everything you ever wanted to know about WAP but were afraid to ask

everything you ever wanted to know about WAP but were afraid to ask

While we have experienced some incredibly stupid controversies over the course of the past four years, my nominee for the stupidest controversy of them all has got to be the brouhaha over the Cardi B song WAP.  If you are a wise person you know nothing about this song and I regret to inform you that it exists.  I’m not going to post a video because I just really don’t see the point; by now you’ve either seen it or you don’t want to and it’s not a good song anyway.

WAP is one of those songs that is allegedly meant to celebrate women’s sexuality by viewing it through the lens of what men like.  Because the initials WAP stand for “wet ass p—-”.  I mean, ok, that’s fine, whatever. The existence of this song reminds me of this classic Simpsons gag in which Bart demands attention from everyone.


I think it’s gotten to the point in our culture where everything has been so in our faces screeching so loudly for so long, and so many barriers have been broken along the way – barriers of politeness, civility, good taste, and good sense, that people who intend to shock have to resort to ridiculous lengths to do that. That’s the only reason why this inane song even exists.  WAP is just a barrier of politeness that hadn’t yet been broken so someone broke it to make money.  The tiredness of the gimmick BORES me. 

But this isn’t about any of that. I don’t care that there is a song called WAP.  It doesn’t bother me that it exists because so far it exists in adult spaces and the kiddies aren’t even in school to come home asking a lot of questions about it.

The thing that pisses me off about WAP is this – the song has enabled some people on both sides of the aisle to further politicize and pathologize the natural functions of the female body in ways that are gross and wrong.

As some of you know, in my day job I run a women’s fertility website and on that website I am the official “sexpert”.  For the past twelve years, people have come to me seeking answers to questions about how their bodies work.  Unlike most sex researchers, people seek my counsel when they’re trying to get pregnant (rather than knowing they’re a part of a Very Important Research Project, in which case they might make themselves sound more outrageous or more tame depending on what they think the researcher wants to hear).  So they tend to give me honest answers so I can better assist them in the process of conceiving.  They don’t exaggerate, they don’t keep secrets from me, they give it to me straight because they want to get pregnant and I need the facts in order to enable me to do that.  

The people – 99.99% of them women – come to me from all six continents (no one from Antarctica yet) and again, unlike most sex researchers, I have the privilege to assist quite a large swath of people from a variety of backgrounds and cultures.  All are extremely forthright with me, not only about what is going on with their junk, but what they think and feel about it, and at this point I can state emphatically that regardless of ethnicity or nationality, the ties that bind women in terms of our sex are universal.  Some people I spend years with, taking this journey at their side, chatting with them several times a week, and as a result of this incredible opportunity the fates have granted me, I really feel that I’ve got a window into female sexuality that other people lack.

The truth is this – a shocking number of women don’t understand their bodies, are told a lot of insane and ridiculous half-truths and untruths about their bodies even by people who call themselves “experts” and “doctors”, and carry shame and embarrassment about their bodies as a result.  And a shocking number of men don’t understand the female body, don’t want to understand it, are told a lot of insane and ridiculous things about the female body, and feel quite entitled to add to the shame and embarrassment women feel about their bodies.  Sometimes this male entitlement borders on abusive, or is abuse outright.  And lest you think this state of affairs affects only women on certain continents and in certain socioeconomic classes, think again.

One of the biggest arenas in which this disconnect occurs is the issue of vaginal lubrication and since the WAP controversy is stirring up this whole hornet’s nest it seems like a good time to talk about it.

Since ignorance on this somewhat taboo subject abounds, let me do a brief rundown for you on how the female body ACTUALLY works.  Brief, I promise.

Women in their childbearing years have this pesky little thingy called a menstrual cycle that governs our lives just as much as chronic and insistent boners govern yours, my dudes, if not far far more.  Contrary to popular belief (I’ll be using that phrase a lot) the menstrual cycle is not always regular, and it doesn’t always take 28 days (in fact it’s much more common to have cycles that vary a bit and are sometimes a little shorter or a little longer than it is to always have precise 28 day cycles).  By cycle, I mean it’s just a series of events that happen in a particular sequence – NOT that it is always set in stone, the same for everyone, but the events that occur happen in this particular order cause that’s how the body works.  The menstrual cycle is not even the same for every person every month, it changes over time, and that too is ok and totally normal. 

During the first part of the cycle, which is called the follicular phase, women make a lot of estrogen and a couple other lesser known hormones that stimulate an egg to develop and be released called follicle stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone (men make these too in different amounts than women do – our bodies use these hormones for a couple different purposes, not only ovulation).  In addition, during the follicular phase estrogen stimulates the uterine lining to grow nice and lush to allow a fertilized egg to implant there.

But estrogen does some other pretty cool things too.  It causes numerous changes in our body, one of which is the production of fluids all throughout our reproductive tract that enable sperm to survive (without these fluids, sperm quickly die in the vagina) and swim to the egg.  We call the form of this fluid we are the most familiar with “egg white cervical mucus” because it’s mucus, made by the cervix (not the vagina itself, but it flows down into the vagina from the cervix), and it has an appearance kinda like egg white – stretchy and clear.  We’ll nickname this EWCM for short.

(brief but important aside – that having been said, just because this mucus is called “egg white mucus”, it is NOT EGG WHITE, like out of an egg.  They are different things.  Anyone who tells you to use egg white as a lubricant in your vagina to help you get pregnant for any reason (egg whites do NOT make you have a boy!) is wrong and is setting you up for a horrible vaginal and even uterine infection – the kind of infection that could possibly end a pregnancy.  I don’t care how many titles they have after their name, egg whites in the VJ is not a good idea.  I don’t care that your friend used them and everything was fine – some people win games of Russian Roulette too.  Egg whites may be natural, but so is botulism.  Not only do egg whites have potential contaminants in them such as salmonella which are known to cause miscarriages, their pH is super high, much higher than the pH of either semen or cervical mucus, and this high pH favors the overgrowth of nasty microbes that exist naturally in the vagina and on the penis that would normally not pose a problem.  NO EGG WHITES!)

It is true.  WAP DOES NOT simply come from arousal fluid.  In fact, it’s entirely possible to have increased hormonal vaginal wetness at certain times of the month and have NO interest in sex whatsoever.  Women often experience greater arousal at the same time of the month they have this egg white cervical mucus courtesy of our buddy estrogen, but both the EWCM and increased libido are caused by the rising hormones.

After ovulation has occurred, we enter the luteal phase, and the hole in the ovary that the egg came out of turns into this neat little critter which we only have half the cycle, called the corpus luteum.  The purpose of the corpus luteum is to make hormones, and the most important hormone the CL makes is progesterone.  Progesterone does three very important things.  Firstly, it stops the development all the other eggs, since women develop 15-30 eggs per ovary every month, and only the best one or two are released.  You won’t ovulate again after having ovulated already thanks to progesterone and the rest of those eggs will be absorbed rather than turning you into Octomom.  Secondly, progesterone helps the uterine lining to thicken and prepare even more for the arrival of a fertilized egg in about 7 days.  And finally, this rise in progesterone causes the EWCM to dry up and our cervixes, which were soft, swollen, and open, to harden and close.  This is to prevent infection – EWCM is great for conceiving but it also can encourage microbial growth as well so we only make it when we need it.

Progesterone makes some other things happen which are more irritating – our sex drive drops, some of us get a bit crabby or depressed (contrary to popular belief, PMS for many people happens not only right before their period arrives but in that post-ovulation week), and many of us find our self-control is a bit lower leading to binge eating and impulse buying (ask me how I know).  And that lack of EWCM means that most women do experience vaginal dryness particularly the week after ovulation.  Luckily, in about 7 days’ time, our body will release another burst of estrogen to help sustain the uterine lining, and at that point many women experience an improved mood, a boost in sex drive, and resurgence in WAP then – though rarely the levels that it reaches prior to ovulation.  If you conceive, the corpus luteum hangs around and makes progesterone to sustain a pregnancy (till well into the first trimester when the developing placenta takes over and the CL goes away) and if you don’t, then it withers up and both progesterone and estrogen drop sharply, and your period comes.

EWCM aside, women do make a natural vaginal lubricant fluid for sex that can happen at any time of the month.  Please note, this naturally occurring lubricant is NOT always tied to arousal per se.  Our bodies can make that lubricant even when we do not want to have sex at all.  It’s natural and intended to prevent our delicate girly bits from sustaining injury during sexual intercourse.  It is entirely possible – just like it is possible for men to get an erection they don’t want if their genitals are stimulated or sometimes even if their eyeballs are – for there to be a release of vaginal lubrication when a woman does not want to have sex at all.  Even in cases of rape this can happen and so the presence of this natural lubrication in the vagina does not directly equate to a woman feeling aroused. AT ALL, and so menfolk, please do not doubt a woman’s word when she says not tonight, she has a headache.

But regardless of arousal fluid, the primary source of what most would recognize as WAP is the natural rise in hormones, estrogen in particular, that occurs prior to ovulation.

Now, some stuff can interfere in this process.  Medication (including hormonal birth control and fertility medications such as Clomid), herbs (vitex, saw palmetto, mint, licorice root…and please ladies, do not use any licorice root, even in the form of tea or candy, when pregnant or even when trying to conceive as it may harm your baby’s brain development…and many other herbs too numerous to list, even many that are said to help improve cervical mucus), supplements (even seemingly benign things like Vitamin B6, certain amino acids, and bee pollen can muck up your cycle…and this is true even if a naturopath tells you to take them!)  Even drinking alcohol to excess or too much green tea can make cervical mucus scanty.  Stress, lack of sleep, being too thin or dropping a lot of weight even if you aren’t too thin, having been ill, exercising a lot, sudden changes in diet, breastfeeding, the natural results of the aging process – all these things can affect your hormone levels in ways that may alter the amount and consistency of the cervical mucus a woman produces. 

Just as women can experience lubrication without arousal, it is equally true that women can feel extremely aroused and have little to no vaginal lubrication due to hormones at certain times of the month, or those things I mentioned in the previous paragraph that interfere with hormones. This is why they sell those tubes of goo at the drugstore.  Buy them!  They’re good!  If you don’t like one, buy a different one!

Just like we all have different facial features and hair color and skin tone we all have different patterns to our cycles as well.  You aren’t a broken person if you don’t have a lot of cervical mucus, I promise – believe it or not, the opinion of Cardi B really doesn’t reflect biological reality.  Nor are you a broken person if you DO have a lot.  MANY women have 7-10 days of EWCM, before, during, and slightly after ovulation.  (EWCM does not, contrary to many people’s belief, appear only the day of ovulation.)  And MANY women don’t!  And all these variations are ok!  It’s just how the Good Lord made us!  Some people have EWCM visible for a day or so, but it’s up inside where we can’t see it.  Please don’t go spelunking, tho – you can injure yourself doing that and also introduce microbes that can cause infection.  I promise you it is up there.  

EWCM, aka WAP, is natural and normal and a part of how a vagina is meant to work.  I occasionally encounter a client who tells me she has been self-treating (and in a few very sad and enraging instances, was being treated by medical professionals) for “chronic vaginal infections” that “come back every month!” when what she was really experiencing was simply her body’s natural cyclical production of EWCM.  

So that brings me to Ben Shapiro.  Ben Shapiro is a right wing pundit who happens to be married to an OBGYN.  When WAP dropped Shapiro decided to take issue with it since this is 2020 and I guess it’s the fate we all deserve.  That’s his choice I suppose; personally I have bigger fish to fry than worrying about a silly song and I think it makes conservatives look like prudish morons when they do.  But to each their own.  

The thing that infuriated me about Ben was that he chose to do this by medicalization, contributing to the “women’s bodies are ticking time bombs” trope that I despise so greatly.  


And, no.  As I already described in detail that many probably thought was too much already, it is normal and natural for many women to have a lot of vaginal discharge at some parts of the month.  EWCM is not pathological, vaginas are not diseased or gross, it just part of the way the female body works.  It’s a part of our bodies like men’s morning wood is part of theirs.  Yes, women can get some issues with that part of our anatomy at times as any parts of anyone’s anatomy can sometimes misfire, but you don’t just go jumping from a little extra joy juice to “diseased whore” in a single bound, dude.

Not to be outdone, Cardi B then released a video in which she then took it upon herself to call out and shame women who DON’T have a lot of EWCM, which she called “DAP” (dry ass p—-).  She claimed it was due to “pH balance” and uncleanliness and in my opinion this was just as gross and wrong and misogynistic as what Ben Shapiro said.  Look, Miss B, don’t pretend to celebrate a woman’s body to sell albums and then turn around and mock women who experience with issues of vaginal dryness, act like they have a medical problem and that it’s caused by a lack of sanitation, when the damn fact is that at least some of the time we ALL have DAP (even u Cardi B) and it is completely out of our control! 

Please note, this has the n-word (which I completely do not endorse in any way) and some very foul language in it even for me.    


Now, you may be wondering why all this matters.  Celebrities gonna celebrity.  Why am I taking time from my day to write this essay (trust me I’ve asked myself the same question about 38 times over the course of the last couple hours).  But the thing is, it is because this kind of shit is BAD FOR WOMEN and when it comes in the form of a video like WAP it is bad for women in the guise of being good for women!  And complaining about things that say they are good for women when they are actually bad for women is the whole freaking reason I started this blog anyway.

Seriously – I get questions again and again from women around the world who feel like freaks because they have what they perceive to be too much vaginal lubrication or not enough vaginal lubrication or are experiencing entirely natural fluctuations in the amount of lubrication they produce.  This chronic failure on the parts of basically everyone to recognize that there is a normal cycle in which sometimes we have WAP and sometimes we have DAP, and that there is wide ranging variation across the female population in which some of us make more than others and even individually we have some months that are more WAPpier than others causes women to be plagued with self doubt on a good day.  

On a bad day, it’s very much worse than that.

You see, it isn’t just that it gives us the sadz.  It is that women are maltreated and actually ABUSED because of male perceptions of their vaginal levels of hydration.

In some parts of the world and among immigrants to our part of the world, having a lot of EWCM is seen as a sign of either disease (thanks, Ben, for contributing to that, you misogynistic a-hole) or more often, a sign of promiscuity, because women’s desire is seen as so dangerous they actually remove the clitoris of young girls as they reach sexual maturity.   Women in many cultures use caustic agents in their vagina to dry up cervical mucus and give a perception of “tightness” that is wrongfully associated by some to be a marker of a lack of sexual experience.   This practice causes vaginal infections and UTI, injuries such as tearing which can be quite severe, prevents conception (which can lead to spousal abuse and even murder when a man or his family becomes enraged that his wife has not produced offspring because sperm can’t survive the toxic brew of drying chemicals) and even enables HIV to spread more easily.  

Women DIE because of the stigma against EWCM, a thing our bodies make naturally.

In other parts of the world, AKA OUR part of the world, a lesser known but still misogynistic and abusive practice is when men refuse to let their partners use storebought lubricants because they claim any time a woman is experiencing intermittent vaginal dryness it’s a sign of unfaithfulness, lack of interest in sex/her spouse, or that she is broken/damaged in some Freudian way.  Some men claim that using a store-bought lubricant is a method of trying to hide infidelity or physical flaws (just like some MRA claim that using makeup is “lying”, they also claim using lube is “lying).  These men would rather their wives experience sexual pain than to use a lubricant.  Here’s a lovely example where a woman who just had a baby 3 months ago that she is still breastfeeding is being punished by her partner for vaginal dryness.   And here is another one about a woman on birth control experiencing the same issue.      And here’s one more just for those who still doubt.  This is a story I hear over and over again, FAR more often than the women who are forced to use drying agents, and I don’t hear many sexperts like the people who write for Vice or Teen Vogue saying an official word despite how ubiquitous it is.  

And then if that’s not bad enough, around ovulation when a woman is naturally having EWCM, some of these men then take that as an additional sign of infidelity.  “Wul, she’s dry sometimes, and wet sometimes, and that must mean she’s cheating on me, guess I’ll beat her”.  This is a real thing, people.  Men, maybe even some men you actually know, are regularly accusing their wives of cheating and threatening divorce or violence against them on this basis of the amount of vaginal discharge they have.  (this is not only something that has been reported to me hundreds of times, but is something I have personally experienced in a relationship, so keep it to yourself, there, Doubting Thomas).  

The solution Cardi B offers…WAP, supposedly meant as female empowerment, simply further promotes the idea of having a lot of vaginal lubrication naturally as being the “right” way for a woman to be because men like it that way.   

No.  No, Cardi B, that is not female empowerment any more than it was empowering to women when you had your vagina bleached.

I’m gonna be honest, I didn’t even watch this one, you’re on your own.


There is one commonality between men who punish their wives for being “too wet” and men who punish their wives for being “too dry” and that commonality is men.  Men, who in many cases have no understanding of the way the female body even works, imposing their sexual desires onto women, and becoming enraged and abusive when our bodies fail to comply.  Helpful hint dudes, the WORST thing you can possibly do for your sex life is to make your wife feel a lot of pressure about sex.  Nowhere in the song WAP will you read any lyrics about how Cardi B or Megan Thee Stallion’s boyfriends hollered derogatory names at them till they got WAP (and considering Megan was actually shot by her boyfriend, that’s saying a lot.) 

Yelling at women, saying they are frigid, getting butthurt and inconsolable because a woman’s body doesn’t work the way that some early 2000’s era PUA led you to believe it should, and refusing to just open a goddamn tube of KY during the times of the month when women happen to need it THROUGH NO FAULT OF OUR OWN simply ends up with women associating sex with fear, stress, and pain. And that, dear chums, will spoil your sex lives FOREVER. 

And I wouldn’t even fucking care for your sake, but it will also ruin HER sex life forever and she deserves better.

This is not about you, dudes.  It’s just the way we gals are built.  Please quit viewing everything a woman does and experiences through the lens of “is this good for my peener”.  Because expecting…nay, demanding…WAP at the times of the month and in circumstances when DAP is what is happening is like asking you to start breathing out your asshole – doesn’t matter how much you might want to, it’s not gonna happen, because it’s biologically impossible.   

The female body is a weird and wonderful thing.  It does some amazing shit, but just like every body system we possess, our lovely vaginas follow rules we can’t just set aside because you watched a lot of porn growing up and had this vision of the way women’s bodies worked that just so happens to be completely untrue.

Learn the rules, just like you learned the rules of how to play fantasy football and set the timing on a 1968 Ford Fairlaine and all those many many many hard and challenging things u brainy brainy men learn along the way. 

And rejoice! The female body is actually a lot less challenging than a lot of stuff you guys set your mind to.




but men tho

but men tho

Please note, while this piece was precipitated by couple of recent encounters, it is not directed at anyone individually (not at all and I cannot stress that enough). It is a piece that I have had brewing for a good long while, since I first wrote the words “but men tho” in response to a conversation that happened several months ago. It just so happened to crystallize before my eyes this morning but it has been a long time coming and is based on hundreds of conversations I have had and thousands of observations I have made over the past 4 years.

I don’t want anyone to take any offense at this personally because it’s just some stuff that I wanted to say for a while, that I got into the mood to say today, and is not a reaction to any particular person or encounter at all whatsoever.

Whenever I get into battle of the sexes stuff someone always comes along to say “but men tho”. Men have problems too, I am told, and I agree.

Men do have problems, and I only mean that slightly sarcastically.

Problems are like nipples. We all got em. But problems are also like nipples in that men’s and women’s nipples, despite the fact that both of us have them, are not the same, neither in form nor in function. Women’s nipples are bigger due to biology, and men respond to the sight of a bare chest differently than women do also because of biology. Women’s nipples do some pretty crazy shit while men’s sit their on their chests and look nonchalant. The biological differences between male and female nipples and the reactions to them have triggered/created cultural differences based on that difference in biology.  (that’s why women in most cultures cover up our boobies and men don’t.)

Sometimes two different groups of people can both have a quality or a characteristic or a problem in common but there are undeniably differences in terms of severity, intensity, and/or how the characteristic/problem manifests. For example, both men and women can go bald, but you’d be a lunatic if you claimed that it was JUST AS BIG A PROBLEM FOR WOMEN AS IT IS MEN (if, in fact it is a problem for men, and let me just tell you as someone who doesn’t mind a chrome dome – it isn’t). My point is simply that more men go bald than women do, and that is simply a fact we all agree on because it hasn’t been all imbued with political insanity (yet).

By virtue of biology, women experience physical challenges that men do not face. Women are smaller, weaker, we are much more likely to experience autoimmune diseases and ailments of the reproductive organs, most of us have a period every month which affects our body in unique and oftentimes life-disrupting ways, most of us experience menopause, and we spent huge chunks of our life (like, way more time than you spent fixing up that 1968 ‘Stang, bro) propagating the human race. Having a kid, YOUR KID, requires 18 months of massive and undeniable biological transformation and sacrifice (it’s 18 months because the physical changes that come from pregnancy, not to mention lactation for those who choose to go that route, linger for the better part of a year after giving birth and you just ain’t right till at least 9 months after) and 18 years of life transformation and sacrifice as women do the lion’s share of the childrearing.

Undeniable. Inarguable. As different as a set of nips on a dude vs. Dolly Parton.

Then in addition to those massive physical and hormonal differences, there are also huge psychological differences that are also biological in nature but are a little more amorphous and arguable. But I think most of us would agree that not only are men and women shaped differently, we behave differently too, because we are all animals and in most of the animal kingdom the male and the female of the species don’t act the same. For some reason I do not understand, biologists and anthropologists can dispassionately and accurately rack up descriptions of sex-based differences all throughout the animal kingdom and yet when it comes to Homo Sapiens, with an entirely straight face mind you, be all like “no way man nu-uh men and women are exactly the same in every way and we act and think and feel exactly the same and we always have the same motives.”

I mean, come on. Are you even serious with that? And the answer is of course no, they are not serious people, at least not serious about garnering a deeper understanding of human nature. What they are serious about is destroying all of human civilization because they think they can build it back up again, better, by which I mean in this version of civilization they will be the one with the power.

The psychological differences between men and women is a hell of a huge ball of wax to get into first thing in the fucking morning even though I drank a LOT of coffee, so I’m going to cut some corners and sum it up this way: by dint of being the subject of men’s desire, women are subject TO men’s desire, and this carries with it challenges and threats that men don’t face, particularly given that men are like twice the size of us. I am the average height and weight for an American woman and yet my husband is a foot taller than me and weighs 100 lbs more. Not to mention there are not strangers lurking out there who potentially want to sexually harm him.

Can he possibly experience the world the way I do? Of course he can’t. He can walk across a dark parking lot whenever the fuck he wants to and never feel the slightest concern. This doesn’t make one of us less than human, it simply means we have different sets of experiences within the continuum of humanity. It has an effect on your psyche just like a guy who went to war will have a different set of experiences and a different psyche than a guy who simply played a lot of Call of Duty growing up. It may even be that when it comes to men and women, women have EVOLVED some psychological differences that helped them stay alive in a world full of dangers (because up until very recently, the world was a much more dangerous place than it is now, for women most of all). Beyond the effects of culture upon our psyche, women may have nipples of the mind in which we react to circumstances and stimuli in a different fashion than men do that are written right into our very DNA.

(I know, I know “women rape too, women abuse men too, hurr de durr”, can we ever be honest that it is by and large women who face this danger at the hands of men and that we should probably take that into consideration when designing the rules, regs, and customs of our society? I mean seriously, this is a CONSERVATIVE blog folks, leave the lying about human nature and pretending that black is white and up is down and social engineering based on utter stupidity and fake statistics and deceit to the fucking liberals, wouldya?? Don’t be all Steven Pinker in the streets and a men’s rights activist in the sheets, my conservative dudes.)

The only real genetic difference in all of humanity is our sex. Did you catch that? Want me to say it again? THE ONLY REAL GENETIC DIFFERENCE IN ALL OF HUMANITY IS OUR SEX. Black folks and white folks are genetically all but identical. Gay people and straight people are genetically all but identical. Christians and Muslims and atheists ARE genetically identical. Men and women are NOT genetically identical and the people who say that they are have political agendas. Men and women of all races have, in their freaking genome, 6500 known genetic differences AT LEAST and scientists are discovering more every day.

Men and women are NOT THE SAME on a genetic level and that difference in genes has consequences for human behavior and culture that spread from that truth like ripples on the water. You know it men, and I know it, and everyone knows it deep down inside even the people who have to pretend to believe in fantasies because their political movement has gone so far off the track that it left reality far far behind.

So don’t give me your “but men tho” shit and call yourself a conservative because conservatives are supposed to be about NOT denying reality so you can remake society in a way you imagine would be better. Being a conservative is about ACCEPTING reality and understanding that people are a thing like dogs and cats and ducks and wombats, and then setting up societies based on that reality. Pretending that every problem a woman faces is ACHTUALLY experienced by men too just as much is not only fucking bullshit, but it isn’t even fucking conservative because it denies biological reality.

Right now, women’s rights are under assault. Not only in the traditional ways, but in a new insidious way as men dressed in women’s clothes who are sexually stimulated by doing that, try to lay claim to women’s private and safe spaces by PRETENDING TO BE US and then forcing us to pretend not to notice or else we’ll be in big trouble. In the meantime, other men impart messages to young women experiencing mental health challenges, at their most vulnerable stage of development, that being a woman is so wrong and so unpleasant, and they are so flawed and inferior in every way they should erase their femininity completely by the use of strong hormones that will leave them sterile and cause permanent harm to their health. And those of us who question this process are facing threats of rape and murder and being deplatformed for supposedly being “abusers” even as our likenesses are being hung in effigy by these so-called civil rights activists.

brief aside – Feel free to call me a TERF if you would like to, but this is not an anti-trans position to hold. I believe fully that people have a right to present as whatever gender they would like to, to wear whatever clothes they would like to and live their lives however they want. God bless America. I can to some extent even comprehend how someone could feel they were born into the wrong body because during the 70’s the fashion was to dress your daughter like an androgynous tomboy when inside I was and am a much more girly girl than I was allowed to be. But at the same time, I also believe that people have a right to associate with whoever they want and to live their lives in some semblance of safety and security and men accost, bully, threaten, frighten, shout down, grope, intimidate, abuse, stare at, leer at, and yes even rape women. Thus I will fight to the death for the rights of WOMEN. Not “cis women”, not wumben, not wimpund, not woomud, but WOMEN! The real deal!  Accept no imitations!

And conservative men, you had fucking better have my goddamn back on this. If, as you claim and I have never had any reason to doubt you, that the role of a conservative man is as a protector of women, have my back. This is NOT the time to say “but men tho” and try to make this about YOU. Because not everything is about you all the time.

Let me make this one thing perfectly clear. I LOVE MEN. (probably more than is good for me at times, le sigh) I have four sons, a husband, a father, a kid brother, two uncles, two nephews, and the best goddamn group of male friends/coworkers/Twitter followers any chick can lay claim to. I freely acknowledge that men face challenges that women don’t and that being a man can suck in many huge and undeniable ways that society should grapple with and account for just as it must grapple and account for the unique challenges that women face. But can the spotlight ever shine on women and our problems for a moment without men coming along with one of those big hooks to try to pull us out of it so they can get in there and say “but men tho”? EVER?

I know what you think. I know you think “the spotlight is always on women it seems like to me” and I know you believe that with every fiber of your being. But it isn’t. By all rights, using straight 3rd grade statistics and nothing else, the spotlight should be on women 50% of the time because we are 50% of the people. Sometimes when someone else is getting something that is a fair portion and is what they deserve, and you maybe feel you aren’t getting your fair share, it can SEEM LIKE that other person is getting more than they should be getting and I know this because I have five children. But just like with splitting up one cupcake between two kids, even when it seems like Johnny is getting a bigger piece of the cupcake THIS time, it may be because Jimmy got a bigger piece of the cupcake the last time. That’s very easy for Johnny to forget in the heat of the cupcake.

Not to mention that in some arenas the spotlight should be on women more because women are more interested and active in a certain arena of human existence or are more affected by something – like women’s health for example. Surely it is reasonable that women should be able to discuss matters of their personal health without men butting in to discuss their health instead, right? Just as there are arenas and endeavors that are mostly men and SHOULD BE mostly men without anyone coming along to say “the real problem here is how drinking beer and watching the Super Bowl affects WOMEN.” You instinctively and rightfully roll your eyes at that (and I agree with you, even at my most ridiculously liberal-iest I thought it was off-putting, even offensive when women forced their way into every facet of men’s existence and wouldn’t shut up about themselves ever). So RESPECT MY AUTHORITY when it comes to talking about women and women’s shit and don’t do the exact same thing to me, would you?

“but men tho”. Sheesh.

I understand, completely completely understand that many men hate feminism for reasons. I further understand that some of my male chums do not understand why I have this blog in which I put the word “FEMINIST” right up there at the top when otherwise I am so totally cool. But it’s because feminism is just wanting what is good for women. I just want what is good for women. That’s all. I have no dark agenda here, no sinister purpose where I want to see men wiped off the map so I can take their position at the table of power. What is good for women can also be good for men because we are meant to be in some sort of partnership just like the boy lion gets to chill in the shade while the girl lions go hunting. What works for me can work for you, I promise.

Keep your piece of the pie and I’ll even squirt some whipped cream on it for you, baby.

I just want what is good for women. And the truth is, liberals don’t have it. What liberals say is good for women is a childless existence spent slaving away for a nameless faceless corporation in which we get treated as a cum dumpster for whoever swiped right on Tinder this weekend and then using our money to buy products that the nameless faceless corporation provided for us until we die of chick cancer we got because we never had any children. And what liberals say is good for men is a loveless sexless existence looking up ever more extreme versions of tentacle porn and wondering why life is so empty all the time even though your apartment is full of products that the nameless faceless corporations sold you, until you die of suicide.

I am simply looking for a better way.

Much of what passes for “feminism” in our country is either “Aunt Jemima feminism” in which the most hollow of gestures is made loudly (like ensuring that actresses paid millions of dollars make millions more dollars even though everyone went to see the Matt Damon movie and not the forgettable starlet he’s costarring with) while actual issues affecting women are swept under the rug, or are brought to the forefront solely in service of an insidious political end. Like the #metoo movement – a movement that was basically tailor made to erode civil liberties and get rid of some “old white men” in positions of power and was immediately dropped in favor of the next outrage of the week. I admit, freely, the word “feminism” has been corrupted by Actual Bad Guys and used for evil purposes. You hate that, rightfully, and I hate it too.

But this doesn’t mean that women don’t still need to advocate for their rights. Women as a class – truly, more than any other class, because all other classes were created in the brains of human beings rather than based on fundamental genetic differences – have a need to advocate as a group sometimes. Just because some people have implemented feminism badly and subverted it for their own ends doesn’t mean it isn’t still necessary to protect women’s rights and that women don’t still continue to face unique-to-our-sex challenges across the spectrum due to our biology.

I’m trying to make a better feminism, one that has room for both men and women to find happiness and self-fulfillment – sometimes even finding that in each other rather than being at each other’s throats all the time. We are allies with a shared cause, not enemies, I promise.

We left some pretty excellent shit in the past. Those old timey people, for all their flaws, understood some stuff we have forgotten. I personally think conservatism has a lot of answers that women are desperately seeking. I am begging you, conservative men, please don’t through the baby out with the bathwater when it comes to feminism. Please don’t write me off as a crank and a weirdo for trying to reclaim a perfectly good word that has been co-opted by evil people. What is good for women is what is good for HUMANITY even if the liberals deny that. Don’t play their game for them by living up to the worst stereotypes they try to create of you – being a mansplaining a-hole who can’t ever resist the temptation to butt into every conversation like the Kool Aid Man to blurt out “but men tho” every time a woman has the temerity to complain about anything.




Deceive? All Women?

Deceive? All Women?

Can we talk about women?  And I don’t mean platitudes about bravery and persistence, I mean the ugly stuff, the nasty stuff, the stuff that makes us look bad, the stuff that gives cannon fodder for the MRA’s and causes even the good guys to lock eyes across a crowded room and spend a moment in a mutual flashback, thinking back on those cray-crays that gave them relationship PTSD.

I’m talking about women and lying.  Lying on an epic scale.

Now, I’ve written in the past about the main – and legitimate – reason women lie in a piece about honesty, viewed through the lens of Better Call Saul.  I think most female deceit is an understandable survival mechanism borne from having to deal with people – parents, bosses, romantic partners – who are highly controlling and even borderline abusive.  Women, by virtue of our sex, are all too often put into positions where we are a junior partner in a relationship (not just romantic, but any relationship), where we have no power and no control over circumstances that are largely inflicted upon us, and some women lie to simply achieve a small amount of wiggle room in which to exist.

But there is another kind of dishonesty that some women partake in.  I wrote about its fictional manifestation in my Valentine’s Day piece on Gone GirlI’m talking about dishonesty on a level that is absolutely unbelievable, where you really cannot believe a person would ever do something so twisted, so conniving.  I’m talking about the kind of lying in which a person creates a false reality – literally a persona that doesn’t exist, or a chain of events that never occurred – to manipulate others, to play on their heartstrings, to trick people into believing things that are not true about the world and another person and even reality itself.

There are probably some men who do this type of thing too, and in fact it sounds as if some women have encountered them a time or two.  But I haven’t seen any personally, whereas I’ve encountered a fair few women who fall into this category.  Men absolutely gaslight, it’s true, but it’s for different reasons, to seize and retain control of any given situation.  I have experienced, and utterly despise this type of gaslighting (you have no idea how much I despise it) but to some extent I understand it; it often happens in the heat of the moment and from a dysfunctional need to control ingrained into men by both biology and society rather than a distinct desire and active decision to manipulate.  I can forgive that type of not-really-intentional gaslighting because I don’t think it’s evil inasmuch as I think it’s a flaw borne from fear and insecurity.

But there are some people, in my experience mostly women, who are willing to literally fabricate evidence and twist the bounds of reality to get people to do and think and feel what they want them to.  Some carry this even to the point of incriminating innocent people and entire classes of people, for what appears to be no better reason than to tug on people’s heartstrings and get a little attention.  I have, in my work as a fertility counselor, encountered several women who told incredible and heartbreaking stories about children who died, multiple pregnancies that ended in a loss, fertility clinics that had badly wronged them, husbands who cheated, who were eventually revealed to be lying.  Some of them were spinning their sob story to try and get free stuff out of me (silly, because I spend 80% of my time helping clients for free). But a good number were doing it just for fun, for sympathy, to garner attention they couldn’t get elsewhere.  And while I do try to understand the loneliness and emotional need that could drive a person to do something like this, often enough I’ve seen this chicanery coupled with actual acts of cruelty committed against others that I can’t, quite.

BethAnn McLaughlin is a neuroscientist who at one point in time had been deeply involved in the #MeTooSTEM movement.  Over time some very serious accusations were levied against her – accusations including that she had marginalized minorities and harassed victims of sexual assault.  So McLaughlin was known to be a chick with some issues, that’s for sure, but none of those red flags prepared people for what was about to come.

A few days back, McLaughlin posted about her “friend” sciencing_bi, a longtime Twitter activist (since 2016), claiming she had died of Covid 19.


sciencing_bi was purported to be a bisexual Hopi anthropologist or paleontologist who spoke English as a second language, was a victim of sexual assault and harassment, who as it so happened was good friends IRL with BethAnn McLaughlin.  sciencing_bi was pretty much the poster child for marginalized people – she ticked off every box you can possibly imagine – and then if that wasn’t enough, she developed Covid on top of it all. Interestingly, McLaughlin was the only person who seemed to have ever met sciencing_bi in person and posted “pictures” with her that later were revealed to be of McLaughlin’s daughter.


(by the way, this isn’t even yosemite)

Later on, perhaps unsatisfied by the level of sympathy she personally was receiving in the wake of her “friend’s” death, McLaughlin implied that she and sciencing_bi had been lovers – which, by the way, would have been quite sketchy considering that sciencing_bi was allegedly a complainant in a #metooSTEM case and McLaughlin was meant to be in charge of that movement.


There is a huge, and considering the state of race relations in America right now, highly concerning racial component at play in all this.  It is especially troubling given that sciencing-bi’s racial heritage was only revealed after McLaughlin got in trouble for racial insensitivity herself, and that sciencing_bi made extremely untrue claims about her “employer” at Arizona State University forcing her to prove her racial identity and claiming she was made to continue working during the pandemic – both patently untrue and harmful to the reputation of ASU.  sciencing_bi even claimed that the entire state of Alabama was full of people who had persecuted her for her race and sexual orientation.  This is worthy of a deep and prolonged discussion, but I don’t feel it’s my place to comment upon any of that; I’ll leave it to folks more knowledgeable than me to unravel those elements.  


What I want to discuss is the glaring and unignorable implications of the person who perpetuated this act was in charge of a significant wing of the #metoo movement!!!  A person willing to lie to an extent high enough to manufacture a FAKE PERSON and do active harm to ASU and those who work there has been going around calling out men as sex pests at best, rapists at worst, as oppressors, as villains, as fundamentally untrustworthy perverts, and claiming that we need to believe all women without evidence of wrongdoing.  This person who was living and breathing deceit was calling out men over rumors, innuendo, and even anonymous tweets and anyone who questioned the #metoo movement, who wondered if we were taking things too far, and asked for proof were called complicit in the patriarchy.



My collective Lucys, we got some ‘splainin to do.  

Now, you may find this outrageous, may claim I’m calling out my fellow women over the actions of one, but remember, that was our rallying cry.  BELIEVE ALL WOMEN.  All women.  Not most women, not the vast majority of women, but all women.  Believe all women, without proof, without due process.  Believe.  Don’t reserve judgement and wait for proof.  Those of us who questioned the process were shouted down. We were supposed to believe, unquestioningly, without hesitation, because we were told that no woman would ever lie about such a thing.  No woman would ever lie about something as serious as sexual assault to garner attention or to get revenge.  Men were getting tried and convicted in the court of public opinion on the basis not only of uncorroborated charges but on Tweets and rumors and hearsay and our defense, ladies, was that no woman would ever lie about being assaulted.

Well, as it turns out, one of the lead accusers has revealed herself willing to lie for attention, to make herself look like a better person, to garner respect she hadn’t earned, to get revenge on those she thought had wronged her (her technical term for these people SHE had harassed was “harassholes” – she uses this term in one of the tweets I shared above).  In the guise of sciencing_bi, BethAnn McLaughlin jumped on a bandwagon to make false claims against two men who worked at Harvard.

One of the biggest promoters of one of the branches of #metoo was so deceitful she invented a whole ‘nother person and we know beyond a shadow of a doubt she invented claims of being assaulted and harassed.  That freaking MEANS something.  It is a reality check that cannot be ignored, a dust bunny of lies that cannot be just swept under the rug.  This woman was so prominent in the #metoo movement this picture exists of her from when she won the “Disobedience Award of 2018”:


And yet knowing all this, we’re still supposed to “believe all women”.  We’re still supposed to take delight in seeing men excoriated in the public eye over claims that are not only unproven, but unprovable.

I think we need a reset button on the #metoo movement until we have some sort of process in place to investigate claims of assault without ruining men’s lives.  Not because #metoo is unnecessary; indeed, I think it’s incredibly necessary and long overdue.  But because it is so important, we cannot approach something as important as keeping women safe by creating a world in which men are now subject to the whims of an accuser who may be making false allegations for their own ends.  Women do face disproportional dangers in the workplace, academia, and the world. It’s simply a fact, like gravity is a fact.  Claiming that all women are paragons of virtue who always speak true does not keep women safe, it simply means that society is so busy hunting down innocent men that the guilty ones can sneak past in the chaos of false accusation and constant denial.  

The truth is, you can’t believe all women.  Women CAN lie, Beth McLaughlin aside.  Women can lie because all human beings do lie on occasion, and in a climate that rewards lying without any consequences, more people will lie and many others, even people who are generally truthful folks, will find themselves exaggerating even when they don’t really mean to be dishonest.  That’s why when #metoo founder Alyssa Milano quotes “rates of people lying about sexual assault” she’s such a nincompoop – those rates are not tracking a physical law, set in stone and unvarying.  They are measuring human behavior at a point in time, and if the circumstances change, human behavior can – and will – change right alongside it.

Mobthink operates as if there’s something toxic in the air, it spreads like a contagion.  This is how witch hunts and Red Scares happen.  The truth gets stretched to fit a narrative and then it gets stretched a little further to fit a fantasy that supports the narrative.  It is undeniable that some women are willing to lie about some pretty crazy and important stuff, to an extent that boggles the mind – BethAnn McLaughlin has proven that to those who doubt it.


SHE IS TALKING ABOUT A PERSON WHO NEVER FUCKING EXISTED.  This is one of the people we have put in charge of the #metoo movement.  This is one of the people telling us we must “believe all women”.

The saddest part of it is, I don’t think “believe all women” helps anyone, even the accusers.  It doesn’t make anyone happier or better off and it doesn’t even make anyone safer.  Because as muddying the waters by pursuing a zillion false claims simply makes it that much harder for women to seek redress for actual wrongs.  It leads people to continue to doubt our word, to question our honesty, to assume we are exaggerating and overreacting. “Believing All Women” makes women less safe,and less likely to be believed, not more so.  And it closes doors that women have heretofore had open to them by making men afraid to mentor women, afraid to take meetings one on one with women, afraid to grant women opportunities for advancement to prevent rumors of favoritism based on sexual relationships from flying.

So where does that leave us?  Women want to be safe from unwanted predation.  Men want to be safe from false accusations.  Organizations want to be free from predation and accusation that happens under their watchful eye, since we are now holding organizations responsible for creating a safe work environment. We all need a world in which the system is not so clogged up with claims of dubious merit that we have a hard time separating wheat from chaff, and we need a world in which fears of being guilty till proven innocent are not actively harming women in the workplace. 

How do we make that happen? 

You know, it’s funny, but as dull as it sounds, we have a system already in place.  It’s a system in which allegations are made through proper channels (not broadcast all across social media), innocence is presumed until proven otherwise, and investigated by impartial parties.  Then and only then guilt is ascertained and punishment is decided.  It isn’t a flawless system; sometimes the guilty are wrongfully exonerated and the innocent are falsely punished, but on the whole, it’s worked pretty darn well for any group that isn’t in the throes of a witch hunt.  It’s pretty much the basis of Western civilization as a whole.  We cannot build a functioning civilization if anyone can make up anything about you at any time and you get fired without any evidence whatsoever beyond one person’s word (or even two or three, because BethAnn McLaughlin was apparently two people!)

Now, for a couple-three decades there, that system didn’t work too well when it came to sexual assault and harassment, but I am convinced the reason it didn’t work well wasn’t because of any issues with presumption of innocence per se.  It was because of cultural issues where men and women were put into unsupervised situations they probably shouldn’t have been in (many of which involving copious amounts of drugs and alcohol), in a climate of Dionysian indulgence in which fulfillment of sexual desire was seen as not only a virtue, but one of the highest goals a human can possibly attain.  And men’s desire was seen as more powerful, more valid, more immediate and undeniable than a woman’s wish to be left alone. 

In this climate, women have truly felt – and I know this because I am a woman and I myself have felt this way many times – that not giving in to a man’s request for sex means we are mean, cruel, bad sports, not a team player, and pathologically uncool.  A woman saying no to sex (or a drink, or recreational drugs, or to meetings in hotel rooms any of which may lead to sex) has been historically, since the dawn of The Pill anyway, been painted as an uptight prude who is Officially No Fun, a hairy-legged feminist harpy who shouldn’t be treated with kindness or respect.  Women, particularly within the borders of certain fields like media/entertainment, have up until quite recently faced a terrible amount of pressure to say yes to sex they do not want, and this doesn’t even get into the cases where force was involved.

This doesn’t mean the system itself was flawed.  Presuming innocence till guilt is established is a sound and admirable goal in any case where two parties disagree.  It simply means that in the sexual climate we were dwelling in for a few decades, forces were at play that undermined and diluted our ability to properly adjudicate issues of sexual assault.  Without those forces, the system would have worked far, far better.

Doing away with a fundamental assumption of innocence because it hasn’t been always implemented perfectly is like tossing out the baby with the bathwater.  And doing away with this cornerstone of our system of jurisprudence in a pointless attempt solve a separate and unrelated issue in our culture is lunacy.

If you want to start a REAL movement of reform, a movement in which women will be safer from harassment and assault and men will be safer from false allegations, we first need to change the culture in which partying and putting out are seen as noble endeavors for adults to be engaging in in the workforce and within academia.  We need to change the culture in ways to empower women to say NO and for men to not think ill of them when they do.  If this seems impossible, that’s silly, because up until 1960 women used to say NO all the time and men did indeed respect them for that, because everyone understood the risk of unwanted pregnancy.  

Or to put it another way, as I’ve said in the past, what good is consent anyway when there is enormous social pressure (starting as soon as we are old enough to lay our eyes upon the media) put upon women to consent? 

Changing absolutely nothing within our culture and simply saying “believe all women, hurr de durr” is not a solution.  Changing absolutely nothing in our culture and saying “believe all women” will create a freaking army of false accusers and a world in which no man is willing to extend his hand to help a female co-worker up the ladder for fear that she may end up knifing him in the back.  It will create a world so full of false allegations that the real creeps can hide in plain sight.  “Believe all women” is a recipe for a world in which all of us are worse off.  But at the same time we can’t just go back to the way things were the past 50ish years either, because that didn’t work.  Women weren’t safe in that world, that’s why so many of us have horror stories about handsy bosses and pushy coworkers and regrets about things we did that we really didn’t want to do, but we kind of felt like we had to. 

Solving the problem of sexual assault and harassment in the workplace is going to take a two-pronged effort.  We have got to change the culture to make it ok, truly ok, for women to say no to men without facing negative consequences for that.  And simultaneously we need to return to a system in which innocence is presumed until proven otherwise.  Not one or the other, both.  Because he said, she said is too open for misinterpretation in a world in which people are pursuing questionable consensual relationships.  It’s too easily abused, in both directions. 

The more we incentivize her existence, the more BethAnn McLaughlins will exist, yet we cannot deny that #metoo came into existence for a reason and the reason was that many women felt pressured into sexual situations that may have been technically  “consensual” but weren’t exactly wanted.   

I know, men, that it may bring an end to the workplace all-you-can-sex buffet for some of you.  But it prevents the creation of monsters who are willing to stop at nothing to bring you down, for no better reason than they’re lonesome and want the attention.

Because we can’t believe all women.