How To Make Me Feel Uncomfortable and Objectified In 3 Easy Steps

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Unforeseen Circumstances

Recently I went to an event where I was representing my blog. When I was there, I met the husband of one of the hosts, who managed to make me angry, upset and uncomfortable in the very short time we spent together. This is guide to how to replicate his effective method to make me want to get out of his presence as soon as possible in three easy steps:

1. Act like the word ‘lesbian’ was the only thing that came out of my mouth

As is natural when introducing myself when I represent The Lingerie Lesbian, I said both my name and the name of this blog. What I did not expect was this response: “Oh, what a coincidence! I was just talking about lesbian things.” He explained that he had a sales rep who wanted to know if her being gay would be a problem on the job. I stood there, confused– was speaking to another lesbian in the same day really a coincidence? Was I supposed to take this example of how he almost never consciously interacted with lesbians as an amusing anecdote? All I felt was bewilderment that my sexuality was the only thing he got from our conversation.

2. Imply that you’re cool with lesbians because you think lesbian sex is hot

He went on to say, “Lesbians? Of course, I’m totally down with that,” with a half smile that suggested I was supposed to think what he was saying was funny. As a punchline of a joke, that only makes sense if you think that we have some common bond over the fact that we both think lesbians are hot. This is not something I ever want to bond with a straight guy about; my sexual identity and you getting off have nothing to do with each other and the implication that you get some pleasure from it is gross, inappropriate and bordering on harassment.

3. Remind me that I am literally on your turf

After reminding me that he thought of me as a sex object, this charming gentleman wrapped his arm around his wife, who had been party to this entire interaction, and grandly gestured around to show me what was going on. This gesture alone would feel welcoming– following our previous interaction, all I could think was how powerless I felt to say anything to him, or even to know what to say. For some reason, “Everything you have done since we first met has insulted me,” is hard to say when standing is a room where he is not just a welcome member but a host.

Why did I share this with you? Because I was upset and frustrated and wanted to give you a glimpse of how the actions of someone who I’m sure was well-meaning made me feel like a punchline more than a person. I know MANY of you know what I’m talking about, but if you don’t: this is how words hurt.

14 Comments
  1. You could easily re title this post “How to identify those(and i so badly want to use the C word) who have no place in the modern world.”
    I’m genuinely baffled that he assumed this was appropriate and i’m sorry you had to encounter someone like that in a setting where a) you should’ve been made to feel welcome and b) where you felt like you were unable to correct him on his behaviour (because, y’know, you’re a lovely, well mannered person).

    • I am a straight Male and I find when anyone who generalizes about a race gender or sexual preferences I walk away and shake my head Sometimes I think this country has and is becoming more tolerant of others but then again……

  2. What an utter dick! Bet he wishes he was even half as interesting as you.

    Have you heard of the @DailyHomophobia account on Twitter? It was set up to collect stories (like with @EverydaySexism) and raise awareness of the amount of shit like this that folk still have to deal with.

  3. Ewwww! Ew ew ew ew ew! I hate people like this. I’m usually comfortable with talking about my sexuality but the instant anyone makes me feel objectified I just clam up and walk away. The worst part is this guy probably thought he was being nice and welcoming.

  4. Situations like #2 have always infuriated/frustrated me. In the past my initial reaction would always be to question exactly why the men in question were “okay with lesbians” or “loved lesbians”. I always tried my hardest to make a point of making it clear that it would never benefit them in any way, and that their porn fantasies would most likely never be realized by an actually gay female couple. Sometimes this worked but at other times I would just get a dumb laugh that could only mean they were too stupid to understand what I was trying to explain. Unfortunately there comes a point when the level of ignorance and intolerance at hand is so extreme that no amount of rationality gets through. In these cases I wish I could just electrocute them (with superpowers, an electric rod, anything) with the vain hope that it might wake them up. Hah 😛

  5. Despite the awkward situation and him being the host I would encourage you at the next time such thing happens to express your feelings and thoughts in a way that can be constructive to all involved.
    I know you were in a vulnerable position, but I think one of the reasons you feel so hurt is because you now feel that you SHOULD HAVE SAID SOMETHING. Yes, you may be risking some future business with this guy and/or his spouse, but do you really want to do business with total assholes???

    Couple suggestions: after he brought up the sales rep interview continue the conversation along this line.
    “What was your response?” “Do you think she was courageous and honest to bring this up?” “Why would you consider it a ‘coincidence’?”
    And if the conversation goes on with a comment like “totally down with it” and a smile I would inquire what it is that he is “down with”. Especially when the wife is right there… It can be something you will cherish for years to come…

    Another possibility is pulling him aside later on and expresses your feelings in a calm manner, offering him a chance to understand and maybe even apologize. Which may not happen, but at least you know that you’ve tried.

    Many of us out there appreciate you for being the strong, smart, talented, creative woman that you are. Don’t let this get to you. Learn your lesson; don’t hesitate to speak up the next time something like this happens. And do it in a way that will make people understand where you come from and why their comments were offensive to you.

  6. I think a “thank you for your approval/permission” in a sarky tone can be all that’s needed. But tricky when they’re the host. Ugh.

  7. Everybody’s an ass sometimes but certain people make an art of it.

    I’m personally offended by people using the term “lipstick lesbian,” as it is usually an attempt to put somebody into a tight little behavioral box while inferring that most girls who like girls don’t also like being pretty.

  8. grrrrrrr what’s new???? we’ve been “just” objects to most males fo-eva!!! If we aren’t groped physically then it’s mentally & emotionally like with this twit…hugggs for a most awkward situation but I’m walking away every time and finding someone worth the time…it ain’t worth the stew…grrrrr again #hatethesemoments

  9. Yes! Yes! And UGGGGHHHH!!!!

    “2. Imply that you’re cool with lesbians because you think lesbian sex is hot

    He went on to say, “Lesbians? Of course, I’m totally down with that,” with a half smile that suggested I was supposed to think what he was saying was funny. As a punchline of a joke, that only makes sense if you think that we have some common bond over the fact that we both think lesbians are hot. This is not something I ever want to bond with a straight guy about; my sexual identity and you getting off have nothing to do with each other and the implication that you get some pleasure from it is gross, inappropriate and bordering on harassment.”

  10. While i probably interact with lesbians every day, except for some online friends, I can’t remember when I last “consciously” interacted with a lesbian IRL. The subject has never came up.

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