Friday, February 20, 2015

Pervasive Power

"I think that women seldom appreciate the pervasive power of the male sex drive, so are constantly caught unaware. They choose to think that men look at pinups, sexy movies, and women in general just to annoy women."
- Piers Anthony, from the Author's Note to Firefly

I hate to make generalizations based on sex, but this is a heavily gendered issue. I feel this quote gets to the heart of a matter that is often brought up in certain types of popular feminist discourse. Women of this persuasion tend to see all the myriad ways that men are obsessed with sex (and, since the majority of men are straight, this is mainly directed towards women's bodies), and, for some reason, this makes them uncomfortable, so they choose to consider it an attack by one sex on the other.

But the truth is, in most cases, men are not "sexualizing" and sexually "objectifying" women because they are misogynists, because they hate women and enjoy humiliating them, or because they think women are weak, and ought to be submissive, or that the only thing they are good for is sex (pick your reason). The simple fact is that men are obsessed with sex, so if they drag it out of proportion to everything else in life, it's not because they don't think the other things (like who the woman is he's lusting after, and what her feelings are) are important, it's simply because he's really just that into sex.

Some men do treat women poorly, and this is a concerning issue that deserves attention. But too easily the difference between abuse and mere titillation is confused, and too frequently the former is used to demonize the latter, so that every time an attractive woman appears in skimpy clothing on the cover of a magazine, it's propped up as evidence of the institutionalized oppression of women by the male patriarchy (think about it, have you ever felt that way, or read about someone's opinions who did?). And every man with a social conscience - the ones who actually care about women, mind you - is encouraged to feel like a villain just because he gets excited when a woman takes her clothes off.

Which is complete, utter bullshit, and demonstrates how out of touch with the reality of male existence (and objective reality in general) this particular (and alarmingly popular) strain of feminism really is. I know that feminism is about recognizing and prioritizing the female perspective, but I do not support a feminism that promotes war between the sexes, much less a war on sex itself. I support a feminism that pursues amnesty between the sexes, and that, in true equalist fashion, values both male and female perspectives, and thus does not attempt to suppress or demonize the very normal, completely natural, and in most cases harmless, expression of the male sex drive.

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