About 'Alpha+Good'

Alpha+Good (sort of a bad wordplay on Orwell and machismo) is a side project that belongs to 'Onklare taal' ('Unclear language'), the umbrella of several of my literary projects in Dutch. This section is almost exclusively in English and comprises my ongoing thoughts on progress, gender, politics and various other social themes. Are you a little lost? This link will take you right back to my home page.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Men at work (II)

1. Men always desire sex

One of the biggest and most persistent notions in patriarchal society is that men supposedly think about sex every seven seconds. Not only is that idea preposterous, it's a damaging attitude that results in a couple of other widely-held beliefs.

“Men can't control their desires.”

This one is often brought up as the reason why women should not be wearing any revealing clothing, whether it's a short skirt in the West or something that isn't a wholesale tent in a particularly dire corner of the Middle East. Men, overcome with lust, would supposedly drop all civilization and let their dick do the thinking (and acting). Even if it were true, civilisation is all about rationality prevailing over base urges and instincts. A similar excuse is that men want to “spread their seed” in a drive to create as much offspring as possible. Since no one has ever observed a paleothic human being, this can’t even be proven, but the same reasoning applies. We’re taught from an early age to exercise restraint in almost every aspect of life, so it’s not like desire for sex should be this huge exception.

  • Consequence for men: A convenient excuse for infidelity, sexual abuse and harassment
  • Consequence for women: Getting the blamed for sexual assault

“All men are secretly rapists.”

Contrary to what antifeminists believe, it is patriarchy and not feminism that believes that all men are at least capable of rape (see above). Rapists themselves certainly believe it. It stems from the false idea that rape results from uncontrollable lust or miscommunication, while the real issue is violent domination. Unfortunately, we talk far too little about telling men not to rape and seek consent, but prefer telling potential victims to take cautionary measures.

  • Consequence for men: Passive acceptance that rapists are part of the male population
  • Consequence for women: Burden is shifted on them to avoid rape

“Men can't really be raped (unless by other men).”

One reason why men find it hard to speak about being sex abuse victims is because the traditional view of male sexuality holds that they're always "up for it" anyway, so they cannot possibly be raped in the traditional sense. Unless by another man. Then they are the bitch, i.e. they figuratively become women, which is telling of the status women occupy in traditional masculinity. Female-to-male rape is likely understudied, but unfortunately frequently only brought up by antifeminists to discredit awareness campaigns centring on sexual violence.

  • Consequence for men: Huge barrier to speak about sexual assault experiences
  • Consequence for women: Reinforcement of passive sex role, invisibility of female offenders
On to part III.