've done it again!

I wish I'd known all of this about men before I got one of my own. This marriage is going to be freaking awful.

"Randy is so nice, he gave Janice that Supernatural box set she wanted."

The agony of knowing your loving partner is not a virgin can destroy even the strongest of bonds. Specifically those between a human being and a possessive asshole.


Nothing can ever be solved with communication and words. Relationships are founded on mutual distrust, co-dependency and insecurity (and asking for favors, apparently). You could just trust your partner to tell you "hey, I know you guys get along and that's great, but it's kind of weird how often you talk about how awesome he is" and be prepared to be open and honest when he does. Or you could assume the worst of everyone and live in a perpetual state of distrust and caution. Either way.

Remember ladies, your presence never adds value to any gathering. You are Different and the physical presence of your paranoid vagina turns every good time into a knitting circle.

This from the woman who just three tips ago assured me that it's 100% okay to ask for the things you need (thank merciful Christ!) Because Patti is nothing is not meticulously consistent. Trying to apply the advice in just this one column will turn your entire brain into a Blue Screen of Death.

And again, it's not like you can just trust your guy to tell you when he wants to hang out with just his friends this time. Better to just assume a woman-thing at a man-thing is a no-no always.

God, Patti, you're such a blight. Why do you make perfectly reasonable things like "don't intentionally isolate him from the people he likes" sound so nasty and derogatory and sexist? What do you imagine goes on in this gender-essentialist boy world of yours? Why do you even assume my guy is like that? Because last I checked, he wasn't into gender segregation. Because as it turns out (and hold on to your knickers, this is a huge one) we like spending time with cool people of any gender.

It's people like you who made me all fucked up, you know that? All my life I've been told that I'm basically a boy. I like boy things. I watch boy shows. I play boy games. I talk like a man. Swear like a man. Fuck like a man. Drink like a man. Smoke like a man. Think like a man. And that's awful, because ew, butch. All my life I've been "corrected" by fuckwits like you, all my life I've been told again and again how wrong I am, how wrong it is that I even exist the way I do, all my life I've had to put up with well-meaning bigots making me better at being a woman by hating me for my own good, don't nag, don't whine, don't be a dude, but also don't be a woman, because that's the worst thing you can ever be.

It's women like you who make me ashamed to be one. Women like you who make my want to chop off my hair and take a scalpel to my tits and just stop being a woman, just stop, because it has never worked out well for me. Which suits you just fine, doesn't it? There's nothing you like more than a nice empty shell of a human being you can slap some lipstick on and mold into a sad caricature of a human, filled with nothing but self-loathing and shame, who can never reach her full potential but makes a great trophy for deeply misogynist men who will never let her be more than an object, is there? You fucking scourge. There is a deep and dark basement below the lowest circle of hell reserved for people who betray and abuse their own like you do, who dig their heels into the backs of women just to uplift themselves another inch, and its a place where all the hurt you've caused washes over you like a wave until you drown in the filth your festering pustule of an existence has unleashed.

I went to a dark place there. Where were we? Oh yes. Don't nag, ladies! I know it's hard, but make an effort!

I'm not even playing anymore. But hey, apparently my husband is an uncouth douchebag with severe trust issues and a heaping helping of entitlement, just like all men, so fuck it, I'll give it a try:

  1. "Wow, your penis is the biggest penis"
  2. "Oh, I'm not important, let's talk about you."
  3. "I think this Stanger lady makes some excellent points."

I'm sort of on board with the idea that Patti's joking with that whole Science Fact! thing, but not completely. I can definitely imagine "humans are human" being another eureka moment for her.

It's just hard for me to reconcile the fact that on the one hand all men are facile creatures who just want to sports beer fuck, but on the other hand they also have emotions that aren't anger and frustration at your lady-fretting. Which is it, Patti? Is it fact that they're like that like you claimed in the other column, or is it a facade? You do know it matters, right? I think I would take Patti a whole lot more serious if she was at least consistent with her reductive stereotypes.

"Girl, your body is fine the way it is! Love yourself! I mean, I sure don't, I fucking hate those fat cankles of yours and those tits are a saggy disgrace, but love yourself!

"Men are little more than computer programs. Put in a preset command, lack of beatings comes out! So you see they are very complex in their emotions."

But okay, apparently I didn't give her enough credit. It really is nice when you can say something to the person you love and see them smile and light up. I usually go with "I love you." It's a classic for a reason, but I'm definitely open to more-

"Never ever admit to having been sexually active or even alive before you met him, and never compare him to the previous lovers you don't have. Just tell him he's better than them."

I know "consistency" that's a mighty big word and it's super duper hard to spell, and polysyllabic words coming out of a woman's lower facehole sound like high-pitched screeches to the male ear, but you'll figure it out, Patti. I believe in you!

Is this seriously the same sexy, confident man who earlier threw a tantrum because I mentioned another woman's boyfriend? The sexy, confident dude whose reaction to my liking an ex was a petulant sulk? That sexy, confident man? That one?

All this is of course grossly besides the point, because if there's one thing Patti and people like her will never, ever even consider thinking about, it's shit, what if he isn't? What if he's just not pushing the right buttons? What if it takes a while to really get to know each other sexually? What if we both get transported to an alternate dimension where not all women's bodies and minds react the exact same way to physical stimuli? After we defeat the dinosaur king and free the put-upon unicorn centaurs, what if we get stuck in a dimension where it turns out sex between two people is a collaborate effort? What good is lying going to do then?

This is such a prevalent "relationship tip" and I just don't know why. His fragile, brittle ego is more important than my sexual satisfaction? That's what you're telling me? That's insulting on so many levels, not to mention downright dangerous. Women are already being told left and right that sex is something you do for men, and now you want to take away any chance at actually enjoying it?

I don't buy into the good lover/bad lover myth. The only thing anyone needs to be "good in bed" is some fucking empathy. Maybe some honesty as well. Oh, and words to communicate with. And a baseline solid ego. Basically all those things that make the non-sexual part of the relationship worthwhile.

I can't joke about this. Girls, women, ladies, if you ever end up in bed with a man who goes into a sulk and has his ego shattered by you telling him that no, that doesn't work for me and try this instead, leave. Just gather up your clothes and leave. He is a bad man who will cause you harm.

Literally, every single dog is a pug. Literally all of them. I don't know why, but there we are.

This is just fucking random, but fine, I'll bite. My dude is bald, so I guess I'll compliment his pubes instead, since I already fucked up on the beard front by saying I'm not into the Rasputin look. Boy, what a week that was. He flipped nine tables. Nine tables! Seven of those weren't even in our house. The power of his sulk made all of the neighborhood dogs howl. I won't be making that mistake again.

I'm digging how into honesty Patti suddenly is. It's like she realized her mistake with her last tip but was too lazy to edit it. I get that it's hard to stay consistent with your opinions over the course of several decades, in fact I'd recommend against that, but Patti, could you try and be consistent on the same fucking page?

"Honesty is super duper important, so don't tell him he's got great hair if he doesn't. That's just wrong. You can get away with lying about trivial stuff like your sexual comfort and happiness, but don't tell a bald dude he's not bald. He'll totally notice."

If what you're saying sounds silly to you, maybe that's a sign that it fucking is.

But I know what's happened here. Patti settled down for her twice-hourly session of masturbating to The Rules, but she got her personal bible mixed up with a children's book about good manners (ages six and up.) Since then, she's confused basic manners with sexist fuckery. It'll take a pneumatic drill and a neurosurgeon of questionable ethics to ever dislodge that idea from her brain.

Yes, Patti, I'll make an effort to introduce new people to each other. Not that I'll have much time to do anything at all while I'm changing his diaper and petting his head for hours while he sobs about how some dude at work kind of gave him a funny look. I would add repairing all those flipped tables to that list, but I guess I'll let him do that, since they don't make hammers for ladies.


Oh, right. Fuck.

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