Male sexuality has traditionally been seen as aggressive in the West, but traditionally that was lauded and validated, sometimes to the point of glorifying behavior we would call stalking nowadays.
But it was always also considered dangerous – even when it was also considered vivifying as in ancient Rome where phalluses were scratched into walls as good luck symbols – and a man could step over the line very easily, and the constant threat of this kind of accusation was a way of controlling men in other areas, and not just women controlling men. This is how people believe women can’t rape men, how when a woman seduces and rapes a boy people consider them equal in aggression and why it was so easy to go to a cultural mode where female sexual expression was celebrated above any other consideration in a relationship a la Eat, Pray, Love.
And this model of male sexuality fed the general macho construction of masculinity. Whoever describes male sexuality as aggressive and harmful is reinforcing patriarchal gender constructs.
So when a movement develops doctrines or theory that demonize male sexuality with terminology like “rape culture”, “male gaze” and “sexual objectification”, we have no excuse for seeing it as anything other than cultural continuity from very traditional attitudes. When a movement does this, they are just auxiliaries to the traditionalists.
I am going to keep exploring the demonization of male sexuality. The female counterpart is slut-shaming and it merits scrutiny too, but others have done that already, and probably better than I would.
So the initial cut on this is just to quote two comments from other threads, as impressions. These two comments refer to two seaprate strands of demonizing male sexuality, and both of them into broadly structural kinds of misandry in the culture andin the gender discussion:
THE HYPERAGENCY/HYPOAGENCY NARRATIVE
“It’s the feminist double standard: male aggressor/female victim has multiple qualifiers, female aggressor/male victim only qualifies if *physical force* is used (IME, according to feminists, even a woman with a weapon doesn’t count as a female rapist. It only counts if/when the woman has enough mass and/or strength to bend her target to her will.)
This, of course, leads into the male paedophile w/female targets becoming a monster, while the female paedophile w/male targets receiving the “What, what? Nothing wrong here, just look away”, treatment. It’s always been funny to me, that an underage, but 15+ years old girl is a victim (even if her victimiser is within her age group), whereas an <13 year old boy receives “agency” when a woman expresses interest.
And, in the end, it’s all about the idea that all female sexuality is “legitimate” and all male sexuality is “perverse”. When men (who, for the most part are under the drinking age) make internet “jailbait clocks”, they’re daemons. When women (regardless of age) scream and throw panties at Taylor Lautner or Justin Bieber, it’s “okay”. If a man wants to suck a woman’s toes, he’s a despicable pervert. If a woman wants her male partner to (personal example) urinate on her post-coitus, *he* becomes the pervert for *not* doing so. If he wants to give oral sex and she doesn’t want to receive, he’s a “patriarchal arsehole”. If she wants him to receive anal sex and he doesn’t want anything to do with the act, he’s a “patriarchal arsehole”. It’s not about legality, it’s all about *morality* (and mens’ desires are de facto “immoral” in the eyes of feminists if they don’t toe the line.)
Yeah, MaMu, and if a woman demands cunnilingus and her man refuses, he’s a misogynist according to Jill Filipovic – despite the fact that cunnilingus carries a threat of transmitting HPV that fellatio does not.
It is about demonizing male sexuality, hetero or homo or celibate. Celibates come in for their share of shaming language too.
THE SEXUAL OBJECTIFICATION NARRATIVE
Re Daisy’s comment on “men’s thoughts” becoming the issue…
AVFM have discovered a new anti-feminist on YouTube called Shieldwife, who has come up with an amazing insight on the feminist concept of “sexual objectification”. Whatever your faction of feminism, it seems to me that “sexual objectification” is pretty much a universally accepted doctrine, and too many non-feminists take it for granted too. I’ve been struggling to articulate what I find so objectionable about it for some time, and Shieldwife has nailed it – it characterises male sexuality as sociopathic. We need to start rejecting this, loudly.
More thought on “sexual objectification from Shieldwife at her blog.
Objectification is real but it takes in a lot more than sexual objectification. A lot of it is just a necessary part of interacting with strangers. A real investigation of objectification in our lives is going to lead a lot of places in the gender discussion that are going to make a lot of people howl. It’s telling though when feminists fixate on sexual objectification specifically – it chimes with the sex-positive/ sex negative chasm among feminists. It’s a type of arrested development, adolescents terrified of full adult sexuality. Actually this fixation and fear of sexuality puts sex-negative feminists on par with Bevis and Butthead smirking and giggling over someone’s innocent use of a word they thinks sounds like a reference to sex.
Sex and suality are pretty central to most people’s humanity and demonizing them is a pretty fundamental form of dehumanization. When feminists protest against being called name-haters, they need look no farther than their own theories and rhetoric to find the basis for those accusations.
Patrick Brown and Shieldwife are on to something.
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