2014 winning story

Download available here: WHEN A WOMAN OWES YOU SEX

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WHEN A WOMAN OWES YOU SEX

By Madison King
Hammarskjold High School, Thunder Bay, Ontario
June 2014

Not long ago, I had the pleasure of reading an article entitled “If He Pays for Dinner, You Do Owe Him Sex”.   The author of the piece discussed, in great detail, that when a man is on a date with a woman and he pays for dinner, he is entitled to sex with her. He compared the encounter to a legitimate exchange of money for services: a woman should infer that a common courtesy from a man who hasn’t explicitly stated his intentions is simply a transaction and that the man must be rewarded for doing a somewhat nice thing. A woman who denies a man sex after he’s bought her a Caesar Salad isn’t holding up her end of the deal and thus deserves to be vilified for exercising her bodily autonomy.

I managed to contact the author of the article, who indulged me with an intellectually stimulating debate. I was confounded by his masterful grasp of the English language. His use of effective, politically correct diction like “retarded” and “feminazi” really furthered his point . I felt respected while speaking with him. He never patronized me or insulted me for mistakenly finding fault in his impeccably crafted argument. He simply stated that his article wasn’t misogynistic because he’s a man and he says so. I was just being too emotionally charged on a topic that directly related to my treatment, as “oversensitive feminist harpies” like myself often are.

My acquaintance encouraged me to be more sympathetic to the plights of men. How could I have been so insensitive? Upon further consideration, I concluded that men indeed have it pretty rough. For example, they’re paid substantially more than women for the same work, and therefore feel more pressure to perform. Advertisements heckle them constantly for being bad at cleaning, praising them instead for their natural proficiency in more complex and demanding areas like small engine repair and construction. And, worst of all, they might occasionally offend some hypersensitive feminist and be called sexist (ugh, socially aware women are such a drag). In these difficult times for men, the least we women can do is make sure that they’re getting all the sex they’re entitled to.

My fellow social critic however, fell short when it came to brainstorming solutions to the problem he observed. In fact, when I offered that he just be honest with the woman and explain that he rightfully paid for sex with her – so like, I mean, I know you just didn’t know, because I pretended to care about you as a person and all, but I have a right to your body, so, um, you really need to make this right –and he didn’t reply. Luckily for him, I’ve managed to fire up my half-witted woman brain long enough to come up with a resolution.

The main issue that needs to be tackled, of course, is the age-old question: exactly what is the price on the body of any given woman nowadays? Surely all men can agree that Megan Fox isn’t a quarter chicken dinner from Swiss Chalet, and the girl you met on the bus who’s kind of hot if your squint isn’t lobster with a side of caviar. I’m frankly a little surprised that among the other legislation men have managed to pass regarding woman’s bodies, (when she is or is not responsible for the sexual assault she was a victim of and when she an and cannot have a safe abortion, to name a few) they have never once thought to introduce some sort of price-checking system. A solution that comes to mind is a government mandated evaluation; once a woman turns 16, shy is objectively rated by a jury of men on, you know, the key features — how honestly does she laugh at my: a woman in the kitchen” jokes? How big are her boobs?   — and when branded on the forehead (visibility is essential to alleviate the problem at hand, of course) with a price ranging from $0.01 to $84.99.

Of course, there’s always the matter of depreciation. Like, what if a woman is in a tragic accident, disfiguring her and making her less valuable as arm candy? What if she turns forty and acquires life experience – or heaven forbid – the ability to express herself clearly and confidently? What if for some health reason she needs to get a breast removed at the age of thirty? Should men really still have to pay for two boobs when they’re only getting one? I’ve concluded that women ought to be re-evaluated each year to account for changes. After all, there’s nothing more important to be done with our tax dollars.

Beyond the determination of dinner price, I’m still confused as to why men have so modestly stopped their plea for compensation at meals. They’re being far too gracious with women. $24.99 is too steep a price to pay for one sexual favour in this economy. Men deserve to be rewarded for any gesture of human decency to women, no matter how small. My fellow women should consider the cost of asking to borrow a pencil or having a door held open for them. We owe it to men to reward them in whatever way they deem appropriate, regardless of our preferences, because they’re men, and our reservations are negligible in relation to their desires. For us, there are no such things as favours or gifts for men. Everything nice any man ever does for us must be paid back in sex. This ideology, once implemented, will revolutionize birthday parties.

Besides, women really have no other gender-specific disadvantages to deal with. We can afford to dole out sexual favours like hellos to lessen the burdens of our male counterparts. Being paid less, and being shamed for exposing basic non-sexual anatomy, and being shamed for being raped because we “asked for it”, and being shamed for daring to discuss our marginalization, and being shamed for excelling because it’s assumed we ”slept our way to the top”, and being shamed for looking unattractive when held to an impossibly high standard, and being shamed for having sex too often too soon too little too late or not well enough really pales in comparison to the struggles of men. Like, sometimes, they might be told they fight, throw or act “like a girl”. Which is horrible. Because a girl is the absolute worst thing a man can be called. Because the absolute worst thing is a woman.

But that’s not sexist or misogynistic or problematic. I’m just grasping at straws.

Personally, I prefer the good old days. Back when unwed women were stoned to death in the streets for not being able to prove their hymens were intact, and I was legally property. I’m nostalgic for a time when the price on my body, on all women’s bodies, was exactly seven healthy cows. In addition to being far clearer cut to assure men’s convenience, it’s also a very fitting trade; I, as a woman, possess the decision making, skills, and consciousness of about seven healthy cows. In fact, at any given moment, this very paragraph will dissolve into a vacuous mash of gibberinjsdhsdfkjhdkjvndfm