The following “mea culpa” is from guest contributor, Dennis Hong, in response to his previous essay for DW and the response it received. On a personal note, I have worked with Dennis for several years and know him to be a generous, funny, smart, well-meaning guy. If there was offense taken in his latest essay, I take part responsibility as the editor and publisher of this site. While his words don’t represent my own thoughts and opinions, I am happy to continue giving him space to share them, while providing us an opportunity to engage in larger conversations about male-female relationships and friendships, feminism, and the effect of pop culture in our personal lives.
Last week I wrote an essay that many of you took offense to. Well, I’m mature enough to admit when I fuck up, so here I am to apologize. For the record, no one is making me write this, and in fact, I’m the one who suggested it to Wendy. The truth is, I didn’t realize my last “rant” would be such a touchy subject, and I had no idea the words I used, in an effort to be witty, would actually come across as insensitive. For that, I apologize.
If it matters:
I used the 1-10 scale as an ironic way to illustrate how men can be superficial, not realizing that it would paint me as the superficial one.
The “smooth and silky” hair comment was based on the ridiculous commercials that show a woman experiencing what I can only guess to be an orgasm of some sort while she’s shampooing her hair. The reference was intended to elicit a smirk, and I didn’t realize it had racist undertones.
The “buried under a mound of dirt” comment was an unfortunate metaphor for a diamond in the rough. It was meant to be a subtle compliment to all the “Jodies” of the world.
I apologize if these comments offended you. I was trying to be snarky, but I never meant to disrespect or shame anyone in any way, and I regret that the tone I intended was not the tone that was conveyed.
As much as I regret making insensitive or inappropriate comments, I can’t apologize for statements I didn’t make or suggest. Despite what some commenters may believe, I never said:
Women need to wear makeup to look better.
Women look bad if they don’t conform to some Hollywood-mandated standard for beauty.
Men have it “just as hard” as women when it comes to maintaining their physical appearance.
Please understand that my rant was directed at a very specific group of women — women who: 1) want to attract more men; 2) aren’t experiencing much success, yet; 3) refuse to put effort into their physical appearance. I stand by my point that if someone isn’t attracting whom they hope to attract, then one solution is to improve her physical appearance.
At this point, I’m sure many of you have reached your own conclusions about my character, and there’s not much I can do to change that. But that’s okay, I can live without your unwavering adulation (I’ll settle for wavering ambivalence). My main concern is that, as a self-proclaimed comedy writer, I completely misfired in this attempt at being tongue-in-cheek. My typical style is to use sarcasm and hyperbole to make my point (remember, I’m the guy who coined the term, “engagement porn”), and it’s clear this piece failed miserably at that. Or maybe it’s just an inappropriate topic for a guy to be sarcastic and hyperbolic about. Either way, my bad.
The tone I intended was not the tone that conveyed. Again, my apologies.
Whether it excites you or fills you with loathing, I plan to keep writing for Dear Wendy. I’m not asking you to like me as a person, but if I can get you to read my stuff and understand my perspective for even a fraction of a millisecond, then I’ll have done my job. If you still have any thoughts or concerns on all this, please feel free to email me personally at [email protected]. I will be happy to engage anyone in discussion.
Until next time. May all our opinions be understood, and all our bangs be feathered.
Dennis Hong engineers happiness at WordPress.com by day. By night, he is a relationships and comedy writer, which can be redundant or an oxymoron, depending on your perspective. Dennis is the creator of Musings on Life and Love, a group blog for sharing life lessons, and LemonVibe, a relationship advice site for couples. You also can find him on Twitter (he is not the creator of Twitter).
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