Friday, September 1, 2017

Pimped Out

A woman who dubs herself “Sad Senior” writes to Ask Polly to ask for help. You see, when Sad College Senior was a Sad High School Senior she decided to choose a college because she was attracted to a boy who had chosen it. Upon arriving at said college she got herself involves in a very modern friends-with-benefits hookup relationship.

One might ask where she got the idea that she should do this to herself. Could it be that her overladies in the feminist matriarchy had convinced her to pimp herself out for the cause of women’s liberation? Anyway, she is a normal young woman, so she ended up hating herself for having acted as though she did not respect herself.

Sad Senior writes:

Our first year, we engaged in a toxic, alcohol-induced friends-with-benefits “situationship” that left me devastated and full of self-hate. This fueled a slew of self-destructive behavior that I eventually got over — or at least I thought so.

Her beau did not want a relationship with her, moved on to a girlfriend, broke up with girlfriend and contacted Sad Senior to get together again. This did not go well:

He reached out to me with the notion that “we should catch up” because I was “one of the most genuine and caring people he knew.” This fucked with my head, and I immediately fell back into freshman-year me — I got blackout drunk, talked to him at a party, and I can’t remember what I said to him. We haven’t spoken since. Cue the intense regret, anxiety, and self-loathing.

Apparently, her Freshman hookup sessions were lubricated by massive quantities of alcohol. It’s a hint. If you have to get blackout drunk in order to hook up, you should not be hooking up. Duh?

Did no one ever step in to offer this girl some sound advice? Apparently not.

As it happens, Sad Senior still feels crushed:

He made me feel worthless back then and, in hindsight, I don’t think I have ever gotten over it. He made me think I wasn’t good enough to date three years ago, and I’ve kept that idea ever since, not really dating anyone or “putting myself out there.” I know you write about self-worth a lot in your column, but I don’t know how to reverse the toxic thoughts that I am starting to harbor almost obsessively. Plus, I see him around campus frequently, which serves as a physical reminder of my flaws and shortcomings. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

To some extent Polly understands one aspect of the problem. The issue is not a fixation on the ex. One suspects that Sad Senior is looking for redemption from her youthful folly. If someone or other she becomes this guy’s girlfriend, she will feel that she was not acting the tart.

Polly thinks that it’s all in her mind:

Because in truth, you aren’t fixated on your ex. You might think that you are, but the real person who doesn’t value you (and it sometimes seems she never will!) is you.
And also:

You’ve known for so long that you shouldn’t be hung up on this heartless motherfucker, but here you go again, falling back into the trap of thinking about the one person who kicks up all of your “flaws and shortcomings,” as you put it. First you obsess over him, then you obsess over the fact that it seems like you’re not good enough for him, then you beat yourself up over how weak you are for obsessing about him, and now you’re looking back at the last four years and you’re saying, “Holy God, I have been doing this for so long. I am turning my whole life to shit by fixating on this person who only kicks up my flaws and shortcomings!”

Actually, some of it is in her mind. But most of it comes from the way she has behaved. She behaved as though she did not respect herself and now she does not respect herself. She is mortified by her own behavior and does not feel worthy of having a boyfriend. It’s not about her beliefs but about how other people see her. We do not know how many other people know about her freshman hookups, but presumably some do.

Polly is slightly off the mark:

Your trap is that you’re sure that you’re not good enough, that you have to seem better than you are in order to keep someone, and that the second you let your guard down emotionally (for example, getting blackout drunk and spilling the beans about how you feel), other people will abandon you, recognizing that you’re not good enough and you never will be. This is your belief system, not someone else’s, and it involves a lot of hiding and cutting yourself off from others, because they can’t understand and will only hurt and reject you if you show your true self to them.

Sad Senior thinks that her blackout drunk hookup self was her true self. How can she go about recovering her reputation? One finds it strange that no other boy has hit on her or has tried to get to know her in these years. One suspects that there is more to the story than we know. We do not know anything about her relationships with friends and family, what they know, what they think, how they see her. We do understand that in her shame she feels completely isolated and alone.

In truth, she will need to start acting as though she respects herself. If Polly’s advice helps her to break out of her not entirely self-imposed ostracism, well and good. Sad Senior has withdrawn from the social whirl. If she is going to get back into it, it should be slowly and cautiously. In other words, no more hookups. She should date!!!

I will repeat my opening point, because Polly does not mention it. Young women are being encouraged to engage in such arrangements by American feminists. I do not think that the phrase “pimping out” is too strong. Someone ought to call out those who prescribed this behavior. It was not the patriarchy and it was certainly not her father. Her ex- did not ruin her college experience. Whoever pimped her out did. Point the blame in the right direction.


Jack Fisher said...

She made that choice to follow her boyfriend at age 17, and you can't heap the blame mostly on her because at that age she was naive and inexperienced.

Her parents should have told her that college is not a continuation of high school. Why they didn't is a mystery, since they're probably paying for part of this train wreck.

James said...

It's those pesky consequences again, sneaking up on people who thought they didn't exist.