Dear Ted (An Excerpt)

The following is an excerpt from a semi-autobiographical epistolary novel dealing with a plethora of contemporay issues, written from the perspective of a somewhat snarky, bumbling everyday teenager in a small, no-name town in the middle of somewhere. 

Dear Ted,

So, what is it with the patriarchal paradigm? I mean, come on. It’s effing ridiculous. (By the way, the phrase “patriarchal paradigm” is not my own invention; I actually saw it in a book somewhere.) I might be a guy, but there’s something vastly unfair about the societal norms in regards to the sexualization of women. It’s like, if girls sleep around a lot, they’re called sluts, but if guys do it, for some reason it gives them more points to put on their man card. I fail to see the logic in this. (Also, if you were wondering what my man card score is, it’s somewhere in the negatives. Most of the activities I enjoy are apparently not manly enough.)

So let’s say a girl wears skinny jeans. You can see the outline of her legs, right? But no! We’re not allowed to see that she actually—gasp—has a butt, calves, and thighs. The anatomy of the female body must never be revealed, and if it is—even if just the outline, mind you—I’ll bet you dollars to donuts that at any given moment, at least a dozen people will be mentally judging her and assuming the worst about her. And I find that to be utterly ridiculous.

It’s all about the extremes, isn’t it? Either you’ve got naked women in magazines who get objectified and treated like fucking playthings.  And like, it’s not like that’s . . . wrong, especially if and when it’s entirely consensual and a well-informed decision. BUT (and there’s usually a but(t), my dear Ted), sometimes they’re no longer an actual person, but just an abstraction in like, the concept of money. It’s a bloody equation, if you think about it. (Don’t ask me to actually formulate it; I think that you’re really good at math[s], so you can do it for me.) So now that the woman’s gotten her humanity stripped away, all that’s left is an objectified concept that turns horny men into bestial animals fulfilling their sex drive. Ergo, it equals exploitation. (HA. Two equations right after each other. I’m practically a genius, no?) So it looks like on this end of the spectrum, sex loses any intimacy it might have had and becomes a purely biological function. Nobody really wins. Damn.

But if we travel in the opposite direction, instead of a stark-naked woman, you get a woman wearing a potato sack. Because, you know, you might see…the outline of a woman’s legs and butt if she wears jeans. And that’s like, really wrong. Don’t ask why. So is any makeup. And anything besides your natural hair, which you’re allowed to cut only once every six years or so.

Look, Ted, we’re both for equality, aren’t we? But for me, it’s like we need to figure out what’s the trade-off between treating women like sex toys or animals. There should be respect coming and going both ways, and there should be a way that we can do that without screwing up everything as we seem to do with everything else. Because I’m sure that we’re bigger than that.

As soon as I come up with a viable solution, I shall let you know posthaste.

With regards,

Josh

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3 thoughts on “Dear Ted (An Excerpt)

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