Changing my bio to sexual fabulist
The story behind a Lioness founder's New York Times column
Hello readers! Ariella here. (one of the Lioness founders)
I heard from nearly a hundred people with stories and reactions of their own. Ninety-eight percent of these missives were thoughtful and lovely, interspersed with a handful of entertaining insults and musings on how such a “skinny little Jewish woman” could attract the male gaze at a Tex Mex restaurant.
Brb...changing bio to “sexual fabulist”...
It took me a long time to write the Modern Love piece. Not because it was painful, particularly (therapeutic and liberating, more). But more because at Lioness, we are in the business (if you can call it that when you largely work pro bono 🙂) of telling stories. We work in first-person narratives, but because we are a journalistic outlet, we also do fact-checking, which can involve hearing different versions of the same story. The differences in story between romantic partners can be especially stark and disconcerting.
What’s become clear as you listen to people’s stories is that sometimes two totally different perceptions of the same situation can co-exist. I mean…even the men who objectify me disagree on some things!
Our favorite misogynist (anti-Semite?) above who Googled me after reading the article called me skinny. The colleague mentioned in the NYT article whose bed I ended up in would beg to differ–he liked to say I had a grabbable ass.
Although I knew the events I described in the piece had happened to me, I could not help but wonder if I was a reliable narrator. Not only could other people have a totally different memory or perception of something I described, but also–my own perception of the meaning of the events may have shifted. I know that my boundaries have evolved, shifted, thickened and softened over time.