Monday, May 08, 2006

Today's boys: all discombobulated

Pandagon and Lawyers, Guns and Money have done a good job of taking this ridiculous Washington Post article down a peg. The short version is that young women wanting to have sex with young men is making them impotent. They back this up with no proof - and even some good arguments for other reasons for what may or may not be a problem (how many kids is this happening to? they couldn't say!)

What I find odd is how often I've been reading about how hopelessly confused young men are these days that women are actually pursuing sex with them. From the above article:
Skrodzki is far from alone. It seems that for a sizable number of young men, the fact that they can get sex whenever they want may have created a situation where, in fact, they're unable to have sex. According to surveys, young women are now as likely as young men to have sex and by countless reports are also as likely to initiate sex, taking away from males the age-old, erotic power of the chase.
The article says in a previous paragraph that the young man in question thought sleeping with his potential partner was a "no-brainer," but the WaPo apparently is under the impression that he needs "erotic power of the chase" to make his plumbing really work.

Another instance that occurs to me is a weird conversation that I came upon a while back that wondered how young men on campus can even tell they're raping women when so many women want sex all the time. Here's a quote from this confused male:
Is the offense a suggestion that women entice men into sex and then sometimes accuse them of rape or violence? That is a known sociological and legal phenomenon. I have a daughter; I am extremely sensitive to the possibility of her ever being raped or violently assaulted. I have sons (and friends with sons) who are stunned by the way that young women on campus nearly beg for sex. All? By no means. A surprising number? They say so.
Um, newsflash - if women are begging you for sex, you have indeed obtained consent - from those particular women.

The thing that I find most ridiculous about this moral panic about the topsy-turvy world of US college campuses where women pursue sex (and people wear underwear on their heads and cheeseburgers take a bite out of you!) is the claim that these young men are no longer victims of their libidos and the curse of frigid women, but that their primitive male instincts are being confused by a world gone mad.

What's really going on here is the fear that women have abdicated their duty as the gatekeeper of propriety, and that now people might do ...whatever they want. I am not sure what people picture when they imagine each individual having the freedom to pursue the sex life they would like to have. For some reason, many are under the impression that once you have control over your sex life, you're absolved of any other societal obligations. Politeness, consideration, communication and honesty? No one needs those in a world full of SEX.

I don't know where anyone got the impression that sexual freedom is the freedom to be an asshole. The reality is that the huge numbers of people have had to create their own rules for their sex lives from scratch - the get married, have kids, hate your spouse model is not realistic for homosexuals and not very desirable to a lot of heterosexuals - and they're perfectly nice people. Relying on gender roles to keep people in check has never worked - it's a cop-out so that people don't have to truly understand the difference between right and wrong.

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