I have been married for more than forty years. I am the mother of two sons. I have dear friends who are male, I have many co-workers and colleagues who are male. In general I love men. Men are funny, caring, kind, protective, gallant, sexy, intelligent and engaging. Most of the time. Sometimes, however, men become something that I can only consider as an alien species.
I am not talking about when they wear things on their heads to drink beer out of or leave the toilet seat up ( although that is darned annoying). No, I mean when they do things like send pictures of their genitals to women they do not know or commit acts of sexual violence on women or say abysmally stupid things like the Dilbert creator did when while discussing recent male sex and sexting scandals he said men are just different from women in ways that are not their fault.http://jezebel.com/5813290/dilbert-creator-scott-adams-weighs-in-on-rape-now
I often joke with women that men are mutants, that all fetuses, or so I was told in anatomy and physiology class, begin as females and some of them then develop into males. This always makes me think of insect societies like ants and bees, where males are only present to procreate and then eliminated from the society.
Whatever the truth, I have never been able to understand why men with so much to lose, congressmen, college presidents, successful businessmen, governors, professional athletes, cannot seem to control their sexual impulses sufficiently to keep them out of trouble. These are presumably intelligent men, who know what will happen if their proclivities and/or practices are made public.
The concept of sending a picture of your genitals to a person you do not know, on the internet where it will be truly immortalized is so incomprehensible that it leads my mind back to the concept that perhaps men are truly an offshoot, a different creature all together. In American society the irrationality and incomprehensibility of women is often touted and joked about. But I do defy men to point out anything women do that approaches the idea of a man sending a woman he never intends to meet in person a picture of your penis.
Rape, of course, is not really about sex, it is about control, about power, about domination. I do, however, have trouble understanding the impulse to force someone to have sex with you. Now, I admit, being a female forcing someone to have sex with you is not an issue. Besides the anatomical difficulty of making a man who does not want to have an erection achieve one, unless you truly look like one of the Witches from MacBeth, from the age of 16 on you never have any trouble getting a male to have sex with you. Even a dreadfully unattractive woman ( according to our societal standards) probably does not have trouble getting a sex partner as long as she is willing to be discreet about it.
I have had many discussions about gender differences and sex with women and with men. I am no further along to understanding the male point of view than when I began. Some men seem to get it, but then they fall off the wagon so to speak at certain points. Modern men seem to have difficulty, for example, leaving behind our societal double standard concerning sexual activity. Males who have many partners are viewed as virile, accomplished, admirable. Women who have many partners are viewed as immoral.
Men who are married and stray are frequently defended,not only by men but by some women with claims that his wife was cold or frigid and he probably needed some comfort outside of the marriage. I have never heard a woman who has sex with men other than her husband defended on the basis that perhaps the husband was lacking in some way in the bedroom.
Even more difficult for some men to understand is that if a woman is, shall we say, generous with her sexual favors, it does not mean she always has to be and has to be with anyone. If a woman is at a party and has sex with 20 of the the 21 men in attendance and then tells the 21st one ” NO” and he goes ahead and forces her, it is rape. If a woman walks down the street with all of her lady humps ( to quote the Blackeyed Peas) hanging out in plain view it does not give anyone the right to touch,fondle or otherwise annoy her.
The comments I hear about how some women need to watch what they wear in order not to make men aroused, frequently made by other women, make me shake my head. I do not care what a woman has on, wearing it does not give anyone, including any male permission to touch her if she does not want them, or him, to do so.
I admit we wear clothes to be attractive to men. Many women will tell you they dress for other women and there is a certain element in my toilette of getting the approval of my sisters. I can tell you though, even being a woman of a certain age–or maybe especially being a woman of a certain age–I like it a lot more when a man tells me I look good than when another woman does.
Last Monday I ran into a colleague, one our professors on campus, on the way into my building. We spoke as usual, and he stopped in front of me. “Do I need to be worried about you?” he asked me. Puzzled I said, in my typical smart alec style, ” No more than usual, why?” He replied, “Because you have no business looking that good this early in the morning.” Made my day.
So, men, admire us, love us, desire us, but do not send us pictures of your penis unless we specifically ask you to and then do not email it or tweet it, do not presume if we make you want to have sex with us it obligates us to do so and for heavens sake put the toilet seat down!!