The Rules of Attraction: The Intersectional Feminist’s Guide to the Modern Dating Scene
“A sexual dynamic is always present between people, unless you are asexual.”-Donald Trump
The dating scene can be brutal out there for my fellow intersectional feminists, so I decided to put together a quick tutorial on what you are allowed to do and say, and what you’re not, while looking for the ever-elusive One, be they the beta-cuck ally or the aggressive non-binary High Yella who got into Dartmouth with an 850 on “their” SATs. On your way to finding The One, I encourage you to have as many one-night stands as possible to reflect your sexual liberation, but there are limits to this expression. There cannot be any penetration because, as we all know from studying Andrea Dworkin, penetration by its very nature is rape and therefore problematic for the liberated intersectional feminist. Even strap-ons are strictly verboten, unless “pegging” the beta-cuck ally, in which case you are exercising your empowerment. Water-based lubricant is recommended. Heavy petting sessions may be good alternatives, and I always find a deep conversation about Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw’s intersecting marginalized identities to be “stimulating.”
Pay no mind to what misogynists like Christopher DeGroot have to say:
For feminists—those perpetual victims and damsels in distress, ironic testaments to the need for the patriarchy they vainly oppose—the world is one vast conspiracy: President Trump and suchlike bad men behind the scenes working to subjugate them. Most feminists know nothing of the massive evidence that contradicts their unfailingly trite and predictable assertions… Nor do feminists want to look into the evidence that the pseudo-philosopher Judith Butler and her many illiterate acolytes are wrong: that gender is not a mere social construct, but a determined biological endowment, a reality that no medical doctor or scientist would deny, as the palpable absurdity would be professional suicide. Feminist zealots and the growing number of female politicians whom they influence are likely to remain on a mission to bring about equality of outcome; that is to say, utter sameness with respect to men and women in the workforce. They are playing mission impossible, however, and the wonderful irony, unseen by them, is that it is women themselves who, by their opportunistic mating preferences, create the patriarchy they are supposedly against.
Dating itself can be problematic, as spending “money” on trivialities like food and beverage is supporting the capitalist super-structure and the phallocentric narrative oppressing women and minorities. This is why, as you’ll surely recall from your Queer Studies courses at Hampshire College, our goal of a more inclusive, tolerant society must move beyond “just” economic inequality, but to equity of outcome for all of the oppressed peoples of this world we treat with a shockingly condescending paternalism…sorry, that we are allies with and advocates for! Here it is in as plain English as academia can get, per Nancy Fraser:
Demands for “recognition of difference” fuel struggles of groups mobilised under the banners of nationality, ethnicity, “race,” gender, and sexuality. In these “postsocialist” conflicts, group identity supplants class interest as the chief medium of political mobilisation. Cultural domination supplants exploitation as the fundamental injustice. And cultural recognition displaces socioeconomic redistribution as the remedy for injustice and the goal of political struggle.
Recall that Hegel’s Phenomenology of Mind is about a “struggle for recognition,” implied in the nature of consciousness. If, as Marcuse believed, the Other is simply a mirror for the self, then we are totally justified in our narcissism and projection; of course we can know others’ intentions because we’re mapping ourselves onto them, and as we are paragons of virtue, if their thinking does not align with ours, it is easy to rectify the resultant cognitive dissonance by simply calling them out on their racistsexisthomophobictransphobicmisogynistableist bullshit. The Cult of Self becomes the locus of our struggle for validation.
Repeat: I am marginalized, and I demand to be seen. Or: I am MtoF trans on Tinder and I am being discriminated against because straight men don’t want to fuck me…even though I am a biological male, and though I have tits, I also have a five o’clock shadow, an Adam’s apple, and a penis. “Biology” is just one of those pseudo-scientific fields dominated by right-wing fascists that perpetuates stereotypes and categorical, binary thinking about social constructs like race and sex. Per transgender blogger Zinnie Jones, genitals are “just flesh,” and it is “exclusionary of trans women partners” not to desire a physically reconstructed man; I obviously agree. If she thinks she’s a woman, she’s a woman, you bigoted piece of shit! Trans activist Tiffany Berruti avers: “Not being attracted to trans people is deeply transphobic” and, pace “non-binary trans woman” (of course you can be non-binary if you also identify as a woman) Riley J. Dennis, it is also transphobic to only be attracted to one set of genitals or the other. Do you find it just a little hypocritical that you’re hectoring and policing others’ sexuality? You shouldn’t. They’re ignorant, probably voted for Trump, and need to be educated. Keep in mind that genitalia do not correspond to sex, and it is queerantagonism to reinforce hetero-patriarchal norms by assuming that just because she has a mustache, chest hair, and a penis, that “she” is a “he.” Always ask for their pronouns. Failing to do so is a microaggression, which is exactly the same as physical violence. Say it with me: women can have penises and men can have vaginas. Nay, women should have penises and men should have vaginas. The bigoted, binary thinking of society is reflected in twenty-seven-month-old Joseph from Kindergarten Cop: “Boys have a penis and girls have a vagina!” Not anymore, kid. Get with the times.
Another vital point: it is discriminatory to not have sex with someone of the same gender, or even someone you are not physically “attracted” to. Beauty standards are an artificial social construct, and it only reinforces the hetero-normative patriarchy to engage in the heterosexist practice of discriminating against potential same-gender partners. We must expand our understanding of same-sex partnerships to embrace same-gender or multi-gender partnerships, and accord the full spectrum of gendered variations in humankind (and even other-kin-kind) their appropriate respect as marginalized groups. In order to make reparations for the “cultural devaluation of homosexuality” (and we’re including the many other kinds of sexuality in the rich tapestry of the human experience here as well), it is probably best to err on the side of caution and have non-penetrative sex with everyone (other than traditionally “good looking” straight white people, unless, as stated above, you are “pegging” in a gender role reversal). Returning to Nancy Fraser:
[Homosexuals’] mode of collectivity is that of a despised sexuality, rooted in the cultural-valuational structure of society. From this perspective, the injustice they suffer is quintessentially a matter of recognition. Gays and lesbians suffer from heterosexism: the authoritative construction of norms that privilege heterosexuality. Along with this goes homophobia: the cultural devaluation of homosexuality.
I believe we should expand the concept of heterosexism to encompass heterogenderism and transphobia to reflect the established science that gender is a social construct and what has traditionally been “sexist” must now include “genderist” and transphobic, as we know there are seventy-two different genders and many gender-fluid persons who are non-binary and thus “migrate” between genders based on their own intangible and unquantifiable realities, trans people who are rectifying the chromosomal mistakes of “biology” (that stubborn pseudo-science that belongs in the graveyard of bad ideas alongside phrenology) and “nature,” and other persons who do not identify with any genders or are asexual. This is all in the literature and wholly uncontroversial. We need to move away from bimodal thinking and the oppressive heterosexist PiV (penis in vagina) paradigm that’s resulted in literally trillions of rapes using Dworkin’s calculus:
The creation of gender (so-called nature) by law was systematic, sophisticated, supremely intelligent; behavior regulated to produce social conditions of power and powerlessness experienced by the individuals inside the social system as the sexual natures inside them as individuals. There were the great, broad laws; prohibiting sodomy; prescribing fucking in marriage; directing the fuck to the vagina, not the mouth or the rectum of the woman because men have mouths and rectums too; legitimizing the fuck when it produces children; each turn of the screw so to speak heightening gender polarity and increasing male power over women, fucking itself the way of creating and maintaining that power. ... Opposites were created; a hierarchy was created; intercourse expressed both the opposition and the hierarchy. Intercourse became the “natural” expression of the different “natures” of men and women, each pushed away from having a common human nature by laws that prohibited any recognition of sameness; each pushed into a sexual antagonism created by the dominance and submission that was the only intimacy they shared.
Hegel also discusses the master-slave dialectic, which may be very familiar to some of our kinkier readers, but it goes beyond BDSM practices and into the very structure of society, whereby one subjugates another for recognition, and recognition, for Hegel, cannot be achieved without struggle. Therefore, these bimodal ways of organizing society are violent and oppressive, and in this idea we can understand how the Male Gaze is a kind of violation, itself penetrative, and thus, rape. This is why the burqa is empowering because it liberates women, especially women of color, from the Male Gaze, ergo, Islam most wholly embraces intersectional feminism. Date an Islamist.
 Nancy Fraser, Justice Interruptus Critical Reflections on the “Postsocialist” Condition, Enskede: TPB, 2007.
 Andrea Dworkin, Intercourse, New York: Basic, 2007 (Re-Print), pp. 156-57.