Sex-Positivity – Self-Love – Starting the Revolution
Scenario: girl or guy you don’t know pursues and hits on you all night. Annoying or alluring? That probably depends on who the person is, right? I’ve found that if they’re an attractive sort (popular, well-liked, and cool by whatever definition), then most people are flattered by the attention. And yet, the very same behavior displayed by a less attractive individual is branded weird, or creepy, or generally inappropriate.
Why can our attractive brethren get away with behavior that, if done by physically less good looking people, goes from cute and adorable to really annoying? The answer is obvious. We are flattered when we assume the person had reason to pick us out particularly. This goes back in a circle to affirm the fact that hot people have more options, and less hot people have fewer options. This is the truth under which we function, and whether we it admit it or not, it definitely guides our behavior.
The other night I went out with a bunch of my friends. There was the requisite grumbling about people hitting on us who we didn’t want to, and some good making-fun of students who seemed desperate. I always find this paradox strange. We dress up so people will find us attractive, and then arbitrarily choose rules for how to appropriately express desire. Making fun of people’s behavior is pretty standard, but I’ve begun to notice that we’re not really making fun of their behavior. We’re making fun of people. A certain person approaching someone at a party can be laughingly deemed desperate, but if a cooler cat was doing the same thing, it would be accepted. This makes me sad.
But I don’t know what to do about it, because I’m right there in the game as well. I want to pick up the hottest catch I can find, and as long as personality is not a negative, then looks are my biggest factor. And regarding strategies, being quiet doesn’t seem to get anyone very far. Nobody wants to drag their very nice (but quiet and socially awkward) friend to a party, especially a party where they’re trying to seem cool themselves.
Yes, this all sounds very junior high, but if you think about it, I think you’ll admit: the idea of being cool is still wholly present in our social circles. This might be inevitable, but we do have control over how we discuss the matter. I wish my friends and I would be more fair and upfront about our choices, and what motivates them.
It’s not fair (and frankly not nice), to call someone out for trying to hit on someone at a party, provided they’re not being creepy or predatory. Of course there’s behavior that is unacceptable, and we know it when we see it. Making someone feel uncomfortable, or pursuing someone who has shown no interest, is not okay. But a lot of it is just standard behavior, and there is no reason to laugh at the nice but the plain person who started chatting you up, even if you don’t go home with them.