By Zondra Hughes
It was a Girls' Night In, movies, comfort food, and all the gossip that the four of us could stand.
We decided to watch the throwback film, "Murder By Numbers," starring Sandra Bullock. Soon enough, the film would jumpstart a debate about the art of using sex as a weapon.
In the film, Bullock's character, a cop, seduces her male partner moments after meeting him, and then kicks him out of her bed in the middle of the night.
The man developed feelings for Bullock, but she would have nothing of it, and even teased him because he was concerned about her. "Do you want a ring?" she taunted him, until he bolted.
The film's role-reversal was a set-up to introduce Bullock's character flaw, that she refused to connect with men because of a harrowing incident from her past. Somehow, two of the ladies in our group believed that Bullock was "dating like a man," and that because she had a one-night stand and kicked a man out of her bed, she was "powerful."
Now you know I don't have a problem with naming names when such debates occur in my life, but not this time, it was just too damning and disturbing to put these women on blast. The two of them took turns, telling their "punany power" tales. That is, how they used sex to debase a man, to exact revenge on a former lover, and/or just to prove that they could commit an intimate act without emotional strings attached.
Jane Doe told of a tryst that she had with her ex's boss, just to pay him back.
"I wanted him to see my car parked overnight in front of his office. He always accused me of liking his supervisor and I didn't want to leave a doubt in his mind."
Jane Doe #2 gave into temptation at a company function, with a product supplier who didn't give her a better price.
"This networking event took place at a hotel, and I said, f@ck, it, let's just go get a room and get it over with. The attraction was deep. The sex wasn't good, so I didn't call him, and if I see him nowadays, I don't speak, unless I need an order."
And, finally, the confession that should have made Sandra Bullock's character stop mid-sentence in the film and ask, WTF?, Jane Doe #1's tale of group sex revenge.
"Yeah, he played me. But I went to his cousin's pool party and broke his cousins off. And I know they told him about it, I wish I could see his face when they did. Yeah I got the last laugh now, beyoooch!"
I realize that my views on power may differ from some modern women, but I believe that it takes power and courage to be vulnerable with someone, and to allow and invite intimacy. I readily admit that I'm not there just yet, and thus I have a battery operated boyfriend (where intimacy and/or follow-up calls are not expected.)
We can't progress in our relationships if we don't admit one truth: random, meaningless, sex does not make us stronger or wiser; if anything, the opposite is true.
The act of giving away the punanny to exact revenge, or to feel strong, isn't power, it's promiscuity, and, unlike the world's oldest profession, there isn't even a business model behind it.
And there's nothing powerful or independent about that.
What do you think?
May you receive your Strawberry Letter 23,