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Male sexual gratification overriding everything else - or misuse of power? Or both?

(21 Posts)
BadenBadenBadenBaden Tue 17-Oct-17 17:21:36

I've tried to write this out a few times and I can't express it very well, so please be gentle.

The HW and general sexual harassment threads have got me thinking. A lot of men feel entitled to sex and it seems their sexual gratification overrides everything else.

HW is in this category. He didn't care that the women didn't want to be there. I think you could say men who use prostitutes and porn are too, because their desire to get off outweighs their concern for the women or porn actresses/actors involved (often coerced/in poverty/addicted to drugs).
Paedophiles put their gratification above the needs of the children who are abused.

Maybe also the men who sulk/get angry when their wives/girlfriends don't want sex, because they are putting their own needs before their partners, or at least not really thinking of them as a person with their own desires/emotions.

But then it is said that rape is not about sex, but power. So does that mean it's not necessarily about sexual gratification but just a way to exert your power? For HW, was having the power to threaten and coerce women into doing what he wanted what got him off? Or was it just another way to show his power? With waiters/film runners he would bully and berate them to show his power, but with actresses it would involve sex?

I'm not that well-read on feminism, is there anyone in particular who covers this area well? I'm just trying to see where it intersects, if it does - can anyone offer their opinions?

newtlover Tue 17-Oct-17 19:51:21

hmmm interesting
my first thought is that at root, it's about power and proving to yourself and anyone else that you have most power- but the sexual entitlement is the more superficial and conscious explanation men give themselves-
'well, I REALLY needed sex, and after all she is my gf/was drunk/fill in the excuse here.....so of course I shagged her.....you know it's actually dangerous for men to go without sex don't you.....etc etc'
I haven't explained that very well!
If you like, the power is the deeper, subconscious motivation and the sexual entitlement is the conscious explanation or excuse the man makes.

QuentinSummers Tue 17-Oct-17 20:12:46

I think it's power and entitlement. The offender wants sex, they don't care about the wants of their target, they feel entitled to the sex. The power differential is what allows them to get the sex.

In prostitution money is the power, in other crimes it's physical power or coercive power (e.g. being able to award/withhold a job from the target).

Women are different in 2 ways; 1) we aren't conditioned to think sex is our right so we don't feel entitled and 2) we often don't have the physical or coercive power to get sex from an unwilling target even if we did feel entitled.

BadenBadenBadenBaden Wed 18-Oct-17 10:20:52

Yes that makes sense Quentin - they feel entitled to the sex and use the power they have to get it.

Datun Wed 18-Oct-17 10:47:20

I’m sure a testosterone driven libido can be a powerful force.

It’s the sense that women are provided in order to alleviate that which causes the problems.

Entitlement is exactly the right word.

What other situations do you find where adults will sulk, rant, rage, or just take by force.

BadenBadenBadenBaden Wed 18-Oct-17 20:39:27

Yes Datun I hadn't thought of it like that - the idea of women being here for that purpose.

gameoflife Thu 19-Oct-17 21:43:55

I understand this entitlement problem to be because there is an empathy gap, in that I mean, the sort of men who feel entitled to sex with a woman, probably wouldn't violate a male friend (and I don't mean sexually) because they can project their self onto him and create empathy.

But he cannot do the same with women. As if we were "other" or objects. That's why they can rape, or at the other end of the spectrum of shitty behaviour, not consider that his wife's work/hobbies/happiness are just as important as his own.

Obviously I am generalising. The men I have most experience with are only one or two generations away from a situation where men essentially owned their wives. They have inherited and learned behaviours from their fathers and peers, which are at conflict with the modern world. But they are not idiots, they need to adapt sharpish.

CocoaIsGone Thu 19-Oct-17 21:59:25

But if women have been able to adapt to the modern world, then there is no reason that men should not have also done it.

I actually think there is a disjuncture between the belief that the world is more equal between the sexes, and the reality which is that the inequality and control has just become more subtle and insidious, and it often goes on behind closed doors, and women are left with this feeling of confusion and shame because things are supposed to be more equal and women are supposed to be able to say no and still be respected. But actually their life is not like that.

So the whole idea that women have equality is disempowering, if it doesn’t exist. Women are still at risk in the bedroom, in relationships and in public spaces. But we have this veneer of civility which pretends that they are not. And men exercise power in multiple ways, including sexually, to remind them they are not.

gameoflife Thu 19-Oct-17 22:06:45

We are often told we have equality, so to want more is selfish. Or as my mother puts it "those feminists don't want equality, they want that plus a handbag to put it in".

gameoflife Thu 19-Oct-17 22:10:13

And yes, Men could adapt if they had to.

There is nothing more livid than a mediocre white man who hasn't got it all despite all their advantages, it must be galling, no wonder they are kicking and screaming and lashing out.

KevinKnowsImMiserable Thu 19-Oct-17 22:13:35

I'm with gameoflife.

It's 'othering' of females, mostly.

And seeing females there for men's sexual pleasure.

My father treated my mother like shit - had affairs left right and centre then coerced her into swinging with other couples. Tried it on with everyone.

Absolutely no respect for females whatsoever.

gameoflife Thu 19-Oct-17 22:14:03

But we are also fighting against women who feel we are complaining for nothing, because they had it worse, (my mother again).

They view us as snowflakes for not being made of sterner stuff.

Women acting as handmaidens for this culture of abuse, because they suffered, so why shouldn't we?

KevinKnowsImMiserable Thu 19-Oct-17 22:14:42

Probably haven't explained it very well. But you know the way some people would kick a dog because it's 'just a dog'.

It's the same mentality. Except this time you'll fuck her against her will because it's 'just a woman'.

KevinKnowsImMiserable Thu 19-Oct-17 22:16:00

Yes re: handmaidens.

My mother put up with all kinds of shit from my Dad.

Then just expected me to be ok with being sexually abused at home.

I was 'just a female' after all. NOthing to shout about.

gameoflife Thu 19-Oct-17 22:18:31

Kevin, I totally hear you. It's not just sex though.

I look at my own relationship and those of my friends, and perhaps I just have a shitty social circle, but the men seem to be at liberty to prioritise themselves. It seems to genuinely miss their radar, that spending most of their leisure time away from the family exercising bikes/cars/running or bloody OW, while wife picks up all the slack, isn't entirely reasonable.

gameoflife Thu 19-Oct-17 22:20:19

There seems to be a grim spot where women work out that life isn't fair, usually after having children.

I hope I don't turn into my mother.

QuentinSummers Thu 19-Oct-17 22:31:01

spending most of their leisure time away from the family exercising bikes/cars/running or bloody OW, while wife picks up all the slack, isn't entirely reasonable
YES! This drives me mad. So many men have hobbies like cycling, that necessitates being out for several hours and then being too tired to do family stuff at home. It is so self centred, I don't know any women that do it.

MissMoneyPlant Fri 20-Oct-17 13:46:16

I was thinking along similar lines as OP this week, after an incident on FB where a male friend posted #metoo (sexual assualt by other males) and it was objected to...
He was abused by men. But not for being a woman. But is gay, so perhaps seen as a "lesser" (ie. bit feminine) man according to the gender hierarchy... but then was assualted by gay males, so...? confused But then what about apparently heterosexual men who want gay sex when in an all-male environment for a long time? Or is that power too...?

Um...

SomeDyke Fri 20-Oct-17 14:36:57

I was looking at the BBC stories, where there was a man who had been sexually assaulted by a woman. Although not trivializing this in any way, and granted they did have a quote from an organisation saying that 99% of reports are of male abusers.........But WHY, given that someone had to chose which stories to include, is the 1% women assaulting men included???
Like the bloody Weinstein coverage, because it always feels to me like it is supposedly more believable and real once some chaps admit they knew it was going on, or something was, or they think it is true, than when hordes of women are saying that he did this to them. And also that the chaps need to say NAMALT (and some women are) as quickly as possible unless too many people get the idea that the entire bloody issue might have something to do with sex and the status in society of those of the female sex...............

As regards the BBC, would they, say, in a series about racism, see fit to include a report by a white, middle-class chap in the UK that he had been racially discriminated against, in order to provide some spurious "balanced" reporting? I doubt it.

SomeDyke Fri 20-Oct-17 14:41:18

"But is gay, so perhaps seen as a "lesser" (ie. bit feminine) man according to the gender hierarchy... but then was assualted by gay males, so...? "
In my experience, there is some sort of hierarchy going on, a distinction being made between those who are the 'active' sexual partner (i.e. do the penetrating), and those who are the 'passive' one (i.e. get penetrated). It was something that always puzzled me amongst the gay men I knew when younger, that these roles seem to be so fixed. And being penetrated, in effect, puts them right there in the pseudo-women camp (pun intended!).............

Datun Fri 20-Oct-17 20:27:51

And still, it’s all about sex.

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