What We Learned from Firemen about Objectification in 2010

Kara, last night we took a 90s Woman field trip to a Firefighter Auction. The City Reliquary, a nice Williamsburg museum run by neighborhood heartthrob and toddler idol Fireman Dave (Herman), needed to raise money, so Dave had his fireman friends stand up onstage at the Knitting Factory while ladies (and a couple of men) bid on dates with them.

A worthy cause! So even though we just came to window-shop, we did our part. We drank pink Manhattans that weren’t really Manhattans; listened to a 90s cover band (way to go, fireman drummer!) that played every 90s song you ever pretended not to like, like Collective Soul’s “Shine” or stuff by the Foo Fighters and Stone Temple Pilots and Counting Crows; and you somehow allowed pictures to be taken of yourself with a fireman wearing a hat on backwards that said “Cross Bronx Expressway.”

It took a lot of work, but I talked you into letting those pictures be posted here, but not without the following disclaimer: Kara would like to apologize to her boyfriend, her parents, and to everyone with whom she studies queer theory. This is her in some sort of alterna-heteronormative universe.

And without further ado, here is our hungover g-chat about the event the next day:

Kara: firemen!

Ada: firemen!

Ada: that was literally the most insane event i have ever been to

Kara: EVER. there was a real variety of men

Ada: it was insane because: it was empty for the first while we were there and then filled up with indisputably attractive men and women; firemen were then bought and made out with at the bar; there was a 90s cover band called Blind Spot that we loved

Kara: the 90s cover band changed my life

Ada: someone spent $300 to have dinner with jaret, who was objectively the Hot Young One, but you only had eyes for the slightly crazy older guy

Kara: that guy who was the MC who was wearing stonewashed mom jeans that i had a temporary crush on

Ada: His name was paddy

Kara: PADDY. you always want to talk about the 90s and being pc. he was NOT pc.

Ada: he was andrew dice clay

Kara: he totally was. maybe he reminded me of my youth

Ada: when he was emceeing, he instructed the firemen on the block: “take your shirt off! play with your nipples!” and told the audience: “he loves anal sex! he will put out!”

Kara: he really was andrew dice clay. my taste is REALLY dubious

Ada: you have an awesome boyfriend so i think it’s okay if your crushes are a little suspect. it was a lisa carver-style pick. “in this room full of ridiculously hot firemen, i am going to pick . . . THAT GUY”

Kara: but you said of the indie dude in the cover band, “i dated that same exact person ten times in my twenties.” BTW, the lead singer who looked like he should be one of adam sandler’s friends in the wedding singer.

Ada: wait a second. we went there to work. what did the auction say about heterosexual dynamics in 2010?

Kara: um, it said that girls like to buy guys. and actually, that guys like to put on a show for girls. in a way, it was a reversal of what you usually see. it reminded me of how guys act in high school. in a good way, like, trying to be showy and impressive

Ada: totally. spending a lot of time putting gel in their hair

Kara: so much time. it was so sweet!

Ada: i think those photos of you and that guy we were talking to speak volumes. i was still bummed that none of them were wearing their fireman uniforms. one of the guys told me the fire department wouldn’t let them! anyway, all these photos are evidence  that we are living life, and working hard to solve the issues of gender dynamics in the 90s, 00s and today!

Kara: the photos prove that was not our typical evening of performance art and feminism!

Ada: this blog is taking radical feminist theory to the streets!

Kara: we SO are. we are spreading the word in the least likely of places. this is life as performance art. or performance art as life. or maybe its just flirting with firemen…

(P.S. Gothamist has better photos than we do; see them here.)

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