I’m a member of a private, all women Facebook group. It was started up by one mutual friend who wanted a safe and supportive space to discuss the ups and downs of our lives. I don’t know many of the other members in real life, but they all seem pretty awesome and in a way the relative anonymity makes it easier for me to talk about personal things – so I do use the group to discuss shit.
Anyway, I’ve posted there from time to time about The Pedant – whether he likes me, whether it even matters what word he’d use for his feelings when his actions themselves speak such volumes, etc., etc. And after The Pedant and I had our whole FeelingsTalk, I made a Facebook post of triumph.
Amid all the lovely squees and congratulations, someone asked to see a picture of The Pedant. It felt a little sketchy to post a photo of him somewhere without him knowing, but the group has a confidentiality policy – what’s posted in the group stays in the group – and I certainly wouldn’t hesitate to show a photo of him to a real-life friend. So I showed them a cute pic of The Pedant out at a club or concert (nothing private/intimate). And a whole bunch of these women swooned at his extreme hotness.
This brings up some interesting feelings for me. To be honest, as much as I’ve said that I find The Pedant smokin’ hot and feel like he’s “out of my league” in some ways, I’m aware that my taste in dudes is often kind of peculiar. There have been tons of dudes that I’ve found ridiculously attractive and other people found utterly repellent, and I’ve rarely had anyone tell me that someone I was dating was attractive. But, it does seem like a common heteronormative thing to congratulate a woman on landing herself a “catch.”
Was that what these women were doing? Is that why nobody asked to see a pic of this boy until I confirmed that his feelings are indeed mutual? Were they “looking over the merchandise” to gauge how well I’d done for myself?
I simply agreed with everyone who said The Pedant is hot. But inside, I felt torn between a secret, shameful excitement that my taste had been validated (OMG I like totally have a hot boyfriend! I’m finally part of the “in” crowd!!!1!) and discomfort at the implicit idea that I “own” The Pedant (if that’s even where this was coming from. I might be reading too much into it). First off, I don’t think of monogamy as “ownership” – that’s creepy – it should ideally just be two individuals choosing to be with only each other. Second off, we’re not monogamous (and the group knows this) so even if they think monogamy = ownership, that still doesn’t apply here.
Meh, maybe I’m reading too much into this. I like to see pics of people my friends are dating/crushing on/etc. – it’s neat to see what type of person they’re attracted to, and if the object of said attraction is hot to me then I enjoy living vicariously through my friend a little bit. If I compliment the person’s hotness it’s not in the sense of “Damn, girl, in our patriarchal society it certainly is a coup that you’ve scored someone so appealing!” it’s simply “Oooooh I’m happy you get to kiss that person! I would, too, if I could!”
So really, it’s probably that. Most of the women in the group are self-described feminists and several are poly, so yeah.
What odd thought processes I manage to tangle myself in. 😛