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Going Both Ways

Emily Flake

By Mink Stole | Posted 12/18/2002

Ah, the endless double standards. While I usually find your answers to contain good basic common sense, your response to What to Do was off the mark, at least if you want to remain consistent (Think Mink, Dec. 4). In the past, you've been critical of men, and usually justifiably so, who use a woman for selfish reasons. In this case, I can only wonder what your response would have been if the facts had been exactly the same, but the sexes changed. While you think what WTD did was perfectly fine, I must wonder what your attitude would be toward a man who, to get over being dumped by his girlfriend, used another woman for that "screw you" type sex you mention. Hey, he would just be using her to get that "yeah-I-still-got-it-even-if-she-doesn't-want-it" kind of sex. Would that be equally fine with you? Or would you think him a selfish, immoral jerk? A cad, as they used to say. You can't have it both ways. If it's all right for a woman to use a man to get over losing her boyfriend, then it's all right for a guy to use another woman in the same way. Right? The seemingly endless double standards of this type are so prevalent today, and most people so blind to them, that I just chuckle at how future generations will look back and think us not nearly so enlightened and fair as we usually assume we are.

Amused and Disappointed, But Not Surprised

My, aren't we just a bit smug and self-righteous today, putting me in my feminine-perspective place? All right; consider me put. Feel better? Good. Now it's my turn. First: It's my column, and I can have it any way I want. Second: The whole point of WTD's letter was that she felt bad about what she had done. She didn't need me to condemn her for it; she already felt guilty. She gave me no indication that the man she had slept with was in any pain over the incident, and only wanted to know if her indiscretion was grievous enough to risk destroying her relationship with the man she loves. It wasn't. Another thing I considered was that the guy she slept with knows her boyfriend. So what kind of rule was he breaking? Isn't there a code that forbids us from sleeping with the recent exes of our friends? Couldn't he have been taking advantage of her vulnerability?

No one, male or female, has the right to deliberately hurt anyone else, sexually or otherwise. But humans are fallible; and, with some exceptions, absolutes are ludicrous. I honestly don't know what I would have said to a man; it would depend on precisely what he asked me. I suggest, sir, that the next time you wish to debate an issue with me, instead of condemning me for my assumed response to a hypothetical question, you come down off that pompous high horse you're riding long enough to ask me the damn question. Then, if you don't like my answer, we can talk.

I'm a 16-year-old high school junior. I'm a good student and I get along with my mom most of the time, but we're fighting now because she completely refuses to let me dye my hair like some of my friends have done. It's a mousy brown, and I want to put some red streaks in it to kind of jazz it up a little, but when I told her she had a mini-meltdown, got really angry, and actually asked me if my friends jumped off a bridge would I do that. Some of my friends have even had their faces and tongues pierced, which I don't want to do, but I feel so boring with my natural hair. What's the big deal? I know you dyed your hair all sorts of colors when you were younger. How did your mom react?

Not a Bad Girl

Dear NABG:
My mother always looked so sad whenever I showed up with a new and unique hair color; not only couldn't she understand why I would deliberately make my self look ridiculous (read "ugly"), she was convinced I did it solely to embarrass her in front of her friends. (She was only partly right.) But everything I did mortified her, so my hair was a relatively minor issue.

Now, if your mother were to write me, I would tell her to let you do whatever you want with your hair. Even permanent hair dye isn't permanent like a tattoo (which I would strongly advise against); you can always cut it off or color over it, and streaks of extreme colors are nearly as common these days as nail polish. You're old enough to decide what you want to look like. I don't know what your mom's reasons are, but if you're willing to force the issue, why not try a temporary change? There's a product called Hot Head that's supposed to wash right out. My bet is that if you show up at the dinner table with a few streaks, she's not going to throw you out of the house. But this way you can find out before you have a confrontation that may take a lifetime to get over.

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Pick and Choose (4/12/2006)
First of all, homosexuality isnít like snake handling or Catholicism; it isnít a cult or a religion you can be recruited for or converted to.

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Family Guy (3/15/2006)

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