beyond the green: collective of middlebury voices

a student-run publication that seeks to provide space for voices that are not being heard on our campus. we are grounded by politics that are radical, anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-classist, anti-homophobic, anti-ableist, and anti-transphobic (against all forms of oppression) and that reject the structural neo-liberal paradigm that characterizes middlebury college and its official publications

Sex, Structural Sexism and Why I Had to Speak Up

I had thought about what I was going to say as I peed in the hallway bathroom. I teared up and cursed under my breath, because I know this happens all too often. I felt silly getting upset though – what else did I expect?

I walked back into his room, where he was already under the covers again, checking something on his phone. I tried to pretend I wasn’t bothered as I yet again undressed and slid under the covers, darting my eyes up to the walls, like I was just admiring the posters he had so artfully hung in his dorm room. I wondered if he was going to do anything. Was he going to kiss me? Cuddle with me? Maybe (hail Almighty) even finally get around to pleasing me?

He was clearly fine just going back to bed.

I’ve never been able to just go back to bed once I am up, and plus I was really annoyed. I laid beside him for a beat and then said, “Well, I’d better get back to my room and do some work, I can’t fall back asleep.” It was 8:05 am and he seemed surprised that I wasn’t going to fall back asleep with him, opening his eyes a tad and responding with a high pitched, “Oh, yeah?”

I took my time putting my clothes back on.

First my bra.

Then my cami.

Then he kindly offered to zip up my shirt (the always tricky on-the-back zipper).

I slid my jeans back on.

I laughed as I showed him the hole that my big toe had worn into my sock (he chuckled). I sat down on the edge of his bed to put my socks on.

He reminisced, “well, that was fun – well, fun for me I guess.” He laughed, “that sounds misogynistic. Hah! Misogyny.” I cringed a sad kind of fake smile. Can you believe he actually said that?

Hah! Misogyny! He said those words but he couldn’t connect it to his own actions.

I started to zip up my sweatshirt, followed by my puffy winter jacket. As I moved towards the door, he offered the typical post-sleepover goodbye, “Yeah well this was really fun, so I’ll see you la— ” and that’s when I cut him off.

It was the first time I ever told a guy how I really felt about this kind of stuff.

“Y’know, I don’t want to shame you, because that’s not what I’m trying to do, but I think it’s really not cool when the guy thinks it’s all over because he finished.”

He let my comment fall on him, ran his hands over his face and through his hair, then agreed with me – “No yeah, I also think it’s unfair too and I’m sorry about that, I’m just super dead…gee, that’s a bad excuse…”

Yeah, it is a bad excuse. And what’s even worse is that he probably tries to convince himself that he’s not that kind of guy. But he did that – so he is that kind of guy.

We have sexism and misogyny in our culture because individual men convince themselves “I’m not that kind of guy” and then do individual acts that perpetuate the broken system between women and men. There is huge structural sexism in our society and it pervades politics, universities, organizations, job offers, clothing lines, sports, classrooms, and yes, the relationship between two college students having fun on a Sunday morning who think that structural sexism doesn’t apply to them.

I spent at least twenty minutes blowing his dick. That’s a long time. He sounded like he was having a great time. I’m good at blowjobs. And then directly after he came into my mouth, he said, “well, time to get back to bed.”

Yeah. He said that literally seconds after he finished. The reason I had given him a blowjob was because neither of us had a condom and we couldn’t find one in any of his dorm’s bathrooms. He sounded like a progressive man when he said, “We don’t have to have unprotected sex – your body, your choice.” But it was not my choice to not have a chance at being sexually pleased.

I stood up, cleaning away the slimy cum from my lips, took a few sips of water, and glistened as the sun radiated through his blinds and illuminated off the small beads of sweat on my face. I had worked to please him. I wanted to do a good job, because I wanted him to feel good.

How did he want me to feel? Did he think about reciprocity, entitlement, objectification, oppression, selfishness, power?

So I walked home across Battell beach beaming both pride and anger. I’m angry that I’m sporting a hickey on the center of my neck that earned me nothing. I’m angry that now I’m branded with his touch and yet his touch was so selfish. He had taken all I offered but had given me nothing in return.

I’m angry that this isn’t the first time a guy has been selfish in bed and not even asked me what would make me feel good. It’s not like this guy I’m talking about is the worst human ever – he just happened to be the one to break the camel’s back; he was the last straw. I’m not asking for a you-give-me-one, I-give-you-one dynamic. I’m asking for a conversation about pleasure, a conversation about what would bring both of us equal pleasure. He didn’t offer to please me and I wasn’t about to beg for it.

But aside from anger I also feel pride. Because I told him exactly what he needed to hear.

The system’s not okay and the only way it’s going to get fixed is if we start addressing structural sexism on a molecular level: our personal relationships with one another.

— From a Female Student at Midd

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This entry was posted on March 10, 2016 by in Uncategorized and tagged , , , .
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