How many of you have seen the film Clerks? Well, there is a scene in the movie when a couple are arguing because, initially, the woman in the conversation is somewhat perturbed because the man admits he has had thirteen lovers. His girlfriend, after hitting him somewhat playfully yet forcefully enough for him to know the hit was more than playful, calls him promiscuous for his having what some would call the ultimate intimate experience with thirteen different women. She gives him so much grief that he finally challenges her to reveal her number of pre-marital moments. She says three with her bosom extended knowing she can flaunt her lower number. The conversation then drifts and the edge that was present for a moment over the topic wanes. A bit later, a customer that they had both recognized and chatted with pays for his merchandise and leaves. When he is out of earshot, they discuss the woman’s previous moment with him, and other men as well, with none of the acts (all the same) being described as an ultimate intimate moment, but definitely a landmark along that route.
Upon being badgered by the man, the woman then reveals that she had previously been in a moment like that with 35 other men. The man flipped, completely dismayed at how she could have been calling him promiscuous and yet had landmark experiences with 35 men, then practically insinuating that she was an Imus non-nappy headed “you know what.” Well, totally blown away with his response she tells him that landmark experiences are simply pit stops on the way to reaching your final destination, and that he should not feel threatened by her having had multiple pit stops. After she was corrected about the fact that 35 pit stops far exceed “multiple” pit stops, she let him know that the 35 pit stops were nothing compared to the final destination, that he and only a couple of other men had ever experienced. He was unable to reconcile her 3 ultimate intimate experiences and 35 so-called casual pit stops to his 13 ultimate intimate experiences.
In the "Examining Diversity Through Film" and "Philosophies of Romance, Sex, Love & Marriage" courses that I teach, there is quite a reaction from the students when they are asked to consider this highly intriguing gendered moment. The students are challenged to contemplate is this a gender thing, some type of subtle or not so subtle sexism, or is it just the way it is? Well, what is your take?