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But what would happen if she stopped trying to coax and pet and charm him—if she said, bluntly, that she doesn’t want him, that she’s not attracted to him, that she’s changed her mind?That option, of blunt refusal, doesn’t even consciously occur to her—she assumes that if she wants to say no she has to do so in a conciliatory, gentle, tactful way, in a way that would take “an amount of effort that was impossible to summon.” And I think that assumption is bigger than Margot and Robert’s specific interaction; it speaks to the way that many women, especially young women, move through the world: not making people angry, taking responsibility for other people’s emotions, working extremely hard to keep everyone around them happy.It’s reflexive and self-protective, and it’s also exhausting, and if you do it long enough you stop consciously noticing all the individual moments when you’re making that choice.It’s in this context that Margot decides to have sex with Robert.We decide that it means something that a person likes cats instead of dogs, or has a certain kind of artsy tattoo, or can land a good joke in a text, but, really, these are reassuring self-deceptions.Our initial impression of a person is pretty much entirely a mirage of guesswork and projection.K., who has obviously been in the news a lot lately, echoed Margaret Atwood’s line “Men are afraid women will laugh at them, women are afraid men will kill them” in a standup routine, by talking about how the equivalent of a woman going on a date with a man would be a man going on a date with a half-bear, half-lion.
The muse to many and fearless fashion darling was just photographed with her new girlfriend, Victoria's Secret model Stella Maxwell, driving around New Orleans in a massive black SUV. And that type of audience requires a lot of content. Other women, from Beyonce to Chrissy Teigen, have recruited their partners to take photographs for them (this phenomenon has lead Jay Z and John Legend to compete for the title of "Best Instagram Husband").Of course it doesn’t, and the vertigo that Margot feels at several points in the story is the recognition of that uncertainty: it’s not that she knows that Robert is The first draft of the story came fairly easily—I wrote it in a feverish burst—but I did feel self-conscious, afterward, about the verisimilitude of the texts, especially because Margot is younger than I am and there’s nothing more embarrassing than someone older trying to mimic the communication style of a slightly different generation.There are fewer of her texts in the story for that reason.Do you think of this encounter, which is, at times, cringe-inducing for the reader, as a consensual one? Well, he buys her alcohol, even though he knows she’s underage, and he tells her that he thinks she’s drunk right before he takes her home. But I’m more interested in the way that Margot herself weighs the costs of her own decision to consent.Margot, choosing between having sex she doesn’t want and “seeming spoiled and capricious,” decides to have unwanted sex.