“Men need Sex” — a story about a story

So I wrote a story, “Men Need Sex.”  I started with the mistaken, but wide-spread, belief that men need sex (PIV).  Mistaken because, unlike food, water, and oxygen, without sex, you don’t die.  Then, ‘inspired’ by Roger Elliott, I thought, ‘What if?’  What if men really did die if they didn’t get sex.  I postulated contagion, perhaps social.  Then I postulated a shortening incubation period (between belief, not getting sex, and suicide). And I added the belief that men are entitled to get what they need, which ramped up rape and, consequently, women’s self-quarantine (after begging, to no avail, for stricter gun laws and a curfew for men).  I ended the story with something like ‘And then the women just … waited.’


The SciPhi Journal rejected it.  Which was disappointing, because I thought the story was clearly sf with a philosophical element (“As its primary mission, SPJ wishes to provide a platform for idea-driven fiction, as opposed to the character-driven mode that has come to predominate speculative fiction”).  Future Fire also rejected it, which was also disappointing, because they focus on feminist sf.  But what I want to focus on is the first rejection because it came with the explanation that my story “reads as a fully seriously intended apology of gendercide.”


How was what I described gendercide?  The women didn’t kill the men; they just waited for them to kill themselves.  Yes, they withheld sex, but if you’ll die without food and I refuse to give you food, am I killing you?  Perhaps.  The philosophical community has not yet come to a consensus on that; it’s called the passive euthanasia vs. active euthanasia debate (and the SciPhi editor should have been well aware of that debate).

Framed another way, if you’ll die without being able to hurt someone, and no one steps forward to be hurt, are we all killing you?  Not at all clear.  That’s called the Good Samaritan debate (and again, the SciPhi editor should have been well aware of it), often illustrated by the scenario of a drowning child: if the passerby is a competent swimmer, then yes, she has a duty to rescue, but if the passerby cannot swim, and the rescue puts her own life at risk, then no, she has no duty to rescue.  The essential question is ‘On what grounds would one have a duty to sacrifice oneself for another?’

Does intercourse put a woman’s life at risk?  If she has no contraception and no abortion, that is, if she’s forced to become pregnant and then doesn’t miscarry, well, maybe.  It is not uncommon for a woman to die giving birth.  At a minimum, there is a clear risk to her health: high blood pressure, diabetes, anemia,  stroke, cardiac arrest.  Perhaps the SciPhi editor is unaware of the health risks of pregnancy and childbirth…

But even with contraception and abortion … why is she obligated to allow herself to be hurt (yes, men, sexual intercourse against our will, absent our desire, hurts)  (maybe that’s what the SciPhi guy didn’t get?) so that the man will live?  If it’s a one-time thing, and the man in question is a good man (yes, that would figure into my deliberation), okay, maybe many of us would, and should, say yes.  Ten minutes, in and out, go on, live.

But if it’s an ongoing thing, like the provision of food (which is what my story suggests), then the scenario would be very much like one sex, male, enslaving another, female; men imprisoning women to ensure continued sexual access and, therefore, their continued existence.

All that aside, the editor said “Art is free, and I won’t criticise any apology of anything.”  Okay, then, an apology for gendercide, should that have been what my story was about, would have been okay.  “However,” he continued, “all pieces of writing for SPJ must have at least a grain of plausibility.”  When I pointed out that I’d referenced Elliot Rodger and Alex Minassian, he said he hadn’t heard of either one.  What?  What?  (I keep forgetting that since words like sexism and misogyny aren’t used on primetime tv or in mainstream news, most people [in the U.S. and Canada, at least, because their entire worldview is formed by those two media] `aren’t familiar with the concepts. And it keeps shocking me when I remember that.  But wait, weren’t both Rodger and Minassian reported in mainstream news?)  My guess is the editor just didn’t read my story very carefully.  (Both Rodger and Minassian were referenced in footnotes.)  And why might that be?  Because … oh, right.  It was written by a woman.

He went on to say “As a 100% gay male, I can assure you that your statements about ALL men are quite off the mark …”  Quite apart from the fact that any statements I made about ALL men were in the context of the story, a fiction, I never made any statements about ALL men; in fact, I quite deliberately say “Of course not all men” at one point.

“On the other hand,” he continued, “the funny notion implied in your story that women don’t need sex is also wrong”— oh do tell, please, go ahead and mansplain women’s sexuality to me.

“Myself and quite a few of my gay male friends have had experiences of being sexually harassed by women. Therefore, women seem to need sex as well.”  Therefore?  Okay, at this point, I’m thinking the editor of a philosophical science fiction journal doesn’t have a philosophy degree.

In a subsequent email (because yes, I responded to his rejection letter, refuting his points; I’m tired of just letting these things happen without challenge), he said “At any case, there is too much hate shown by the narrator to be humanely appealing.”  Need I point out all the sf in which male narrators show too much hate of women to be humanely appealing?  (Yes, men, any time you write a story or novel in which the males subordinate or sexualize the females, you’re expressing hatred of women.)

And, in yet another email, he said “There is no lack of publishing venues that would gladly accept any kind of male-bashing. SPJ is not one of them.”

To which I replied, “It’s just … disappointing that you didn’t see that the story is actually an argument against male entitlement and an exposé of, and a cautionary tale about, toxic masculinity.”

[The story appears in Fighting Words: notes for a future we won’t have.}


Women delaying motherhood because the whole thing blows (The Onion)


from Three, Annemarie Monahan

two good bits from Three, Annemarie Monahan “How long did it take for you to realize that men as a class raped women as a class?” “‘Women are just as bad as men.’ As bad as men? Tell me, if women act the same as men, where are the bodies piled? Where are the masses of men murdered every single day by women? In what other oppression do we equate nastiness or selfishness or just plain anger with murder? Of course not all women are good! But are women honor-killing men? Are women abducting 6-year-old boys for rape? Have women built an international, multi-billion-dollar industry selling films where women gag men with their genitals, ram fists up their asses until they prolapse, shit on their bodies?” Share

What I learned about men by posting a ‘For Sale’ ad on Kijiji

The ad said $100.  Men offered $70, $80, $90.  Every woman who replied to the ad accepted the stated price. The ad indicated my location, implying pick-up.  Men asked whether I’d deliver it (all or part of the way) or simply said my location was too far away.  The closest a woman got to that kind of response was ‘Are you ever in North Bay?’  (And the woman who bought it drove the distance deemed by several men to be ‘too far’.) The ad said nothing about disassembling the item.  Men asked whether I would do that (so they could more easily fit it in their vehicle).  No woman asked for that. So.  Does this mean that … Men are more assertive than women? Men are more demanding that women? Men feel more entitled (to whatever it is they want) (and maybe even to things they don’t want) (just because) than women? Men themselves use language loosely (they seldom mean what they say or say what they mean) and so assume others do as well? So if $100 could mean $70, then $30,000/year could mean $35,000 and ‘no benefits’ could mean ‘Okay, a dental plan’. And ‘No’ could mean ‘Yes.’ Share

What’s in a word? (on being ‘knocked up’ or …)

So I’ve been thinking not only about the words people use to describe sexual intercourse (screwed, fucked—both used to describe what is done to the woman—both of which also describe a general state of disaster) (which, actually, is often accurate if pregnancy results), but also about the words used to describe pregnancy itself:

“knocked up” – note the implication of violence: is that what men think they’re doing when they create life? engaging in an act of violence?

“bun in the oven” – as if we’re inanimate appliances

“preggers” – so casual, too casual, far too casual

“expecting” – far too vague (and also far too casual)

“in the family way” – like the previous ones, this seems oddly passive—suggesting that the stork happened to fly by? (it also assumes completing the pregnancy)

“with child” – out of vogue—hm (perhaps rightly so since it’s not a child until a few years after it’s born)

So what should we say? Something specific. And something that conveys the hugeness (no pun intended) of the condition: however one chooses to deal with the fact of the matter, there are going to be life-changing consequences.

How about ‘I’m growing a human being with my body! Inside my body!’

Followed by ‘What am I going to do about it?’ (Because yes, there is a choice to be made.)

Or, simply, ‘I’m a host’—prefacing with ‘willing’ or ‘unwilling’. (Initially, I thought of adding adjectival option, ‘undecided’, but potential hosts should really be decided before engaging in an action that could lead to host status, and if the action was coerced, then ‘unwilling’ surely suffices.)


“Unbelievable” on Netflix


A feminism-informed examination of rape from point of view of police (female) and, to some extent, victims (as interviewed).

Single series drama with eight episodes.

Passes the Bechdel test (and more) with FLYING COLOURS!!!


Hearing from transmen about sexism

“From no longer having to worry about being attacked on my way home at night, to being taken seriously when I talk (just because everyone assumes I was born with a penis), life’s a breeze compared to when I was living as female.” Why are trans men always left out of the conversation?

“It wasn’t that I wanted to be a boy – I just didn’t want to be a woman. I wanted to be neutral and do whatever I wanted.” https://www.bbc.com/news/stories-51806011

World, see that? That’s how shitty women are treated in our fucking sexist society. It’s so bad, young women would rather get a sex change.

“Over and over again, men who were raised and socialized as female described all the ways they were treated differently as soon as the world perceived them as male. They gained professional respect, but lost intimacy. They exuded authority, but caused fear. From courtrooms to playgrounds to prisons to train stations, at work and at home, with friends and alone, trans men reiterated how fundamentally different it is to experience the world as a man.

“Many trans men I spoke with said they had no idea how rough women at work had it until they transitioned. As soon as they came out as men, they found their missteps minimized and their successes amplified. Often, they say, their words carried more weight: They seemed to gain authority and professional respect overnight. They also saw confirmation of the sexist attitudes they had long suspected: They recalled hearing female colleagues belittled by male bosses, or female job applicants called names.

“James Gardner is a newscaster in Victoria, Canada, who had been reading the news as Sheila Gardner for almost three decades before he transitioned at 54. As soon as he began hosting as a man, he stopped getting as many calls from men pointing out tiny errors. ‘It was always male callers to Sheila saying I had screwed up my grammar, correcting me,’ he says. ‘I don’t get as many calls to James correcting me. I’m the same person, but the men are less critical of James.’

“Dana Delgardo is a family nurse practitioner and Air Force captain who transitioned three years ago. Since his transition, he’s noticed that his female patients are less open with him about their sexual behavior, but his bosses give him more responsibility. ‘All of a sudden, I’m the golden child,’ he says. ‘I have been with this company for 6 years, no ever recommended me for management. Now I’m put into a managerial position where I could possibly be a regional director.’

“Trans women have long observed the flip side of this reality. Joan Roughgarden, a professor emerita of biology at Stanford and a transgender woman, says it became much more difficult to publish her work when she was writing under a female name. ‘When I would write a paper and submit it to a journal it would be almost automatically accepted,’ she said of the time when she had a man’s name. ‘But after I transitioned, all of a sudden papers were running into more trouble, grant proposals were running into more trouble, the whole thing was getting more difficult.’

We’ve been saying all this for centuries. (I hope y’all will fight like hell to change this, rather than just bask in your new privilege. I hope you’re calling out your new buddies …)


Life Imprisonment for Abortion – here in Canada!

I just found out that until I was 12, not only was abortion illegal here in Canada (that I knew), but the penalty was LIFE IMPRISONMENT. That I did NOT know. So recently!!


A tale of two athletes – thanks to ovarit


reposted from ovarit

Unfuckingbelievable.  Seriously.


Male vs. Female re sexual offences

“Around 13,000 males are in prison for sexual offences compared to fewer than 150 females. “

(according to a post at https://fairplayforwomen.com/stop-misreporting-sex/ about England and Wales)

Says a lot, doesn’t it.