And you’ll see tons of threads where the message is the “herpes isn’t the problem, it’s the stigma associated with”. And if anyone admits to not wanting have to deal with such a disease, or any of the other complications of other STD’s, you’ll get thrashed for “slut shaming” or “everyone has it anyway, so shut up!”
I hadn’t ever heard this, and my first instinct was to respond:
The women at Jezebel who have it want you to shut up because it is in their best interests if the infection rate in the population is 100%. They are actually working to promote the spread of herpes. Which is unconscionable.
Immediately I felt guilty - I mean, let’s face it, that’s quite an accusation! Before deleting my comment, though, I decided to look around and see what I could find out, only to learn that my statement didn’t go far enough.
The women who write about sex for Jezebel are cynical, damaged, repellent. And they want you to be the same way.
Maureen “Moe” Tkacik is a feminist journalist perhaps best known for her response when asked why she hadn’t reported her date rape during a 2008 TV interview. She was a guest on the show of Lizz Winstead, co-creator of The Daily Show, along with her Jezebel compadre Tracie Egan, who went by the pen name “Slut Machine.” Lizz Winstead wrote a piece for HuffPo about it, saying:
They do not understand the influence they have over the women who read them, nor do they accept any responsibility as role models for young women who are coming of age searching for lifestyles to emulate.
Here are the statements that troubled the host:
Moe: I guess, I like, regret being date raped.
Moe: I guess third guy, I ever had sex with, date raped me, and I got very mad at him, but I wasn’t gonna fucking like turn him in to the police and fucking go through shit.
Lizz interrupts: Why not, you see that’s the problem, why not, I am just curious?
Moe: Because it was a load of trouble and I had better things to do, like drinking more.
Women like this are anathema to me. Jezebel has a huge readership, and I view writers like Moe Tkacik as toxic. (She has since left the mag.) They have every right to speak their minds, but when women graphically depict their sexual experiences, the question of motivation is unavoidable. Why do women like Moe and Tracie want you to know all about their promiscuity?
Because they want to convert you to Slut Machines.
Because they don’t want to be sluts alone.
Because they are miserable and riddled with disease.
How do you know?
It can easily be gleaned from their writings.
So what are you saying? What do they want?
They want for you to have an STD too. They want all the young women in NY, and eventually the whole country to have STDs, because then they won’t be slut shamed anymore. If sluts ruled the world, then they could shame virgins instead (they’re already trying). If every woman has genital herpes, whoo hoo! Sisterhood! If every woman has HPV and compromised fertility, YES! Everyone can sing the “no baby blues” together at 40! Women can keep each other company in oncology offices as they await treatment for their cervical cancer.
Do you think I’m being ridiculous? Overreacting?
Here’s a statement by Moe revering her own coverage of the financial crisis:
If any of you guys use the pullout method, but you read you know, anything I wrote about Ben Bernanke, or you know, what ever, at least y’ll go to the grave with your syphilis, slightly informed, that’s all I care about.
Furthermore Moe Tkacik has written to defend sex without condoms. She took particular exception to an NPR story Sex Without a Condom is the New Engagement Ring, which described how young people in relationships don’t want to stop using condoms until they know they’re in love. She shares the transcript of her IM session with friend and New York Magazine blogger Jessica Pressler:
JezebelMoe: I think New Yorkers don’t use condoms because they all already have STDs and know they’re not that big a deal.
JPRESS: It’s true. Herpes, specifically. And also HPV. Everyone I know has HPV. And people who say they don’t totally have it, they just don’t know it yet. They have it worse than anyone.
In her article taking NPR to task, she refers to the “increasingly popular practice at of condomless sex by some of us on this blog,” saying:
Here is the irrefutable: it feels awesome.
Maybe that is because I have only really engaged in bareback sex with the types of dudes who don’t fear HPV and whose diseases I don’t particularly fear, because the worst thing I can think of about most of them is the ensuing lifetime of awkward conversations, and the worst thing about that is that awkward conversations summon memories, and summoning bad memories every time you’re about to fuck a new person is no way to live, but, if you can smile and say (hypothetically!) “Hey, just so you know, I have [insert STD here], but I got them from this really hilarious guy who is still one of my best friends, so it was kind of worth it,” before you do it with a new person, it’s almost nice.
Like: oh yeah, that was a good time… it was a good time because we didn’t use condoms, and when you don’t use condoms you’re actually really touching one another everywhere, without any barriers separating the nerve endings and slowing that whole ripply domino effect thing that happens when you’re fucking someone you know you won’t regret getting all sweaty and deep breathy and worked up over.
Despite apparently wanting to f*ck all of New York without a condom, Moe Tkacik is a woman that no man with a clean bill of health would want to touch. She lives in a world where STDs are less bothersome than a common cold, where everyone shares their most intimate bodily fluids without concern.
What Moe Tkacik isn’t telling you is that the sex-positive, bareback world of sex offers a grim future, at least by my standards. A future of illness and infertility, and a sharply reduced number of interested partners. She wants you to join her. It’s her only hope.