So this video on Bet by actor Tyrese Gibson has been making the rounds recently.
For those of you who don’t have audio or can’t be bothered to watch the video, basically he offers some rather sketchy dating “advice” to women:
“I’m gonna tell you all right now, and this might be harsh — sluts, skeezers, hoes, tramps and overly aggressive promiscuous women, they are never without a man because they don’t have no standards. They ready to have sex with any and everything that want to have sex with them. But when you are single, and you actually love yourself, you know your value and your self worth, you hold out until God sends you what’s yours.”
He continued, “So sometimes they be talking mess to women that are single but I have a respect for them because if you’re single and you might say, ‘I’ve been single for a couple years,’ whatever the case may be, you actually holding out because you have your value. You have women that are active out in these streets, they going to lunches and dinners every night. Private planes, mega yachts, it’s cracking. They’re never without. However, it comes with a cost, you gonna put a lot of miles on yourself down there, come on.”
The equivalent of dropping a piece of meat in the middle of a piranha tank, the video has unsurprisingly received a lot of backlash. Dating blogger Demetrius wrote a response to it here. Anyhow, are my thoughts.
I’ve been on both sides of the judgement coin. I’ve received a fair amount of it, but I’ll admit I’ve dished it out too. At university, I was a party goer. No drugs, and I didn’t sleep around myself, but I enjoyed a good night out (and had no issues with the people who did sleep around). However, most of the friends I made there over the years ended up drifting, and by third year I was left with a small selection of friends… who were all devout Christians. They didn’t enjoy partying quite as much as I did. They were waiting for marriage, so weren’t interested in the funny sexual misadventure stories when I got my first boyfriend. I grew frustrated. Why would anyone not drink? They’re missing out on the best part of life! Why would anyone wait for marriage? You could end up rushing into marriage and become miserable. What was wrong with these people? Is it the dark ages or something? Was relieved to come home to my atheist friends after graduation. “Christians are stupid”. “Christians get married WAY too young and too quickly”. Music to my ears.
After I came back from my gap year, I went on a holiday with a group of girls from school and the wider group. They spent a lot of time discussing sexual exploits, which is fine, but I felt a bit pushed out as a lot of it I couldn’t relate to. Got into an argument one night after one of them criticised me for having “only done stuff with one guy” and I should get out there and do it, it escalated, we hurled abuse at each other, I expected everyone to take my side, but they took hers. We patched things up since, but at the time, I grew bitter.
I developed a sympathy for the Christians. I realised how awful it must be, to have someone tell you to have sex, or drink, when you don’t want to. But, rightly or wrongly, judgement in the other direction increased. I remembered the time a girl had ferociously attacked me for being a virgin while out drinking as a teenager, and demanded that I sleep with a stranger on the spot. I remembered all the times people in my university had attacked me for not doing stuff with random guys. Feminist publications urged people not to “slut-shame”. But why should one group of women have rights that I did not? I discovered the “red pill” community after one of their links got posted on my Facebook timeline. According to them, men should sleep around, but the women who did the same were sluts, and men should only marry those with 3 or less previous sexual partners. I agreed. Conservative women like me made the best girlfriends, of course. The people who had hurt me were going to end up alone and miserable!
I believed that sex was something that should be valued, and only happen in the context of a committed relationship. When questioned on why I wasn’t having it, I had a moral stance to back it up. Sex was something women gave to men who were worthy of it. If they gave it up to too many men, well that meant they were just easy. A key that can open many locks… and all that. Some men I encountered agreed. The “liberal” men who complained about “slut shaming”, would go on to tell me to “get laid” in the middle of an unrelated conversation. But I fought fire with fire. “You’re not a sexual being”. “Just because I’m not a slag doesn’t mean I’m not sexual”. Perhaps not the best way to go about it, but it worked at the time. Yet, deep down, I didn’t judge people. When people I liked had slept around, I never thought any less of them. I said women should be judged for sleeping around, but deep down when it came down to it… I didn’t do it. I just hated the culture that jarred against my own nature.
But over time, this began to unravel. I met new people, followed new bloggers. I learned that some women want to sleep around. For their own personal benefit, not the man’s. And they weren’t judging others, or hurting anyone. I realised that for a man to sleep around, then bemoan the lack of “good girls”, was actually a hypocritical stance. I actually realised that I just didn’t want to have casual sex, and not wanting to do something is a valid reason not to do it. To me, sex is something that could never be fully casual, and it is still something I value. But I don’t push those beliefs onto others. Just as I don’t have to enjoy casual sex because other people do, doesn’t mean other people can’t because I don’t. Just as I don’t have to wait for marriage because other people do, doesn’t mean other people can’t wait for marriage because I’m not.
So when I watched the Tyrese Gibson video, I felt uneasy. It was the women like me who were being praised. Yet I realised that I didn’t want praise that came at someone else’s expense. You shouldn’t have to tear down other women to feel good about yourself. I’d also be interested to know how many miles he’s put on himself “down there”.
If you know your value and self-worth, and want to hold out for something a little more serious than the Tinder guy who asks you over for “Harry Potter and chill”, great. If you just want to take a break from dating for a while, great. If you’re waiting for marriage, that’s great too. If you’re a man and you don’t want to buy into the lads mag hookup culture, that’s fine. But if you’re not looking for anything serious right now and just want to sleep around, and you’re honest about your intentions with the men involved, why not? If you want to focus on work but have a friend with benefits for occassional company and action, go for it. Or maybe you’re dating someone more seriously for a while, it doesn’t work out, you have one one-night-stand as rebound, then take a break for a while. Do what works for you.
Judgement happens when you can’t understand a different mentality. But everyone’s mentality is different. Mature, happy people don’t judge. They empathize, and accept.