Fishy Phrasing Fails Feminism



I think the term ‘feminist’ itself is polarizing in a reflexive kind of way. Personally I fully endorse equality at every juncture for women simply because it’s nonsensical not to. It’s my obligation to use my power and access inherent in being a straight white male to level the playing field wherever possible. I don’t lose anything by doing so. It only makes us all a better, stronger, more efficient society. These are Humanist concepts.
The term Feminist implies (if not in reality) a desire not for equality but for the very same superiority of power and access that men currently enjoy, so ingrained in our culture and society that most people I know can’t even grasp it. Texas governor Ann Richards once said of George W. Bush, “Poor Georgie. He was born on third base and thinks he hit a home run!”. She was talking about being born into money and access but the analogy is apt for virtually any male on planet earth in comparison to the women of the same culture. It’s lunacy. And yet for all my evolved consciousness, use the label feminist and I immediately envision Gloria Steinem smirking “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle”. I reflexively brace myself for an emasculation. Whether it’s coming or not. Because branding. We need to come up with something new. Not to ease my ego but to better push the discussion forward in a way that will inspire more than the choir to get onboard.

You don’t need permission; its not a prayer – it’s a choice. Exercise your power!

You don't need permission; its not a prayer - it's a choice. Exercise your power!

13th Stepping for Jesus


I’m Neil and I’m a seducer. (Hi Neil) Seduction though, for me doesnt have to have anything to do with sex. I seduce almost habitually and have rarely followed through with sleeping with any of my, um… victims. Does that make me a tease? No. It’s not my focus. Seduction is an incredibly subtle dance, one that I often have an advantage in because it’s usually a woman’s realm. They dont see it coming. My father was an absolute master at this. He always ended up with two scoops of ice cream on his pie. Women adored him. Because he made others around him feel good about themselves. There was often a gentle sexual aspect to his play, though it was barely perceptible and always deniable. Believe me, I took notes, though I doubt I will ever achieve his innate skill. He could just as easily drop a seemingly innocuous comment into the middle of a room then sit back and watch the fur fly an hour later with no one knowing who’d started the ruckus in the first place. All the while his horns cleverly disguised as a smirk on his face.
I cant fairly speak to pops’ motives for doing this. I can say that for myself seduction is often for control. If I can seduce you, I have security.  When I was young I stumbled on to it as a compliment to my first defense mechanism; quiet aloofness. I grew up enjoying the company of women. In fact I was perfectly comfortable in their presence – unless I was attracted to them. Then I was a mum fool.

I once had a friend, Monika, who sat me down one day and explained to me (after swearing me to silence because she’d be struck dead by the XX Godesses for betraying their secrets) how things really worked. I still thank her to this day. Oh did I have fun, the more I practiced and explored this certain charm. I also hurt quite a few people in my eager ignorance as well as having had it blow up in my face. (Hello, crazygirlrestrainingorders!) I started getting laid quite a bit, much to my astonishment, but it was much like climbing on a motorcycle with no training (or so I hear. *cough*). Slowly I began to realize that seduction when applied to other aspects of my life other than sex was quite comforting. It gave me a certain power over you that in my mind, made me safe from you. It also usually made me feel superior. If I could seduce you then I ever so slowly started to lose respect for you. It became a self serving and alternately self defeating weapon that kept me just as alone in my mind as I was when I was 15. Redoubling my efforts I came to a point of one’s too many and a thousand’s never enough. I couldnt achieve any sense of validation from it anymore.

The turning point for me came when I’d had a nervous breakdown as an extension of this same mindset. Because I had no real sense of Humility regarding this skill, nor a belief in the idea that I had value without seducing, when the girl of my dreams walked out on me my house of cards collapsed into a pile of rage, grovelling and depression. I decided that whatever happened I couldnt live like this one more day. I found a therapist, female of course, and promised myself that even if I seduced her, meaning bringing her over to the winning side, that I would continue to be completely honest with her and follow through on her direction. The first time I made her cry tears of empathy I knew I had a choice to make and I chose to stay. I never stay. Loyal to my suffering all those years, abandonment was a hell I knew and worked hard to achieve. The hell I know is better than the one I dont. Making a choice to stay – and respect this woman, became an incredible turning point in my life’s arc. She ended up helping me turn a defect into an asset by installing Humility into it. She helped me see that I am not separate from you, that we are all one in the same, no greater or less than. It was then that i finally saw the power in my father’s charm. He used seduction to connect with those around him, and from the smile that was usually on his face I realized that he allowed himself to be charmed right back, to be a part of it – not apart of it. My girl is forever amused by this. She was my best friend for 20 years before we added ‘lovers’ to our resume’. She’s had a ringside seat for the best and worst of me. There was no seducing her. There was no need. Love comes from an entirely different place than seduction. Though it can often be the match for the fuel.

The thing that’s changed as I’ve gotten older and more comfortable within myself is that I use that gift for the forces of good, offering up a psychic half hit of X and leaving you feeling open, comfortable, slightly vulnerable, intrigued and vaguely aroused, or not. It isnt the point anymore. What’s important is to be one among. Something I’ve always craved and dared not wish for.  I get that now simply by giving. Often now that includes a vaguely warm, safe feeling, though you just cant – quite – put your finger on what it is that makes you want to give me a second scoop.