Male Privilege: Slut Shaming

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Slut shaming. Supposedly women are more affected. Yet I can’t help but notice the following:

  1. Female Sex Toys are empowering; male sex toys are perverted
  2. Promiscuous women are expressing their sexuality; promiscuous men are ‘using’ their sex partners for selfish kicks
  3. Women should be lauded for their sexual desires; men should be ashamed of theirs because male desire ‘objectifies’ women.
  4. Trans men are okay; Trans women are predators and perverts.
  5. Women taking pictures of cute men in public is adorable; men taking pictures of cute women in public is creepy.
  6. Women writing/reading/watching porn are sexually empowered; men are exploiting.
  7. Women sexually assaulting male strippers is all in good fun; men watching female strippers is dehumanizing.
  8. Women raping men is a. not rape b. not the same; men raping women is the worst evil in the world.
  9. Female virgins are kind and innocent; male virgins are creepy and evil.
  10. Female genitals need to be protected from unnecessary surgery; male genitals don’t.
Is there really more female slut shaming going on? Is there any aspect of sexuality that women are more shamed for then men?
Alison Tieman
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Alison Tieman

<span class="dsq-postid" data-dsqidentifier="2959 http://www.genderratic.com/?p=2155">68 comments</span>

  • Men are by definition horny beasts, women are precious flowers (at least when it comes to sexuality), hence women have here a morally superior position they can lose, men don’t.
    To understand how the Evil Patriarchy works here, consider how you can make a small kid cry: Give the kid an enjoyable toy and then when the kid becomes attached to the toy, take it away.

  • Yeah, I’ve noticed this kind of shit as well.

    Notice the difference in attitude with regard to female masturbation versus male masturbation. And masturbation is supposed to be something which harms nobody, regardless of sex.

  • And the other side of the double-bind is that sex for males is performative in a way that it is not for women. Men have the responsibility of approaching and in relationships of intiating, and in sex of doing all the work – remember how misogynist it is to refuse to give oral sex – and of having all the responisibility for the woman’s orgasm, and for the their own BTW – let’s not forget what a woman-hating insult it is to fail to come.

    The other jaw of this nutcracker is virgin-shaming. Men are shamed for wanting and having sex and shamed for not having sex.

  • Women being sexual are deviating from the old, repressive stereotype and should be applauded.

    Men being sexual are just being the same tiresome old horny beasts, and should be avoided or maced. Besides, men who enjoy sex are ICKY.

    Vive la feminism!

  • The one big thing I can see on the female side is that due to the pervasive dehumanization of male sexuality, women are not supposed to desire men. Desiring men is an icky thing because sex with men is somehow damaging to women.

    As bad as slut shaming is for men, this is also pretty shitty to women. You have permission to be sexual, but if you are sexual you’re damaged goods.

    However the only way to get rid of this is to stop seeing male sexuality as damaging to women!

  • “As bad as slut shaming is for men, this is also pretty shitty to women”

    Misangyny. Or maybe Misandry Hurts Women Too, in a non-dismissve way.

  • Thank you! I think this glimpses at a deeper truth: Gender isn’t something one ‘sexual class’ presses onto another, but something that societies have created that has negative and privileged aspects for both genders, boxing people into roles reinforced by people from both sexes. Sexist things one gender faced are often connected to sexist things another faces. A lot of these see to stem from the idea of men’s sexuality as threatening and women’s as harmless, which is conversely tied to a lot of ideas regarding male strength and female weakness.

  • Just to clarify, number 4 has a lot to do with the intersection of cissexism with the aforementioned double-standards… it’s female sexuality that’s declared to be male sexuality, and then found problematic… and I think the differing treatment of trans women and trans men is an excellent example of how our society treats amasculine behaviors in those it slots as male and masculine behaviors in those it slots as female.

    Cis women have not been able to be subjected to misogyny unalloyed by the base metal of societal cisfeminine privilege.

  • Welcome Emmtt, good to see another Doyle here!
    “Sexist things one gender faced are often connected to sexist things another faces. A lot of these see to stem from the idea of men’s sexuality as threatening and women’s as harmless, which is conversely tied to a lot of ideas regarding male strength and female weakness.”

    Yes. Exactly. It’s male hyperagency and female hypoagency.

    “Just to clarify, number 4 has a lot to do with the intersection of cissexism with the aforementioned double-standards… it’s female sexuality that’s declared to be male sexuality, and then found problematic.”

    This sounds right. I am digesting it, but it sounds like the mechanism causing this.

    It’s as if it’s fine for a woman to do masculinity for these people (though he’s not a woman and never has been) because the culture in general permits this. And the second half of #4 is just the same old cis-sexist gender (apparent) essentialism.

  • Agree, these items are all examples of female privilege. However, I would suggest someone does a little exercise. Tape 1 hr. of E! news for a week, then go through and make a count: every time male sexuality is presented as negative vs. every time female sexuality is presented as negative (or maybe it is more pertinent to mention % of time given sexuality is mentioned negatively). Obviously 1 week isn’t enough of a sample, especially since they tend to focus on a story for a week or so, but it would be enlightening. Then the same thing could be done on Lifetime and Oxygen. I’d bet dollars to doughnuts that the portrayal of feminine sexuality is negative on E! and positive on those other two hate mongering crap filled networks.

  • Ammendment: I don’t even know if female sexuality will even be portrayed on Lifetime or Oxygen. I bet, as far as those channels are concerned, women are asexual, and all reproduction is the result of men raping women and getting them preggers.

  • I shame sluts. Sluts shame prudes. It’s one big happy dance of incompatible people being incompatible. I don’t see the problem.

  • Equilibrium, are you including the abomination “Bad Girls Club”? Because I see that as being to women as “Honey Boo Boo” is to rednecks. 😉

    Yuuuucchhh.

  • On masturbation.

    A woman that masturbates while single is expressing her sexuality. A man that masturbates when single is a pathetic loser that jacks off because he can’t get a woman.

  • Hi, first time commenter, long time reader. Yes, I’m YetAnotherCommenter at Reddit and have done some articles at r/GenderEgalitarian/

    I think that this post subtly misses something;

    Historically, in our culture, male sexuality has always been framed as bestial, violent and conquest-oriented. A “male slut” is hence a “stud” (worthy, virile heroic warrior-conqueror) if we treat “conquest” as a good thing, OR a brutish rapist who victimizes the recipients of his affections (if we take a more realistic view of “conquest”).

    This also influences the view of female sexuality; after all, if male sexuality is conquest then female sexuality is defeat/degradation/subjugation. Hence the classic double-standard.

    The modern sex-positive view of “yay, women expressing their sexuality!” is, in my view, basically an attempt to get rid of the idea that female sexuality is being conquered/defeated/defiled, hence the emphasis on empowerment.

    HOWEVER, the problem is that whilst we’re successfully working on fixing the view of female sexuality, we’re still lumbering under the idea that male sexuality is naturally cruel, violent, nasty, brutish and Hobbesian (and some feminists have unfortunately done their best to reinforce this stereotype about male sexuality…. a lot of rape discourse inadvertently does this).

    Hence the double standard that Typhonblue points to. Women are empowering themselves by being sexual, vs. men are being horrible evil oppressive domineering brutes by being sexual.

    What we need is to fully extend sex-positivity to our understanding of male sexuality. If our culture broadly didn’t see male sexuality is inherently violent/conquest-oriented/brutish, we wouldn’t have the shaming that Typhonblue points out.

  • Two exceptions to the “classic” double standard – the kiss and tell, and the other woman. Adultery is apparently only wrong for men, and so is bragging about your conquests. I can’t think of any instance a non-famous man having an affair with a famous woman and then selling his story to the papers, and I can’t imagine it ever being acceptable. Similarly, I didn’t notice anybody heaping shame on the women Tiger Woods cheated with. But when John Terry was alleged to have had an affair with Wayne Bridge’s girlfriend, leading to Bridge withdrawing from the England football team, Terry came in for a lot of public condemnation, and the girlfriend, whose name I forget, did not. Hyper/hypoagency seems to cover it.

  • Thanks for an interesting thread Typhon. You and many others have named and described the double standard that existis sometimes going in both directions. The question that lingers in my mind is what is the root cause of this? Is this totally socialized or is there a biological component? Is this sort of thing common around the world in many cultures or is it unique for us?

  • I think that when someone’s perceived as female, sexual assertiveness helps undo the degradation narrative; when someone’s perceived as male, sexual assertiveness gets forced right back into the predation narrative.

    (And when Bailey, Blanchard, Lawrence, and Zucker are involved, it becomes predation and degradation all at once!)

    I still think that “Nice Guy Syndrome” may be the weak link in the chain, because it’s easier to force-fit the actions of people who are looking for romance into the predation model than to force-fit the actions of people who are already friends and discovering romance into the predation model.

  • “I think that when someone’s perceived as female, sexual assertiveness helps undo the degradation narrative; when someone’s perceived as male, sexual assertiveness gets forced right back into the predation narrative.”

    Another elegant formulation, Marja. I think this gets to the heart of it.

    YAC, welcome and thanks for your comment! I think you and Marja are on the same page.

    So when feminsts demonize male sexuality, they are in fact reinforcing patrairchal gender stereotypes.

    Hackberry asks a very good question. Is this model universal? Well. let’s look at China. Female sexuality is supposed to be passvie there too, but it is female sxuality that is considered predatory. Vampires are typically female and they suck the sexual force out of hapless men, and in general sex with women is considered a drain on a man’s masculinity. Women are supposedly desperate for men’s yang energy and expected to be in a permanent state of baby rabies. You see stereotype especially clearly in Raise the Red Lantern. So women are supposedly always after men for sex, although actually enjoying it is degrading. What a nasty double-bind that is.

  • Ginkgo,

    Thanks for the warm welcome!

    I agree that Marja and I are on the same page, however I wouldn’t say that the stereotype of brutish-conqueror male sexuality is “patriarchial” (at least as I understand the term).

    If “patriarchial” means “values maleness above femaleness” then brute-conqueror male sexuality is kind of ambiguous. SOMETIMES it is valued, other times it is reviled (our culture contains both views). However, I do agree that feminist demonization of male sexuality DOES reinforce very old stereotypes… ones we’d be far better off without.

  • anyways, it strikes me as strange (if not contradictory) that feminists such as Amanda Marcotte and Mr. Manboobz think that the model of seeing women as gatekeepers of sex and as a resource to be obtained by men as horrible. Yet they still do a fair share of virgin shaming and making fun of men with poor social skills. It seems like they are taking a socialist view of economics for one group-ie that on class should be protected. Then a hard libertarian/free market view towards another group-ie men pull yourselves up by your bootstraps-if you can’t get laid you are a hoooooorible looooooooser…..

  • Interesting Ginkgo. China is a great one to look at given their huge size and their traditionally rigid roles for men and women. China is the one place in the world where women are more likely to suicide then men. Why? Something is surely happening in China that offers a very different data then what we see here in the west. I have wondered about the suicide stat and the only thing I have found that comes close to feeling like it has a chance to be correct is that males are highly valued in the Chinese culture and females not as much. When a sex is devalued could it be that that sex is more likely to suicide? I think maybe so. Could it be that in the US that women have been more highly valued and men not as much? I think a good case could be made for that. Our world revolves around protecting women and that which we protect is what we tend to value highly.

    This discussion reminds me of the important point made in Geary’s “Male, Female: The Evolution of Human Sex Differences” that women from Asia, South America, North America, East Europe, West Europe, Asia, and Africa, all felt considerably more strongly then men that their potential mate needed to make a strong income. That one seems to be fairly universal. Not sure about others but it is an interesting question.

  • “If “patriarchial” means “values maleness above femaleness” then brute-conqueror male sexuality is kind of ambiguous. ”

    YAC, it is ambiguous only in societies where there is so much peace and secutiry, mainly becuase the patraichal organization of society has ben so succesful and builing and enforcing this state of afairs, that we have the luxury of not having to rely on [men’s] brute force to make peaceful life possible. It is a form of erasure of men even to consider this contribution ambiguous.

    Hackberry, typhon once cited soome source that compared Chinese women’s suicide rates ot men’s and then compared their legal status WRT marriage, chances at getting child custody etc. and found they mirror each other.

    Chinese culture does indeed undervalue women because frankly daughters are only temporary membes of the family. A daughter is “someone else’s happiness”. Their children belong to other families, not their parents. Traditionally they contributed not a lot economically to high-prestige families, although in practice they have always been indispensable to maintaining that status, in many specific ways.

  • Ginkgo,

    Thank you for your reply. However, I am talking in terms of the modern western world exclusively; i.e. societies where there is extensive peace and security already.

    Also, I should state I’m not talking about force/violence broadly. Force/violence can be used AGGRESSIVELY or DEFENSIVELY. Culturally, I think we are more or less unanimous on the worthiness of DEFENSIVE force (the contributions of men you bring up are ones based on DEFENSIVE force).

    A defender is not a conqueror; a conqueror is by definition an aggressor.

    I’m speaking about how our culture has a broad tendency to see male sexuality as AGGRESSIVE force (i.e. an act of conquest).

  • There I agree, YAC.

    Male sexuality has traditionally been seen as aggressive in the West, but traditionally that was lauded and avalidated, sometimes ot the point of glorifying behavior we would call stalking nowadays.

    But it was always also considered dangerous, and a man culd step over the line v ery easily, and the constant threat of this kind of accusation was a way of contolling men in other areas, and not ust 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 agggression and why it was so easy to go to a cultural mde 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.

  • You guys missed a big one.

    Man “dates” an underage girl (even if the age difference is less than a year, even if they met at an adult venue and he had no reason to think that she was underage)

    “_statuotory_ R A P I S T!!! He’s a raping raper R A P I S T!!! Rape culture made him think that he was allowed to put his eighteen year old penis in a seventeen year old girl’s innocent vagina!!! Throw him in jail before he tries to rape girls in middle school, or nurseries!!!”

    Woman “dates” an underage boy (even if she’s old enough to be his mother, even if the boy is literally pre/pubertal and hairless and she had to get him drunk)

    “What? What!? She didn’t really do anything wrong. I mean, he was old enough to get it up! It’s just S T A T U O T O R Y _rape_, he won’t be traumatised if no one makes a big deal about it. And when you really think about it, is it *so bad* if a ten year old boy learns about sex from a mature woman? He’ll be able to use those lessons in the future.”

    In my childhood neighbourhood, there are fifteen male sex offenders (stat rape) and five female sex offenders (stat rape). Eleven of the fifteen male offenders were under the drinking age at the time of the offense, three of the four drinking-aged men met their “victims” in bars. Conversely, all five of the female offenders were either teachers or daycare workers, all over the age of 30 when finally arrested. All of the men were considered red-level sex offenders (despite the fact that the average age of their “victims” was sixteen), only one of the women (the one who pursued pre-pubertal girls) was given a yellow-level alert. Although I’ve lived in parts of the country in which every other registrant was a middle-aged man who stalked pre-teen girls (hint: hardcore perverts gravitate towards rural areas, less chance of discovery or persecution), the urban rosters are (IME) a different story.

    Or, to simplify this: in a three-zip code area of New York City, over a dozen men who had sex with underage girls (that was mostly initiated by the girls misrepresenting themselves as older women) have been tarred with the “rapist” brush. In that same patch of land, five women were convicted of STATUOTORY (loud yell) _rape_ (whisper), and the accomplices (female) of three of the women didn’t even warrant addition to the roster.

    If that isn’t male-oriented slut shaming (19 year old guy gets drunk and hook up with a sixteen year old=violent and predatory rapist, 33 year old woman shaved the groins of her multiple 10-13 year old targets so that they’ll “look pretty” before having sex with them=”What? What!? What’s the big deal!?”), I don’t know what is.

  • “If that isn’t male-oriented slut shaming (19 year old guy gets drunk and hook up with a sixteen year old=violent and predatory rapist, 33 year old woman shaved the groins of her multiple 10-13 year old targets so that they’ll “look pretty” before having sex with them=”What? What!? What’s the big deal!?”), I don’t know what is.”

    It’s what feminists call rape culture, except it seems to excuse male victims and female rapists waaay more. Because this rape culture wants to fit the preconceived notion that women have no agency and men have extreme agency.

  • I do believe MaMu has found a big one.

    That “got liucky” meme again.

    And no punishment at all for the little liars that destroyed however many?

    Well after all, laying is a basic right in this society. How would the marketplace function without it?

  • “The modern sex-positive view of “yay, women expressing their sexuality!” is, in my view, basically an attempt to get rid of the idea that female sexuality is being conquered/defeated/defiled, hence the emphasis on empowerment.”

    Which is why the whole sex positive thing is a waste of time. Women who are seen as “conquered/defeated/defiled” while having sex are still seen as women, and women are respected simply for being women. So they really are not defeated. They are not humiliated and they’ve lost nothing.

  • OperatorOscillation,

    I disagree that “sex-positive” is a waste of time. I very strongly disagree.

    Women who DO guiltlessly partake in their sexual natures are, and historically have been, shamed and humiliated and socially scorned. The modern “sex-positive” attitude is a very recent development, and one that has to fight against very deeply-ingrained ideas within our culture.

    What I am saying is that sex-positivity needs to be extended to men. Just like women who are enthusiastic participants in sex should NOT be seen as degraded, defeated, humiliated, conquered “sluts” (I’m using the term here in view of its traditional connotations, NOT the modern ‘reclaiming” context), MEN who are enthusiastic participants in sex should NOT be seen as brutish, animalistic, defiling, victimizing degraders.

  • Feminism didn’t spark the sexual revolution; it had absolutely nothing to do with it. Freud, the adult entertainment industry – yes. Feminism – no. They didn’t invent the term “sex positive” and didn’t start to use it until the 1980’s to counter the views of other feminists. I’ll say that the original phrase and the feminist usage of it are drastically different things.

  • Dungone,

    I’m not claiming that feminism sparked the sexual revolution, and I am also aware of where the term “sex-positive” came from (i.e. the feminist sex wars).

    What I am talking about when I use the phrase “sex-positive” is the phrase’s literal meaning, i.e. “yes, sex and sexuality are natural and good things and they aren’t awful nasty terrible depraved disgusting things.”

    Also, I disagree with the idea that porn is necessarily sex-positive. Indeed, a very very large amount of the porn I have seen (and I’ve looked over a huge number of genres) seems to buy into the exact tendency within our culture that I criticize above; to frame sex as an act where a “conqueror” figure defiles/defeats/violates the recipient. This is NOT a “sex-positive” viewpoint. It is the precise viewpoint which anti-sex ideologues and ascetics (including the anti-porn feminists) operate from.

    I would like to make it clear; I am not a “feminist” except in the sense that the Classical Liberal feminists were feminist (i.e. “women are human beings too”). I respect MRA’s like Warren Farrell. I am an advocate of gender equality, not “feminism.”

  • YAC,
    “to frame sex as an act where a “conqueror” figure defiles/defeats/violates the recipient. This is NOT a “sex-positive” viewpoint.”

    This is one of the areas where feminism relapsed into traditionalism and where the sex-positive thing became so important. But it hasn’t really succeeded in feminism – it’s one thing to inists on women’s sexual fulfilment as a right, quite another to relinquish treasured damseling tropes such as “rape culture” and “Schroedinger’s Rapist.”.

  • These intersections of cultural and legal discrimination really scare me more than any angry white knighters or feminists raging on the internet about how I hate women because I am just a pathetic neckbeard (still not seeing how that is a “femmephobic” term).

    Its not outside the realm of possibility that any one male statutory rapist deserves to have his life jacked up, or any one female statutory rapist deserves a slap on the wrist, but when it is consistently imbalanced, that’s bullshit.

    And here is another example of male sexuality shaming: http://seattletimes.com/html/nationworld/2019422231_apusshamingjohns.html?prmid=obinsource

    Notice the women aren’t shamed by these movements. The social inequalities that might encourage people to become prostitutes aren’t under the microscope, nope, its simply the evil, ne’er-do-well men with their evil penis power that need to have their faces plastered up on a billboard.

  • Also, a quote from the article:

    “”Imagine the 13-year-old girl who goes to school and her father’s name is in the paper,” he said.”

    We couldn’t possibly imagine how a 13 year old boy might feel in the same situation, now could we? We couldn’t possibly imagine how that little boy might be traumatized into thinking his own sexuality (which, inconveniently is really starting to come into its own) was a nasty, brutish, and rape-oriented when his father is portrayed as some kind of evil scum for “expressing his sexuality”.

  • I am also aware of where the term “sex-positive” came from (i.e. the feminist sex wars).

    See, that’s not where it came from. It was coined by a psychoanalyst named Wilhelm Reich who died some 30 years before the “feminist sex wars” ever took place. Please be clear whether you’re referring to “sex positive feminism” or “sex positive.” Two different things.

  • @YAC, here, I’ll just link to it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sex-positive_movement

    @Ginkgo,

    it’s one thing to inists on women’s sexual fulfilment as a right, quite another to relinquish treasured damseling tropes such as “rape culture” and “Schroedinger’s Rapist.”.

    This is exactly why I say that “sex-positive” and “sex-positive feminism” are completely different! The sex-positive feminists came about as a response to the rampant anti-porn movement within feminism, but only because they didn’t like how obviously disrespectful feminists were of female sex workers. One of the hallmarks of their movement is a country like Sweden, which has made prostitution legal for women, but illegal for men. That is, in spite of the prostitutes themselves who say that criminalizing their customers hurts business (no shit) and forces them to take on riskier clients. That’s “sex positive feminism” in a nutshell.

  • Ginko,

    “Rape culture” seems like a perfectly useful description of the aggressive male/passive female norm, and of its consequences. Maybe it describes too many different things, but at least some of these things are real if in decline. When all womyn are punished for saying yes at any step, then het men and lesbian womyn are expected to read minds about who means yes without saying yes – to conversation, to friendship, or to sex. When that happens, it enables people to push pathological norms, such as the idea that going upstairs to talk always means going upstairs to have sex, or that shouting no and trying to push someone away is just playing hard-to-get. I tend to think of these pathological norms as “rape culture.”

    If it depends on norms which keep womyn from communicating interest [which also keeps us from clearly communicating disinterest], and keep men from communicating disinterest [which also keeps them from clearly communicating interest], well, I’m glad we’re at least beginning to change the first set of norms. But until we change the second set of norms, the nonsense about friendship vs. romance, coffee, elevators, and “nice guy syndrome,” we’re going to have a lot of barriers to communication.

  • “Rape culture” seems like a perfectly useful description of the aggressive male/passive female norm, and of its consequences

    I don’t think that “rape culture” deals with that gender norm at all. I think it actually enforces it through the sexist connotation of male perpetrators, which is a way of simply not questioning those norms. You don’t really hear “rape culture” activists talking about how women should ask men out and pay for dates specifically in order to reduce the social pressure on men to do all of the approaching. You’re far more likely to hear phrases such as “men can stop rape!” and “teach men not to rape.” Believe me, women wouldn’t be calling it “rape culture” if it was contingent upon women to actually approach men. It’s only because they don’t see the need to change women’s passive gender role that has allowed them to pathologize the entire male gender role by referring to it as a “rape culture.”

  • I skipped reading the comment thread to say this, since I just wanted to get it out. Apologies in advance if this is covered or off topic.

    The statement regarding gendered sex toys has been a pet peeve of mine. I’m not a big sex toy user; I’m more visual and so prefer imagery to a device.

    Anyway, I’ve been looking at porn or erotica or whatever you want to call it since I was in my mid teens, at least ( though you could definitely say I appreciated erotic imagery even in childhood – hellooooooo racquel welch! ) And over the course of my experience, I have heard much about how male sexual desires are objectifying, violent, and tend to dissect and reduce women to attractive parts. This was the basis, i think, for “The Sexual Politics Of Meat”. I believe that the real comparison between men and women is visual porn versus sex toys.

    Now, this all leads me to ask: Does a dildo have a face? A real name? Which expression of sexuality is actually reducing the object of their desire to a single characteristic? Why does no one point out the ways that female sex toys actually have superhuman capabilities? No male human genitals do all of the shit that female sex toys do, and with a few terrifying exceptions, no woman has such control over a mans genitals as she does this gendered machine.

    Just wanted to get that off my chest, back to lurking.

  • Marja,
    ““Rape culture” seems like a perfectly useful description of the aggressive male/passive female norm, and of its consequences.”

    Except that it is quite false.

    It is false in its assertion that the cultural norms of society permit unobstructed access to women’s bodies. That has never been the case anywhere in the West and it is especially despicable and reprehensible for white women in the US to assert, with our history of rape accusation based lynchings. it is an absolutley disgusting thing for them to say.

    It is also false in the implication it makes by silence on a form of presumed avaliability that actually does exist in this culture, women’s absolute right to men’s bodies. http://www.lolzsquad.com/7206/how-to-touch-another-person-men-vs-women/. This presumption does not stop at physical access. Women writers feel entitled to moan about men being “commitment-phobes” because they don’t marry women at the rates women demand. The resistance to paternity testing revolves mostly around women’s sense of entitlement to support for thier offspring no matter who sires them – so much for reproductive rights.

  • Anony, thanks for speaking up. It’s late to welcome you, but wlecome anyway!.

    The business about sex-toy shaming happening only when it’s male sex toys isn’t going to yield to questions about the facelessness of dildos. Don’t be distracvted by smokescreen discussions of “objectification.” The objectification going on here is the dehumanization of men and this specific aspect of our humanity.

    This is really about misandry, pure and simple.

  • @Ginkgo

    “Got lucky”?
    In my 33 years on this planet, I’ve known 7 boys who have killed themselves as the result of adult women/young boy relationships. Two of them killed themselves to get away from their “loving stepmother”, two of them committed suicide after they were convinced that they’d be accused of rape if they ever left her, and the other three killed themselves when they were dumped and suddenly realised that they were persona non grata among their female peers. I won’t even go into the details about how every “pussyhound” that I’ve ever known was introduced to sex by a (much) older woman. There may be fewer female pederasts than male, but the females get coddled and protected from punishment while the males are (at the very least) warded away from their targets.

    I apologise for my fervour, but I’ve lost friends to this dynamic (in comparison, even the girls who I’ve known who were engaged in similar age-disparate relationships tended to muddle through.) Yet, we live in a world in which the same women who worry about whether Justin Bieber is going to dip his wick in the wells of his underage fans, seemed to see nothing wrong with a movie like this…

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birth_(film)

  • I’ll argue that Trans men don’t exactly have everything as a piece of cake. Many feel very fetishized, and hate the pervasive “I date women and trans men”. They don’t want to be treated as some special class of women, they are men. In the end, many are celibate because lack of surgical technology makes them feel wholly uncomfortable with their parts. Granted, I follow a specific set of trans men (Sometimes they’re called “truscum” on tumblr because they believe that people who have clinical gender dysphoria are different than those who don’t, and medical transition is not necessary for the second group) – the different subsects are very unlike each other and have very frequent squabbles. It’s not really a cohesive community. I personally recommend reading Top Lion Cub: http://toplioncub.tumblr.com/tagged/personal – He’s also black (and grew up partially in Africa). Note that FTM community is different from the trans woman community, and the rhetoric is different – many trans men prefer treating their bodies as having a medical issue, and don’t want that taken away from them, for starters.

    I will note, I think trans men who completely pass (For example, this fine man: http://ai.eecs.umich.edu/people/conway/TSsuccesses/FtM/JamisonGreen%20s.jpg ) will be seen as sexual predators until their pants are off.

    I’d love to get some trans guys discussing in these sorts of conversations, but I think many of them are caught up in their own battles. And many just want to be as stealth as possible.

  • @Mamu, remember, those men committed suicide because they were macho, filled with toxic masculinity and testosterone poisoning, and because they refused to become vulnerable and share their feelings with a mental health professional who would have told them that their problems aren’t so bad after all. /s

  • Marja, well that’s the question, isn’t it? I don’t have an answer yet.

    But I don’t think that sensationalist terms like “rape culture” are helpful. I don’t think they do anything except make some people feel self-righteous on one side of the discussion and dismissive on the other.

    the term “rape culture” is used to describe the male sense of entitlement to women’s bodies. As I said, there are two big problems with that. Problem one – you are not going to convince anyone you have anything to say by exaggerating your point to the point of parody. Law and traditonal custom in Anglophone societies are very clear on that point. It is not acceptable and never has been, and there has been some very bloody enforcement, and there still is.

    And the second problem is that you cannot really make a case for one set of victims by denying the other set; it’s self defeating, isn’t it? You have just denied that the issue is really a problem, at least for some of those affected.

  • One thing that occurred to me on this subject. Do you know who’s been most thoroughly and relentlessly slut-shamed in recent times? Dominique Strauss-Kahn. Even a lot of those who thought the accusation was a set-up felt obliged to point out how vile and loathsome they found him – on the basis of his sex life.

    And more recently, a teenage pop singer has felt obliged to defend himself from charges he’s a womaniser, on the basis of being “linked” to two women.

  • @Marja, my own two cents is that I’d call it anything but rape culture. I’d call our gender roles Puritanical or Victorian – it might not sound like a trendy avant garde theory but it certainly fits the bill. I think that going the route of labeling a euphemism for sex as part of rape culture is sensationalist to the extreme. It’s funny that you mentioned “going upstairs” as problematic, actually, because if a euphemism offers that little layer of deniability to men that women’s entire passive gender role provides them in heaps and bounds. So what does that make women? Do they invite rape when they dress like a slut, or not? Can’t have it both ways.

  • @Marja, I don’t know if I actually disagree with you, upon thinking of your comment some more. The “real” rape culture is actually what you say, its just that that’s not how everyone else uses the term and its really confusing to see it used differently.

    The thing is, rape culture is actually just the excuse that is commonly used to defend that pathological behavior that you brought up. It is the outright denial of a sexual drive for one half of the population. Slut walks are essentially a futile exercise in denialism. It claims that even in your face sexuality is to be regarded as chaste innocent behavior, when in fact all of that cleavage and makeup are part of that pathological sexual expression that relies on innuendo and euphemism rather than healthy, open sexual expression.

  • This is not directed at Marja who I believe is being wholley sincere; but most of the time feminism feels like a giant game of bait and switch. Ask a feminist to define rape culture and she/he would come out with something very similar to what Marja just described, but go anywhere that they actually discuss “rape culture” and it’s used to mean “society lets men rape with impunity.” The same thing goes for patriarchy, ask them and you’ll get the proper anthropological definition, watch them talk and it’s a stand in for “any kind of power held by men.” Misogyny goes from hatred of women to disagreeing with feminists, rape becomes any kind of negative sexual experience (experienced by a woman), and harrasment and activism become interchangable depending on whether it’s being done to them or being done by them.

    It’s why, if you’re going to talk about gender, you cannot let feminists/feminism define the terms. They won’t stick to them, and you’ll waste all your energy trying to make them.

  • Ginkgo,

    “This is one of the areas where feminism relapsed into traditionalism”

    We’re absolutely in agreement there.

    As for “rape culture” I agree that the term is extraordinarily vague. But my primary problem with “rape culture” is that the term is almost always used in conjunction with a Social Constructivist argument which argues that people are just products of their culture and that rape is really just the product of people perpetuating beliefs which legitimize and trivialize rape (ergo: telling a rape joke means you’re contributing to rape).

    I despise this argument. It in fact lessens the responsibility of rapists for rape, and basically functions as an attempt to inflict collective guilt onto all men for participating in “rape culture” (this is why some feminists tend to loathe the idea of male spaces; they see these places as breeding grounds for rape-supportive beliefs, and thus the CREATION of rape… as such these spaces must be policed by feminists!).

    Since I happen to be one of those hopelessly old-fashioned Enlightenment types who believe in things like free will, I am not a fan of this kind of Social Constructivist argumentation (are some things socially constructed? Yep! Are individuals just social constructs with no free will? No!).

  • Here is a link to an image going around on Facebook that sort of ties in #2 on the slut shaming list above.

    It’s supposed to be funny and clever, but it implies that men only care about the sex and not anything else. If they could get pregnant, apparently they’d just go around having thoughtless abortions all the time just like people go out to have a drink at Starbucks to satisfy their coffee addition, and society would totally be okay with that.

    The picture is supposed to imply that men’s medical issues and treatment in that regard would be better than women’s*, but it makes a dig about men’s sexuality and how the result is treated (they’d use it and lose it, baby… pun intended), which is significantly different than the way women’s is (motherhood is close to godhood, eh?)

    It wants to imply that we’d value men’s sexuality more just because they’re men, but it’s really denigrating it quite nastily.

    *Of course, men’s medical issues are back burner in almost every, if not every, regard, so it’s stupid. People can point to Viagra all the like, but prostate cancer doesn’t have pink ribbons and huge organizations. Erectile dysfunction is a somewhat easy to fix, and I’d say sildenafil citrate was made available for that purpose not out of kindness to men, but because the pharmaceutical company thought that men would pay ridiculous sums of money to get wood. And they do, of course, thanks in part to the “if you can’t get hard, you’re not a real man” thing.

  • I suspect much of this various types of shaming is rooted in jealousy, which strikes me as natural and not societally constructed.

    11. Having sex with a woman is empowering, and makes you a real man/woman. Having sex with a man makes you dirty and low/ a faggot.

    When discussing social norms about sex remember that in the past there was not so much in the way of birth control or treatment of STDs. Sex still does often have life-altering consequences. Men aren’t usually rewarded for sleeping around. Calling a man a “cad” is not a compliment.

    There is this dimorphism in men that keeps getting forgotten. There are regular men who slave away in the coal mines and have to live by the rules, then the there are the few, elite, powerful, rich men who flaunt their power by breaking the rules regularly. But then we talk about “male privilege” as if all men are treated the same by society.

    And re: rape culture. What I don’t like about the concept is that is an attempt to be “thought police”. It’s not good enough to not-rape, to be good little feminists we must demonize anything that is barely reminiscent of rape. Feminists are claiming to be mind-readers, and ascribing unsympathetic motives to every little word and action in a most paranoid fashion. Society has its (deep) flaws, but it is what it is, I think it’s wrong to be “culture police”. Police actual criminal behavior, not “culture”. To do otherwise is to make for a repressive, authoritarian society.

  • @JDCyran

    Erectile dysfunction, while I’m sure is sucky for men (orgasms are quite awesome). It’s so often framed in a way that men lack their ability to please women, thus they are useless sexually. And so, to me… The reason why erectile dysfunction is even considered a big deal at all to the public is because it “harms” women. If it were something that only harmed men sexually, we wouldn’t care at all to fix it and we’d possibly even find ways to get more men sexually dysfunctional because we tend to despise male sexuality so much. See: circumcision and it’s original intent to suppress male sexuality and it’s more contemporary intent to appeal to women’s sexual preferences.

    I’ve been seeing that image shared a lot on facebook, and it’s just a big pile of horse shit. Men still can get women pregnant, and yet their birth control options consist of: condoms, abstinence, irreversible vasectomy. I don’t know if the people who say this stuff are living in an entirely different universe or what…

  • Kyle, welcome!

    “Erectile dysfunction, while I’m sure is sucky for men (orgasms are quite awesome). It’s so often framed in a way that men lack their ability to please women, thus they are useless sexually. And so, to me… The reason why erectile dysfunction is even considered a big deal at all to the public is because it “harms” women.”

    Yes. Yes.
    And if you look at why it harms men, it’s that it keeps them from satisfying women, so whether the harm is to men or women, it centers women’s sexual satisfaction.

    The circumcision connection! Thank you.

    Male satisfaction is so assumed and also so demonized that both erasure and active extirpation are standard.

    axe-sunshi, welcome to you too!

    “11. Having sex with a woman is empowering, and makes you a real man/woman. Having sex with a man makes you dirty and low/ a faggot.”

    I call this the Golden Vulva, the idea that access to vaginas is the summum bonum. Paul Elam calls it pussyism. It’s like the Golden Uterus, but strictly sexual, not reproductive.

  • re the facebook photo…Nobody cares about any aspect of mens health. The photo is an unwitttingly bad joke.

    This is no joke. Our state government doesn’t consider men to be a part of the community nor does it value their health.

  • if you needed any further proof that sex today is centered around a woman’s pleasure, there’s the numbing agents and “desensitizers” that they sell for men, to make them “last longer”

    Taken to the logical extreme society’s ideal penis is really, well, a strap on

  • Paul, that goes to the whole “premature ejauclation” narrative. I remember when the term “frigidity” was hounded out of existence because basically it “blamed” (why do people take their awful socialization and turn it into a moral framework instead of just getting soem damned counseling?) women, actually made them responsible for their own orgasm. The horror.

    “Premature” by whose schedule?

  • Gwallan, yeah…..sigh….

    Unintended pun on “Victoria”? Because it damned sure is Victorian as hell.

    This is an example of misangyny. It makes men the norm – misogyny – and then erases them as the ignored norm – misandry.

  • @Gingko

    I call this the Golden Vulva, the idea that access to vaginas is the summum bonum. Paul Elam calls it pussyism. It’s like the Golden Uterus, but strictly sexual, not reproductive.

    You should read, if you haven’t yet, Drew Deveaux talking about the Cotton Ceiling. It’s incredibly instructive on the problematization of CAMAB sexuality… radfems tried to protest when Planned Parenthood in Toronto funded a workshop on the issue… I say tried, because really, at this point, they’re down to duckspeak.

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