Recently I found the pdf for Esther Vilar’s “The Manipulated Man” on bodybuilding.com, quite by accident. In it she writes rape apologist and completely anti-feminist stuff like:
“DISHONEST WHORES The dishonesty of female prostitution is the central theme of this book. Few men object to paying for sex-in fact, society has trained them to accept this contract as a basic tenet of life-as long as this is an honest and equal transaction. In primitive cultures, where making love is considered as natural as eating or sleeping, a man often brings a present of beads to his partner before entering her bed. But sex is always guaranteed, never just implied. This is a simple and aboveboard business arrangement, with both parties in agreement. So if a man spends his money on a woman, he wants sex in return, as naturally he should. But the woman, as we’ve seen, often fails to comprehend the logic of this scenario. She feels that no bargain has been broken when she allows a man to take her out, and then refuses to sleep with him, even though she has used her body and her femininity to lure him into wanting to spend time with her in the first place. She suffers no guilt or remorse or sense of debt when she flirts with men to buy her drinks or gifts. Such behavior is a flagrant abuse of sexual power, and women are such masters of duplicity that they have even manipulated men into feeling guilty for demanding a proper sexual payment. Dating and courtship have become nothing more than a con game sanctioned by society, a society controlled, of course, by women.”
But OF COURSE all men want sex at all costs! Women should be mind-readers and men should be…well, uncontrollable animals. How dare they want to socialize and date for its own enjoyment, because sex is the price women must pay for associating with men! Amiright, Vilar?
Good grief. Time to break this down, because Vilar is either really or willingly ignorant about how dating and “enthusiastic consent” work, she’s so male-identified: “whether consciously or unconsciously, male-identified women have seen where the power lies and align themselves with it, hoping by such behavior to escape the plight that awaits most/all women.” There’s another issue: if men are truly concerned about negative portrayals of themselves then they need to look at how their beliefs (such as of transactional sex) influence their behavior and figure out how to change their views and behaviors because they’re managing to put themselves in a bad light all on their own.
People have and promote all sorts of beliefs and prejudices in order to empower themselves in the world, and these beliefs and prejudices come together and end up being myths. The reason they become myths is not because they are false, even though most people assume anything deemed a “myth” = a lie. But they’re not factually true, either. It’s just that they seem true because the believers use them to rationalize away their actions and even abuses of power. They treat others based on these myths. Myths such as: women are made for having babies/cleaning/fucking, or women are the ones who have the real power in sex. They help support social constructs, institutions, and even existing laws. Certainly, patriarchal institutions are the rule here, not the exception.
One myth in particular stands out for me because it one that persists to this day in our supposedly “sexually liberated” society and I absolutely hate it: “women are the ones who have the real power in sex,” as sexual gatekeepers. Because throughout history, the reality was that women have had to have sex with men in order to survive; it was their prerogative when they didn’t have any rights. And they still do, and will continue to do so as long as they are not fully free, since men – whether explicitly or implicitly – believe that women are inferior or malignantly “different” and treat them as such; even the “different but equal and complementary” view is sexist. To this day, women are sexually harassed in public, at work, and expected to provide sex to their bosses as an implicit obligation. Although it’s why sexual harassment laws were passed in the first place, that hasn’t stopped men from continuing to find loopholes to exploit women; legislation formally recognizes crimes but does not change people’s minds. Hence, while the aforementioned myths about women are not true, they become “reality” based on collective agreement and material practices. So such a myth inherently denies the reality of patriarchy and all its woman-hating practices; it assumes that women are responsible for their own oppression which they supposedly can “choose” to opt out of or end with an attitude adjustment.
(If you need another example, look at slavery: blacks were considered by whites to be inferior and subhuman, dangerous, needing to be ruled over, so they enslaved them. They were dehumanized. No actual human beings, according to whites, were being enslaved, so there was no harm done. People can only choose to be slaves if they were slaves to begin with, or so it went. And in defending slavery, they used the slaves who were acculturated to their oppression and defended their masters; some were treated well, some wanted to remain slaves in an uncertain and dangerous future, etc.)
When I came across Vilar’s crap, I was really searching for “The Emotional plague, the feminine mystique and the manipulated man”. But now, having seen what Vilar wrote, I know that the writer, Paul Rovelli, not only read Betty Friedan’s “The Feminine Mystique” but also Vilar’s crap (neither of which he actually cited as references, either), in an attempt to be “egalitarian” and blend feminism and masculism (an incompatible mix). It is typical of “men’s rights activists,” nevermind that matriarchal societies are egalitarian. As part of this typical behavior, “men’s rights activists” have been calling feminism a hate movement and getting butthurt ever since women began fighting for rights; so they have already established their premise that women getting rights somehow results in men’s oppression. It is a premise that is meant to be self-evident, apparently, and so they don’t feel obliged to provide any evidence to back it up.
As it so happens, the evidence shows otherwise. MRAs claim that patriarchy doesn’t exist in the West but in the East and this claim is a good indicator that they want Western women to regress so that they themselves can be in the position of Eastern men, where women “know their place” enough to stay in the kitchen and bedroom at all times. They are also ignorant of the fact that changing laws does not change the bigoted views dominant groups hold over other groups, such as: rape culture (the normalization of rape), sexist and racist employment discrimination (the gender-wage gap, further broken down by race; firing or not hiring women of color or women who they think may become mothers), discrimination in housing, medical practice, etc. So it’s not the case that we are living in a post-racist, post-sexist society. (Take that, postmodernism.)
Some people, usually men and some liberal feminists, believe “feminism is about equality” in an attempt to appeal to men. Yet feminists do not agree with MRAs and vice-versa. Feminism is about liberation and inherently benefits all women. If a woman agrees with men that her sex class is sexually manipulative, that’s not a feminist view and she is acting against her own best interests. Even if a woman isn’t a feminist (though all feminists ARE women), she wouldn’t be able to vote or get a job if it weren’t for the first and second waves. There is simply no way that women getting the right to work or to vote harmed the women who wanted to be stay-at-home mothers or housewives. More to the point, attempting to blend feminism and antifeminist/MRA/masculinist rhetoric has the erroneous assumption that feminism = femininity and not females, women-born-women; that criticizing femininity is hating women. Or, that the solution is simply a blend of femininity and masculinity.
Yet we already have masculinity and femininity in these social constructs we know as gender roles. I suspect the motive for this is the – once again, MRA- belief that feminism = feminazi (an anti-Semitic and misogynistic term coined by Rush Limbaugh) and man-hating, comparable to religious fundamentalists. Men who believe this overlook the system of both religious fundamentalism and Nazism as inherently authoritarian and anti-feminist; MRAs, therefore, are the ones that have things in common with fundamentalists. It is not a fact that women have full rights and freedoms and are not treated horribly (much less are oppressing men) under any form of patriarchy. If they did, there would be no need for feminism to begin with!
How have men been completely controlled by anything but their own desire? I mean, it’s somehow women’s fault that men are horny? I don’t think so. Acknowledging these biological problems is a good idea, I’m all for that. But guess what? Men have only been enslaved by their own stupidity.[…] I know you have all kinds of weird sex things about women beating you up and being your master and all this other kind of crap, and maybe that’s polluted your judgment. Because this sounds like a bunch of psychology to me; it doesn’t sound like a fucking rational argument.
What does this mean in Thelemic circles? Well, according to Rovelli’s “The Emotional Plague,” you get bullshit advice such as,”Aggressively dispense sex to her partner with passionate desire for his masculinity.” Which sounds okay, at first, unless the woman doesn’t either desire or obtain orgasms from PIV sex alone – which most women don’t – and this sounds an awful lot like “fake it until you make it.” For all the advice, there is nothing about recommending that men learn how to do oral sex or find out how else to pleasure their partners. Listing “developing sensitivity” (assuming “sensitivity” is about aesthetics and creativity) is vague and does not remedy this, and will accomplish sentimentalism over true sensitivity to the desires and needs of the partner. A sentimental, selfish asshole is still a selfish asshole, even if he can paint, write, or dress well.
More importantly, this list of values delineates the expression of manhood (for men) and the receiving of manhood (for women). Since femininity (in one of its features) is widely characterized as infantilization, “feminine” women are looking for an authority to tell them what to do. What Rovelli is suggesting is that women do what is desired of them without having to be told; in short, to be obedient, to provide sex on a whim so her partner never feels he is being deprived. He is attempting to define a code of behavior for women, that womahood be defined by caring for a man; caring sexually, but still caring, in the sense that it requires complete attention to his needs.
There is no such equivalent for men in this paper. I find that the accomodation of dominant, masculine sexual interests is still femininity and serves to benefit men and keep them in power, regardless of who initiates the sex act itself. Checking out the related practices popular in Thelemic circles and I have to concede: kink, polyamory, rape, cultic mindsets, swinging, and drug addiction, to name a few. Most of those things tend to serve male sexual interests and control women. Neither of them are healthy.
“It’s a dilemma: is it worth the trouble to demand that our sexuality be taken as independent of male sexuality, that our sexual needs be met, and that we be seen as fully human individuals who approach sex with motives that extend beyond the desire to titillate men? It might not be for some people. There don’t seem to be a huge number of men who are interested in understanding female sexuality or in relinquishing their perceived right to define what sex is and should be. For some women, learning to make do with a less-than-perfect sex life might be the easier option when the alternative is risking being shunned, ignored, or called a feminazi, lesbian, or prude for demanding that their sexuality be accorded the consideration men’s sexuality is.” (Rage Against the Manchine)
“Men who want to support women in our struggle for freedom and justice should understand that it is not terrifically important to us that they learn to cry; it is important to us that they stop the crimes of violence against us.”
— Andrea Dworkin
When women are preoccupied with providing sex to their partners, two things will happen: 1.) They’re going to be in the bedroom a lot (a domestic position), and 2.) They won’t have much time for anything else in their lives, much less the relationship. I mean, it is a relationship; the paper is based on that. And we’re right back at square one: Even though Rovelli condemns gender roles at the outset as incredibly restrictive, even unnecessary, he ultimately proposes nothing to overthrow them. By continuing to blame women as evil, sexually manipulative temptresses, he is in line with Judeo-Christian thought: women represent sex and ‘provoke’ men into horniness and harassment (sin). Women are the ones at fault and demonized, not the men imposing upon them. And since Crowley was raised by Christian parents, it is easy to see how this misogyny is reflected in his writings. Let us further explore how genderism relates to victim-blaming:
“What is the relation of gender to this dualism? As feminists have shown, the scheme is frequently gendered, with woman cast in the role of the body, “weighed down,” in Beauvoir’s words, “by everything peculiar to it”. In contrast, man cast himself as the “inevitable, like a pure idea, like the One, the All, the Absolute spirit.”
According to Dinnerstein, as a consequence of our infantile experience of woman as caretaker of our bodies, “the mucky, humbling limitations of the flesh” become the province of the female; on the other side stands “an innocent and dignified ‘he’.. to represent the part of the person that wants to stand clear of the flesh, to maintain perspective on it: ‘I’ness is wholly free of the chaotic, carnal atmosphere of infancy, uncontaminated humanness, is reserved for the man”. The cost of such projections to women is obvious. For if, whatever the specific historical content of the duality, the body is the negative term, and if woman isthe body, then women are that negativity, whatever it may be: distraction from knowledge, seduction away from god, capitulation to sexual desire, violence or aggression, failure of will, even death.
In Christian tradition to contemporary secular images, woman as temptress is a standard type. “These depictions of women as continually and actively luring men to arousal (and, often, evil) work to disclaim male ownership of the body and its desires. The arousal of those desires is the result of female manipulation and therefore is the woman’s fault. This construction is so powerful that rapists and child abusers have been believed when they have claimed that five-year-old female children “led them on”.
Conscious intention, however, is not a requisite for females to be seen as responsible for the bodily responses of men, aggressive as well as sexual.
Frequently, even when women are silent (or verbalizing exactly the opposite) their bodies are seen as “speaking” a language of provocation. When female bodies do not efface their femaleness, they may be seen as inviting, “flaunting”: just two years ago, a man was acquitted of rape in Georgia on the defense that his victim had worn a miniskirt.
When these inviting female bodies are inaccessible or unresponsive to male overtures, this may be interpreted as teasing, taunting, mocking.
In numerous “slasher” movies, female sexual independence is represented as an enticement to brutal murder, and chronic wife-batterers often claim that their wives “made them” beat them up, by looking at them the wrong way, by projecting too much cheek, or by some other (often very minor) bodily gesture of autonomy.
Women and girls frequently internalize this ideology, holding themselves to blame for unwanted sexual advances and assaults. This guilt festers into unease with our femaleness, shame over our bodies, and self loathing.”
-Susan Bordo, Unbearable weight: Feminism, western culture and the body, University of California Press, Berkeley, 2003.
The above quote illustrates the cognitive dissonance of the popular male, liberal view: Men want sex, yet women provoke them into arousal against their will. Since men get boners all the time without the physical presence of women, this is another lie and it erases biological sex differences in favor of gender, or conflating sex and gender. That men frequently enact what they fantasize about and masturbate to in porn in their relationships with women (including the prostituted) is more, not less, testament to this: they comfort themselves that the very real women in the sex industry only exist to serve their fantasies, are not actually human, and so are a perfect object to project blame onto. And in so projecting onto women, they assume that women must agree with them; women have no personality or voice outside of male approbation. It is therefore convenient that men (secular or not) replace Jesus with themselves; that women be obliged to take pity and alleviate their (supposed) suffering.
Personally, I am not against everything traditionally coded as “feminine” (such as having empathy or being caring) or “masculine” (such as courage and independence). These exceptions are worthy human qualities. But back to masculinity: There is no evaluation of masculinity (better known as “Martian” qualities) in that paper beyond the pursuit of sex as conquest, simply the assumed value of it and its supposed virtues so that it could be included. Anyone aware of its influence in society can see that it is toxic, and this toxicity spreads through various cultures. Just look at mass shootings like USCB (Elliot Rodger as “the perfect gentleman”) or Marc Lepine (shooting women because they were studying engineering). Or the military: This is an authoritarian system designed to brainwash soldiers into killing innocents, all for serving the interests of oil sheikhs. Or Abrahamic men: How they are patriachs in the full sense of the word, with a masculine God. Or Latin men. “Machismo” and its feminine variant, “marianismo” come to mind. Or masculine behavior of men in general – complete with the sexual objectification of women.
You cannot “desire masculinity” in a healthy way unless you first unpack it and reinvent it. But then, it wouldn’t be “masculinity” anymore – maybe a new sense of manhood, yes, but not masculinity. By extension, gender roles need to be abolished; if you do that, then femininity and masculinity as we know it will be no more. This is what liberation entails, not wrapping the same thing in a different package. To continue with this gender essentialism so beloved by Vilar and Rovelli both, here is a tidbit from a homophobic evopsych position (“evolutionary psychology explanation for homosexuality”):
Overly simplified, this “tipping-point” model (originally introduced by G. E. Hutchinson in 1959, and then later popularized by Jim McKnight in 1997 and Edward Miller in 2000) posits that genes associated with homosexuality confer fitness benefits in their heterosexual carriers. If only a few of these alleles are inherited, a males’ reproductive success is enhanced via the expression of attractive, albeit feminine traits, such as kindness, sensitivity, empathy, and tenderness. However, if many of these alleles are inherited, a “tipping point” is reached at which even mate preferences become “feminized,” meaning males are attracted to other males.
So being caring and having empathy are not simply desirable human traits but “sissy” woman-like ones? It also reminds me of the “balance” arguments some of these “logical” dudebros talk about; like, don’t be TOO caring or you’ll go gay! You need to consider both sides of any argument equally or else you’re an extremist! What?! From Francois Tremblay: “and then we wonder if there’s anything wrong with masculinity when we’ve already defined basic decency and foundational morality outside of it?!?!?!?!”
Regarding the title, what’s up with “manipulated men” or “emasculated men,” anyway? Let’s look at cultural context; men tell each other: “You’re pussywhipped!” whenever a man is being nice to their partner as it implies they are submissive and just doing it to get pussy (and hence, he’s insincere and a liar); an example of “benevolent” sexism. The best way to get other men to adhere to the No Real Man fallacy (a variation of No True Scotsman) is peer pressure by ridicule: Real Men are selfish! Anything else and you’re being manipulated by a woman! You got beaten by a girl! Nothing is worse than that! Other variants include calling them half-men, failed men, faggots, sissies, bitches, etc. Men can and do use social ostracism to bully other men.
“… [F]ear of homosexuality is a terrifically powerful tool in the social manipulation and control of men: pitting groups of men — all of whom agree that they must be men, higher and better than women—against each other in the futile quest for unimpeachable masculinity. Hatred of homosexuality makes possible astonishing varieties of social blackmail and male-male conflict. In racism, the racially degraded male is sexually stereotyped in one of two ways. Either he is the rapist, the sexual animal with intense virility and a huge and potent member; or he is desexualized in the sense of being demasculinized — he is considered castrated (unmanned) or he is associated with demeaning (feminizing) and demeaned (not martial) homosexuality. It is the relationship of the dominant class to masculinity that determines whether males of the racially despised group are linked with rape or with castration/homosexuality. If the dominant group insists that the racially despised male is a rapist, it means that the dominant males are effeminate by contrast; it is they who are tinged with homosexuality in that they are less manly. They will climb the masculinity ladder by killing or maiming those whom they see as racially inferior but sexually superior.”
Look at the illustration of homophobia above. I mean, how much of an indicator of the Freudian view of women, or the Oedipus comple do you need? After all: Per Freud, women are castrated men and hence inferior because they don’t have a penis; hence, gay men and other gender non-conforming men are also castrated men and womanly. In the Oedipus complex, men fear castration, and it has its roots in the Greco-Roman “castrating woman” myths.
Even in modern-day language, the penis, or penetrative sex with the penis, is understood to be a tool of domination. I am sure that men (including Rovelli) who watch porn understand what “I’m going to make ____ my bitch” or “I’ll fuck you like a bitch/whore/slut” means. Such a phrase is in some movies as well (i.e., Reservoir Dogs). It wouldn’t make any sense if penetration wasn’t seen as an act of dominance; an old school phrase for male rape is,”He treated him like a woman.” The social construction of penetration cannot be changed by wishful thinking or being disingenuous.
Men are “sexually manipulated” in the sense that men believe (not raped, but simply not getting sex) is true is IF they are owed sex by virtue of being in a relationship, which – surprise, surprise – they are not. Not ever. I don’t care how much you believe in it, wishing will not make it so. And if you do, you are apologizing for rape whether in a dating or marital context, even a legal context (i.e. having sex with lawyers and governmental officials as “payment” for legal fees, having sex with bosses to keep your job). Even if that is not your intention, that is exactly what you end up doing.
Rovelli also writes in his book Thelemic Qabalah that “sex is a human right and not a privilege.” As a woman I can tell him that first of all, sex is not a right; second, under patriarchy, sex is considered men’s right. Women exercising their right to refuse at any time, and for any reason, is not “oppressing” men. Sex is something people can live without; they have masturbation. Otherwise, sex as a right becomes the slope that says it can be forced if need be. Love and affection may be needs, but that certainly does not mean you can demand people to love you with the excuse that you “need” them to. Sex on the other hand, is a desire, and not even a need.
Rovelli also writes,”Woman are conditioned to seek security and power through men, which is an alienating factor. And I might add that men are conditioned to find potency through women; using them to define their masculinity (the Big Dick syndrome).” While at the same time, in emails, supporting prostitution. He is not really against the “chaste woman” after all, but against chaste women who don’t put out.
Treating women as if they owe men sex is quite literally an act of possession, of declaring ownership over her body; spending money on a woman with the assumption she’ll put out is believing in implied consent without even asking her what she thinks about it. That is the nature of the sexual contract; assuming someone owes you sex means you think you own them and can enforce their “providing” (note the Freudian connotations: women “take care” of men, and men “provide security” for women) sex. Women are not actually responsible for what men do, but what is how they are treated: they are obliged to take care of men’s boners. Rape victims choose to be raped. And so on.
Additionally, this covers up the real problem – the relationship itself. If a woman doesn’t want to have sex, she’s either not getting pleasure out of it or is upset for some reason and her partner needs to work on that – and she has a completely understandable reason to not have sex, and let’s face it, neither partner will die from going without. If she’s emotionally manipulative, that’s abusive and I wonder why men consider that to be equal to, or even less important than, their dicks. On the other hand, if men are only in a relationship to get sex then they are being insincere and deceitful. I’d love to know how men sexually harassing women (including harassing them for sex) should be a non-issue for women.
What if he is physically or emotionally abusive? It’s bad enough to say that women are obliged to provide sex, worse if their partner is abusive. Last time I checked, women have every right to refuse any energy to abusers, by virtue of being sentient beings that wish to minimize their suffering. Of course, there is nothing preventing men from being manipulative as well, which explains their sexist arguments doing anything but attribute manipulation solely to women. The oxymoron here is that manipulation involves being made to do something you don’t really want to do; you can’t be “manipulated” into not having sex when sex is not something you do. Because sex, properly understood, requires the agreement and desire of someone else; it’s a two-person activity, something two people engage in. The difference is in recognizing that sex needs to be something done with, and not done to; if they give anything, it’s an orgasm. Anything else and it’s rape or a form of sexual assault (yes, including knowingly giving STDs). The fact that men consider eroticized violence to be sex (such as what they view in porn) and practice this upon women does not change this and in fact demonstrates rape culture; that is, the normalization of rape. Since consent can be obtained under duress, this means sexual assault cannot be merely an either/or situation or “legitimate rape” but a spectrum of increasing violation or violence.
“The feeling of entitlement is predicated on the acceptance of social roles, of false selves. People who reject these roles must also reject the feeling of entitlement, and all the false beliefs that come from it. No one owes you anything, except what they willfully promised you. you do not owe anyone anything, except what you willfully promised them.”
– Francois Tremblay, “The sense of entitlement”
“We naturally sympathize with victims because we empathize with their plight and are outraged at what happened to them. Because of this, it is hard for anyone who sees themselves as good to think that their actions have in some way created victims. It also looks very bad from a simple public relations standpoint. The two main ways in which one can justify harm that one’s in-group has inflicted are (1) to deny the harm actually happened or (2) to claim that the harm was justified by the fact that they (the in-group) were the “real” victims in that situation. The former is generally unsustainable, therefore the latter is usually more successful. Therefore we get the idea that, you know, rape is really not that big of a deal because women are just “asking for it” and men can’t help it if women are “overstimulating” them. So men are the actual victims here, and women have the power because they use men’s instincts against them. You see, sex workers are dominating their customers by forcing them to pay to see them naked.“
– Francois Tremblay, “The virtue of victimhood“
Men such as Rovelli have a hard time considering that woman might not be sexually attracted enough to a man to have sex with him. Yet don’t people go on dates even if they have no romantic or sexual interest in each other? Friends do it all the time, so surely associating with men does not have to be under romantic or sexual pretexts. Lesbophobia is dual in nature as it is homophobia + misogyny: lesbians are hated not only for loving women but for being sexually unavailable to men (unlike bisexuals). In including platonic dates, then, the transactional view of sex is also lesbophobic since straight men tend to harass lesbians, telling them they just need to “find the right man” or “need a good dicking” (suggesting corrective rape). They are first told things like,”You’re too pretty to be a lesbian,” and when men are rejected then,”You’re so ugly nobody would fuck you anyway, I’m doing you a favor, you uptight bitch/prude/dyke,” etc.
“From birth men are taught that they’re owed a beautiful girl. Men all think of themselves as the HERO of their own story, and men all (whether they admit it or not) think they’re heroes for just getting through the day.So it’s very frustrating, and I mean frustrating sometimes .. to the point of violence, when they don’t GET what they’re OWED. A contract has been broken. These women, by exercising their own choices, are denying it to them. It’s why every Nice Guy is shocked to find that buying gifts for a girl and doing her favors .. won’t win him sex. It’s why men go to “slut” “bitch” and “whore” as their default insults …they’re not mad that women enjoy sex. They’re mad that women are ‘distributing’ to other people the sex that they owed them !!Yes … the women in these stories are being portrayed as wonderful and beautiful and perfect.But remember .. there are two ways to dehumanize someone: by dismissing them .. and by idolizing them.”
— Topdog,”Are You Owed A Hot Girl?”
Coercing a woman into sex or to continue with sex or a sex act a woman no longer wants – to rape her, whether with drugs or alcohol, guilt-tripping, money or use of force; to guilt-trip or shame her say,”If you really loved me, you’d do it” – is the exact definition of sexual manipulation, and shows consent can be obtained under duress and cannot be given prospectively. This is male domination: the belief that women must provide sex on demand, whether they want to or not. And this is in line with gender roles, where there is essentially a hierarchy: masculinity on top, and femininity on the bottom. The latter is meant to be submissive, weak, infantilized, powerless, groomed to be treated as a passive object and not a subject; acquiescing is also an example of powerlessness.
When women tell their husbands they have a headache, which some complain about as being “sexually manipulative”: Why do you think they did that? Women are conditioned to not be direct for fear of violent repercussions, do you think the husband would simply agree if she simply said,”I don’t want to have sex with you”? And back when marital rape wasn’t recognized at all, women understood PIV sex as inherently submitting to their husbands and not pleasurable; that’s why they avoided it except for purposes of procreation (which they had to acquiesce to sooner or later), and when they did have it it was limited to the missionary position. Whatever little power women have managed to obtain was meant for exercising consent. People who believe that women are sexually manipulative are denying women the right to exercise consent.
Yet patriarchy has such a way of role-reversing and projecting things and deeply conditioning people so that they don’t even see this. I wish it were the case, but it is not “crazy” to believe what’s been shoved down your throat since birth by way of cultural influences; by the same token, conditioned people will see everyone who disagrees with the norm as “crazy”. That explains why Rovelli could see that gender roles are due to social conditioning, but unable to see male sexual entitlement being a result of same. However, we are all capable of rational thought with persistent effort, which is why I hold bigots fully accountable for their actions.
Besides, Blue Balls are a fucking myth and men need to get over it. Yes, women can get “free drinks” at many bars, but this is not an example of “female privilege” and in fact there is no such thing as “female privilege” in light of historical facts like femicide, FGM, forced pregnancy, and (predominantly female victims) domestic violence, rape, honor killings, and acid attacks, to name a few things. Nobody can actually die from going without sex or being a long-time virgin, unless these same men go on a homicidal/suicidal rampage – consider mass murderers such as the recent Elliot Rodger in the USCB killings.
Disliking someone based on their sex is not enough to be sexism, though. You can like women a lot while believing they need to be protected or need to be treated differently from men or are better suited for servile roles, and while still supporting patriarchal laws and cultural norms. All that other stuff – the combined beliefs, enforced by institutions – constitute sexism. This is why I don’t believe men when they say,”But how can I be sexist? I love women!” It’s not enough men to say they’re not sexist when they’re abusing the people sexists have always abused. It’s not enough to absolve themselves of responsibility for woman-hating when they’ve found some “superior” women to idolize while they continue to trample on all the rest.
So why do men by and large believe these ridiculous myths? I suspect in order to give them power over others, and in the sexual contract, to enforce it in order to coerce women into “providing” them with sex. To say nothing of how stupid “providing sex” is – defining sex as something one gives and another takes obfuscates it being a mutually pleasurable and desirable activity. This is a similar definition behind the virginity myth and the virgin-whore dichotomy, complete with all the gendered slurs men hurl at women that sexually reject them. (cf. Why “slut-shaming” needs to die)
prude – a woman who won’t fuck you
dyke – a woman who won’t fuck you because you have a penis
slut – a woman who fucks other people and not you tease – a woman who won’t fuck you even though she smiled at you
feminist – a woman who won’t fuck you because she has, like, thoughts and stuff
“’Slut’ is attacking women for their right to say yes. ‘Friend Zone’ is attacking women for their right to say no.” And “bitch” is attacking women for their right to call you on it.
The Rodger thing has me thinking about the fact that one of the fastest ways to make me uncomfortable if you’re a guy is to start talking about how women are sexual gatekeepers and how I can walk into any bar and get laid and you, as a guy, cannot, and how women need to have more sympathy for the plight of guys because they cannot walk into any bar and get laid. NOT SAYING YOU ARE ALL LITERALLY LIKE RODGER; however, that attitude is toxic and creepy to me. Here’s the reality. I can walk into any bar and get harassed, groped, threatened, cursed at, stalked, assaulted, raped, beaten, or even killed. YOU can walk into any bar, and really almost anywhere, and be confident that you will be safe. And I know that the only reason you’re giving me this spiel about being able to walk into any bar and get laid immediately with any guy I want is because I’m young, white, thin, able-bodied, and attractive. I don’t see any of you guys demanding sympathy for all the *women* who aren’t privileged enough to be considered instantly fuckable by your average dude in a bar. No. Not being able to get fucked the moment you want it is presumed to be a “male problem,” and women who are lonely and sexually frustrated and deemed undesirable never get any airtime from you.
…Unless, they are painted as “desperate” and men will go after them for a quick and easy conquest. Which doesn’t jive with a lot of women, even the “ugly” ones, because again, they don’t get much pleasure out of it and tend to be treated badly to boot. It’d be great if being “ugly” – not conventionally attractive – protected women from sexual harassment, but it – along with covering up – doesn’t. Unfortunately, many men do believe that “ugly” and fat women are desperate for sex. Those women could easily be any other women they don’t like, per Freud’s promotion of “hysterical” sex-deprived women (who “had” to be forced to orgasm so they’d be docile). This is especially true since any intellectual, or otherwise gender-nonconforming woman is “unfeminine,” somehow considered “less than” in her womanhood, at least the idealized version created by men. I also want to note here that “beautiful” or conventionally attractive women usually found themselves in the same situation as the “ugly” ones. That is, they weren’t for marrying, either – they are used for fucking (even if the men look like toenails or potatoes), men believing they’re whores anyway and that if they marry them they’ll be unfaithful and have to fight off male attention at every turn. So men end up marrying “respectable” women who are just good-looking enough or even plain. But, I digress. Misogyny makes men hideously ugly, whether they’re conventionally attractive or not.
Making women the sexual gatekeepers and saying men just can’t help themselves presents the belief that women’s sexuality is unnatural, and making women responsible for men’s behavior. Sex is not a Need, nor a Right. If it were, that would mean men should feel entitled to intercourse at all costs. That’s not a belief I support, and Thelemites who agree with it are helping to uphold the status quo.
Relevant: Men are from Mars, John Grey is a dick Not tonight, dear: I have a headache and you’re an asshole Poor, poor johns The transactional model of sexuality The transactional model of sex Sword of Power Whores as the Other on so-called “weaponized femininity” Transactional models of sexuality are anti-sex Johns are now an oppressed sexual minority Male sexual possessiveness Women as “gatekeepers” of sex The male sense of entitlement to sex Sex is not a human need. Prostitution is not a fundamental human need. Some reminders about male sexual entitlement bullshit How genderism “proves” that women should rule the world Compartmentalizing women means you’re a sociopath These women hate you What “sex work is work” means for women Cultivating hatred through “personal responsibility” What is consent?
Feminist, pro-feminist and other resources on masculinity: Elliot Rodger and the pandemic of masculinity Refusing to Be A Man, John Stoltenberg Men being men is a bad deal: Guys should evolve beyond masculinity, Robert Jensen Tough Guise: Violence, Media & the Crisis in Masculinity Fatal Distraction: Manhood, Guns, & Violence, Allan G. Johnson Beyond Redemptive Masculinity When masculinity fails men