A reader tipped us to this piece by Maura Kelly of Marie Claire, titled "3 Little White Lies Men Should Always Tell," wherein she lays out three rules for men to follow. Unsurprisingly, they're a bit sketchy.
Kelly argues that men should always tell these three lies to women, as a means to make them feel comfortable during early flirting sessions. In coming across a "new friend," Kelly insists that the relationship begin with a bucketful of lies; namely, that the man tell her she's super thin, super young looking, and worth sleeping with. Charming! Let's break it down, shall we?
1. I always want a guy to tell me I look skinny.
Now, yes, I know I sound like a real anti-feminist, saying this. But it pleases me to no end when people - male and female - say things like, "My god, you're tiny!" Or, "Wow, what are you these days, a size two?" I know societal pressures have done some bad things to my body image (and to our collective body image); I won't deny that. But I do love to feel petite.
Kelly lays this rule down after being completely horrified that a "new friend" described her body as "athletic." "Athletic!?!? He consciously chose NOT to say thin," she writes, "Instead, he said athletic. Which means muscular. Which means thick. Which is as good as saying fat!" Uh, no. That's not what it means. That's what you're perceiving it to mean, and pushing a rule like, "tell me I'm skinny" only serves to push the notion that women should be skinny, as opposed to say, athletic (and shock! You can be both!), and that there's something inherently bad about having a body type that doesn't rival Kate Moss'. Also, if you need some dude to validate your existence by telling you he thinks you're skinny, there's probably better things you could be working on than pushing men to lie on your behalf, like, say, not basing your self-worth on a clothing size?
2. I always want to hear I look shockingly young.
New Friend just made things worse after the "athletic body" debacle by trying to guess my age - and he got it right on the nose. Fishing for a compliment, I said, "Ah, too bad, I actually look as old as I am, huh?" He replied, "You're incredibly well-preserved for someone your age." Oh, dear. Well-preserved?! I felt like a canned sardine. Couldn't he - just to be nice - have told me I looked like I'd just gotten back from shopping for my prom dress? Couldn't he have told me my skin looked as soft and smooth as a baby's bottom? Couldn't he, at the very least, have said, "Wow, you must be getting Botox, because you look terrific!"?
Oh no! He guessed your actual biological age and didn't think you were a high school junior who snuck into the bar with a fake ID! Shakira, shakira! What has the world come to?! Maybe instead of being horrified with the guy for not complimenting you by insinuating that you've shot botulism into your forehead, you should be comfortable enough in your own skin to say, "Yes! I am 28! Good guess, Miss Cleo! Let's get another drink." Pushing the idea that we all have to look 16 isn't just a "little white lie"—it's a big, nasty, horrible lie that women have to deal with on a daily basis. You're not helping the problem by trying to convince men to act stunned that you're actually old enough to drive.
3. I also don't mind it when guys say, "Now you - you I'd sleep with!"
Luckily, New Friend turned things around a few minutes later. He was describing some woman in his office who drove him nuts because she thought she was the cat's meow; she'd dissed one of New Friend's male coworkers who'd asked her out. "And this woman, she's empirically attractive, I guess," New Friend said. "But she totally lacks charisma! I'd never sleep with her - and I can't imagine too many men who would." Then, gratuitously, he turned to me, and almost out of the corner of his mouth, he said, "But you? You I'd sleep with in a second. You've got the je ne c'est quoi." Now, sure, it's a little embarrassing, a little crude, when a guy says something like this. But I like to think it's also his awkward, dorky way of flirting. Of trying to say, as directly as he can without downright asking for it, that he thinks you're hot. Call me crazy, but I find it kind of endearing.
Right? Objectification is so cute, ladies. Isn't it just adorable when a man you barely know insults another woman and then turns around to tell you that he thinks you're worthy of his penis? I know it makes me feel really good inside. Let's all hope that the douchebags of the world will see this article and know that it makes us "feel good" when they determine our worth based on our "fuckability factor." Who knew that the women of the world were all waiting for Tucker Max to sweep them off their feet?
The irony of Kelly's article is that she wants men to tell these "little white lies" so that she, in turn, can lie to herself. She seems to be stuck on the idea that a woman is only good enough if a man tells her so; his "lies" of telling her that she's thin enough, young enough, and worthy of sex, she argues, should be held up as gifts from one gender to the other. But all these "little white lies" really do is perpetuate the same stupid beauty mag rules that have been thrown at us for ages: get thinner, look younger, and make a man want you, and happiness will be yours. Kelly may be pushing men to join into this lie festival, but the truth is, she's really just going along with the same lies women have been told for years.