Does Acting Like A Man Mean Acting Like A Jackass?

woman on the pool wearing yellow bikini

A friend on Facebook sent me a link to this notorious OkCupid profile. It is, to say the least, a good read about a woman who is burned out on online dating and now just sleeps with men for fun.

A brief snippet:

“The suggestion that I’m “acting like a man” is also based on the assumption that you can simply interchange male and female behavior in the first place. Doing so ignores the fact that male and female sexuality are regulated very differently in our culture. Women aren’t supposed to seek out and enjoy sex with multiple partners. They’re supposed to be selective with their mates. They’re supposed to barter sex for emotional security, romantic love, and domesticity. Men are supposed to avoid this trap at all costs. According to this logic, I can never act “like a man” because we already have a term for a woman who acts like I do: slut.

I wonder, then, if calling my slutty behavior “acting like a man” reflects a desire to regulate my sexuality. The question implies that I should stop what I’m doing because I’m guilty of transgression.

It also assumes that “acting like a man” means acting like a jackass, which is profoundly anti-man. I don’t think man should = jackass. I don’t think one gender has cornered the market on bad behavior. I do think men have cornered the market on this particular type of bad behavior.

I’d like to consign the phrase “acting like a man” to the dustbin of pre-feminist history. Instead, I’d like to see more people act as ethically as this slut tries to do. I’d like the world to decide that the only person who needs to regulate slutty behavior is the slut him- or herself.

And if I find that man who really acts like a slut in the best possible way, maybe I’ll whisper sweet truths into his ear, and maybe I’ll sleep over, and maybe I’ll let myself imagine romantic love and emotional security, and maybe I’ll let him know there can be more, and maybe I’ll invite him to join me in making it up as we go along.

And then I’ll wrap one long leg around his waist and press my other calf against his shoulder and beg him to fuck me into sweetness and delight.”

I couldn’t disagree with most of what she wrote in her massive diatribe. I think what gets lost here are two things:

1) Giving up on men, dating, and the possibility of love pretty much seals her fate. Angry Jane Doe will continue to sleep with men for pleasure and continue to keep her heart closed to true love. To me, that’s sad.

2) There are millions of men who are just as frustrated with dating as any single woman. I should know. I was one of them. 300 dates over 10 years and the two “best” women I’d ever found both dumped me? This is an underreported story – that women hurt men at an equal rate as men hurt women.

So read the piece and let me know your reaction. It may start off, “You go, girl!” but I think you’ll agree that this manifesto is a catharsis that actually heals nothing.

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  1. 1

    I personally find that very sad and cynical, and I could never do it. (When women can do this, I call it “pulling a Samantha” and I figure they just don’t oxytocin-bond like most women do, myself included.) But hey, if she can do it and she’s actually happy, to each her own.

    I don’t think she’s that happy, though. :-/

  2. 2

    Oh dear…i was so exahusted half way through i didnt finish reading. The anger was just too much. i have more pleasant things to do on a Saturday morning like, drink coffee and read something uplifting. i knowing i am a great person and there are plenty of great male persons out there too. It’s not to say she doesnt have valid feelings…

  3. 3

    I agree Evan.   As someone who has had to fight against cynicism and purpose to assume the risk, this mindset can backfire terribly. She’ll encounter a good man whom she will fall for but will not return her feeling because he doesn’t want to deal with someone who’s close off her heart. I’ve had to eat my words lately. Amazing things can happen when you open your heart – here’s your moment Evan – I’m eating crow! Someone that may prove to be special has come along.

  4. 4

    I couldn’t finish her profile. It’s  sad and repetitive. She’s clearly very clever and a great writer. I wish her luck. I hope she finds what she’s looking for.

    To me it all comes down to expectations. Expectations are what bring us disappointment. When I was online dating, my only expectation was that when I met someone, I would have a pleasant evening. No more, no less. Of course it’s hard not to get your hopes up, and it hurts to be rejected, but I always reminded myself of two things:

    1) They don’t really know me, so they aren’t rejecting me, personally. They have an idea in their head of what they want, and I do not match their idea. It doesn’t make me flawed, it just means that I’m not the right fit for them.

    2) I want someone who wants me back. I don’t waste my time with men who don’t want me. I tell this to all my single friends: find someone who wants YOU! They are out there. Do not try to mold yourself into the person they want. You’ll always feel like you’re hiding your true self, and that never leads to happiness or intimacy.

    It’s tough, I admit. The rudeness. The rejection. I kept hope alive by reveling in those fleeting flirtations–even if they didn’t pan out. To me  they meant that if I could feel that way once, I could feel that way again.  My heart was still open.

    I’m one of the lucky ones. I met a great man a month after I signed up on OkCupid, and we moved in together almost a year later. It’s been two years and we’re happy as ever.

    But you can’t find love if you’re not open to it.

  5. 5

    Haven’t finished reading all, but almost 3 fourths, and I get a feeling that what AngryJaneDoe does is she has a standard of how she behaves, which is “working out the logistics, admitting to yourself what you’re doing”, and then tell the other person everything, every detail up front,  and if anybody doesn’t behave in such way, they will be judged or  criticized.

    This might be an adult way of dating, might even be good, but it doesn’t mean that everybody is obligated to act like this.

    There’re people who don’t want to  exhaust themselves  in giving away that much information to every single person they date;
    there’re people who don’t like to bear that much at the receiving end;  
    and some people  probably  don’t even like to figure out what they are doing.

    Not saying she’s wrong, I agree some of what she said, just that holding a “golden rule” and bashing men who don’t behave accordingly is not going to do much in the long run.

  6. 6

    Wow that chick is messed up.   How does she have it turned around in her twisted little head that all men are evil?   And on top of it, what about the girls?   Like we never mess up, or cause anyone any pain.   I wanted to quit reading but was so intrigued I just couldn’t, I don’t understand how someone can have that much hate in their heart.   Very sad.  

  7. 7

    For those women who want to behave like a “slut”, it is best NOT to expect the man/men they sleep with to value them for a long-term relationship.   For casual sex, there are a number of dating sites that cater to this type of interaction.
    Most men will say they believe that women are entitled to indulge in sex as freely as men.   However, how many of these men will actually get serious with this type of woman???  
    Back in the days, there were specific RULES for both sexes.   For those who broke the rules, there were consequences in most instances.   Then came the “Sexual Revolution” which supposedly granted women the same freedom as men.   IMO, what women gained from this change was the freedom to be rejected.
    Again, IMO, deep down in our emotional private place, nothing has changed.   Men still want to marry women who have not slept around.   Read “The Rules”.   There were relationship games then and there are relationship games now.
    It is not “politically correct”   today to believe in old-fashioned morality.   Lire and relationships were so much simpler then.   I am prepared to get a lot of criticism about this.   However, I would not want to be young and dating in 2011.  
    There are too many choices now, too few boundaries.   Everything goes!   Yet there is sooo much confusion and too much chaos.   If Life had a Reset button, like my computer, I would push it in a heartbeat!  

  8. 8

    I feel so sad for this woman.   Clearly, she has anger issues when started long before she started dating.   She would be wise to seek therapy to find out the real reason for all her anger.


  9. 9

    I read this “manifesta” and thought to myself “If anyone actually believes this woman is closed off to finding true love and given up on men, they don’t know women as much as they think they do.
    “And if I find that man who really acts like a slut in the best possible way, maybe I’ll whisper sweet truths into his ear, and maybe I’ll sleep over, and maybe I’ll let myself imagine romantic love and emotional security, and maybe I’ll let him know there can be more, and maybe I’ll invite him to join me in making it up as we go along.”
    To me, she is holding a gigantic sign challenging all men . . . come and overtake me. Break me down . . . show me you’re worthy of me.  

    I make no comment on the validity or effectiveness or honesty of what she’s doing. It’s just obvious to me that she’s doing it.

  10. 10

    I didn’t actually get that she is angry or that she is down on men, as reflected in this comment:
    “It also assumes that “acting like a man” means acting like a jackass, which is profoundly anti-man. I don’t think man should = jackass.”
    My take is that she likes to have casual sex and she is, in her words, ethical about how she does it and when she finds a man who approaches sex in relationship like she does, they may become a couple and have a life together – taken from this paragraph:
    And if I find that man who really acts like a slut in the best possible way, maybe I’ll whisper sweet truths into his ear, and maybe I’ll sleep over, and maybe I’ll let myself imagine romantic love and emotional security, and maybe I’ll let him know there can be more, and maybe I’ll invite him to join me in making it up as we go along.
    My final take away from her profile and your post is that she is trying to be creative and philosophical in her post and instead, is confusing.
    my 2 cents 🙂

  11. 11

    Terri –

    Women have always experienced rejection, in  passive (no one expresses  interest in a relationship)  and active (“it’s nice that you feel that way about me,  but no thanks”)  forms. The  ratios of one to the other may change,  but that’s about it.  Also, according to traditional precepts, ideals and definitions, almost all modern women have  “slept around,” and men have changed their definition of such  accordingly as to continue to find the majority of women wholly acceptable for  dating and marriage. If the  median  number of sexual partners for an adult woman becomes 20, “slut” will be redefined as 50+ partners. It’s amorphous and  context-dependent  like that.  In addition to that, most marriage-minded men now  see virginity that a woman intends to  maintain until marriage as a total  disqualification for consideration – the complete opposite of what you contend.

    Both of the Rules authors are now  divorced, BTW.

  12. 12

    I like her!! Lol. She’s a great writer.

    She actually sounds to be as though in the past, she has let men treat her badly, and she is only now finally starting to stand up for herself. Hopefully she’ll work through this, and come out the other end happier.

    Right now though, she’s pretty angry. I found some of her comments fairly humerous too…lol!!

  13. 13

    I would like to introduce the female readers to an interesting concept called “apex fallacy”.
    Go read a bunch of articles about the hookup culture in colleges, and you will find that most of them will tell you a story about how “boys” control everything. The girls have to put out to receive any attention, and the boys refuse to commit at all, insisting on ‘friends with benefits’ arrangements.
    This is only true if by “boys” you mean the most popular and in-demand 15-20% percent of men.
    For every man who is drowning in options, there are probably five that are working overtime just to get girls to talk to them. This is why there is confusion about the slut-stud issue.
    Sleeping around does not make you a stud. Being an in-demand male makes it possible to sleep around.
    The large majority of men have very little power in the sexual marketplace, and the only reason women see themselves as the weaker party is that they only are noticing the men with the most social power.
    Look at the unofficial harem that Tiger Woods was running. Over a dozen. Those were women that were not available for a monogamous relationship with other men. Look at the harems that star athletes at colleges have available to them. At Duke, they call them “LaCrosstitutes”.
    To take one more tack on the original question, let’s consider an average guy at some university, and an average girl.
    Suppose they take one month and have a contest to see how many times they can have sex. If they are both at the same level, the girl will win every time. An average looking girl could have a new sex partner every day for a whole month just by showing up at a college bar and signaling her willingness.
    For a guy to rack that kind of number, he would have to pay for it.
    Or…. he would have to be much more high-status than the girl. A top-level star athlete could probably match an average girl for partner count.
    So what does this have to do with the original question?
    A lot. The typical, average girl could easily rack up a number far beyond her average male peers. She could probably even clock the numbers as fast as a reasonably popular athlete. Therefore, men tend to view high partner count as a sign of poor self-control and thrill-seeking. Neither of which is very tempting when it comes to a long term relationship.
    Women, however, are often both fascinated and disgusted by high-number men.
    Remember, they would not be ‘studs’ without women giving it up for them. The tired old notion that men are high-fiving each other over getting laid is a myth, myth, myth.
    You can’t be a “stud” without the agreement of the women who provide the high partner count. It is NOT THE MEN that confer the title of “stud” on these womanizers – it is the WOMEN who do that.
    Apex fallacy in action.

  14. 14
    Flower White

    Blah blah blah.
    Can’t believe I read the whole thing.
    She is looking for a book deal.
    Most likely she was victim of childhood abuse.
    Sad really, the way she’s trolling there for the book deal.
    Dating advice? She gave no dating advice, only an outline for her book deal!

  15. 15

    I think I agree with kdr #9.  

    I have to wonder if this woman isn’t gunning for a book deal.  A few years ago, a guy named Tucker Max gained internet celebrity, which lead to a best-selling book, by documenting his sexual exploits on his blog.  

    First angryjanedoe says “I have taken down my profile, I am buying a vibrator, and I’m going to start spilling secrets”, but, with her profile still up, she proceeds to    provide graphic details about her sexual exploits. She also makes sure to tell us that we can find more of her writing on her blog.

  16. 16

    She experienced one too many hurts. Her once open and optimistic heart has slammed shut. The pendulum has swung waaaayyyyy to the other side. She’s hurt, angry, hardened and able to write eloquently so it appears that she’s in control now, safely living in the land of “I’ll Fuck who I want, when I want, and if I do so honestly, it’s a good thing for me and him. Aren’t I evolved and enlightened.”

    Not. She’s fooling herself. This girl is way too deep and emotional to be happy with meaningless sex. She wants love. Her anger right now is being channeled at the men she has casual sex with as a statement to all men. “See, I can walk away from you the next day. See, you have no effect on me. See, you can’t hurt me because I won’t let you.”

  17. 17

    I’m wondering if she does find a man who wants more of a relationship, what will she do.

  18. 18

    “The tired old notion that men are high-fiving each other over getting laid is a myth, myth, myth.”
    But… I hang around a bunch of early twenties guys of “middling/low status” and I’ve *seen* it happen. Repeatedly. Guys become legends (if they like him) and/or the frequent subjects of envious gossip (if they don’t) in homosocial groups for what they do and are rumored to have done when
    1: fighting  
    2: having sex

  19. 19

    My first reaction is such sadness, like Evan says.   Just more “one-upmanship” in the dating world, as if somehow bonus points are assigned to her for “getting it right” with some particularly unpleasant “male” behavior.   The only person she’s really hurting (and I agree  with others that she’s  acting out of anger and hurt) is herself.   What is  nasty and hurtful behavior in men is  nasty and hurtful behavior in women–what is being lost in so much of our interactions includes just our basic humanity, not just in dating and sex, though the pressure of dating encourages a very intense expression of our fear and anxiety.   I think it’s the hardest and bravest thing in the world to make yourself vulnerable in dating, but that’s also the only way to get to the true intimacy most of us yearn for.   She’s just guaranteeing that she won’t get to that place any time soon.   I don’t judge her for her “slutty” sexuality; I am sad that she’s crying out for what she’s ensuring she will never have.

  20. 20

    Terri –
    Although there are plenty of issues with the wide-openness of modern dating and relationships, I think going back to the straight-jacket of “traditional” rules and approaches isn’t the answer for many people. For some, it might be perfect. But honestly, I believe that some of the “anything goes” attitude you appear to be disappointed in is a reaction against the repressive, patriarchal structures of the past. In fact, the whole “slut/stud” double standard is coming directly from that paradigm, and I’d argue it harms both men and women, placing sexuality into a numbers game, and elevating some artificial notion of “purity” and “impurity” above all else.  
    I also have to laugh at the notion that relationships were so much easier in the past. That’s romantic nonsense. In my own family, I had multiple great grandparents who died young (one by suicide) and then multiple step great grandparents as a result. There are also stories of cheating, ultimatums given, spousal abuse, relationships torn apart by the death of a child – the list goes on and on. And to some degree, those same “old fashioned values” – like men are always right and authority must be deferred to them – played major roles on these situations. Had there been a bit more flexibility and sharing of power – things might have turned out differently.
    The way I see it, the job of us post-sexual revolution is to take the elements from the past that serve us and blend them with the freedoms and choices of today which also serve us. And learn to leave the rest behind. Stepping back from the ledge of “anything goes” is very smart, but if it’s just a retreat into some idealistic story about the past, I highly doubt that happiness will follow.

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