A few years ago I predicted, probably back on R>, that soon, both participants in weddings would be called “brides”. The Party, The Photos, The “Venue”, THE DRESS! had become the most important features of weddings, which were becoming ever more elaborate, large, and expensive. Increasingly the woman, Queen for a Day, old-fashioned Disney Princess, was the sole focus, the Big Fish at these bloated banquets. Literally, like those fish where the female is huge and the male is a teensy li’l minnow who supplies the sperm and then….whatevs, who cares?
I didn’t know then what was gonna happen to the word “groom”. But now, who in his right mind would want to be called a groom? The word sounds like a cross between Grinch and gloom, to begin with; that “oo” sound in English isn’t propitious. But that’s the least of it, now that the verb “to groom” means sump’n like…idk, it’s worse than “seduce”somehow, because it implies that the , ah, groomee, is an innocent tool, a victim, of the groom. (Adding -er to groom is actually superfluous.) If you saw a sign now advertising “dog grooming” f’rinstance, wouldntcha imagine—just for a second, all unwillingly—the pup being habituated to bestial sodomy? No? Exactly what IS significance, the message, of all that perfume, the little pink bows? Fifi is being tarted up like a furry sex toy!
But what I really wanted to do is point you to an article on Powerline blog today, “Can Adults No Longer Consent?”
An eminent scientist has lost his job—and we have lost a possible cure for cancer— and is now on unemployment because a woman with whom he had an affair when he was fifty-something and she was—wait for it—TWENTY-NINE! now claims she only participated because he “groomed “ her for his bed.
Actually I think that’s why we used the word originally: the man in the wedding duo is supposed to do just that: “groom” the presumably virginal woman for her rôle as his sexual partner and mate in the biological,sense: mother of his issue. Groom also originally meant the stable hand who made one’s horses presentable.
I argued with my (now former) college friends for a few years about this. It must have been at the height of #metoo that one of them called me late one night agonizing —40+ years later!—over whether she had “really” wanted to have sex with all those Haverford College guys. I naively thought simple reassurance would be enough, like, “Oh yeah, you DID want it. I was there, we were best friends, remember? Don’t give it another thought!” But that wasn’t what she was after, I’m sure I don’t need to tell you. I said CTFO! We were/are. Bryn Mawr women! If WE couldn’t handle ourselves, who can? Then she said, well, maybe you and I can handle it but there are so many poor, uneducated women who might never realize they are doing something they dont “really” want to do,We had an argument wherein I maintained that it was classist and sexist to say that about women, it infantilizes us. ALL of us. Well it wasn’t really an argument: I was a cold-hearted abuse facilitator, and she, of course, was on the side of the angels. “Bless the beasts and the children”…and, evidently, we women are now in that same perpetually incapable category. I am now no longer in communication with her nor any of my other college friends.
Will this ever end? Will we ever get back to realizing that we need a modicum at least of heterosexual aggression to perpetuate our species? I’d like to think the Powerline article will be widely read. Because that is the crux of it:
Can ANY woman, ever, under ANY circumstances and at ANY age, consent to sexual relations?