Tuesday, March 22, 2005

EOTM: The Pearl Harbor of the Gender War: Rape and Sexual Harassment

When the history of gender war gets written, the attack on normal heterosexuality will be viewed in retrospect as the event which signaled the start of the war and divided people into mutually hostile camps for which there would be no easy form of settlement. When Susan Brownmiller declared all men to be enemies of all women with her damning and unproven accusations in "Against Our Wills", she established the notions of structural power and power relationships which would eventually drag the political into the most personal aspects of everyone's lives. The declaration "all men are in collusion with rapists" soon became "all men ARE rapists" (or harassers) and "all sex is rape." I can't imagine women not getting enraged over being told that they were such simpletons that they didn't know that they were being oppressed and that their desire for men was proof of their oppression, but they didn't.

It is mind-boggling to think that something so basic as the attraction mechanisms between men and women, which are the foundation processes of the continuation of our species and which have persisted for thousands of years, could have been completely re-defined in the space of only one generation. Yet, this is exactly what has happened. Somewhere in there is a chilling disregard for life based on a lack of awareness of what life is and how it is perpetuated.

Erasing any distinction between normal male-female sexuality and criminal behavior has devastated the ability to have and sustain stable mated relationships. The simple existence of the ambiguous laws and lack of legal standards put women as well as men into completely undefined territory filled with landmines. There are so many ways that a woman can use the legal system to clobber a man these days that men are more and more lapsing into wary silence and distance. Of course, this feeds right into women's complaints about male emotional withdrawal.

Never before in history has it been so hard for men and women who want to get together to do so. And never before has the incentive for persistence through an occasional hard time been so low.

The war which began with Pearl Harbor ended with the Atomic bomb.

The only possible outcome when neither side will back off their commitment to war is total defeat of one side or the other. When the battle is between men and women, total defeat of one side is not possible without the destroying the victorious side as well. All wars are insane to some degree, but a gender war is the most insane anything could possibly be. No one can tell their enemies from their allies any more, and often spend more time and energy supporting their enemies rather than their allies.

The frontline battle for men's rights to be attracted to women, and let women know that, will have to be fought by women. They have been the ones whose behavior the extremists have been out to change anyway. It's just that men make easier targets and if you change the behavior of the men then the women will be forced to change their behavior.

The drive to stamp out heterosexuality and marriage waged by the extremists, capitalizing on the "victory" of Brownmiller's surprise attack, is directly a war against women who would like those options. Both men and women have come to fear marriage and fear members of the other sex. There have always been forces in the culture which hated sex and were constantly obsessing over the possibility that some of their fellow citizens could be having too much or the wrong kind of sex. Most states have had laws on the books prohibiting certain kinds of sex. It has long been widely accepted that men in general liked sex more than women in general, many of whom did not like it at all. The famous Ann Landers' survey, which showed that 70% of women would be perfectly happy never to have sex again, made it clear to men what women think of us as lovers. And where Landers was dismissive, Shere Hite was absolutely brutal toward men.

Men have long been waiting for a voice of peace from women saying in effect "We like men, we like men's attention. We don't think it is a crime." Since we now have to deal with the "reasonable woman" standard, where are the reasonable women speaking out saying "This is NOT sexual harassment." or "This is NOT rape." ?!

Without female voices speaking this message, it is likely that the war will continue to rage on.

Back to Gender War, Sexuality, and Love


Further Reading:

Bonecrker #13 - DV Myths = Cold War

Bonecrker #20 – Rape Fantasies

Bonecrker #65 – The Repeating Patterns of Women Who Cry Rape