Content note: fantasy/horror violence, and plenty of it. Also some references to sexism, misogyny, misogynist violence, and some sexual content.
In response to this post on Facebook, from dating coach Jonathon Aslay:
How a Woman Becomes Irresistible To a Man… She chooses to set high standards for herself. She’s clear on what she wants. She knows the value of friendship before sex. She comes from a place of gratitude (not expectations). She is confident and willing to ask a man out on a date because she knows a relationship is a two way street. She demonstrates trust and respect by accepting him for who he is. She’s in no hurry to get to the destination. She can take of herself, she doesn’t need a man. She shows up interesting and interested. She comes from a place of compassion (not entitlement). Lastly, she knows how to inspire a man, because she leads by example. Did I miss anything?
Facebook feminists bring you: The Irresistible Woman. Part 7 of a series. All micro-stories reprinted with permission of the authors, credited and linked to (or not) as they requested.
DISCLAIMER: References to violence, death, destruction, physical torment, psychological torment, supernatural torment, world domination, eternal nightmares, or the warping of the entire space-time continuum to exact revenge on one sexist jerk, are all intended as metaphor. These are fictional expressions of rage and mockery, aimed at the impossible, contradictory, ever-shifting standards of female desirability, and at the barrage of advice given to women about how to meet those standards. None of the authors actually want to do these things, or think they should happen. No, really.
It’s not even about the list at this point. It’s this torrential outpouring of surreality only vaguely provoked by the initial words, mostly provoked by life lived under the thumb of a culture that demands that women be always pleasant, always accessible, and always always responsible both for their actions and the reactions of others. Always beautiful. Always kind. It’s tiresome in its neverending crush. Sometimes you lose the desire to rage. Sometimes all you can do is cough back an equal amount of nonsensical madness, providing yourself and your friends a little amusement, a brief reprieve before we go on to be criticized by our relatives, our doctors, the things we watch and read, before we click away and find another and another and another puff piece telling us how *we* should be, when all we ever wanted was equality and yet *we* are already so put upon to be and be and *be* this thing and the other thing and the next thing here. Decent is how everyone should be. It is not difficult to grasp that these are attributes that literally everyone should possess. But by saying “woman,” you gently echo what we hear every day: that we are not ideal, that we are not trying hard enough, that things fall apart and it is our fault, that we must “share responsibility”, not be demanding, not be entitled. And by saying man, you draw a box around that group of women that not only want relationships, but want them *with men.* Forgetting that even though men love women, women love women, too. Forgetting that some people are neither men nor women, even, if that was a fact you ever knew. And that grates. And then, that women should strive to be irresistible followed by a list that reflects only basic human decency . . . and this is framed as a thing to which we must *aspire*. A goal. A thing we are not presumed to have already. We are presumed to need these lists. This is fair advice, for the most part, though presented as a groundbreaking new observation, that we all — sorry, that *women* — be excellent to each other. To men. Because of course we are directing our actions at men. And yet . . . it rubs wrong. Tastes bitter, a flavor like being so tired you can’t stand up, but too exhausted to sleep. And when sometimes it takes only a feather to tip the scale and send everything spilling. A million tiny acts, tiny words, tiny interactions that we must smile and nod through and fight to find the “meaning well” that lies at the center, and suddenly, the weight of a sesame seed sends everything crashing into chaos. Some lash out in irritation, and that is . . . less than ideal, though certainly understandable. Others, though, are simply inspired to utter surreality. It may seem even more senseless than the anger, but at least it is beautiful. What can you do but laugh? What can we ever, ever do but laugh? –Amanda Gannon
And with that I retire, and bear my annoyance off to my reptilian burrow, dragging behind me the withered remains of what I could have been if I had been born into a culture that allowed it, instead of sending me on pointless tasks to appease and please and telling me that I should tame my body and my temper and build bridges for anyone who asks and try to be perfect, and that I should care what any man, any *one*, thinks of what I truly am. Which is, quite obviously, a monster.
But my girlfriend says I am irresistible. –Amanda Gannon
The Irresistible Woman has a mortal sister. The resistible woman. Some say they were twins, and taught each other a secret language in the womb. That the Irresistible Woman, with her shiny carapaces, and diamond mandibles, her luminous distal mucous glands and tendrils of shadow ice, speaks to her mortal sister across the light years, no matter how far she roams through black holes and nebulae, eldritch realms and nightmare lands. Some say they are the same woman at different times, And when you resist her in her mortal form, when you don’t see her standing next to you, when you skip the kindness because you know it won’t get you anywhere with her or give you a leg up in the real business of the world, when you fuck her because she’s a hole that’s there, or don’t because she’s old and dry, when you interrupt her, talk over her, tell her she’s wrong about things you have never experienced and cannot know, when you threaten to throw her out of the car for pissing you off, slam her head into a wall for daring to exist, when you discard her as less than human, she remembers. –Yvonne Rathbone
THE END (?????)
The Irresistible Woman: A Micro-Horror Collection, Part 1
The Irresistible Woman: A Micro-Horror Collection, Part 2
The Irresistible Woman: A Micro-Horror Collection, Part 3
The Irresistible Woman: A Micro-Horror Collection, Part 4
The Irresistible Woman: A Micro-Horror Collection, Part 5
The Irresistible Woman: A Micro-Horror Collection, Part 6
The Irresistible Woman: A Micro-Horror Collection, Part 7