If you Wanna Be My Lover…

Reading Time: 5 minutes
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Em Dehaney 

I like to think most men agree that grabbing a woman by the vagina without asking permission first is not a nice thing to do.
Most men would, I hope, agree that forcing parts of yourself into a woman while she is passed out drunk behind a dumpster is also not very nice.
Most men don’t lurk about on social media waiting to call women ‘entitled skanks’ and ‘sluts’, telling them they should get cancer or making vile comments about their miscarried babies.
Yeah, the world is full of men who treat women with respect, who never use misogynist language and would never dream of asking for nudes, let alone send a dick-pic.
The unsolicited dick-pic which has, by the way, become the 21st century equivalent of the flasher in the park. Instead of jumping out of the bushes waggling a shrivelled appendage from beneath a grubby mac, they now get their pervy kicks by sending slightly out of focus photos of their cock and balls to any women who has had the audacity to exist in a public online forum. Cheap, nasty thrills has to be why they do it. Sending someone a disembodied picture of your wang-doodle (or in most cases just doodle) can’t actually get you anything in return except ignored, blocked or bombarded with pictures of other men’s junk.
No how I met your mother story starts with ‘Well, I sent her a poorly lit picture of my semi-erect penis and the rest is history.’
But I digress.
The point is, most guys aren’t misogynistic, rapey arseholes. They are just nice guys. And we all know, nice guys finish last, right?
I read this article  entitled ‘https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FDangerousMindsBlog%2Fposts%2F1295376133850701&width=500“>The friend zone isn’t a thing and women don’t owe you shit.’
But, according to a whole bunch of ‘nice guys’ in the comments section, they do. These guys would never call a woman a bitch or cat-call you in the street. They will tell you how they think female stand-up comedians are actually really funny and how much they like the latest Beyonce album because it’s so empowering. They are just poor, nice guys, telling us how it really is.

“The truth is if we are attracted to a woman, we never want to be just friends.”

Oh, well that’s just rude. I thought we had loads in common. We like the same music/support the same football team/both hate our boss and like to create ever more elaborate comedy scenarios which result in him losing his job. But we can’t be friends because I have lady parts and you don’t think I’m completely ugly. Cheers mate.

“He had a desire for her, she should directly reject him as soon as she knows she doesn’t feel the same way, and have no expectation that he wanted to be friends.”

Yeah women, if a man starts talking to you, instantly assume he wants to have sex with you and then shoot him down in the bluntest way you can.

“Not every compliment is an attempt to sleep with a woman. Some grown ass women could just plain and simply be polite about rejection.”

But wait…didn’t that other nice guy just say…oh, now my silly woman head is confused.

“The friend-zone is not about sex. It is about unrequited love. It’s about a woman being tone deaf about the feelings of a man. I submit that if a man has romantic interest in a woman, then she relegates the man to the friend-zone, she is communicating to him that you are not good enough to be my lover.”

Newsflash my dude, there is no such thing as ‘unrequited love’. You don’t live in a fucking Mediaeval courtly love story. That is infatuation, pure and simple. And it’s all in your head.
This reminded me of someone I once knew. Let’s call him Neil. Neil had been infatuated with a certain girl since school. Nothing more than a few drunken goodnight kisses ever happened between them, but he was her faithful puppy dog. She even drove his car whilst drunk and crashed it. He, of course, took the blame. What a bitch, right? What a prick tease? Stringing poor Neil along like that. He used to ask my advice. I always told him she wasn’t interested in him in that way, and to give it up. He didn’t. He hung around just in case she ever changed her mind and realised she had been in love with him all along. She didn’t. Ever.
But the thing about Neil isn’t that he was treated badly by this particular friend-zoner, it’s that he was also treated like this by his so-called male friends. They kept him around because he gave them lifts and let them take drugs at his parent’s house when they were on holiday, but behind his back they called him a loser and a geek and laughed at how tried so hard to be like them but never quite made it. He was friend-zoned by his actual friends, and he didn’t even know it.

 

My day got even better, when this little gem popped up on my Twitter feed.

I don’t want to link to the article and give it click-oxygen. You’re clever, if you really want to read it, you’ll find it. I’ve saved you the trouble however, by picking out the choicest cuts of nice-guy wisdom.

‘You had your chance on our first (and only) date. I was wonderful to you, I was a gentleman. I treated you with respect … I didn’t expect anything in return except a chance to win your heart… I’m the man of your dreams, but you couldn’t see that.’

Ahh, he wanted to win my heart, how sweet. I mean sure, he thinks he knows what I want better than I do, but he sounds like a super nice guy.

‘I get it though, now that you’re on the downside of 30, the wrinkles are starting, the body is sagging…I know it was impossible to see that that deadbeat irresponsible jerk was actually a deadbeat irresponsible jerk, but that’s not my problem. While you were waiting for those texts that never came I was busy getting my career in order and maximizing my credit score. Now my biggest issue is deciding which colour Audi I’m going to buy.’

What a catch. How could I have let him slip though my fingers?
Sure, I know “Leo Stevens” probably isn’t real, and none of this ever happened, but if anything that makes it worse. There are plenty of men out there who truly believe they are the nice guys. That they are everything you are looking for and you are going to regret turning them down, because how could you possibly not find them worthy of your affections? How could you not love them? They love you. They really do. Bitch.

 

 

America

Reading Time: 2 minutes
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Em Dehaney

My name is Em Dehaney, and I have never been to America.
I’ve never been to America, but I have walked the steam-vented mean streets of New York, ridden in the yellow taxis and tasted the mustard covered hotdogs. I have gambled with gangsters and seen a city grow from the blood of immigrants, all thanks to Martin Scorcese.
I’ve never been to America but I have stood under endless Yosemite skies and seen the moonrise through the lens of Ansell Adams.
I’ve never been to America but I’ve felt heat from the sunbaked alleys of Compton and learned the poetry of oppression and violence through the words of Tupac and NWA.
I’ve looked inside myself, understood my depression and my fears and anxieties through the prism of Sylvia Plath.
I’ve seen the beauty of street art through the eye of Jean-Michel Basquiat.
I’ve heard the rhythm of survival, courage and freedom in the writing of Maya Angelou.
I’ve listened to Motown and Lou Reed and Patti Smith and The Ramones and Nirvana and Hole and the whole soundtrack to my teenage years on cassette tapes recorded in basement studios in Seattle and New York and LA and Detroit.
America has given us blues, jazz, hip-hop, graffiti, punk, grunge. It has given us art through adversity, it has given us beauty through struggle.
And continues to give us Saturday Night Live, regularly lampooning the shit-show that is the Trump administration, and Teen Vogue, the surprise bastion of intelligent resistance, and thousands of voices on Twitter, and gives us Beyonce and Lady Gaga bringing race and gender politics into the homes of millions of Americans watching the Superbowl. Gives us the Dakota Access Pipeline Protests and The Pussy Power March. Gives us films like Get Out and Moonlight.
America has seen the darkest of times; colonialism, slavery, segregation, the assassinations of Martin Luther King and John F Kennedy. America is the only nation to have used atomic weapons in war. America has a list of crimes against humanity as long as it’s troubled history. And now America seems to be run by an embarrassing coterie of ignorant bootlickers, Holocaust deniers, racists, bigots, misogynists and religious fundamentalists.
But there will always be American artists telling their stories through film, music, comedy and poetry. Fighting the power. Bringing the noise. Singing from inside the cage. Raging against the machine.
I’ve never been to America, but it will always be in my heart.

 

You can hear Em read this piece on our podcast titled Fight The Power.

 

Em Dehaney

Reading Time: 1 minute

 

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Em Dehaney

Em Dehaney is a mother of two, a writer of fantasy and a drinker of tea. Born in Gravesend, England, her writing is inspired by the dark and decadent history of her home town. She is made of tea, cake, blood and magic.
Her poem ‘Here We Come A-Wassailing’ is in the Christmas anthology ‘12 Days’ (all proceeds going to Cystic Fibrosis UK) and her short story ‘The Mermaid’s Purse’ is to be published in the forthcoming Fossil Lake anthology ‘Sharkasaurus’ (Feb 2017). You can find her on Amazon, her website, twitter, or lurking about on Facebook posting pictures of witches.

You can read her Ungagged writing here.

 

Em’s latest book, Food of the Gods and Other Strange Delicacies is out now