Dear Head Pro,
My roommates are the least betchy girls I've ever met. They're whiny, obnoxious, and to be honest pretty stupid, not to mention that they collectively commit more party fouls than I ever thought possible. None of this really bothers too much though, as I usually spend more time with my besties and boyfriend than I do with them. My issue is that they ALWAYS drop the word “retard,” or as I call it the R-bomb, into just about every sentence that is spoken under our roof.
I've explained time and time again that I have an autistic brother and therefore find the R-bomb offensive, so could they please try to not say it around me. They haven't stopped. So I sat them down and told them exactly how the R-bomb makes me feel, and they said they'll try to stop using it, but again, it seems like no efforts have been made. Literally it's gotten to the point where every time one of them drops an R-bomb, I have to point it out. The other day, one of the girls looked at me and said “maybe you just shouldn't be so sensitive?”
Ummm, excuse me!? I understand that cutting a word out of your language is tough, but show some fucking respect for me and my family. Throw any insult at me, and I'll toss it over my shoulder: I literally don't give a shit what people think about me. But as soon as my brother gets involved, I turned into a psycho-mama bear-crazy woman. I understand that these girls aren't trying to insult my bro, but the fact is in using the R-bomb in a derogatory context they are. How the fuck do I get them to stop? I feel like I've tried everything I can but they're relentless with this language. I'm home for Christmas now and honestly don't want to go back to this house at university because of this situation… am I being too sensitive, or is this a fault on their part?
Lots of love,
Dear Mama-Bear Betch,
There’s no question that the world we live in today is different from the one we lived in even ten short years ago. No longer is it acceptable to call your bros “fags” for doing something blatantly homosexual, like refusing to drink or telling their girlfriends they love them. In fact, it’s probably a sign of the times that even I cringe a little when I hear teenagers loudly fag-shaming one another in a public place. I mean come on guys, what would happen if you were saying that in earshot of some actual fags? Probably something really faggy, but then again I’ll never know because I don’t do it. It’s disrespectful to gay bros and British cigarettes everywhere.
The tough part about this situation is that no one is right, and both of you are kind of in the wrong. On the one hand you’re justified in your obligation to make known that certain words and insults can mean very different things to different people. On the other hand, you’re talking about a group of friends who don’t know you all that well [Ed. note: She mentioned that these are only tangential friends to her but took too long to say it so I cut it] and don’t see you all that often using what is, among them, acceptable language. You’ve done your part by making your feelings known, which is about all you can do. Think about trying to remove a term from your lexicon that is meaningless to you and everyone you know, save for one person for whom the term is extremely offensive. It wouldn’t be easy.
Words only have power if you allow them to. Think of what the homosexual community has done with the words “queer” and “gay”, and what the black community has done (to a certain extent) with “nigger.” Look at the feminist movement – where “bitch” was once genuinely offensive, now some girls wear t-shirts proclaiming it as a point of pride. Hell, you’re reading a website by and for self-proclaimed “betches,” an obvious derivative of the word bitch, about the self-proclaimed best females in the world. In all of these instances, the words in question lost a ton of impact because the groups they were directed at took ownership of them, robbing them of their original, hateful meaning.
If I may be so bold, I think that getting upset at the use of the word “retard,” if anything, does a disservice to your brother and others like him. People with autism and similar conditions are challenged, yes, and probably limited in many ways, but thinking of them as “retarded” isn’t doing them any favors. By taking offense, you’re not only giving the word its power, and are in fact injecting the hate back into it. Also, in all likelihood they don't intend to use this word offensively because they probably aren't using it to insult actual retarded people, in which case that would be fucked up and definitely rude.
Your roomies mean no harm, and certainly no disrespect to your brother when they say “retard.” Until you can stop associating your brother with retardation, nothing I can say to you will make you see that.
Dear Head Pro,
So I have sort of a unique situation, in that I'm trying to help someone out. My best guy friend is something of a bro/pro: he's decent looking, has a decent job and makes a decent amount of money. Problem is, he hasn't been able to hook up with anyone in like six months. This is a new problem for him. He was never really a man whore but he could definitely bring home girls. He mostly does all the right things- he flirts with girls at the bars, buys them shots, compliments them, etc. but he doesn't seal the deal. It's gotten to the point that we've both decided that I need to help him out. Problem is, I have no idea how to be a good wingwoman!
I've thought of telling him what worked with me personally, but the only reason I've ever gone home with guys from the bar was because I was blackout. Most of the rest of my circle of friends have boyfriends and if I'm being honest, I'd rather him take home a random from the bar than one of my besties to avoid potential awkward situations. I just started law school and I've invited him to a few of the law events thinking that would be easy for him, but most of these girls are nice girls and aren't going to do a random hook up, which is all he's looking for. I do recognize that he blacks out a lot (which is why we get along so well) and that's not exactly a turn on for some girls. And like I said, he's decent looking, but he isn't the hottest guy out there. But girls go home with blackout uglies all the time, and he's not trying to get the girls that are out of his league.
I really want to help him out since he apparently can't get laid on his own, and I owe him because I've hooked up with one or two of his friends over the years, I just have no idea how to get other girls to go home with a guy! So I'm turning to you: how can a betch be a good wingwoman and why can't my friend get any?
Just Trying to Help a Friend
Dear Just Trying to Help a Friend,
How noble of you to email me with this issue. Having a girl wingman is a great thing for a bro to have, but the problem is that, like you, not a lot of girls know how to do it well. I’m reminded of the “pickup artist” stuff that was all the rage about five years ago which every bro (whether he admits it or not) took an interest in. Most of the information is either known by now, outdated, or just plain dumb to begin with, but some of the concepts still hold true, namely the idea that being in the company of women at the very least lets other women know that you’re probably not a drapist (someone who drowns women while raping them).
You’re right to not go down the rabbit hole of “what works on me” because there’s nothing that “works” on every woman. Every girl is turned on by different things in different quantities, and if bros tried to approach girls with that mentality, no one would ever get laid. Instead, bros and pros get laid by doing two things. First, we actually converse with and listen to women, and by doing so we find some kind of “void” (for lack of a better word) that we’re able to fill, both emotionally and physically (I’m talking about my penis). Complimenting girls and buying them drinks is a poor catch-all that rarely works. Not so much because it makes a guy look weak and unoriginal, but because it does nothing to show them that the guy has even the slightest interest in her or her story. Anyone can buy a girl a drink and tell her she’s pretty, but only someone who’s bothered to make the effort can make even the most superficial of connections, which most girls like to have before handing out mouth hugs.
The second part of getting laid is being the kind of guy other people want to be around, which is where you come in. By carting him around and not-so-subtly introducing him to your friends, it makes it look like you’re trying to pass him off, which is undesirable. Even worse, it’s forced, and in an awkward situation like that he’s going to default to the standard drink-buying and complementing every time. Instead, your job is easy: Just be there. Have fun with him. Let others see you have fun with him. If he can make you laugh and have a good time, presumably he can do the same for other women too. Let the women come to him when possible, and let introductions happen organically. Trust me, law school girls are not hard to get into bed.