Intellectual Thievery

Milk Isn't For Everyone writes a very nice piece on men who preferred her brains to her body. It's very moving:

He was an unabashedly proud capitalist who knew that his white skin, blond hair, and blue eyes granted him access to a world of privilege the rest of us never experience. At first he found my feminism a source of amusement, fodder for loud passionate arguments and a surefire way to make me roll my eyes and bite my lower lip in that way he loved so much. But as time went by his attention changed from the eroticism of arguing to an eroticization of the argument. He became persuaded, and curious and I was his primary resource. Our conversations became lectures.

He would ask me to explain compulsory heterosexuality, and social constructionism, and at first I was thrilled to be appreciated for my intellect, my knowledge, even my ability to convey the things that mattered to me. I was thrilled to have a guy interested in me because of my mind. Until I realized that was all he was interested in. Feminist theory turned to philosophy, and our days were spent with me reciting Irigaray, Foucualt and Lacan. In a used book store in Berkeley I found a copy of Herbert Marcuse's One Dimensional Man and inside the cover I wrote that he should rethink capitalism. All the while I was rethinking him.

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