You say that all humans are inherently worthy, does that include rapists?
Yes, all humans — even rapists and murderers and Wall Street executives — everyone has inherent worth, simply by virtue of their humanity.
I’m a woman. Why do I lose respect for men whom I previously admired intellectually/professionally when they make a choice in women I feel is beneath them?
The way you’ve phrased this makes it an ugly manifestation of your internalized misogyny. It’s a round-about way of competitively hating on other women. Think long and hard about why you chose the words “beneath” and “admired.” They will lead you to the source of your problem.
Sexless marriage, 8.5 years. Can’t afford divorce. 2 kids. He won’t leave. We’re in counseling. I also added group therapy to the mix. It’s not working. I want out.
If you can’t afford lawyers and a divorce, then I’d recommend a mediator and a trial separation. Since he won’t leave, I recommend an in-house separation. (Yes, that’s a thing.) Have your mediator draft a separation agreement that specifies the new arrangement, which should include joint decisions about things like cohabitation, finances, parenting, and relationships outside the marriage. (For real, though. Get it it writing that you’re gonna see other men. It’s time for you to start getting laid again.)
My ex wants me to give back the gifts he gave me so he can sell them to purchase something for himself, as “he isn’t petty, but needs to start putting himself first.” Thoughts?
Keep the gifts on general principle. (Duh.) If you don’t want the gifts, donate them to charity. Whatever you do, don’t give them back to your ex. Set fire to them in the street before letting him take them back. While you’re at it, cut off all contact with him. He is garbage.
Why do I feel obligated to date a guy just because he likes me?
Because you have a gaping void where your self-worth is supposed to go, and the only way you’ve been taught to fill it is through external validation and compliance.
Has America gone insane enough that I can justify applying for jobs in other countries? I don’t like running away from a fight, but this country seems to be sinking fast.
You never need to justify thinking internationally. Take advantage of every opportunity the world has to offer.
If we don’t sin Jesus died for nothing.
I resent the implication that we owe any kind of moral debt to some fictionalized bronze-age cult leader.
Why does it turn me on to imagine myself watching my boyfriend have sex with another girl?
Because it’s hot.
What advice would you give to someone on the verge of turning 18?
Take control of your personal growth. Don’t get pregnant. Vote.
70 thoughts on “On fun-sized advice”
“even rapists and murderers and Wall Street executives” — Damn, Coke, I never imagined you’d do something this awful. You didn’t need to insult rapists and murderers by comparing them to Wall Street executives.
To the married person who cannot afford a divorce: I’ll echo Coke’s advice on finding a mediator – it is a very affordable alternative to divorce attorneys. If there is a law school in your area, check to see if they have a dispute resolution/mediation law clinic. If they don’t they may know where to send you; or, reach out to a law professor who teaches DR/M. Also check your state’s Bar website (or county, some counties have their own Bar group) for DR and/or mediation attorneys. Finally, some local women’s organizations might be able to point you towards practitioners. Good luck, girl!
ETA: Even though I’m talking about attorneys who are mediators, there are obviously ‘civilians’ who are mediators, but in either case it is much more affordable than court (whether the mediator is a lawyer or not.)
Also, and this is very random, but a lot of local libraries offer legal help with wide variety of issues including divorce. Good luck!
I disagree with the idea all humans are inherently worthy. What about them makes them worthy ?
Is it the singularity involved in being sentient ? Is it having a personal history ? Is it just having 46 chromosomes worth of genetic information that makes you look like a large babbling hairless monkey ?
Because I can find examples of humans who are exceptions to all the above. What about an anencephalic orphaned baby ? Where is the worth in their life ? Apart from the possibility to harvest organs I see none (I would still nurse a baby in that situation till it’s last breath, but when you think about it, that’s more about me than the child).
I’m not trying to antagonise anyone. I’ve been confronted with many end of life situations recently, and I truly believe we have to engage in a society level discussion on the worth of human life.
When does it start being worthy ? That demarcation is the legal basis for the right to abortion. Humans can now have a shot at surviving outside the womb from 20 weeks onwards. It’s a cruel thing to do that to a foetus but people will do it and technology will advance to the point were the 12 week line for non medically indicated abortions might be questioned.
When does life stop being worthy ? Dementia is on the rise, cancer is becoming a debilitating chronic disease more than an acute lethal disease. People with terminal cancer tend to pop in and out of intensive care, and after having seen it I’ve forbidden my family to ever allow anything like what happens in intensive care to happen to me.
I want to be put down like a dog when my life becomes worthless. I wish there was a clear standard for what a worthy life is. I don’t want to have to think about my mortality and advanced directives as often as I do. I don’t want to have to tell my parents to forbid any intervention apart from analgesics if I’m unable to interact with the world. I’m sick of being haunted by the people we’ve tortured by prolonging their life.
I know I’m talking about the people at extremes of life rather than the general population. But shit this is more important than people think it is. We’re teaching everyone how to do CPR but how often does it work ? 8 bloody percent of the time. And those survivors don’t return to decent quality of life after in most cases.
Again sorry if this is not on topic or if the brooding thoughts of a potential doctor might trouble anyone (I promise I’ll obey the rules), but 1) I think about this a lot 2) I love taking to ppl about this, as difficult as it is to talk about everyone has something slightly different to say.
I suspect you’re confusing the worthiness of existence with quality of life. A person’s life is worthy because they exist, and to whatever extent they are aware of that existence, they fight against the absurdity of a meaningless and indifferent universe. Sentience is the right idea, but also struggle, joy, laughter; all of these are measures of worthiness, not the glasgow scale. The worthiness of that life does not disappear because a person falls into a coma or has renal failure, just like the totality of a person’s life doesn’t suddenly become meaningless because she died. Have all the conversations you want about palliative care and DNRs, but you don’t get to decide whether a person’s life has or had value or not. Determining standards for end of life care is a pragmatic problem and fundamentally different thing than making claims about the worth of a human being.
End 0f life and quality of life issues are all framed around “this being is deserving of love and kindness and good care, what is the best we can do for them in this situation?” It actually presupposes that everyone’s worth caring about. If some people weren’t worthy, we wouldn’t give a fuck how or when they died.
1) no I’m not confusing those two notions. Quality of life contributes to worth, but it doesn’t fully explain it. A temporary /!\ dip in quality of life doesn’t decrease the worth of that life for instance.
2) what about members of the Homo sapiens species that aren’t sentient ? Those who don’t experience laughter or joy or struggle or the abyss ? Are their lives not worthy or are they not human ? You can’t refute both, you have to pick one answer.
3) If I have renal failure with no chance of ever having a decent renal function again and improbable odds for receiving a transplantation, I will consider my life worthless. Nature and society will have decided my life is worthless at that point. For heaven’s sake, let’s just talk about it instead of denying the concept of our own worthlessness. We don’t live in a post scarcity society yet and even if we did…
4) I don’t want to decide. I want someone with solid verifiable answers to tell me what life is worth.
5) It’s not just about the pragmatics of end of life care. It’s the philosophical question about what makes life worthy. All human life is worthy is a ridiculous proposition. There is a voice in everyone’s head that screams for survival. And because we are social animals that heavily rely on empathy, we project those feelings on others. But I feel, as technology and societies mature, we should learn to extinguish that primal scream in favor for a reasonable discussion on the inherent worth of life, on a social level that can then be internalized by everyone (which is useful bc everyone is going to die).
You’re overthinking it, and overestimating the extent to which you or other people can internalise social messages. Having lived in 4 countries and navigated several social classes – all 7 billion of us will never agree, I can tell you that much. Being able to realise the inherent worth of everybody on an intuitive level makes that a lot easier to deal with, and the question of human worth a lot simpler.
I also strongly disagree that our society (I’m guessing you’re referring to US society) is particularly mature.
“Quality of life contributes to worth, but it doesn’t fully explain it.”
Not the kind of worth Coquette is referring to, though. Quality of life has to do with the value of life to the person living it. That’s not what we’re talking about. We’re talking about the universal value of someone. Not what they are to themselves. Not what their life has involved. Just that they are human.
There’s some confusion here about worth and being “worthy.” Worth is related to whom. And worthy is related to “of what.”
All humans are worthy of respect. Inanimate objects are worthy of respect, so that doesn’t require any judgement.
Are they worthy of resources? Now we’re down to civil rights. For me, the real questions arise when someone has demonstrated negative worth. It’s at that point I try to judge them by their own standards because we cling to this mudball under a tenuous and sacred social pact. That contract carries its own consequences for major violations. If they would kill, then they should be killed. Do unto others seems like justice to me.
This is really hard for me to reconcile at times because I actually see ALL crime as a public health issue. So to some degree, when not hypothetical, I end up respecting life and wanting to treat everyone clinically.
I know my knee jerk reaction seems like, “kill all the fuckers” but it’s said with a sort of humorous nuance that only glints like a blade when held at the right angle.
“What about them makes them worthy ?”
read the post. humanity is what makes them inherently worthy. note the word “inherently”.
The question then becomes what is human ?
If you can’t identify your fellow humans then you yourself probably aren’t one.
If only Richard, if only…
(My personal policy though is : if it looks human, smells human, and its cells contain genetic material proper to humans, it probably is human.)
Do you smell human?
Only after sex (I sustain my immortal imitation of the human capsule by sucking life out of my young lovers)
I don’t believe that follows. See if this makes sense.
“If you can’t identify your fellow idiots, then you yourself probably aren’t one.”
A miserable pile of existential questions.
Yeah! I’d much prefer to stop at the “brutal death is better than worthless life” answer.
You are everything that makes having a discussion with the internet awful.
Have at you !
Me?!?! Ha! That’s so unexpected. Who gives a fuck what I think.
I would choose to vivisect the word “inherently” as a premise.
A: I hear your argument. It is an issue of nuance. Please look through my telescope backwards:
Are there humans that are inherently unworthy of life? No, not as long as humans are the ones doing the judging.
I find the unnecessary space you put between letters and your question marks unnerving.
Love you, love your show. The Bronze Age ended ~1000 years before Christ. I hate pedantry.
Yeah, but if I say Iron Age, it sounds like Game of Thrones.
Sounds like you’re not willing to pay the iron price.
The second question was phrased badly, but I think I may understand what the person meant. Many men will not date their intellectual or professional equal. I think it does say something unflattering about a man when he will only date women who are less accomplished or intelligent than he is. It suggests that the man doesn’t regard women as equals of men, that he needs to feel like the superior one, and this is a totally fair reason to lose respect for him.
Or that you yourself don’t consider these women equal to men and are projecting your own ideas of female value unto these men.
No, that isn’t what I said. Whether two people of different levels of professional accomplishment are equal may be up to each of us to decide. However, when a man consistently chooses less successful women over women of a similar professional stature, the implication is that he has a need to feel superior to the women in his life. That was what my comment addressed, but your reply did not.
You’re the one who’s right. JC thinks I’m a better person than I actually am.
If that’s how the question had been framed, in terms of men not regarding women as their equals, then yes, I would have given a very different answer.
Yes, I don’t disagree with your response. “Beneath” suggests that she’s looking down on these other women in some way.
Hi! OP here. Indeed: I’m kicking myself about feeling this way, which is why I asked Coquette for help to figure this out. The thing is, when these men date or marry someone I consider a great woman, my admiration for them increases manyfold. I’m not sexually interested in these men; instead, I see them as professional role models or friends that lead by example and make me a better person.
Your response is very open-minded. I am unsure how to respond (though CT knows all, so she will have the answer for you.) I guess my gut reaction is whether you regard a “great” woman and “great” man the same way. What if there was a great women you admired who married a man you regarded as ordinary vs the other way around? In an equal society, these things should happen equally, but they do not. How much of your opinion is colored by the (real I am one) situations in which a great man does not choose a great woman because he needs to feel like the greater one? Or is it something else you are responding to? I can’t guess, because I am filtering through my own experiences (we all are, of course, but what are yours?)
But… who are you to decide if these women are “beneath them”
Making less money and having less of an education does not make them less of a human being..
Hi! OP here. Money and formal education have nothing to do with my perception of someone being “beneath” another one.
Do you have any other theories?
The primary issue here is that you feel that it is somehow up to you to decide who is and isn’t worthy of someone else whose romantic relationships have exactly zero to do with you. They have private lives that you do not have a window into.
The idea of someone being beneath another means that some kind of hierarchical system of judgment is being applied. We’ve all made sacrifices to get where we are and maybe you resent women who end up with men you admire but got there without making the same sacrifices that you did. And maybe you think less of the man because he is making a poor judgment in choice of partner from your perspective. What are the particular attributes or qualities of these women that you object to? Are those things that you’ve worked to overcome or denied yourself or have another kind of connection to?
Coquette, I don’t think it’s a matter of seeing them as equals, but of me having insanely high expectations for the men I see as mentors. Again, when they date or marry women I also admire, I regard them both as even better individuals.
Would you recommend any reading on understanding internalized misogyny in women?
It seems to me that this is more about your having insanely high expectations of the women they choose.
Remember, if these men are as great as you describe, then surely they can be trusted to select their own criteria for a romantic partner. The things you admire in other women may not be what they’re looking for because you aren’t evaluating them from a romantic standpoint, whereas they are.
This only applies if you think that intelligence or professional rank inherently and exclusively elevates someone above someone else.
What you describe does happen, but there may be other qualities or attributes of the relationship which make it an equitable one. Mutual support or a shared sense of humour, for example, aren’t contingent upon people being on the same pay grade.
By trail separation do you mean trial separation?
There’s something poetic about the image of two trails separating but still going in the same direction……
Yes. Trial. Thanks!
How many Annas are there in this comment section ? And you even have an M in their too. I think I might just definitely change my “name” to “not that Anna, sorry not that one either, here you go yes it’s that one, congrats”.
I think it gives you the same avatar as long as you keep using the same email, actually.
My boyfriend dated some ridiculously beautiful women before we met and I occasionally fantasize about him fucking them. He’s gorgeous, they’re gorgeous, and he’s phenomenal in bed, so I know they enjoyed it. The whole situation is hot as fuck. Totally normal, and I think jealousy is the only thing stopping more people from enjoying such fantasies.
I suppose that means no but are some people more worthy than others?
Man, if you think the US is sinking, the Philippines feels mostly underwater now. At least we’re not Venezuela (yet?).
Thank you so much for answering my question (the first one), Coke!
My brother is a rapist, and I am a rape victim. I hate my rapist, but I love my brother. Seeing my brother behind bars was incredibly difficult, and is why I haven’t pressed charges on my abuser. Considering myself and my abuser both worthy of continuing our lives and growing from this incident has radically changed how I view my situation. I’m not “stopping” his life; the same way he can’t stop mine. He is human and worthy and can grow, and being behind bars shouldn’t stop him. But that’s not up for me to believe. I already accepted my truth; I’ve already decided to move on. He can move on in jail.
Love you, Coquette
Worth is something humans assign.
No worth can be assigned without employing ego.
If you had no ego you could not make that assertion.
Some people lack humanity, or at least the ability to be humane.
Those people have only the worth you assign them.
Don’t confuse rarity with value.
I believe there are people who are of negative value, or are in fact worthless.
Yes that assignation is made by employing ego.
Seriously, fuck Donald trump.
Bottom line, the world would be better off if many people were dead.
Not all life has worth.
But all life must be respected.
Yes, even dick Cheney.
I’m surprised you haven’t said Adolf Hitler’s name by now.
He’s already dead.
It’s way more fun to be obtuse.
“If we don’t sin Jesus died for nothing.”
See, I took this as a logical argument in favor of sinning. If we want Jesus’ death to count, we have to sin, sin, sin! The more we sin, the more his death is worth!
So despite being an atheist, I’m going to go forth and do my part to ensure that he died for a good reason. (Actually, I think being an atheist works well here, as all the time I spend just being an atheist is a sin. I wonder how it counts, though? Is it one sin per day that I’m an atheist, or is it hourly?)
Unless your ex gifted you an original Rothko, it ain’t worth shit secondhand.
totally agree everyone deserves respect and sympathy, but worth? i don’t know if we can assign humanity worth.
i guess what i’m most uncomfortable with is the consequentialist equation from ‘humanity’ to ‘worth’. is there really something called humanity that we all have by natural right and if there is why should we have this categorical commitment to it as something of worth? i also totally ‘resent the implication that we owe any kind of moral debt to some fictionalized bronze-age leader’, but all this stuff about humanity / worth sounds a lot like religious thinking. if we wanna take seriously the idea that there is no god and religion is bullshit, which i’m pretty sure we do, then we’ve also gotta think about how a lot of the moral claims that we habitually make in contexts like this are made as if there is some universal standard to which we could all appeal, whether it’s a bronze-age guru or the idea of humanity.
“totally agree everyone deserves respect and sympathy, but worth? i don’t know if we can assign humanity worth.”
See, I would say the opposite. I don’t think we have to respect people no matter what, and I certainly don’t think we have to sympathize with them. But they do deserve to be treated with basic human dignity, which is what I would connect to “worth” in this discussion.
It’s super easy to say, “I don’t respect X.” But have you really taken a moment to consider the magnitude of experience and evolution that brought that person to where they are? Framing it in the largest way possible; it’s not their fault.
As I mentioned previously, I believe we should respect everything; including inanimate objects. The effort of respecting the inanimate may teach you something no person ever could.
If you make no effort to empathize with someone, you’re robbing yourself of a unique perspective. You have to ask whether that perspective is worth anything to you. Even jailed serial murderers have value for psychologists because they’re where the rubber meets the road in terms of humanely steering us towards a better future. We can’t sit around and hope for a mass extinction of ignorance and violence. (Sapolsky’s baboons.)
I only laughingly speak of killing the people who don’t have a perspective I think is valuable AND whose actions amount to a negative impact on our environment or other peoples experience.
You don’t need a god to have rights.
We use plenty of fundamentally artificial metrics to evaluate and understand our experiences. The lack of an objective universal metric for something doesn’t devalue the subjective metric we use. All meaning is derived from subjectivity, yeah? Without an observer to interpret an event, it is necessarily meaningless. Literally nothing in the universe has any worth quality Worth. There’s only the worth we assign to things based on how we value them. Given the scarcity of life, I think it’s a fair perspective to consider all life inherently valuable. It shares a lot of spirituality with religiosity but it isn’t magical thinking by any means.
For the record: There are still people I would be okay with killing, probably, but it would be because they were so intrinsically destructive that the weight of the harm they would do outweighs the value I place on their life. But since nobody is impartial enough to be the arbiter of who should live or die, nobody should have the authority to kill eirher
We use plenty of fundamentally artificial metrics to evaluate and understand our experiences. The lack of an objective universal metric for something doesn’t devalue the subjective metric we use. All meaning is derived from subjectivity, yeah? Without an observer to interpret an event, it’ necessarily meaningless. Literally nothing in the universe has any worth qua Worth. There’s only the worth we assign to things based on how we value them. Given the scarcity of life, I think it’s a fair perspective to consider all life inherently valuable. It shares a lot of spirituality with religiosity but it isn’t magical thinking by any means.
For the record: There are still people I would be okay with killing, probably, but it would be because they were so intrinsically destructive that the weight of the harm they would do outweighs the value I place on their life. But since nobody is impartial enough to be the arbiter of who should live or die, nobody should have the authority to kill either. Obvious exception being in the case of defending self or other from imminent mortal peril.
Brb gonna go rape a bunch of white women.