Fire and Ice
Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.
- Robert Frost
It's a huge trope, isn't it, that a woman is this block of ice and a man's fire/lust/whatever is supposed to melt her and she warms to him and then happily ever after or...whatever. I wasn't great at sitting through cartoons when I was a kid, because although I study movies now I was petrified of them as a kid. It's in Great Expectations and the 60s film of Romeo and Juliet and in every rom com ever and also a lot on my Tinder which is a graveyard of disappointment right now.
Here's the thing; I have always resisted the urge to cut myself off. I have an almost masochistic need to throw myself into things head first, fearless; I toughen up and make less stupid mistakes, but I've never given up on the things in this world that shine bright. Firstly...I have the self control of a shoelace. But I also don't think it's a good thing, to become cold and impenetrable and just go all Ice Queen on people until someone decides 'hey, she's a bitch, but she's pretty', and then tries to melt down your icy ivory tower. Like, that's always been a terrible model for human relationships.
It's also a pretty slut shaming model for human relationships, if you think about it; because it's just a pretty metaphor for pursuing and being pursued, and when women turn that narrative on its head they're a slut, they're loose, they 'give it away' too easily. It's totally absurd. And aside from batshit insane people who use being frigid (as in cold, not virginal; be as virginal as you like, girl, do what you want) to torment people into loving them, I think people who are cold and hurt just want to be left alone and not have the burdens of love and lust thrust at them repeatedly. You know. Just a thought. Maybe we shouldn't be romanticizing the pursuit of unwilling participants.
I feel like we are encouraging in men an obsession with the unattainable. They love unattainable women, because to win is to be great and exceptional. And men think they are so exceptional in their fiery lust for all the finer things in life, they're so petrified of women who share that fire. But to be great and exceptional is to love unironically and without fear; it is to have a backbone in a relationship. Maybe it's because I'm young, and that I've only met young men, but I've never met anyone with the emotional maturity to deal with women as actual human beings; because emotions are run hot. They burn and scald and leave scars. Sometimes being great and exceptional is not in one's own fire, but in dealing with the fire around them. The chase is easy. Any idiot can chase, especially a block of ice. They don't really have a high top speed.
I spend a lot of time thinking of the endless way in which men compartmentalize and over-simplify women, force them into boxes, and sometimes cages; the frigid bitch who eventually warms to the first person with a penis and the bright idea that she's available, and probably hasn't got a lot of men to compare you to - because she's a bitch - is an endlessly frustrating thing to be boxed into, and the need to reduce us to these boring tropes and stereotypes speaks a lot to the fear men seem to have for women - I don't forget that they used to burn women for speaking their minds. I don't have a pathological fear or disgust of men. I'm just plain impatient.
I've always been a kind of fiery person. I have a loud voice and loud opinions. I've always had a ferocious temper. I have been hurt, badly, but I cannot, and will not, ice over my heart. And I won't do it to indulge some deluded patriarchal fantasy. I want people to fight fire with fire with me.