Microsoft Excel took a turn for the explicit this week when the Internet learned the once-innocuous office tool was being used in a dispiriting new bro-trend: tracking the number of times their partners refuse sex. Yes, #sexspreadsheets are a thing, presumably because some men still believe that owning a penis entitles them to unlimited sexy times.
Sorry, guys, that's just not the way the world works.
When the first #sexspreadsheets went viral on Reddit, it was almost immediately followed by a second, equally sophomoric spreadsheet, which may or may not have been making fun of the first.
Unfortunately, we're not really getting the joke.
The writer of the original post noted the varied "excuses" his partner had used over the past weeks. Apparently, she sometimes got "tired," felt "sick" and occasionally even had the ridiculous idea she might want to go the gym. Who does she think she is? An equal, self-determined member of society?
Image Credit: BuzzFeed
While many might believe #sexspreadsheets like these are harmless, perhaps even humorous, pieces of Internet minutiae, the motivation behind them highlights a much deeper pattern of pathological male behavior. Cases of domestic violence against women in the U.S. are alarmingly frequent, and perpetrators often exhibit a similar attitude of entitlement toward their partners. That the couple in the spreadsheet are allegedly married does not change the equation: 1 in 4 American women will face domestic abuse in their lifetime, and one-third of those cases involve marital rape.
To be clear, these spreadsheet bros are not rapists. But they are echoing (or at the very least, making light of) the same kind of rhetoric that's been used to legitimate various forms of assault. Entitlement to women's bodies is one peg in the cycle of abuse. Whether it's the Santa Barbara shooter who went on a shooting spree to "punish" every girl who has "never been attracted" to him, or the insidious, so-called Pick Up Artists who proclaim that violence against women could be averted if men learned how to seduce women properly, the refrain is always the same: Men need and, more importantly, deserve sex, primarily because they are men. Women who are perceived as withholding, whether it's toward their boyfriends, their husbands or guys they met once at a fraternity party, are labeled prudes and bitches. Women who allege they were forced, meanwhile, get blamed by judges, journalists and politicians.
The many falsehoods propagated at every turn have driven us to put together a helpful chart that may help clear up any uncertainties regarding when women owe it to anyone to have sex:
In the words of the good men at #AllMenCan, "women don't owe you shit."
Image Credit: Mic