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Thoughts Online Magazine
Collected Articles on Culture & Politics
On the Subjugation of Women 
2nd-Apr-2006 04:04 pm
Inspiration
In the most recent Letters to the Editor section of Atlantic Monthly, an author, whose article the previous month had been on novels for teens, finally wrote out the moral to her previous article in response to some letters:

What girls are discovering, to their infinite heartbreak, is that boys will happily agree to any form of sexual experimentation a girl cares to offer, but will reserve certain honors for the girls who build power in the ancient ways. If you want a boy to invite you to the prom, or treat you well, or to speak highly of you to his friends, or to spend long hours thinking about how he can work his way into your heart -- if what you want from him is courtship, romance, and respect -- the very last thing you should do is ambush him with a sexual favor. That girls no longer know this to the marrow of their bones -- that this knowledge comes to them in a slow awakening of misery and shame -- is testament to how badly our culture has failed them.

The young man in his 20's who pointed this out to me said, "This is just weird shit. No girl that I know wants all that 'courtship, romance and respect' stuff, and most of them make fun of those who do in front of me. Sure, I'll take any sex on offer -- who wouldn't? -- but this other stuff is too old for words."

I'll throw it out to comments: is either of them missing the point?

Meanwhile, this is all sounding reminiscent of some advice I was offered when younger: "There are a lot of women who will volunteer to become your mistress. It's up to you, but the usual pattern is to accept it, enjoy yourself, and move on when she becomes too demanding. In general, mistresses are not worth marrying. It's the ones who intrigue you that you should pay attention to." At the time, there was a serious herpes epidemic: so free sex had limited appeal, and I didn't take the advice to enjoy and forget. It was the late 70's, after women had decisively lost the "battle of the sexes", and, since they've never regained anything like their former power, it just didn't seem worth bothering with.
Comments 
3rd-Apr-2006 12:48 pm (UTC)
The way I've heard it put is that guys use "love" to get sex and girls use sex to get "love" ("love" is in quotes, because I rather doubt either gender is dealing with real love in either case).

That statement may be overly cynical, but I think there really are an unfortunately large number of women who are desperate for that feeling of belonging and see sex as a way to keep a man at their side. I don't observe that that works very well. (I'm not the mistress type so I can't speak from experience. :P) There are plenty of women who DO want "all that courtship, romance, and respect stuff", but they have some twisted ways of trying to get it.
3rd-Apr-2006 08:11 pm (UTC) - I see...
Reading your journal leads much more to the "intriguing" designation, so I can see that you would not be the right person to ask about the mistress type -- but, recalling my high school, most girls had friends of both types, though given the milieu of highschool, where even temporary status is STATUS, the mistress type had an advantage there, if nowhere else.

Similarly, of course, I have seen young men who don't make the connection between marriage and happiness (they've watched too many movies where the connection was between marriage and UNHAPPINESS ... and they think that's typical because that's all they know.) Sadly, by the time they get it, "all the good women are married" -- and that their inability to make a connection had something to do with it was obviously untrue.....
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