So, hey! I’m an object of scorn! That’s… ya know… new.
I wondered whether or not to reply to Jesse Bering’s reply to my post about his post (if you follow).
Reading the first 500 or 1,000 words, I thought I would, but by the time I got to the “shove it up your hole” part at the end, I was like, “If someone talked to me this way in person, I’d walk away and then laugh about it while drinking beer with my friends.”
I sorted through all the various nit-picky noise in my head (“When did I ‘claim to be operating without gender bias?’ I would never claim something so asinine – no one who has a body and was raised by humans can operate without gender bias!”) and the moral outrage (“I was kinda kidding when I said I’d write an ode to mucus but now I’m totally gonna do it!”) and the straight up academic problems (oh, Baker and Bellis) and found three things that I felt mattered enough to explicate in public.
- This one is first because it’s the most important: Some people commented that my mention of sexual orientation sounded “accusatory.” I apologize for that. I genuinely didn’t mean it to be offensive – literally, I just thought, “The only person I know who’s this viscerally aversive to female parts and fluids is this friend of mine who is gayer than a gay, gay thing; I wonder if Dr Bering is too, because that would go a little distance in explaining the aversion.” As a person who’s done a bunch of activism work around sex and gender and who takes social justice very seriously, I feel real regret that I said anything that could be misconstrued so profoundly and interpreted so hurtfully. I apologize unreservedly for that.
- This strikes me as… well… disproportionate. Me = 306 word post on a teeny personal blog that a few hundred, maybe a few thousand people read. Dr Bering = nearly 2500 words under the flag of Scientific A-fucking-merican. I’m astonished that my itsy post on my itsy blog could inspire 10 manuscript pages of bile, spleen, and vitriol. Shit, did *I* come across with the same degree of bitchiness and bullying? Crumbs, as Penfold would say. THAT is surely food for thought.
- Lastly, I stand by my original point. I’m plain old offended that a person writing about sex from a scientific point of view would think it okay to talk about the fluids involved in gross-out terms. It’s unscholarly and it’s sex negative. I appreciate (in the British sense) the argument that it was “just a joke;” I hear ya, folks out there who disagree with me. Thank you for that feedback. And most of ya’ll out there, you can hate the sticky all you want. But I believe that people who present themselves as credentialed around sex science have a deep moral responsibility to participate a culture of sex positivity that encourages people to view sex and its concomitant fluids as a normal, natural part of life. Our job is to serve as allies, to create space for folks who like the sticky and folks whose ARE sticky. Which is everybody.
Now I’m gonna go back to the part where I talk about how to have better sex.