Thursday, June 26, 2008

Off topic: Random thoughts on the double-standards when it comes to male and female sexuality

Society has cracked down on male sexual offenses in the past few years. Much of the crackdown is good. But much of it is overkill. We now have television shows where alleged child predators are nabbed for the enjoyment of Americans coast-to-coast. It is no exaggeration to assert that Americans plop themselves in front of their TVs with a bowl of popcorn in order to chortle at terrified men whose lives have been forever destroyed (and their families' lives have been forever destroyed, too) because they acted on some inappropriate sexual desire. I suspect that a show featuring the castration of alleged predators would draw an even bigger audience.

I have no problem punishing a child porn collector or a child predator. I do have a problem with treating such men as worse than murderers.

Much of the hysteria in recent years seems to be premised on the belief that male sexuality is in some manner inherently depraved and needs to be controlled. I do have a problem in viewing every aspect of male sexual desire as depraved unless it's something women also enjoy.

Child porn is a problem because of the effect on the children who the subjects of the porn. They are flesh and blood victims. But should viewing "virtual" -- unreal -- "children" be punished? Sure, if the goal is to punish depraved male desires. Otherwise, I'm not so sure. Does that sort of thing lead to viewing porn with real children? I don't know.

Adult males having sex with children are viewed as the lowest form of life. In contrast, adult females who molest boys are seen as "mixed up" and emotionally immature. They are given notoriously light sentences because their disorders are seen as more pathetic than evil. (But a female teacher's callow male lover is lucky if the teacher doesn't sacrifice him to save her skin by accusing him of raping her -- one such teacher recently tried that to no avail.) Reverse the genders and assume a girl accuses an adult male teacher of rape -- he will be sent away for years, without question.

But it doesn't stop there. Who, for example, is considered the greater criminal, the hard-working, saintly prostitute or the evil businessman who frequents her? The question scarcely survives its statement.

Strip clubs are viewed as places frequented by dirty old disgusting men who objectify women. Civic groups want to impose "sin" taxes on them, and nobody complains except the strip club owners. But enjoying naked male dancers and explicit penis cakes at raunchy bachelorette parties is viewed as "empowerment" for the liberated young women in attendance.

An older man having a relationship with a young woman is similarly viewed as "disgusting." But reverse the genders -- when an older woman pursues a young man it's viewed as a positive sign of the times since the older women doesn't need to financially rely on a man. So we applaud her for having her very own "boy toy" that she can toss away when she tires of him or realizes that she has nothing in common with an early-20s-something guy. And while we call older men who do this "disgusting," we've given older women a far more respectful name -- "cougar" -- a sleek, crafty, fearsome animal.

The rape of a woman or a child are second only to murder on the scale of acts considered to be evil. In contrast, the rape of a man in prison is a punchline. And sometimes the men who are raped are only in prison because they were falsely accused of rape or some other sexual offense, the ultimate tragic irony. The rape of males may be more common than the rape of females, but it's ignored as just more male-on-male violence. Since women aren't the victims of that kind of rape it has no place in the feminist sexual assault metanarrative, which dominates the public discourse about rape.

Men who suffer from premature ejaculation are "selfish." They, too, are a punchline. Or worse: After her arrest for mutilating her husband with an 8-inch knife, Lorna Bobbitt told police: "He always have [sic] [an] orgasm and he doesn't wait for me to have [an] orgasm. He's selfish." That was the reason she gave for severing his penis. Mrs. Bobbitt was hailed as a feminist heroine.

Men who don't wear condoms are "pigs" in TV ads. Some feminist legal scholars want to go so far as to subject any male who has intercourse without a condom to be jailed as a kind of lesser form of rape (the burden would be on the male to prove that the woman consented to sex without a condom). In contrast, a female who lies to a male that she's on the pill, intending to get pregnant without the man's knowledge, isn't acting selfish in any manner. You see, it's her right to do as she pleases with her body. The fact that she will saddle the guy for child support for 18 years because of a lie is neither here nor there.

When two underage teenagers have sex, only one is considered a statutory rapist, and only one will be classified as a "sex offender," possibly for the rest of his life. Can you guess his gender?

Feminists tout the glories of the "hook up" culture -- except if any obligations are expected of the female. If both the guy and the girl get drunk and have sex, she's a rape victim who retains her anonymity if in some after-the-fact, ex post facto, false and belated hissy fit of regret she decides to punish him for cajoling her to have sex (even though she went along with it). As for the unlucky guy who incurred her wrath, he might go to prison for years, his name splashed all over the news, his reputation destroyed forever. And in prison, he'll probably have done to him what he did NOT do to her.

(And we didn't even get into the new proposal in Britain that would allow employers to give preferential treatment to female or ethnic minority job candidates. That is, after all, too off-topic. But to summarize, the proposal would make it OK to discriminate against one group and one group only -- you guessed it, white males. The misandry at work there is unfathomable. And you British men tolerate that -- why?)

It is a wonderful era to be male, isn't it?