The Paradox of Lust and Gender

Eric Roberts by Robert Richard

Can we women openly lust over men?

Just because you could not, would not, say the same thing about a woman if you were a man with a sense of boundaries and decency;
Does this automatically mean we women are not allowed to say them about or to, a man?
Today I responded to a post, which gave like a 101 reasons why a famous person was incredibly hot.
After my initial enthusiasm, I backed out and deleted all my comments because there were so many negative responses on the original post, and I was getting some on mine, I was like:
“This is not my battle.”
I can perfectly live the rest of my life, not objectifying men.
Yet the thoughts on it kept coming up in my head.
And they all pointed in the direction that I was still of the opinion that this protective, uni-sex approach was wrong.

To clear my head, I initially started writing this post on Facebook because I considered m
y thoughts not yet worthy of a “real” blogpost.
They weren’t clear enough.
So I just typed them into the box and didn’t even risk 
any Facebook credit by using Eric Robert’s half naked H&M underwear photo with this post.
Instead I chose a fully clothed one.
It wasn’t until I realized that only five days ago, I had already made a similar post here on this blog.
It wasn’t a part of any of my other series or projects. And it was so unaffiliated that its category was “uncategorized”.
Just now I relocated it to a new category “feminism”, just like this current one.
And it basically shared the same conclusion:
How judging women with the same standard as men, is just another form of sexism.

That single blogpost (or so I thought) was about Europol making a gigantic mistake by outing criminal women, knowing perfectly well that most of the criminals were men.
Criminal women were not the problem, in terms of numbers.
And it was with this realization, that I was writing on the same topic as five days ago, that I saw a pattern. And that this was worthy of a real blog post.
Because as tempting as it may seem:
Judging women with the same standard as men, is not doing anybody any favors. But it’s particularly detrimental to women.
That’s what I was feeling this morning!
I kind of knew something was off. That despite the fierce and eloquent push back on the lusting over a man post, I felt like I was on the other side.
Although I could not understand where it came from!
But now, with my own 5 day old post in hand, I understand:
Just like I oppose Europol outing the wrongdoings of criminal women;
I m against shaming women who objectify men.
And now I know WHY.
The threat men propose when they objectify women is not in the objectifying. Not in the sexism. It’s in something else.
And that “something else” is not present in the women who lust after men.
The threat men propose to women, is not rooted in their sexist remarks.
It’s rooted in the power inequality that lies underneath.
Men are stronger than women because they are stronger:
– physically
– financially
– legally/ by their status or position
And this can be an either/or. Or an and/and situation.
Further more the context men make their sexist, objectifying remarks is entirely different to the fangirling in social media.
These are some of them:
– the remarks by men are made in real life groups in bars or at work, to establish their social status, their ranking.
– the sexual interest is presented as something the woman should be impressed or flattered by. Rather than as something that was entirely the responsibility of the man who felt it.
And as an elaboration on the previous observation of power inequality:
– the objectifying, sexist remarks are made by a man on which the woman is reliant on for money, housing or access to other resources.
– the objectifying, sexist remarks are made by a man who is physically, legally, or financially more powerful and can hurt her in any of those areas pretty much without consequence. She’s therefor in no position to respond freely.
There wouldn’t be a problem with men lusting after women if we were all rich, independent, badass bitches in positions of power. None of us could care less about what any man said about how absolutely gorgeous we looked.
We would KNOW that nothing would happen, unless we were equally interested.
The problem is, that we don’t.
Our physical, financial and legal integrity are not guaranteed. We have to play our cards right not to cross the wrong person who can harm us physically, or by hiring better lawyers, hacking our computers, shaming us by exposing private videos and photos.
It’s a jungle out there.
We all have our personal ways on how to contribute to equality. And mine will be that every woman who wants to lust after a rich, independent, badass of a man in a position of power looking absolutely gorgeous?
Will have my blessing.
And in all likeliness: His too.

An unexamined life is not worth living




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