The other day I saw Lena Dunham’s movie “Tiny Furniture.” The most interesting aspect of the movie was the relationship between the main character, Aura, and her family. Unfortunately, I was incensed when the movie got to the part where Aura has sex with this chef from her work she’s been lusting after.
So, why was I incensed? Hmmm, let us see:
- the guy’s main interest in Aura is her ability to score him drugs
- she leaves an art exhibition featuring a piece of her art to be with him
- he gives her the most deranged kiss where he looks like he is attacking her like a feral animal
- he drags her under a bridge and into a discarded cardboard cylinder to have sex
- he barks orders at her like he’s at a fast food drive thru (“suck harder”)
- she doesn’t insist on using a condom, but asks if he has AIDS or HIV (um okay?!?!)
- it didn’t seem like she had an orgasm (maybe that should be listed first)
My head hurts thinking about this. It just does. Why would any woman allow herself to be treated this way? The character doesn’t even know this sketchy, shifty, fool of a man, but allows him to treat her like a prostitute, but that would be an insult to prostitutes.
The problem we have as American women is that we do not see or define ourselves as human beings. We don’t ask ourselves if a human being would want to be treated that way? Would any person want to be taken under a bridge by a person they don’t know to have unsatisfying sex? Um no, I’ll pass…
If this were her boyfriend or husband and they were looking to do something crazy, sure go under a bridge and have sex. But, a man she doesn’t know decides everything and she’s just there like a blowup doll to be used! Whatever he wants her to do she does. She gets the drugs from her friend, leaves the art exhibit that could benefit her, and then sucks harder when he demands.
I often believe the sexual revolution was a big joke. In theory, the restraints of a restrictive society are unleashed for both men and women, but this new freedom for women seems to benefit men disproportionately. It would be great if women had sex for their primary enjoyment, yet American women are inundated with the message to please. Wear 4-5 inch heels (that look like hooves), wax yourself so you look like a three year old, don’t nag (i.e. talk except to say yes), and make a special roast chicken dinner to get some man will marry you!
Maybe I’m delusional. I think I should be treated like a human being and that sex should be mutually satisfying. This isn’t an earth-shattering expectation! What seems to be earth-shattering is women insisting on this conclusion from men.
Years ago, I worked with a woman who was probably 30-32 years old. She’d been divorced from her husband for a while and was dating again. She told me that she’d dated a guy and one night he suggested they try something pretty taboo. Of course, this lady completely shut him down. She just kept shaking her head and asking me, “Can you believe he would ask me to let him do that?!?!”
Maybe she was coming from a different perspective because she’d been married, had kids, and been fully in charge of her life for years. It just doesn’t seem that women should have to be 30-32 before we feel we can say that we don’t want to do this or that (or want this or that). We don’t have to waste our twenties being playthings satisfying men we’d be ashamed to admit we even knew years later. Neither party needs to be used by the other, but that is only possible if women make those demands.
Finally, we can only make those demands if we feel that we are intrinsically worthy of being respected. And we only feel we should be respected when we are taking ownership of our lives and where we’re going. In the movie, Aura is at some type of “crossroads” or so the many blurbs say. I’m not sure it’s a crossroads, so much as she’s not willing to be responsible for herself and embrace the pride that brings. It’s that pride that fights against being disrespected. Sigh…