So, I got this reply to one of my craigslist ads a couple days ago.
Not only has this dude emailed me just to mansplain why I’m wrong in the way I express my own needs — which has nothing to do with offering me a place to live — he’s made sure I have no idea of his name. Usually if you’re replying to a craigslist ad, it still shows the name attached to your email address, even though it anonymises the address itself. This guy shows up as “craigslist reply 2abc” so I figure in this case the closest thing to a name for him is “Anonymous Bastard Coward.”
He’s referencing the part in my ad which says:
“I’m a night owl, a lesbian woman, a computer geek, and a music lover. I am ethically non-monogamous and shameless about sex (pro tip: “no overnight guests” is a polite way of saying “sex is shameful.” I don’t do shameful.)”
He tells me in his little rant:
“Well no overnight guests has another meaning, too. It’s about the landlord wanting and having the right to know who is using their property, and the additional parking, utility use, and noise problems. Landlord tenant is a two way street.”
Problem is, his justifications don’t hold up — because if any of those things are concerns, then they’d be concerns without the “overnight” part, too!
What happens if I invite a couple of friends over for brunch in the late morning, tea in the afternoon, or dinner and drinks and sportsball on TV in the evening? Making a meal for more than just myself, putting on the kettle, guests using the bathroom… do potentially increase “utility use” — by an incredibly small amount. If my friends drive cars when they come by, they’ll have to figure out parking (and I’d be sure to say “hey, actually that spot won’t work, maybe try down the block, etc.” if I needed to.) Watching the game might be noisy, too, especially after a few beers! And, what, would the landlord be expecting to interview and approve or deny each person I chose to invite for any of those events? Pretty sure that’s not legal, just like he couldn’t legally say “no guests or visitors ever.”
No, the only reason to single out overnight guests as forbidden is because you’re squicked by the thought of your tenant fucking.
Noise problems? You mean “the sound of your tenant fucking.”
Additional parking? You’re assuming that I drive, and that anyone I happened to pick up would be driving too, AND that if they were driving, there would be so little parking that it would cause problems. It’s a flimsy excuse.
Utility use? You mean “the shower in the morning after your tenant fucks” or “the gas to run the stove when your tenant makes breakfast for the person they fucked last night.” And why would that (likely shared!) shower matter to you? What difference does an occasional fancy breakfast make?
I mentioned all of this to The Rabbit just after I’d gotten the email. She herself is a landlord, and her first response was “what’s it to him, anyway?! It’s not like he’s ever even going to rent to you, so why should he care?” She pointed out that it’s ridiculous for him to worry about any of that, and agreed enthusiastically when I suggested that it was just a matter of having gotten under his skin with my grain of truth about his (and far too many other people’s) shame about sex — enough so that he felt compelled to tell me, a woman on the internet who he’s never met and likely never will, why I’m wrong.
So, yeah. I stand by my original statement: “no overnight guests” is a polite way of saying “sex is shameful.”
And I still don’t do shameful.