Julie Marie Wade


The panel concludes that it is more likely than not that all sexual contact between
Complainant and Respondent [] was mutually consensual.

More likely than not, you’ve had a good time and you’ve been a good time—but whether you had and were a good time at the same time is hard to say.  You tell us.  And how many good times are we talking about anyway?  There’s a ratio, you know, between good times and good taste, and we have reason to believe you might be out of balance.  Notice how we say “out of balance” instead of “out of whack.”  We’re good like that.  We’re sensitive.

Unfortunately, our research suggests that you’ve been known to take all the fun out of something for someone else, and we don’t like that.  Of course we don’t mean to imply that “you” is always female, “someone” always male, or “something” always sexual, but it’s convenient, isn’t it—and in our experience, almost always true. There are many yous like you. You’re not that original.

For fun’s sake, let’s try a metaphor. If “fun” is a bright blue latex balloon, you have a habit of inflating expectations with all your hot air. Everything you say carries innuendo, a flirty puff of heat. Surely you know by now that even when you don’t mean to, you really do. But then you’re having second thoughts, and you start to cool off before that balloon is full, is ripe, is thrillingly tumescent.  Ever seen the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade?  Well, what if someone just stopped inflating those balloons midway through?  That would be worse than rain, wouldn’t it? No one wants to see some sad, flaccid sacks drooping and dragging down Fifth Avenue. They could ruin the whole holiday.

More likely than not, you’ve had your fill of a good thing and tried to walk away.  But you haven’t paid your tab yet, have you?  Haven’t even reached for your wallet as a gesture of good will?  We know your type.  You’ve dined well on compliments, then taken attention home in a doggie bag. And though you complain about the Styrofoam box—how it lacks “environmental consciousness”—you eat the contents anyway, in bare feet beside the microwave that nuked them. No silverware or picnicware.  Just like an animal.  Please note we’re not judging here, merely observing. But if you’re an animal who eats with her hands, can you really fault him for being an animal, too? We’re all tactile creatures after all.

By the way, have you ever seen Carnal Knowledge with Ann-Margret? Really?  It’s a classic. How ‘bout 10 with Bo Derek or Manhattan with Mariel Hemingway?  Sure, they’re a little dated now, but we like them—not the women, of course (too old!), but the movies. They’ve taught us most of what we know about ladies’ health and safety, ladies’ scorn and fury, even the lengths a lady will go to in order to land a man.  More likely than not, you wouldn’t be cast as a leading lady, would you? Maybe, on a good day, you could play a supportive best friend or a sidekick turned temporarily sexy after she removes her glasses.  Oh, you don’t have glasses?  We’re afraid contacts won’t save you in this script.  The fact is, you’re not very good at playing along.  No, just the opposite. You’re the kind who carries a doctor’s note explaining why she can’t take off her bra (frozen shoulder)—why she can’t drop her drawers (a rare condition called “always on the rag”)—why her character needs a name and back story and mixed emotions, too—scenes where she speaks to other women about something other than a man (Mo’s movie measure). Demanding much?

Didn’t anyone ever tell you that you can’t have it all? We’re supposed to put up with you, and you won’t even put out for us? That hardly seems fair.  In fact, it seems fickle, and the last thing you want to do is confirm all those stereotypes about women who can’t make up their minds.  Now we don’t mean to imply the “you” is always female, or the “we” is always male, or that “fickleness” is always a gendered trait—though more often than not, it is. We wish you would stop calling the basic facts of life a “raw deal,” a “double bind.”  Things like this happen all the time.  There are many yous like you, and somehow, they always find themselves in similar predicaments. It’s as if they never learn. And while we wouldn’t say they were asking for it, could you really blame us if we couldn’t say they weren’t?