That any woman was ever subjected to the whim of any man seems to have only one explanation—a man’s superior physical strength. It is an idea writ large in nature. Thus, it’s easy to imagine, somewhere back in the mists of time, our Neolithic menfolk witnessing this apparent superiority and thinking, well, if it’s good enough for nature, it’s good enough for me.
With the advent of civilization, recorded history provides us with abundant examples of this presumption to women as chattel. Paris abducted Helen. The Romans ran off with their Sabine maidens. Sultans, kings and tyrants regularly took the fairest ladies of conquered foes to populate their harems. So on and so forth. Women were raped and debased and left as little more than footnotes to mankind’s otherwise grisly and checkered chronicles.
Alas, as a sad, sad commentary to our specie’s 5,000 yearlong path towards universal equality, women were likely the first enslaved and are now the last to throw off their ancient yolk of bondage entirely.
The time to put an end to this sham is long overdue. If recent years have taught us anything, it is that men are not superior to women in any measurable way, save for their physical prowess. In a dark alley, a man might continue his claim to superiority. In the light of day, we actually check in below average on a great number of metrics.
A small minority of us men have adapted pleasantly to this new reality. Most have not. From the discomfiting challenge to their breadwinner status to having even their physical superiority brought into question, men find the ground shifting under their feet.
So dig in your heels, right? I suppose it is understandable that if you have not gotten onboard the equality train, you might feel a bit like a prison guard cornered in a riot.
Given that our attitudes about male/female relationships are engrained on an almost DNA level, I suggest we narrow down the field of question to two fundamental areas: the sexual and the vocational.
Concerning sex, I would argue that men simply want it more than women.
All right, all right. This is not to let anyone off the hook here for sexual assault and harassment, but as a male, I have a visceral understanding of these forces. When our biological needs are not met we become feral and dangerous. With the factory cranking away down there 24/7, the resulting commerce has to go somewhere.
More on that later.
Concerning our ongoing state of vocational apartheid, I make no excuses. This is where a man’s assumption to superiority has no remaining defense but jackboots and guns. Why not equal pay? Why not sign and ratify the Equal Rights Amendment? Why not mutual respect?
Cornered, and with their egos threatened, those of the old guard apparently can envision no other remedy than to defend old territory. Since a man’s vague sense of continuing dominance does not exist, they must resort to arrogance and bullying, vanity and conceit. Have a laugh with the boys at the expense of the skirts. Demean the fairer sex.
Fucking cunts. It’s just like a woman.
These ceremonies conducted in private have become our primary form of manhood ritual.
That this state of affairs persists in the 21st century is inexcusable. The sexual issue one can write off as biological. An unwillingness to recognize women as true equals is a form of slavery, no different from any other form of slavery that has been visited by one human being upon another.
So what to do?
Educate, obviously, and the earlier the better. The minds of children are wonderfully adaptable. As we can see from the behavior of grown men over the course of centuries, the longer you wait, the more difficult that animal is to skin.
Gertrude Stein is quoted in Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast as saying—and I paraphrase here—‘If a man is not civilized by the time he is twenty-five, he never will be’.
Stein later attributed the quote to a hotel keeper she had met in the town of Belley and thereafter became the basis for her infamous portent to Hemingway, ‘You are all a lost generation’.
So educate and civilize, but when and how? I see no reason not to start at puberty and in the classroom. “Hey, boys. Masturbation is healthy and fun!”
Of course, that would require our society in general and our schools more specifically to move past their Puritanical stance on sexual matters, and since that is not likely to happen any time soon, our best shot is at that age prescribed by Gertrude Stein’s hotel keeper, when men are roughly between eighteen and twenty-five years old.
Problematically, just when men are most teachable, women are inclined to be their most submissive. Men are receptive to guidance but young women rarely provide it.
Something has to give.
As a practical matter, I would offer that young women need to take a quantum leap in their attitude towards men, specifically as it applies to sex. You are in charge, far more than you can possibly realize, so act like it. Not arrogantly, but with kindness. Men are like dogs. Rub their belly and they will forever be faithful. I can assure you. You will never have a more splendid opportunity to change the trajectory of a man’s life than at this early stage.
Is it crass of me to suggest that women might change the course of history through their bodies? I think not but I will leave it to each individual woman to decide for herself. I can only swear by my own experience. An older woman served as my courtesan when I was a young man and it changed my life forever. She civilized me. At twenty-one years old, if you were wondering.
Sex was the trick, the vehicle to rewiring the circuitry of my brain. While at once pleasing me and gently demanding the fulfillment of her own needs, my courtesan enlightened me as to the nature of a woman’s body, and there is no greater point of awakening for a young man than this. Being that a woman’s gratification comes at a relatively glacial speed, it requires a man to linger and, in doing so, to open a door to the feminine part of his own nature, a part that has been largely ignored, to the great detriment of our society.
Am I suggesting that we can change the whole world here?
Well, yes and no. I cannot overstate the effect that said education had on my life. In this ‘girls play with dolls and boys play with guns’ world of ours, I was just as much a young jock as the next guy in my youth. Then suddenly my entire perspective had been shifted. Through understanding, appreciating and fulfilling a woman’s needs, I arrived at a new state of respect.
Today, when I am made aware of things like the odious practice of men harassing women on Twitter, I am baffled as much as I am appalled and disgusted. This sort of behavior simply doesn’t comport with my view of things. The two sexes have inherent differences, but they are wonderful differences. We have various strengths and weaknesses, but these do not in any way suggest to me that one gender is superior to the other.
How do men arrive at this lack of respect for women? Setting aside the pathological misogynist, I would argue again, it is ignorance.
When I was in puberty, I remember overhearing my eldest brother Denny share with a friend, and Denny was definitely something of a jock at the time, “Control a woman’s body and you control her mind.”
It is generally true. Having fulfilled the sexual needs of the various women in my life, each and every one of them remained devoted, if nothing else.
The same principle applies to men. Control their dicks and you have the power to control the rest of them.
To spin off the old Henny Youngman line, take control of us, women.
The question is, to what purpose? If your only wish is to ensure a man doesn’t fool around behind your back, that is one thing. Using your power to educate and civilize a man is another thing altogether. A great opportunity resides therein, but also a great responsibility.
Again, through kindness and love and an introduction into the intricacies of a woman’s sexual needs, my entire way of thinking about them and about romantic relationships was transformed.
For the betterment of men and mankind in general, I sincerely hope more women will grasp this power they have and use it to good purpose.