Locker-Room Sexism

Locker-room banter is not just about Trump – it’s men everywhere

Men excuse themselves of this (Trump-like behaviour: Read the article!!!) suggesting that it’s innocent man-talk (oh, God, man up then!) whilst others refuse to admit they do it. I once dated a man who would send emails to male friends with pics of females (several were mine!!!!) saying things like: Look what I’m going out with tonight! What are we: trophies!!!?? Well, yes, my dear! Of course, to her face he’d say things like: “All I see is you!”. The hilarity might be more genuinely felt, were it not so tragic! Thing is, he’s not the exception, but the rule. (I mean no offense to this man should he happen to be reading along and recognize himself in my words.) I’d argue that it is the ugly and/or insecure who adopt this narrative, but that would fail to acknowledge the obvious. In the cock-pit of the extended male ego, prime place is often given those who firmly demonstrate their masculinity via these, otherwise, deplorable narratives (OMG, the innuendo is just flowing today! 😉 ). Now most men know that in today’s day the chances of getting some requires that they at least play along, and adapt their narrative, or feminize it, if you will. I’d say that that is a matter of demonstrating respect, and in some ways, to a certain extent that holds true often enough, but mostly it speaks to the poeticized verse of that former acquaintance of mine; i.e. “All I see is you!”.

Women are suffering from starvation these days. Men lack the equipment – oh, my!! – I mean the intellectual and linguistic equipment to seduce a woman, to woo her, so that guy (ugly or not) who adopts such ploys (and not always with the intent of a Don Juan who has become a Mastery at the Game of seduction, but quite accidentally, perhaps seemingly genuinely to his mind) is gonna get him some. Okay, okay, if you ain’t got the gift of the gab, just take her out for dinner, spoil her, and at least pretend you’re paying focused attention to her! Thing is, women know this! Thing is, men in the locker room, also know this. There is a sub-narrative, that subtext that no one is ignorant of. Women know how men talk behind her back. She knows that once the brotherhood is in full swing (Sheesh! 😉 ), poetry takes a backseat to pleasantries of respect! And men know how men talk; they know that if anything they mean to compliment (not always the case,  of course) the physical attractiveness of said woman (after all he’s not going to send pictures of ugly women!!!) and women should get this. Indeed, some women do! They are forgiving; indeed, some are secretly flattered! And herein lies part of the problem. Women have become enablers of this narrative.

It’s disturbing to me that my teenage daughter and her friends have already learned that boys will go through a crowd of girls, complimenting each (they often start with the most worthy and slowly make their way through the pack), until one (or more) succumbs to his flirtations whims. This quickly circulates, and though some may indeed succumb, feeling ahead of the pack for this, others may be hurt and offended and quiver in a corner, and yet others may with indignation call it ( 😉 ) as she sees it (funny how the male organ can be used in such a derogatory fashion, no!? 🙂 ). But she’ll still moan about her breasts being too small, and perhaps plan ahead for future implants; and more often than not she will feel secretly jealous of those girls who got all the stock men are looking for! There are some that will try to rise totally above this, but few will be made of that stock that finds them immune, and their sense of self-esteem still in tact. And those few that do will certainly recognize in themselves that they stand outside of the narrative at this look-out point very much as an outsider. So, girls begin to see themselves, value themselves, through the eyes…not the adoring eyes…of her predator! She admires herself, for those qualities that attract, and deplores herself for those qualities that repulse. She sees herself, as Simone de Beauvoir said all those years ago, as The Other. This is internalized and by adulthood seamlessly becomes the protagonist narrative.

So are Trump’s indecent remarks, only indecent because they were publicly and unapologetically voiced? Does he only suffer from stupidity? Is he merely socially inept? Well, not merely!! Until girls learn not to enable these boys and acknowledge themselves as uniquely oriented beings who must negotiate their inter-sexual and inter-personal relations dynamically, boys will grow up to be these men. We’re almost all-too-attentive and mindful of sexism today, and though it is no small victory that our forerunners won for us women today, we really need to get behind the momentum of this process (that one was unintentionally, promise! 😉 ) and provide the means by which our girls can readdress (sometimes biologically described as an otherwise instinctive drive…but we are not instinct alone!!!) the urges of boys before it becomes part of the fabric of social life.

Over and out!

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2 thoughts on “Locker-Room Sexism

  1. Nice rant, I wish I could say that it’s an unfair generalization, but it’s an all too true reality. My one quibble though is that it’s not so much sexism as it is lust.

    You’re very right about women suffering from starvation. They understandably crave companionship, intimacy and attention. Unfortunately, most guys aren’t mature enough to be worth dating, yet the girls will date them anyway because they’re desperate and have no better options. That of course enables the guys because they realize how little they have to put into it.

    You missed one crucial factor in your article, the thing that’s contributing to this all more than anything else; it’s the plague of our time, pornography. About 64-68% of young adult men view it weekly, and over 34% of teen boys said they’ve watched it too many times to count (http://www.covenanteyes.com/2013/02/19/pornography-statistics/ – and that’s a few years old, the rates are probably even higher now). That’s what’s turning men into disgusting pigs who only view women as sexual objects. The foolish women who star in pornographic films have no idea how much they’re contributing to moral decline of our nations, and ironically, they’re shooting themselves in the foot, as they’ll find it tougher to find a guy who wants more than just sex.

    I feel sorry for your daughter. She probably isn’t far from my age (I’m turning 20 in 2 weeks), and I know just how awful things are at this age. Her odds of finding a remotely good guy are pretty slim. I’ve often thought how girls are caught between a rock and a hard spot when it comes to dating; either they date a guy older than them who’s more likely to pressure them into sex, or they’ll date a guy their age or younger who’s simply too immature (as science has indicated women mature earlier).

    Regarding locker room talk, I’ve heard it both in literal locker rooms and in person, and I think it’s most prevalent among guys my age. I made the mistake of befriending a guy who seemed nice, but I soon found out he was a sexual degenerate. Almost every time I’d see him, he’d try to regale me with stories of his sexual conquests. I hated hearing of it, and I lacked the nerve to tell him to cut it out. Especially displeased was I when I’d hear him on the phone with his girlfriend, asking her to give him a ride or a bit of money, and I could tell the girlfriend wasn’t happy with the relationship. I had the urge a few times to rip the phone from his hand and say to her, “he’s cheating on you with another girl and boasts to me about it.” I never felt more ashamed about being a guy than when I was around him.

    People think I’m crazy because I haven’t dated yet – both the guys and the girls – but I’m not, I simply have a high view of what women deserve, and I decided I wouldn’t get into a relationship of any sort until I was mature and stable in life, able to provide a woman with what she should be able to expect.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Daniel! Thank-you for your incredibly honest response. You speak of lust, and that may indeed be part of the “issue” though I’d like to point out that it is not (thankfully) an exclusively male experience. Rather, lust, as Blackburn rightly (to my mind) argues is a desire of a sexual kind, but one which is often confused. In his words, it is: “the enthusiastic desire, the desire that infuses the body, for sexual activity and its pleasures for their own sake”. (Simon Blackburn, Lust: The Seven Deadly Sins). This, at least, makes the salient point that lust is not just desire for sex or the outcome of sex, an orgasm. Hence, viewing pornography, is not a lustful act really, but only the desire for the release of sexual energy. Still, the point that women are viewed as sexual objects is not negligible. And again, as I have said in this little piece, clearly men are socialized, and the horizon of meaning is such that the place of women is never merely one of a sexual object, but understood within the paradigm of equality, and a more romanticized format of seduction. Still, you seem to confirm my concerns that inter-sexual relations tip the scale in favour of boys/men so that girls/women adopt the protagonist narrative of which I speak. Most of use pride ourselves on our autonomy and/or authenticity arguing that we can transcend said backdrops of meaning, and ultimately most educated, reflective, thoughtful people do (sadly: no). And though there is no place to go outside or beyond this backdrop, how one negotiates one’s inter-personal, inter-social relations can be one of authenticity. But this requires that partners are each dynamically participating in the process of being-with-the-other, and this is a rarity indeed.

    I’d also like to commend you for your maturity, and thoughtfulness. It is rare to find someone so self-aware, and self-disciplined so as not to succumb to neediness, that finds most young (and older) men (women too, but today we are talking about men) eagerly jumping into any relationship and sticking with it until something better comes along. 🙂

    Like

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