"Ladies look out dey ain't thugs dey' homos"

 The majority of the people with whom I work do not live in the downtown [Toronto] core. It is surprising how much this seemingly small shift in geography produces an enormous cultural difference. This is most palpable with respect to their expectations of women: they are constantly dumbfounded by the sight of two effeminate-looking people (one male, one female) walking together. Every time something to the effect of "Why did that ridiculously-sexy [insert demeaning term used to refer to women here] choose that [insert demeaning term used to refer to homosexuals here]?" is uttered by one of my co-workers, and I have the energy to go through the explanation, I try to level with them.

"It's all marketing."
"What do you mean?"
"All women, secretly, are lesbians."
"Yeah, it's true, I read that somewhere."
"The guys who look, act, dress, or otherwise seem gay aren't. They've just found a particular marketing strategy to attract particular women."
"Huh?"
"What I'm saying is, these girls have had their fill, or are not at all interested in muscle-bound, car-obsessed sociopaths, and these men realize it, and do their utmost to soften or obscure the more nakedly-masculine aspects of themselves."
"But don't they get bullied out of it by their buddies?"
"No. Most of these guys have more female friends than male friends, and their male friends tend to be more like them. The ones that get dates with their female friends are the ones who can straddle the line."
"What line?"
"Between the worst place in the whole world and the best place in the whole world."
"What do you mean?"
"I mean the friend zone and the inside of a woman's vagina."
"So these guys act gay to get laid?"
"No, they act bisexual to get laid."
"O."

Yes, I do talk with that bizarre combination of crassness and pretension to construction workers too (not just my friends and loved ones), but only once I learn their first names. And yes, this level of incredulity persists, these men treat the women in their lives as though they are disposable, and the married men are subjugated to the male sluts, because the male sluts believe it is masculine to treat women like shit, and the married ones have been treated like shit by their wives.

Well fuck that talk, it's retarded to epitomize the essence of one gender as the degradation of the other. I am a man, I enjoy sexual activity with women, but realize such actions must be seen as equal acts of commerce, not hierarchical acts of conquest. I see our complementary chemical compositions and organ array as facts of biology, not class; if you wish to be worthy of the respect of your counterpart (in sex, or any other interpersonal activity) then you must demonstrate your worthiness of it.

Now, I'm well aware that the vast majority of my female friends are strong-willed, free-thinking individuals, and not vacuous, self-denying servants, and I take heart in that. However, every now and then, one of you says something to me about your relationships with other males that gives me pause, and thrusts me in the direction of reminding you that there is nothing special about men, they are not, by fact of their gender, superior to women. Yes, we are strange and fascinating beings, but any pretense of superiority belies a fact of inferiority.

I guess what I'm saying is, we all need to be assertive, not passive, and certainly not passive-aggressive in our relationships. A person who treats you like you don't matter is not worthy of you; it is not a challenge to make yourself seen or heard, it's a warning that the person is an asshole.

(P.S.: The quote in the title is actually from a Ghostface Killa song, and the song is actually pretty good.)

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