Once upon a time, I hooked up with a boy. For the purpose of this story, that boy’s name can be XY Chromosome. So, XY might be an athlete (shocker how that happens, eh?). This happened approximately six months ago. For reasons unbeknownst to me, XY’s teammates find it entertaining to give me looks, talk down to me, and drop his name every time I’m in the vicinity. Who said college students aren’t mature?
Anyways, these guys watching, whispering, and name dropping around me isn’t really all that big a deal. Something that happened six months ago might still be slightly entertaining to them, but I’m over it. That’s not what gets my blood boiling. The real problem? A select couple of them call me “[Chromosome]’s Girl” * when I’m doing something they don’t like i.e. not putting out for them when they use the incredibly enticing lines like “i’ll have sex with you tonight and tonight only, but you can’t tell a soul. i don’t need that getting out”.*
Hot and bothered yet? I sure was (I declined if you were wondering).
I could go on with this particular man’s bargaining strategies, but I think my point is made. Ignoring the fact that he a) has no game b) thinks so little of his close friend that he wants to tease women who’ve hooked up with him c) is a terrible person, he continually refers to me as [Chromosome]’s girl in any and all situation where I am not bending to his will.
He uses this identifier so often I wonder if he even knows my name. When I first met this guy in the beginning of our acquaintance-ship this fall (long after XY), I asked him if he even knew my name. His response? You guessed it: “of course… [Chromosome]’s Girl]”.
First of all, I belong to no one; most certainly not XY who I hooked up with maybe four times last spring.
Second of all, I’m not a girl. I am a woman, an adult. A young adult if you’d like, but an adult none the less.
Third of all, I belong to no one!!!! You used the possessive apostrophe ‘s’… really? REALLY?!
Why did he revert to putting me down, trying to humiliate by diminishing my identity, my individuality, what makes me, me? During the summer, I worked with a couple guys who would always call me Carolyn. Not because they didn’t know that that wasn’t my name (it’s not…), but because they decided they didn’t care enough to fix it or honor my wishes to be called by my actual name. Frankly, I’d take Carolyn over [Chromosome]’s Girl any day of the week. At least it is a name rather than down right derogatory. Ultimately, however, I shouldn’t have to choose between the lesser of two evils. I have the right to be called by my name— the name I introduce myself as, the name I identify with.
People are mean. I get it. This is not reserved for men, women do it too. But to me this just seems like a low blow. Refusing to acknowledge my main identifying factor (my name) is stupid and, frankly, mean. Sorry i wouldn’t sleep with you (but not really). Bargaining with me over my body, saying things like “but you slept with XY so why wouldn’t you sleep with me” * isn’t going to work. And then throwing up your hands and saying “Whatever [Chromosome]’s Girl”* certainly isn’t going to work.
I don’t know what the root of the problem is or how to fix it, I just know that no one has the right to make me feel subordinate like that. While I think part of the problem is that these teams share everything, it far from explains the problem (not to mention that it is its own issue entirely).
This we-know-everything-about-one-another culture between teammates (and friends) creates a glib disregard for the subjectivity of truth. People then think that they know all that goes on with their friends’ [sex] lives when they really may not have a clue. There were only two people present (in most situations… I assume…) and therefore only those present can really know.
* Yeah, these are direct quotes.