Why Do We Live in a World That's Petrified of Women Who Love Sex?

A great article by Noah Brand!

...assumptions about male libido, as godawful as they are, pale in comparison to the incredibly creepy cultural ideas about female libido.

What the hell happened between the 15th century and the 21st? Okay, admittedly, several things happened. But the one we’re concerned with is that women’s libidos went from being considered as powerful or more so than men’s to being essentially erased.Pre-Renaissance examples of horny ladies abound,...

This change in attitudes appears to have been religiously motivated, and based on the idea that women are more spiritual and sacred than men, meaning “less horny.” 

[emphasis mine]

 


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James, I think you have it backwards.  I think that women needed men to help them, in some small way, to raise the children.  Only by giving up the freedom to sleep with whomever we wish could we get men to help us take care their children.  We had to prove, by tolerating ever more stringent social deprivations, that we never had the opportunity to sleep with another man.

The daily news stories remind us how like our cousins the chimps we are.  When a new dominant male takes control of a troop, he kills the babies of his vanquished predecessor.  The statistics tell us how frequently the mother's "new boyfriend" kills her baby while she's at work. 

False. Historically false. Strict monogamy is a modern religious concept. In nature all males have varying degrees of 'contribution' to child rearing. Mostly very little. It also used to be 'thought' that male lions killed all babies not his, but that was once again religion causing bias in science. In fact, genetic studies demonstrate that there are kittens of other fathers in the group. And all apes and monkeys display varying degrees of 'paternal control'. There is no general rule there. NONE.

Brother Eduardo, I have a question.  If 3 or 4, or maybe 6 or 7 women told you that women hate being called whores, would you stop calling us whores?

Hi Dogly. Actually, I have never called a woman a whore, with one exception. My sweetie, who is the most devoted and ethical woman I've ever known, told me when we first established an intimate relationship two years ago that she wanted to be my whore. She told me, "I will do ANYTHING to please you. Just ask me." That was a very powerful moment in my life. Of course, I love her very deeply, and I will never ask anything of her that she doesn't already want to do anyway. So her role in my life is a whore in our bedroom and a refined lady out in public. She excels at both. But before we became intimate, she and I were both quite promiscuous. She's the only woman I've lived with who probably has had as many men as I have women. (Let's don't go into actual numbers here.)

A long, long time ago I lived in Europe and the Middle East for about six years. I spent a lot of time (and money) in some of the finest brothels in the world. And in those institutions of pleasure, I met some of the finest women you can imagine. For example, I regularly visited a woman in an upscale brothel in Istanbul who had a PhD in Music and taught voice five days a week. One evening a week, she supplemented her income (and supported her aging mother) by taking on one and only one client for up to 4 hours during the hours from 6 to 10pm. She was well read, spoke five languages and was an incredible lover. In our culture and our language, she would be called a whore. But was she, really? During my visits, we would have sex for maybe 15 minutes (I was very young and had almost no control in those years), then we would have tea and talk the rest of the evening. But I digress.

Bottom line: Yes, she was a "whore," but she was one of the finest women I've ever known. She was ethical and honest. She loved men, and she loved sex. She and a flock of women like her molded my understanding of the word whore during those years. And that is what's in my mind when I say "A few whores are the finest women on the planet." And from my reputation as a more-or-less reformed whoremonger, I'll stand by what I've said.

I would venture to say that most for-profit intimate transactions are not as refined or accord the service-provider that much respect... hence the term "whore".

But returning to the main discussion: there must be a deeply seated biological reason why men are the aggressors (or required to be the aggressors when initiating the relationship, even if they personally happen to be shy and aloof) and women the recipients.  Men initiate the quest to mate, while women decide whether the initiator is worthy.  Personally I am dismayed and disgusted by this arrangement, but it is what it is, and appears to transcend culture, epoch, educational or financial level.  All over the world, in every income category, amongst young and old, the responsibility falls onto the guy to initiate the advance.  And because the guy initiates the advance, he is expected to be libidinous and lecherous, and is potentially tolerated in his promiscuity.  But because the woman is expected to be the passive recipient and arbiter, she pays for the privilege of choice, in the expectation that she curbs her urges.  And, I don't purport that this is fair or ideal; it is merely an observation.

So then here is my question: being modern, enlightened and all that, what is the outlook that Western society would change its attitude about the male-initiator/female-arbiter?  When will come an age when it is perfectly acceptable - and indeed, expected - for women to ask guys on a date, and for girlfriends to ask their boyfriends to marry them?

Michael, the basic biological reason is that semen is cheap but pregnancy and nursing are expensive, energetically. In an enlightened Partnership culture hopefully, we can overcome the sex only for procreation idea to embrace its other delights and gifts. There are already subcultures in which it's common for women to initiate and men to be recipients of advances, such as swingers and polyamory.

What it does not transcend is time! Humans were not like this before patriarchy as a social rule took over most nations. Patriarchy is an efficient tool of control, and is why it is so globally spread. But we need only redefine things in order to re-establish the natural order of things... minus patriarchy.

@ The Nerd, "An underground hit for years in sexually experimental circles, Dossie Easton’s and Janet W. Hardy’s The Ethical Slut: A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationships and Other Adventures makes the case that we should all enjoy an occasional threesome, foursome, and moresome with friends and strangers. “We believe it’s OK to have sex with anybody you love,” Easton and Hardy write, “and we believe in loving everybody.”  

I looked up this book you mentioned.  It sounds very interesting.  Please notice that its authors are two women.  Women have tried to take back some of the words used to insult us, just as blacks have tried to take back the hated word "nigger".  In my opinion, neither effort has been successful.  Certain words have been used so long as weapons that their power to hurt remains.  These words still make their victims shrink and cringe.  I have never met a black man, woman, or child, who does not hate the word, "nigger".      I have never met a woman who wants to be called a slut, whore, or cunt.  I have never met Brother Eduardo's girlfriend, but I doubt that she would be flattered if some stranger on the street called her a whore.

I agree with brother Eduardo's attitude about sex.  I would never begrudge him his adventures in Istanbul.  I think prostitution should be legal.  (I do think pimps should be hung) Free love, expensive sex, multiple lovers, and any other pleasure that is shared with willing adults is great.  I'm not quibbling about sexual mores here.  I'm only talking about words.

My entire point here is to convince my reader that words hold the power to give acceptance or rejection, praise or condemnation.  I always hope that when I discover that something I have said has caused hurt feelings, I will say something else in the future.  Words can be thrown like knives or like flowers.  The knives are the ones that make people cry.

I agree with this and don't mean to go off topic, but lately I have felt the same about homosexual slurs, even just the word "gay" is socially acceptable in a casual context ("that movie was great, but the ending was really gay"). Many people accept certain words to be OK because they never use them from a position of hate, but they are still associating a negative energy with a word that is still actually used to describe a group of people.

While I am completely in favor of discouraging the ill use of all of these words, I am even more in favor of NOT censoring anyone or telling them they are not permitted to use certain words. That implies that the words themselves have magic powers.

There is no "taking back" of any of these words... they just need to be stripped of their power. People who yell "slut" or "nigger" or "faggot" are just self conscious morons, and most of the people around them know it. Any sort of reaction to this kind of word, gives power and justification to their use of it. Same goes for every other "curse" word that doesn't directly attack any group of people.

This is where censorship comes in... I believe this is where most of the problem lies. Nobody should be told that they can't say certain words on TV, on the internet, in public, or elsewhere (yelling alone in the woods?). Classifying any of these words as unacceptable in any official or legal capacity just makes them hold their power.

Abolishing every form of censorship immediately isn't going to solve anything, I do realize... I just believe that over the next several years or even decades, a global change of mind has to happen where language is once again used as a free tool for real human growth, and no longer a free tool for manipulating human popular opinion.

I hope I did not seem to be promoting official censorship.  I am for complete freedom of speech.  It is in our personal conversation that we can set our own personal standard of civility.  When I'm chatting with someone, and he calls someone a faggot, I tell him the root of that term.  In case anyone here doesn't know, it's a bunch of sticks or twigs tied in a bundle and used as kindling to start a bigger fire.  When homosexuals and witches were burned at the stake, burning faggots were used to set fire to the wood at their feet.  The next time that same person says "faggot", I tell him not to use mean slurs around me, and that I don't like bigots.  We can't discourage the use of slurs if we don't oppose their use when we hear them.  I don't want censorship of any word codified into law.  You can't, and shouldn't even try to, legislate respect and courtesy.

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