“All she wanted was to have sex. What was wrong with that?“
Speaking with some friends, something came up – what do men want from women? Of course, the simple and obvious answer is “one thing”. And that is to get laid, get some booty, get with a girl – ultimately have sex with a female. This is the ultimate goal of a man – have sex. That is all. This is nothing new, but something that needs to be brought up again and again, because by doing so, we can have an honest conversation about patriarchy.
One, given that men only want sex (assuming this is true), we need to ask what do women want? We live in a society that has a refined skill at differentiating between the sexes by creating social gender norms. Thus, by contrast, woman must be chaste, emotional, don’t just want sex, etc. This creates an entrenched definition for what women should want. If they stray from this norm, they are sluts, whores, prostitutes, or not “a good catch”. The same for men – if we don’t want sex, we are either gay, too feminine, or strange, though I must say our “negative” out group is not nearly as oppressive as women’s. We may just be shy – much better than being called a slut.
Why is this problematic? For starters, it perpetuates this idea of dominance. Men are hunters, and women our prey. This is also used as a weapon by those who are privileged within other dimensions of social constructs, such as race. Black men are inferior because they cannot have sex or do not have a strong libido – this rhetoric was common during slavery and has to evolved to portraying black men as being sexual deviants. Hey everyone, protect your women from black men – they are dangerous! Latina women have been portrayed as being super sexual (Sophia Vergara, looking at you) and so placed on the lower end of the social ladder by their competitor, “pure/virtuous” women, because they just have sex with anyone and everyone, have babies, and it’s just their nature – Latinas are just sexy and sexual creatures.
This further transcends into rape culture. It takes blame away from men because since we are sexual hunters, its our nature to just want to have sex and you can’t blame men for following their instinctual desires. The blame is then put on women, because if they got raped, well they must have been in a situation where sexual advances were invited. And, since we have put women who give out those invitations in a negative light (slut, whore, dirty, etc.), these women must be [inherently] immoral and bad – so it might be okay for them to have gotten raped. Crazy, right?
The simple double standard is always on display – a man has game and gets bitches, while a woman who sleeps around is dirty, easy, and a slut. Women get no points for picking up guys because that requires no skill – since men are salivating savages who just want vagina after their hunt at the bar.
I will not speak for women, I cannot, because I am a man and have an endowed privilege due to a genetic accident and I’m not about to misrepresent a group I am not part of (I’m not about that life). But, I will speak as a man (not for the entirety of men) and say that this shit is extremely oppressive and offensive. Not on the scale that “oh, hey, I can be sensitive too”, but because since I have been labeled a sexual hunter, I have been an accomplice to the perpetuation of a paradigm that oppresses women. Because I have been given a label, my own male privilege has helped perpetuate patriarchy. Now, if I do want to have sex with a woman, I get points, but she is looked at differently and judged. Sure, I can get judged too, but I don’t have to deal with being a slut – at the end of the day, my boys congratulate me. And even when I’m not hunting, and maybe just being friendly, I fall into a category of abnormality and an out-group. For women, if she just wants to have sex (which there is absolutely nothing wrong with – but that is another post) she can’t, because it simply doesn’t line up with our social norms and she’ll have to face the consequences.
This is frustrating on several levels, for me. I have a younger sister and several close female friends, and I think about how to break down patriarchy on a daily basis. It’s not enough to be aware of my privilege and then be respectful of women, not say bitch, and try not to enforce gender norms. That is not nearly enough. As a man, I need to continuously question a “congratulations” from the boys on getting laid (or when I give that congratulations), or correct my friends when they call another women a slut or say that “she’s easy”. This is actually extremely difficult to do, but a way we can move into a different direction. At the end of the day, men shouldn’t want anything, and women shouldn’t either, especially when it comes to sex, just because of societal “normalities”. I shouldn’t, by virtue of having a dick, be a sexual hunter, and thus, making women a prized object who is completely dehumanized. That is fucked up.