A note about The Deviated Norm

This here is a low traffic blog on topics close to my heart. As such, comments and engagement on old posts are always welcome and will be responded to. Except! for comments on old posts telling me to lighten up, not take things so seriously, or let things go, 'cause that shit's just plain ironic. Those comments will get a suggestion to visit Derailing for Dummies.

Friday, March 27, 2009

"On the Verge of An Affair" (Why Redbook can kiss my furry ass)

What the fuck? (All emphasis mine)

So... despite any obvious signs of cheating in your so-called friendship, ask yourself: Are you having an emotional affair?

You've Probably Crossed the Line if You...
1. Touch your male friend in "legal" ways, like picking lint off his blazer.
2. Pay extra attention to how you look before you see him.
3. Think crush-like thoughts like
"He'd love this song!"
4. Tell him more details about your day than you do your partner.
5. No longer feel comfortable telling your mate about this person and begin to cover up your relationship.
6. Experience increasing sensual tension; you admit your attraction to him but also insist to yourself that you would never act on it.

It's About to Get Physical When You...
[7]. Find yourself feeling vulnerable and turn to the other man for support rather than to your mate or a trusted relative or girlfriend.
[8]. Accelerate the level of intimacy through sensual or suggestive talk over email or the phone.
[9]. Put yourself in a situation where the two of you could be alone.

You Can Avoid the Potential Affair if You...
[10]. Stay honest with your partner. Share with him all your hopes, triumphs, and failures -- as well as your attractions and temptations, which will help keep you from acting on them.
[11]. Make time for just the two of you on a regular basis -- away from the kids, your friends, and family.
[12]. Surround yourself with happy couples who don't believe in fooling around. Having positive, emotionally connected role models will help you stay on track.

I believe we have found the mother lode folks! But let's start at the top and work our way down.

1. So if you touch a guy in a "legal" way that means it's crossing a line. I suppose touching him in an "illegal way" means that you're not? No? Oh. So you mean that the "legal" in that sentence was to indicate that this is ostensibly allowable while in a relationship?
So basically this one should read: if you ever have physical contact with a man other than the one you are officially connected to, you're crossing the line. Thanks for the heads up!
2. I love this. See, this is directed at (straight, because all people are straight) women. Never mind that women are constantly told in our culture that they should pay attention to how they look. See, they said "extra" attention. You can tell it's "extra" because it's "crossing the line"! and you can tell it's "crossing the line" because you're paying "extra" attention! LOVE IT.
3. For realz???? Thinking that someone would like a song is a "crush-like" thought? Damn. I always thought "wouldn't it be cool if he liked me" was a crush-like thought. Righto.
Now off to formally retract every time I suggested a book, movie, song, television show, author, comedian, or performer to someone else (not to mention food! oh god, the formerly happy couples I may have ruined!!!!). Guess I'd better get going since that's a WHOLE LOT of people that I've apparently had crushes on who need to be informed of my cheating, cheating ways.
4. I don't even know what to say to this. Half of what you see on television implies that men are supposed to not give a fuck about the daily lives of their (female) partners.
5. When did "mate" become synonymous with "partner"? I see "mate" and I think: animals. Animals mate. Humans don't really "mate".
Plus, now we're just being confusing to non U.S. readers, since "mate" in the UK (I don't know about elsewhere) means friend.
6. Now the reader isn't allowed to have a libido. Great. I wonder, wouldn't the writer consider it appropriate/"normal" to have a crush on Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Jude Law, some other famous heartthrob? But I guess only if you don't know them, eh?

7. Ok. Fuck you. Officially. Basically we have just erased every lesbian in the world. A) I hate this "girlfriends" crap when talking about straight women. They're called friends. Apparently oftentimes they are girls, because if they aren't (and are instead sometimes boys) you're going to get hit over the head with how you're a BAD girlfriend (because being friends with a boy is impossible.... don't you know all men want is to have sex with every woman around them????). B) When did it become acceptable to have RADICALLY different meanings for words when said by women versus men. If I say 'fish sticks", I mean a breaded fish product made into a "stick" shape, if a cisgendered person says "fish stick" I assume they mean the same thing, not, oh "broccoli quiche". So when I say "girlfriend", I mean a person who I'm dating who identifies as a woman who I like to kiss, and maybe even have sex with. Not, oh, "someone who is absolutely no threat to my boyfriend because they don't even register as a sexual person to me". Those definitions are mutually exclusive. GAH.
This is always extra frustrating because when I hear a straight woman say that, I am suddenly overcome with confusion. Oh my, I assumed she was straight (I'm such a jerk to assume she was straight, I should know that assuming only butch looking women are queer erases femininity and femmes and is totally not ok), oh wow! she's out and poly, that's awesome. Oh wait. She was just talking about "quiche," silly me, thinking she meant the word she actually said.
9. Clearly it is always the woman's responsibility to make sure that she never strays, or is in a compromising position. Didn't you know? Hey.... you know, if you stay late at work you could be alone with someone else at work. Holy SHIT. I guess I better get my ass out of here at 5 everyday. I love this. Not even "avoid being alone" but "avoid the POSSIBILITY of being alone". Ok, I lied. I hate this.

10. This is the same as 4. Teach women that they should never have any secrets from their partners, that they should constantly talk to their partners about everything they feel and think and do, and then on the other hand, teach men that they should be as uninterested as possible in what women feel and think and do. Great. I'll put it on my to do list: irreparably damage my relationship(s) by having unrealistic expectations for myself and partner(s). CHECK!
12. Surround yourself with happy couples who don't believe in fooling around. Having positive, emotionally connected role models will help you stay on track.
Do I have to say more? don't be friends with single people, don't be friends with poly people, you clearly are so incompetent that you can't figure out if your relationship is working so try to just stay out of trouble by being friends with the "right crowd". (Oh and don't be friends with lesbians because then your "girlfriends" will be a threat to your virile virile boyfriends)

Anyone else notice that this is for women? And SURPRISE! so are articles about how to spot a cheating partner. So women should be constantly vigilant that THEY never cheat, and should be constantly vigilant that their (male) PARTNERS never cheat. yeparoo. Women are the sole bastions of responsibility in relationships.

So: disrespect of women, disrespect of men, erasure of lesbians, disrespect of single people, outright disgust with poly people, am I missing something?

And people wonder why I hate pop. culture.

PS. For a super interesting read about the ways that single people are Singled Out: How Singles Are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After I suggest you check out the forementioned book by Bella DePaulo.


  1. Of the five channels we get on cable here, one is CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Company) and last night we saw an ad for what I can only assume is the Canadian version of Cosmo. I wish I could remember what the commercial said but it was totally ridiculous. Either Canadians are even more blunt than we are or it was poorly translated from French.

  2. i enjoy your analysis of this a lot. especially the part about fish sticks. :)

    another reason why it's clearly heteronormative: it assumes that if you have a friend of the gender you're attracted to, you need to be doing things like making sure you're not touching them in "inappropriate" (i still think it's so weird they used the word "legal") ways or being alone with them or, god forbid, recommending songs to them.

    if you're queer, you probably have lots of friends of the gender you're attracted to, and you probably do these things with them all the time.

    this whole thing just further serves as a way to alienate men and women and reinforce the idea that there are two mutually exclusive genders. bah.


  3. Because apparently "furry ass" offends some people's sensitivities, I suppose I should let you all in on a secret. Every night, waxing pixies come and spend until morning making sure that there is not a hair on my entire body. That's right, not a hair, anywhere, no eyebrows, no arm hair, no ass fur, no nothing (eyelashes stay because whenever they try I tend to accidentally smoosh them in the flailing). My entire body is smoother than a baby's ass. Happy? Happy now that you know my deep dark secret?

    I know I know, how can I be a skeptic to any and all supernatural entities when I have the proof right in front of my (hairless) nose?


Comments that do not directly relate to points made in either the post itself or the comments of that post will be subject to deletion. So will comments that use an oppressed status as an insult (ie, racist comments, ableist comments, sexist comments, etc.)

If you have a problem with having your comment deleted, you may email me at thedeviatednorm@gmail.com
I make no promises on whether you will receive a response.

My house, my rules. Suck it up.