Give A Little; Get A Little

Feminism, let’s take this blog back to territory it belongs in, wash our hands of Transformer posts and personal stories for a while and once again utilise this blog as the launch pad for topical discussion… or at least, hopefully. I want to talk to you about sex and in particular, how society sees sex as something to be given or something to be pursued, depending on how you fit into that power dynamic we’ve settled on. I’ve been inspired by “That’s What He Said”, a YouTube series I fully recommend in which just ordinary men sit and discuss feminist issues in a calm civilised manner, there’s no aggressive “Change this!” rant going on like I’m prone to, it’s more just a group of men exchanging ideas and you are given this seat at the table to overhear their discussion. What inspired me was one participant in the discussion described sex in a way I had always thought of but not consciously, not in any depth – sex is something women give and men get and as a man, I’m gonna get it. Paraphrasing but he essentially pointed out that sex is seen as the end goal, the flag on a conquered fortress that a man has to earn and a woman has to relinquish which puts strange standards in place that I would like to address here.

You probably don’t need me to point out that men are typically somewhat aggressive in the quest for sex, typical male tactics of machismo, cat-calling and even forceful coercion and women either play along, resist or utilise such tactics themselves (though they are seen as whores for doing so). Men play the quest-taker then, they have a goal and must utilise whatever they deem best to do so be it honest communication, money, blackmail, dinner dates, whatever, the end goal is sex and women play the part of the goal and the goalkeeper, by this model they can either choose to let the player win or ensure he loses somehow and this creates a weird disconnect and competition between ourselves that needn’t exist, for the sake of everyone involved.

I’ve highlighted this before but between men, frequent sex with multiple partners is seen as an aspirational thing, like war stories you’d expect to hear in a Viking meadery, whereas between women it’s seen as a lack of self-respect, a willingness to go along with the whims of any old idiot. Why? Well, this standard of men get, women give, ties into how we view ambition and charity and other such things. Someone who gets what they want all the time? Ambitious, commanding, successful. Someone who gives everything away? Foolish, naive, a pushover. As a result, the more men get, the more we think of them as conquerors and the more women give, the more we think of them as conquered, even though the women have to give for the men to get (Obviously not the case of homosexual men, I realise this blog post applies to a cishet gender binary and apologise for that, I am boiling down this issue to the most basic principles. If you have anything to say with regards to sexualities and genders outside of cisgender/heterosexual, leave your comments below, I’d love to read them). By doing this, we put pressure on men and women alike, for men to get as much as they can whilst women must give as little as possible, essentially making sex much less fun for everyone and turning our biological urges into a battleground.

Men, you’re told to get, if you don’t get laid soon enough or often enough, you’re a loser right? Single men are seen as creepy or pathetic a lot of the time, your mates talk about past girlfriends as if they were boss battles in a video game and your role models are always seen as attractive and strong. I mean, there’s no male role model in the modern world that doesn’t have some strongly infatuated fangirl community and it’s not like you’re after that, even just two or three girls secretly thinking of you would be great wouldn’t it? The pressure to “be a man”, to get action, means that men develop a variety of tactics, as indeed they would if they were actually fighting. Some use charm, some use money, some are honestly just attractive and well-endowed but what about the men that aren’t any of those things? Here are where you find the cat-callers and “good guys” waiting for their female best friend to offer him a blowjob just for being a nice person – they don’t see themselves as attractive, or society doesn’t, and they lack charm or impressive talent so they resort to underhandedness and aggression, they blame their failures on women. After all, you get stuck on the same level in a game long enough, you start blaming the game for being too hard or unfair or not making the answer more obvious. The same logic applies here and men are only ever seen as playing the game, very rarely is it that men can be the game. A man is told to get, not give. Why? A man has every right to be called desirable and chased after, it’s not pathetic, it’s wanting validation and wanting someone else to put some effort into you, men deserve that. Men should have the option to give, to be engaged by a stranger or to have someone crush on them without it being weird. Sex isn’t a trophy and if it is, men can give the trophies if they want, that’d be fun for all involved.

Women, by contrast, are put under pressure to not have sex, to ‘save’ themselves for someone and even in this day and age, I hear women talking about saving their virginity for their husband or true love, as if it already belongs to a man they might not even know yet. If a woman expresses a love of sex or long track record, we judge her, we think her irresponsible and stupid, we think of her as ‘easy’, again tying into this whole competitive game. Easy? The level everyone cleared, the tutorial for getting a REAL woman. Heaven forbid she’s a liberated woman who decides who she sleeps with and how often, that’s madness, no she must just be some floozy moron that can’t stop herself. Women have to give in too, that’s how that works – a certain number of dates, a certain number of drinks or a man with enough masculine presence and she’s supposed to give herself to him. We see fictive works of men like Christian Grey, men who are bold and ruthless and unafraid to take advantage of a woman and that’s supposed to be an erotic image for women? Maybe for some but to me, alarm bells ring that this man is essentially a very handsome psychotic stalker and rapist abusing a very naive woman. Women shouldn’t give in, it’s not about giving in, it’s about seeing another person you honestly want to have sex with and both parties agreeing to it, or all parties, go crazy.

I realise our biological differences mean men are naturally inclined to seek more sex more frequently, nature tells a man to spread his seed far and wide to ensure his genes carry on whereas women are the fields to be ploughed in this model but we are more than the sum of our urges and even so, this competition doesn’t ensure anyone gets the best deal. Picture a society in which sex is just another run-of-the-mill thing, it’s casual, it’s given and received on terms we all agree on as individuals and there’s no pressure on anyone about anything. Still a virgin at 32? Nobody bats an eyelid. Fucked a different man each day of the week? Cool, you’ve made seven different men very happy and you had fun too, awesome. Men have nothing to prove so there’s less coercion and pestering and women have no false reputations to lose so if they fancy an idle fuck, woot, go ahead. I realise to some of you this sounds like a godless debauchery but our warped views on sex are much more harmful to society than this alternative vision could ever be.

I will end on this note, if anyone ever gives you grief about your sex life, well I guess just Sodom! (EYYYYYYYYYYYY GET IT? GET IT?!)

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Right War

I think it is fair to say that as far as ranting goes, I’m never alone. I may rant and rave at a variety of subjects, from the philosophical to the stupid, but the subjects are not exclusively discussed by me and I’m not the only one that gets so expressive. As you may know, my style model is influenced by the works of Charlie Brooker, David Mitchell and to a lesser extent, Eddie Izzard and it is because of these three men, I find myself drawn to expressing anger in the form of humorous rants. Now today, I’d like to come onto a topic that has had women ranting for ages, the inequality between sexes. Before the penis-wielding section of my audience, switch off and go to watch football, or find uses for said penis, I’m not here to give a pro-feminist backhand to the male population regardless of whether or not one is in order. You see, my true objective here is to take on both sides in this war and ask the question ‘Shouldn’t we have resolved this by now?’

OK, having effectively alienated both genders, allow me to explain myself before I find myself strung from the town walls by my underwear with profanities tattooed across my bare chest. Nobody can deny that throughout history, women have had to bow down to men simply because men said so and this has led to women being forced into sewing buttons, cooking meals, being faithful to cheating liars and so on, and thank the heavens that for the most part, this is no longer the case. A majority of women in the western world are free to have a career, an education, divorces and even to be less than faithful themselves without being ostracised by the entire town (Though she may hear the word slut being thrown around in her direction for a while). I realise that not every woman in the world has the freedom to choose what she wants in life, with arranged marriages still in practice across the world and many women still living a life of subservience to male oppressors. In my opinion, men and women give each other too much crap but women are probably more justified, having faced over 2000 years of laundry and washing up without being allowed to question it. I support feminism and I like a woman who isn’t afraid to think what she thinks, whether a man is involved in her life or not. Men, don’t switch off, this gets more interesting for you later on. As you can probably guess, I don’t speak for women’s rights and I’m not the most informed man on the matter, but I’ve seen enough boys and girls to realise that both genders are guilty of a bit of sexism and some unnecessary shit-brewing towards one another.

I’m gonna start with what we men do wrong to women, and oh boy, I’ll be here for a while. Primarily, most women would agree that man’s biggest drawback is the unbreakable bond between the balls and the brain, and how the latter never quite shuts the former up with great success. Men, let’s face it, our eyes pay more attention to a woman than our ears do and in some cases, somebody working downstairs sees it fit to salute the young miss. As fun as it is though guys, sex isn’t what runs the world. I’m gonna get some rude remarks thrown my way but hear me out fellas, your head gets you more head. I blame the media really, for giving us guys unreal representations of women and a generation will grow up thinking that to get a woman to like you, you have to treat her like an old carpet – walk all over it and take it to beat it. Moving on, I find that men generally perceive their sex as the better sex, the gender with the muscles and therefore, the decision making. Once again guys, muscles don’t rule the world either and appointing yourself boss is not the same as being a good leader. If anything, money and intellect rule the world and women beat us on the intellect thing hands down so yeah, when in holes right? I don’t hang around too many guys because by default, each member of the male population thinks he’s something bloody special. Admittedly, I’m a tad arrogant too but that’s just in general, and doesn’t involve me blasting out ‘Wench, make me a sandwich!’ Everyone has expectations higher than a lightweight teenager under peer pressure and it only causes damage to everybody’s egos when we find out that the reality of romance and sex isn’t something straight out of Hollywood but can be a long and awkward experience.

Women, you aren’t off the hook because you give us men a hard time and it’s not always justified. A great deal of men do store their entire personality in their testes but if you paint every man with that brush, you effectively cut us out of the picture and if you’re not a lesbian, this can be a lonely existence. I frequently hear the turn of phrase that all men are the same but unless you’re an omniscient super whore that’s sampled every man alive at least once, you can’t say that with any certainty. However, if you aren’t calling us all binge drinking abusers of your love for us, you flip the switch and expect Prince Charming to materialise out of thin air and woo you with such sickly sweet charm, Romeo and Juliet suddenly becomes as crude as South Park. I speak for all men of genuine romantic interests in females when I say that we do our absolute best and not all of us have a vocabulary befitting of Oscar Wilde. Romance is not an easy business and considering us men usually have to do the wooing part, involving somewhere between a week and six months of hard work and sacrifice to potentially get our due credence, you might consider cutting guys some slack. You may have a money maker in your pants, but that alone is no reason to assume you are the goddess of every man’s dreams and if you take it as your right to make the rules and work your man to the bone, expect him to consider wandering off in search of something easier.

Feminism is a funny subject in general, having met many women who don’t identify as feminist because they feel that in their privileged lives as independent white women who have never known a life of laundry and loveless abuse, they don’t need to burn panties on flagpoles and give vicious speeches on castration. I suppose that’s fair enough and to be honest, some feminists get on my wick for their constant anger towards me for having a penis. I didn’t choose my equipment ladies, it was there when I got here. I just wish that this wasn’t still a subject for debate and that everyone had equal rights to do whatever the fuck we want to do with ourselves, because we need to recognise that we are all human and we have to get along for now as we only have the one planet. By the time we spread to colonies across space, we can all go our separate ways with different laws and moral values but for now, let’s call every man and woman equal and stop being total twats.