The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Never Take Advice From Feminists (The @FactoryGrrrl Edition)

Posted on | September 24, 2016 | 2 Comments

How many times do I have to explain why you should never take romantic advice from feminists? Feminism is a movement organized around the grievances of unhappy women. If a woman is happy and successful in her life, she doesn’t need feminism, and so everything that feminists write about love and sex should be viewed with extreme skepticism, as I’ve explained: “Unless your goal in life is to become a Crazy Cat Lady, there’s not much expertise to be had from feminists.” And really, is it so difficult to become a Crazy Cat Lady that you need expert advice to do it?

Zara Barrie (@FactoryGrrrl on Twitter) describes herself as “Senior Sex and Dating writer” for the sketchy website Elite Daily, as well as editor of the sketchy website’s Queer Culture section.

Did I mention that Elite Daily is sketchy? A 2013 profile of the website:

The founder, David Arabov, is alleged to be the son of Jacob Arabo, or Jacob the Jeweler, the Harry Winston of hip-hop. In 2007 Arabo was accused of money laundering and pleaded guilty to lying to federal agents and filing false documents with the federal government. . . .
To make matters even shadier, many of the stories . . . are written under pseudonyms.
Writers such as Preston Waters, Paul Hudson, Ashton Tyler, William Kent, and Eddie Cuffin are very real (I spoke to each of them). But their names aren’t.
Preston Waters is actually David Arabov himself; Paul Hudson is Paul Jurczyk; Eddie Cuffin is Edin Veljovic, Ashton Tyler is Max Grunner, and William Kent is Robert Saintlot. . . .
A number of these pen name writers believe there is no responsibility in telling the truth when it comes to their byline or bio, as long as the articles themselves are accurate.

See what I mean? For all we know, “Zara Barrie” is just a made-up name, and what kind of authority is she on “Sex and Dating”? How is she qualified as an expert whose advice other people should heed?

Such questions are never asked of the 21st-century advice blogger. Any feminist who can persuade a sketchy website to publish her advice is as “qualified” as any other feminist sex-advice blogger out there, which is to say they are all equally sketchy. Basically, the feminist advice racket presumes that the world is full of women so completely stupid they have to Google questions like, “What’s a vulva?”

Feminist sex-advice bloggers are convinced that they are the only ones who know anything about sex. The rest of us are utterly ignorant on the subject, which is why we need feminist sex-advice bloggers to lecture us about the “myths” and “stereotypes” we supposedly believe. And since we’re on the topic of myths and stereotypes . . .

“Straight men are completely and utterly clueless when it comes to women.”

That quote by Zara Barrie is from her October 2015 column, “Sex And Dating Tips For Men From A Lesbian,” which she followed up with a May 2016 column, “Sex And Dating Advice For Men From A Lesbian (Part 2).”

Notice that she did not say that “some” heterosexual men are clueless, nor that “most” heterosexual men are clueless, and so we must gather that all heterosexual men are not just “slightly” clueless nor are we “somewhat” clueless. No, merely by dint of being both male and heterosexual, we are “completely and utterly clueless.” No man in history has ever known anything at all “when it comes to women,” according to Zara Barrie, Lesbian Feminist Sex Blogger for a Sketchy Website.

Pause here, my friends, to consider the question of motive. Isn’t it true that feminists hate men? And shouldn’t we particularly presume that a lesbian feminist has an abiding contempt for males quite generally? Isn’t it safe to say that the mere thought of a penis fills her with feelings of dread and horror? Isn’t she opposed to heterosexuality, per se? So why would we assume that Zara Barrie, Lesbian Feminist Sex Blogger for a Sketchy Website, would do men any favors in terms of giving them useful advice? Zara Barrie never wants to have sex with a man, and doesn’t want any other woman to have sex with men, either. Like every other feminist, Zara Barrie is fanatically committed to the abolition of heterosexuality.

Am I generalizing too broadly here? Well, if Zara Barrie can declare that I am “completely and utterly clueless when it comes to women” without having ever met me, I don’t feel any need to mince words in describing her as The Enemy of All Heterosexuals Everywhere:

There are several times throughout the day that I quietly whisper to myself, “Thank god I don’t have to sleep with one of these vile creatures.” I will usually then turn to the straight woman to my left and ask “How the hell do you sleep with these vile creatures?” to which she will almost always shake her head, look me dead in the eye and reply, “I have no f*cking idea.”

Males are “vile creatures,” according to Zara Barrie, and every woman she knows shares her agreement that men are universally “vile.”

Except . . . no, actually she’s doing what PUAs call “negging.”

Zara Barrie is a classic example of Poor Little Rich Girl Syndrome. I was joking when I said “Zara Barrie” is a made-up name. Her father made his fortune in the perfume industry and her mother is a British-born former fashion model. At the 2013 Planned Parenthood Annual Dinner in Sarasota, “the always glamorous Lynn and Richard Barrie” were among the guests, and when Zara left for New York last year, the going-away party for the local “socialite” also made headlines in Sarasota.

What Zara Barrie is doing in denouncing heterosexual men as “vile creatures” who are “clueless” is conveying her disdain for her social inferiors. No man is good enough for her, and Zara Barrie wants to let every man know that she considers him contemptible — “negging.”

Oh, I hear you: “Wait, Stacy — don’t PUAs ‘neg’ women in order to undermine their self-esteem to make them easier to pick up?”

Exactly. And there’s always a backstory, you see. Let’s go back to teenage Zara at “a Jewish arts camp in the Berkshires”:

The summer of my fifteenth year, I was a fearlessly outspoken beanpole of a girl, skipping through the damp grass shoeless, as I kissed every cute punk boy beneath the sprawling, star-scattered New England sky without a semblance of regret.
But an entire lifetime happened between the precarious ages of 15 and 16. . . .
It’s been a year of toxic romance, the unpleasant loss of virginity, substance experimentation and unshakeable pressure to live up to the impossible media interpretation of what a 16-year-old girl is supposed to look like.
I hate the way I look. Seemingly overnight, my body has metamorphosed from being a string bean kid to a woman with hips and curves and breasts.
I don’t like it.

This is a familiar tale of adolescent woe, as Zara complains of “unwelcome lingering eyes grazing my breasts from men old enough to be my father; catcalls in the parking lot of CVS from bearded boys smoking cigarettes out the windows of diesel trucks; subtle yet uncomfortably seductive glances from my sister’s boyfriend the moment she leaves the room.” Her discomfort with her “hips and curves and breasts” leads to anorexia — a typical problem of Poor Little Rich Girls.

Excuse the armchair psychologist trip, but am I the only one who sees that a teenage girl trying to starve herself back to “being a string bean kid” has a fear of growing up, and the social consequences thereof? She had not even “a semblance of regret” about kissing boys at 15, but there ensued her “unpleasant loss of virginity” and her consciousness of all those adult men with their “lingering eyes.” So after recovering from anorexia, she needs some new way to escape the looming menace of womanhood.

Sudden Onset Lesbian Syndrome — here is her perfect escape from heterosexual disappointment, and a fashionably trendy one, at that. Zara Barrie is quite remarkably transparent, from the armchair psychology perspective. In one column, she confesses that her “entire identity has been wrapped around being this untethered wild child — the complicated girl with self-destructive tendencies, the girl who needed therapy, the girl who fell in love every other day, the girl who was, well, just a girl.” And guess what the headline on that column is? “The Identity Crisis You Have After Realizing You Want Marriage And Kids.”

She’s 30 now, and the erstwhile Sarasota socialite isn’t getting any younger. Zara has “hit the wall,” as the PUAs say. Looking back to 15, she realizes she’s now halfway to 45. Her peak SMV is disappearing in the rear-view mirror as she feels herself perceptibly accelerating toward menopause. Her Facebook timeline begins popping up with notifications that her friends are getting engaged, getting married, having babies and she is . . . unloved, and perhaps unlovable.

See, here’s the thing about Poor Little Rich Girl Syndrome. If a girl’s parents are the 1% and she’s a glamorous socialite, she can’t marry just any guy she thinks is cute. Bearded boys catcalling from diesel trucks in the CVS parking lot? No — they are beneath her. The basic principle of hypergamy severely limits her pool of potential husbands, and there are lots of ambitious middle-class girls who would very much like to marry a rich man, so that the Poor Little Rich Girl has to compete with these inferior women in the marriage market. All the more incentive, really, for the Sarasota socialite to choose lesbianism. No chance of an accidental pregnancy to interrupt her “untethered wild child” life, no danger of losing social status by dating men who are beneath her (as practically all of them are) and none of that swarming middle-class competition she would face for the attention of rich guys.

Don’t sell me any of your “born that way” mythology. I ain’t buying it, at least not for someone with Zara Barrie’s backstory. She’s been diagnosed with anxiety and depression, but from my armchair psychologist perspective, I see a lot of symptoms of borderline personality disorder in her story, and what would Doctor Freud have to say about this?

My Girlfriend Dumped Me
The Same Day My Ex Got Married

The days following Christmas are some of the most direly dark days of the year. . . .
This year was a particularly painful post-holiday depression for me. My parent’s house in Florida is super cozy and lovely, but just being in my teenage home stirred up some pretty intense, uncomfortable feels in my adult self. Staring at the perfectly intact Nine Inch Nails poster on my old bedroom wall overcame me with unwanted memories of being an eating-disordered, sexually confused, wildly insecure 16-year-old girl.
To add fuel to the post-holiday depression fire, I decided IT WAS A GREAT TIME to switch up my depression/anxiety meds right before I went home for the holidays. Ye ol’ trusty Prozac was giving me acute migraine headaches, so my doctor and I decided it was time to switch over to a different antidepressant. . . .
And just to seal the nail in the mother f*cking coffin, four days after Christmas, my ex-boyfriend got married to the love of his life. Which would have been totally f*cking fine if it weren’t the exact day my current girlfriend broke up with me.

Pardon the interruption, Ms. Barrie, but exactly why should a lesbian give a damn about any male, particularly one who took advantage of her teenage self before she discovered her lesbian identity? Not to question the authenticity of your lesbianism, you understand, but one imagines that you would be completely indifferent to the fate of an ex-boyfriend if, indeed, you didn’t hate him even more intensely than you hate every other “clueless” heterosexual male, “vile creatures” that we are. Ah, but let’s return to your fascinating narrative:

It’s no secret that I identify as a lesbian. I’ve been exclusively dating, loving and f*cking girls for just shy of a decade. I have a deeply emotional and unrelenting animal attraction to women that I’ve never experienced with a man. I’m a surefire, out-and-proud dyke (I love the word “dyke”).
But that doesn’t mean I didn’t love my ex-boyfriend, Dash*. We met when I was a spindly 15-year-old freshman with stretched earlobes and torn tights. He was tucked into a corner of the cafeteria, visibly angst-ridden, clad in a black metal band shirt with “don’t talk to me” headphones strapped to his ears. I took one look at his twinkling sad eyes and ridiculous spiky hair and knew we were cut from the same cloth.
So I did what all 15-year-old power-babes-in-training do: I made him mine.
The thing about Dash, though, was he wasn’t just my boyfriend; he was my best friend. We dated off and on throughout the harrowing trials and tribulations of high school and the confusing blur of college. We even briefly shared a tiny little studio on West 16th Street. But as young lovers often do, Dash and I naturally drifted away from each other. I fled across the pond to explore my Sapphic sexual prowess in London, and he trotted across the great expanse of the globe working as a prestigious chef.

Now, hold on just a second there, Ms. Barrie. If we compare this tale with your anorexia story, between ages 15 and 16, you experienced “toxic romance” and “the unpleasant loss of virginity,” yet now we encounter this story of a guy in the same time-frame who was more than a mere boyfriend, but also your “best friend.” You seem to be describing two different experiences, and your nostalgic reverie about Mr. Twinkling Sad Eyes betrays a fondness that, while perhaps nothing like your “unrelenting animal attraction to women,” seems incongruous with your “surefire, out-and-proud dyke” persona. How was Mr. Twinkling Sad Eyes in any way different from the vast universe of clueless vile creatures?

Our relationship wasn’t the kind that left us with shattered hearts and broken spirits. Our lifestyles and sexualities weren’t cohesive, so we always had an unspoken understanding that what we had was temporary. (I know, I know, we lived together and all that, but as you guys know, I live for fleeting distractions from the truth).
But I still view my relationship with Dash as a treasured token of youth and innocence.
After we broke up, I heard through the grapevine that Dash was in love. And a few years ago, when I first laid my eyes via social media on his then-fiancé Juliette*, I was left stunned by her effervescent beauty. . . .

(Isn’t it odd, Ms. Barrie, how your ex-boyfriend — vile and clueless as he is — somehow managed to woo and win this beautiful woman?)

I woke up Tuesday December 29 and did my typical morning scroll through Facebook, and the first thing I saw in my feed was Dash’s Facebook post. . . .
My girlfriend broke up with me the very day that my ex got married.
I won’t get into what served as the catalyst of our broken relationship. . . .

(Maybe she figured out you’re batshit crazy?)

I can’t quite put a word to the unsettling sensation stewing within me when I looked at Dash’s wedding photos. . . .
I think I felt a huge wave of failure. Looking at the pictures of the beautiful couple exchanging vows in the regal New England countryside held up a mirror to exactly what I don’t have in my life. Unconditional love. The strong arms of stability. A secure future. . . .
It made me feel like somewhere along the course of my life, I took the wrong turn. The world seemed suddenly scary and unpredictable.
I asked myself, what wrong choices have I made, that I’m alone at 29 living in a six-story walkup writing about my sex life on the Internet, while the person I grew up with is marrying the love of his life surrounded by a sea of warm friends and family?

Hmmm. She “took the wrong turn” and made the “wrong choices,” and now she has a sense of “failure” — a shanda fur die goyim!

Speaking of nostalgia, Ms. Barrie would elicit more sympathy if her parents were old-style ultra-Orthodox who denounced and disowned her, the bearded patriarch crying bitterly: “Daughter? I have no daughter!” Say what you will about conservative traditionalism, it has a way of separating the wheat from the chaff for “sexually confused, wildly insecure” teenagers. It is not merely a question of religious faith, but also a sense of family honor that would deter all but the most hopelessly homosexual from taking that particular “wrong turn.” True enough, many from traditional backgrounds nevertheless did (and do) take the same path Ms. Barrie followed. Some of the Southern Baptist kids I grew up with in Georgia traveled that path, and I could name at least three guys I went to high school with who died of AIDS. Just bad luck, perhaps, that they entered the gay scene in the late ’70s, a few years before the AIDS epidemic erupted. (I graduated high school the same year Anita Bryant made headlines with her “Save Our Children” crusade.)

Back in the Dark Ages, there was no GLSEN, no PFLAG, and no one expected parents to be “supportive” of their children’s homosexual behavior — or “preference” or “tendency” or whatever other word people used before sexual orientation became a matter of political identity. Nobody feared the progressive Thought Police back then, and words like “queer” and “faggot” were either a joke or an insult intended to start a fight. (George Carlin 1973: “The difference between a fag and a queer, is a fag was a person that wouldn’t go downtown with you beating up queers.”) You could actually joke about stuff like that, in the Dark Ages, before the Official Gay Movement was a multimillion-dollar tax-exempt lobbying operation, before AIDS and Matthew Shepard, before the Democrat Party and its propaganda apparatus convinced Americans that homophobia was a deadly menace worse than Corporate Greed, Global Warming, the Military-Industrial Complex and all the other right-wing bogeymen Democrats use to frighten voters every four years.

Trying to describe that bygone era for the benefit of Zara Barrie, I hear myself sounding like my Dad talking about growing up on a farm in Alabama during the Depression: “You kids today have got it easy!” And, of course, Dad was right. Compared to how he grew up, our life was extraordinarily easy, but also more dangerously complicated than life in rural Alabama. Social status was less stable in the suburbs of Atlanta, where almost every kid had parents who were from somewhere else. Four generations of my ancestors lived and died in Randolph County, Alabama, and my parents grew up in a place where everybody knew everybody else, and practically everyone was equally poor. What counted for “rich” in rural Alabama wasn’t much, especially not after the bottom fell out of the cotton market in the 1920s. My father grew up on a 160-acre farm, and they were what was called “land rich, but cash poor.” They never went hungry, but times were hard, and I grew up as a middle-class kid in the ’60s and ’70s raised on stories of Depression-era Alabama.

Poverty is actually a blessing in disguise, because the poor kid can be judged a success in life if he moves up just a couple of notches on the socio-economic scale, whereas children of the middle class are always at risk of downward mobility. But oh, what a burden to be born rich!

A child of the 1% like Zara Barrie must walk a tightrope of privilege suspended high above a socioeconomic chasm, and it’s a long way down from being a Sarasota socialite to living in a six-floor walkup, just another 30-year-old lesbian in a city of 8 million people.

You used to laugh about
Everybody that was hanging out.
Now you don’t talk so loud.
Now you don’t seem so proud
About having to be scrounging your next meal.

How does it feel? How does it feel?
To be without a home,
Like a complete unknown, like a rolling stone?

Wander off on one of these flashback-digression tangents and there’s no telling where it will lead. In 2004, Zara Barrie’s parents sent her to California Institute of the Arts (annual tuition $43,986), a school she chose for very personal reasons:

I really went for it. I chose a liberal arts school in southern California, where I was going to be a theatre major. . . .
I was convinced that Los Angeles, only 30 minutes from my school, was just teeming with hot dykes who worked in show business. . . .

In another column, Zara Barrie reminisces:

I went to a liberal art school in Southern California, for Christ’s sake. My first party was full of stylish, west-coast queer hotties drinking boxed wine and practically sexing on the dance floor. . . .
Actually, my school was so wildly liberal, labels weren’t even a thing. Saying, “I hooked up with a girl last night,” if you were a girl had zero shock value. Everyone was here and everyone was queer, and I was pretty sure I had died and gone to lesbian heaven.
Plus, I was 30 minutes from West Hollywood, baby. If I got sick of the gays at my school, I just grabbed my fake ID and headed to Santa Monica Boulevard, which was chock-full of the sexiest lesbians I’d ever seen.

Glamorous! Exciting! Send the tuition bill to Daddy! This lasted a year and, after taking off the 2005-2006 school year, Ms. Barrie switched to the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts (annual tuition $31,200), so that by the time she finished there in 2009, her four years of higher education had cost about $140,000 in tuition, not counting housing, meals, etc. Her acting career never amounted to much, and by 2012 she was doing “youth outreach” theater and videos for Planned Parenthood.

Where is Anita Bryant now that we really need her?

How strange that Zara Barrie, who at 19 was partying down in Hollywood “lesbian heaven” should find at 29 she feels like a “failure” who “took the wrong turn” and, by age 30, the ex-Planned Parenthood operative is having an identity crisis because she wants marriage and babies. Meanwhile, of course, she’s still Zara Barrie, Lesbian Feminist Sex Blogger for a Sketchy Website, which apparently makes her an irresistible target for every drunk straight girl in New York City.

Don’t get me wrong, I love having straight female friends. I’ve got a ton of hetero sisters-in-crime whom I adore! You are my greatest confidants. . . .
But come on: Would you want to f*ck a guy who exclusively f*cks other dudes but wants to take a drunken stab at sex with a woman just to see what it feels like? Breaking news: I’m not a lab rat. I’m a gay woman who isn’t interested in being your experiment.
I’m only interested in being with my own kind. I’m not speaking for all lesbians (some members of my team like to be the “teacher” and get off on the “straight girl” challenge, which is fine babes), but rest assured, my sweet straight friends, I’m not remotely interested in being any girl’s first time. . . .
I think all women are gorgeous creatures (except maybe Kim Davis and Sarah Palin because they are so ugly inside that it cuts through the surface of their skin). But that doesn’t mean all women are my sexual type. I’m attracted to an energy. An energy only a queer woman can possess.

Got that, straight girls? You’re not good enough for Zara Barrie, because you lack the necessary “energy only a queer woman can possess.”

No man is good enough for Zara Barrie, nor is any heterosexual woman deserving of her “energy,” and yet we are expected to believe that Zara Barrie — when she’s not boohooing over being a “failure” because her high-school boyfriend Mr. Twinkling Sad Eyes got married — should be the go-to source for heterosexual men (all of whom are vile and clueless) to learn how to do dating and sex with heterosexual women.

Do I suspect that Zara Barrie has a dramatic plot twist in mind? Yes, it would be exactly perfect — a guaranteed book contract with a fierce bidding war for the movie rights — if somehow “sexual fluidity” (trendy topic alert) were to mysteriously descend on Ms. Barrie, the “surefire, out-and-proud dyke” in the form of a surprisingly sensitive man who, vile and clueless though he is, nevertheless has a certain sad and twinkly quality about him. A clever screenwriter would have a “meet cute” scene, where the protagonist remarks on his resemblance to a guy she knew in high school. Of course, this romance is literally impossible, there’s no way it could happen. She’s a lesbian Capulet, after all, and he’s a heterosexual Montague, and yet he keeps doing and saying things so cute and clever it’s like the ghost of Nora Ephron is whispering in his ear.

There’s too much chip-on-the-shoulder braggadocio about Zara Barrie’s taunting all-men-are-vile-and-clueless routine, her insistence that she has a mystical “energy” only lesbians possess, and especially the way she claims to be a magnet for drunk straight women seeking to make her a “guinea pig” in their “experiment.” She’s chumming the water like Quint in Jaws, practically daring some rich Romeo to woo and win her, the way her ex-boyfriend wooed that girl he married.

We know that this can never happen, and not because Ms. Barrie would be invulnerable to the charms of a really determined charmer, but rather because there is no incentive for a guy like that to waste his time on such a target, when New York City is swarming with desperate 20-something single girls dreaming that some romantic Romeo will rescue them from a Crazy Cat Lady future. In a target-rich environment like Manhattan, a high-SMV guy is not going to bother talking to any woman who isn’t giving him green-light signals from the minute he walks into the room. When a man is wading through a sea of young hotties eager to say “yes,” does he waste any effort trying to convert a “no”? Absurd.

Forget any idea that a Nora Ephron-scripted plot twist would lead Zara Barrie to a heterosexual happy ending. If she wants babies, she’ll have to buy frozen sperm from the Manhattan Cryobank and then pay for IVF and so forth like all the other lesbian mothers do. This will be expensive, but if Daddy was able to pay all that money for you to go to acting school, he should be able to pay for you (or your future girlfriend) to get pregnant.

However, it would be a bad idea for Zara Barrie to have children. Pity the poor child with such a crazy lesbian for a mother. To deliberately impregnate such a psycho would be like a sequel to Rosemary’s Baby. The only thing crazier than giving a baby to Zara Barrie would be for heterosexual men to take her dating advice seriously.

Men may be vile and clueless, ma’am, but most of us are not insane.

“[Feminism is] a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.”
Pat Robertson, 1992

 

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This is the latest installment in the Sex Trouble series, and please don’t forget the Five Most Important Words in the English Language:

HIT THE FREAKING TIP JAR!

 

 

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