Can attraction be taught, or mandated by cultural enforcers?Take the much-mocked Vice magazine piece titled “Why Can’t My Famous Gender Nonconforming Friends Get Laid?” The writer, Meredith Talusan, seemingly earnestly asks why her friends who are popular on social media can’t get dates.
Talusan describes her friends Jacob Tobia and Alok Vaid-Menon as “femme nonbinary icons.” This means they don’t identify as male or female. And indeed in the picture accompanying the piece, Tobia and Vaid-Menon straddle some middle line, sporting facial stubble but wearing a skirt, makeup and heels.
It’s complicated, no doubt about it.
Talusan goes on and on about how amazing her friends are yet how no one will sleep with them. It leads to the obvious question: Why doesn’t Talusan do it? Talusan is herself gender-nonconforming, in a non-exclusive relationship and obviously thinks Tobia and Vaid-Menon are great, so why not? The answer: Talusan “presents” as female and, well, Tobia and Vaid-Menon are attracted to men.
Therein lies the rub. Gay men like men, which Tobia and Vaid-Menon say they are not. Straight men like women, which Tobia and Vaid-Menon also say they are not. They can’t alter their preferences to be attracted to women and neither can the men they desire.
Attraction is mysterious, even in far simpler situations than the one described by Talusan.
Professor Reynolds points out another obvious problem: "Also, “social justice” is a myth, and “social justice warriors” are usually broken people with mental problems, which tends to make them less attractive."