Media critic. Invader of
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Longtime readers know that issues related to feminism and feminists are near and dear to ol’ ST’s heart, so I never pass up an opportunity to discuss them when the situation permits itself, and today was no exception.
Earlier, I was at a political forum I visit semi-frequently, and noticed that my friend Dunk (who sometimes posts here) had started a thread there in the non-political folder about the TV show Sex and the City, and how it was going from cable primetime to the big screen. Somehow, after several gents in the thread talked about which S&TC gal they had the hots for, the topic segued into talking about the values (or lack thereof) that the show appears to promote. Dunk made the following comment:
Men have been admired by other men if they play around while women doing the same have been labeled as sluts. I have instinctively found that double standard to be hypocritical.
To which I responded:
I think it’s hypocritical, too, which is why I advocate that we treat such men as we would the women who act that way, rather than lower the bar and expect women to be no better.
That’s the short version of a post I wrote on this very topic last August, which included a a paraphrasing of the typical conversations I’ve had with ultra-rad feminists:
Feminist: “I think it’s outrageous the way men can get away with having multiple sex partners [note from ST: not at the same time!], but when women do the same, they’re considered ‘loose’, and frowned upon.”
Sister Toldjah: “So what are you saying? That you think it should be encouraged that men refrain from having multiple sex partners so the standard for men and women on that issue might one day be the same?”
ST: “What do you mean, then?
F: “What I mean is that I want to feel like I can have multiple sex partners, come in and talk about it at my work on Monday amongst the gals, and not have the guys nearby look at me like I’m loose.”
ST: (perplexed) “So you’re saying you want the standards for women to be lowered?”
F: (blinks) “Uhhm, well – no. I just want to be able to sleep with who I want, when I want, be able to talk about it, and be treated just like men are when they brag about it.”
ST: “In other words, your answer to my prior question was ‘yes, I do want our standards lowered.'”
F: (becoming agitated) “No, that is not what I’m saying. I just want the playing field leveled.”
ST: “Yes, you’re saying you want it lowered to be on the same level we have for any male who is promiscuous.”
F: (huffs) “You’re putting words in my mouth.”
ST: (chuckling internally) “Nope – just following what you’re saying to its logical conclusion.”
F: “How’s that?”
ST: “By saying, in terms of sexual encounters, you want women to be treated in the same way men who have lots of casual sex are. Do you think that standard we hold for men on promiscuity is a high one or a low one?”
F: (no answer)
ST: “That’s what I thought. Instead of setting the standard higher for men, you want to lower it for women. Sorry, but if being ‘liberated’ equates to being able to go in to work on Monday to brag about how many sexual partners you had over the weekend, count me out.”
Dunk, being a man, is obviously not a feminist, so I kept that in mind today when we were talking, because he was talking to me from a man’s perspective which would obviously be different. His approach is more of the ‘live and let live’ variety. Not only that – and I hope this won’t sound chauvenistic – but I’ve heard other men say similar things in the past, which makes sense, because there are plenty of guys out there who would of course like for a woman to be very much sexually liberated … probably not the woman they want to marry, but definitely the woman they meet at a club, or wherever.
Anyway, so I was thinking about this issue some today, and how instead of society encouraging women to just act like ‘one of the boys’ when it comes to sex, that it should encourage a higher standard for men. My idea went along the lines of this type of campaign message:
You see a beautiful, sleek, red car [insert your car of choice here] in the posters and ads, with a man looking at it admiringly. He stops to wipe off a tiny smudge on the hood that no one would notice but him. He gets in the driver’s side, sits in it for a few minutes smelling the soft leather interior, turns on the radio to something rockin’, and cranks the engine. He’s ready to take off. About that time, he gets a knock on his window. Agitated, he pushes the button that lowers the window and sees a stranger standing next to the car, eyes wide in awe. “Hey man,” he drawls. “How about letting me take a spin in your cool wheels?” Highly offended, the driver says a few choice words, pushes the button that rolls the window back up, and takes off, wondering why the hell some guy he doesn’t even know would dare to ask him to borrow his beautiful car. “I won’t let just anybody drive this thing,” he mutters, patting the steering wheel as if it’s the shoulder of a human being.
The slogan at the end of the ad or at the bottom of the poster would read: “Treat your body just like you would your car: Don’t let just anyone take it for a spin.”
Well, whadda ya think? I know, I know – I used the shameless car stereotype, but you know if I were writing about a woman’s favorite hobbies, I’d have to include the one about shopping …
In all seriousness and frankness, I know this wouldn’t work but I think it’s a hell of a lot better idea than what feminist groups like NOW, NARAL, Planned Parenthood, and rad feminists in general promote, which is nothing more than the 60s approach to sex: “if it feels good do it – and don’t worry about the consequences.”
Or better yet, how about a return to a culture where yes, women have sexual freedom, but they aren’t encouraged to flaunt it but instead respect their bodies and don’t just share it with anyone because they can. I grow really tired of the feminist movement’s emphasis on how women don’t have to be in a committed relationship to be fulfilled, which takes me to a great piece written today by Mona Charen on this very topic:
Consider the “hook-up” scene on college campuses (and many high schools). Under the new dispensation, with Ludacris providing the soundtrack, young women are expected to have casual sex with no strings attached. Some girls consent to be “friends with benefits” for their male friends. Magazines like Cosmo and Seventeen, cultural bellwethers, advise young women to “keep your heart under wraps.” The very worst thing a woman can do, apparently, is to express a desire for some sort of emotional connection or (gasp) commitment from her sexual partner. That amounts to being “boring and clingy,” declare the magazines.
Scarleteen offers a “sex readiness checklist” for young girls to help them gauge whether they should plunge into the fun. Among the items: “I see a doctor regularly,” and “I have a birth control budget of $50 per month.” The emotional readiness a girl should demonstrate is “I can separate love from sex.” Shalit notes, “Those who can separate love from sex are mature, like jaded adults. They are ready to embark on a lifetime of meaningless encounters.”
In fact, [book author Wendy] Shalit argues, all of this advice and deprogramming aimed at women is necessary because women do not by nature thrive on casual, meaningless sexual encounters. They crave emotional intimacy and fidelity — desires the women’s magazines are at pains to quash in the name of maturity. Psychiatrist Dr. Paul McHugh describes the vast numbers of young women who consult him asking for Prozac because they have sex with lots of different men, all of whom say they’re “not ready” for marriage. “‘But there’s nothing the matter with you,’ I tell them; ‘what’s the matter with the world? Let me help you find a way of not hopping into bed with all these guys right off the bat . . .'”
As Charen noted, women’s magazines promote the casual sex lifestyle in the name of ‘maturity’ for women, but as I’ve said before, there’s nothing mature – nor responsible – about sharing your body with someone just because you feel like ‘hooking up.’ It takes more maturity, and a more responsible person, whether they be a man or a woman, to say, “No thanks” rather than, “Cool! Your place or mine?”
Our ‘progressive’ culture promotes this type of self-esteem destroying behavior for both sexes, but more so on women than men since men have traditionally been known as the more sexually aggressive since – well, the beginning of time – thus these ‘progressives,’ including large numbers of uber-fems, have vigorously sought to promote a guilt-free lifestyle of casual sex with a de-emphasis on parenthood and/or the two parent family, a lifestyle that women are not hardwired for. Also, society’s demand for ‘instant gratification,’ whether it be for swinging through a Wendy’s drive-thru for a burger in the evening rather than coming home and cooking something more savory or getting your ‘groove on’ with the person you just met at a friend’s party rather than finding long term fulfillment – emotionally and sexually – in a serious, committed relationship, is another contributor to the moral decline we witness more and more each day.
Another thing I’ve said at this blog in the past bears repeating: Ultimately, it’s up to the gal whether or not the sex happens. Unless a woman is raped, she is the one who usually decides in the typical relationship, because it’s usually the male who is the aggressor. If the woman says no, he is supposed to (and will, unless he’s a jerk) comply and back off. But if she sends the signal that it’s ok, it’s showtime.
This, however, doesn’t let men off the hook completely. To all the single gents out there who are just meeting up for the first time with a gal you’re interested in: Treat your body just like you would your car: Don’t let just anyone take it for a spin. You’ll respect yourself – and her – more, in the morning.
On a related note about Sex and the City, I wrote this post in that same thread, about an episode I happened to catch on TBS not too log ago:
I remember flipping channels not too long ago and stopping on an episode of S&TC just out of curiosity, because two of the characters were in a clinic. One of them was waiting to have an abortion, while the other one was there to provide ‘moral support’ to the distraught friend who was there for the woman. It struck me as odd that the woman was so distraught, considering that she looked at the baby as an inconvienience, which is why she was aborting it. After all, if someone really is looking a fetus as an inconvienience rather than a human life, what’s there to get all emotional about, right?
The next scene after the commercial cut to all of the S&TC women in the apartment of one of the women, and there were flowers around, food being delivered, etc, in apparent show of sympathy and support to the woman who had been at the clinic to have the abortion (although I don’t know why there was sympathy involved if the baby wasn’t actually considered a baby, but anyway) – all the women gathered around the woman who had gone to the clinic to have the abortion, when she announced she didn’t have the abortion, that instead she wanted to keep the baby. All of a sudden, in the matter of an hour or so, that “inconvienience” became a baby. Of course, the writers didn’t explore this aspect, because it wouldn’t fit in with the show’s feminist mindset of ‘free choice.’
Ok, I’m rambling now. G’nite!