In news that probably comes a shock to approximately no one, more than 40% of young men report being on the receiving end of unwanted sexual activity, and 95% of those men report the perpetrators as women.
Over 4 in 10 participants (43%) experienced sexual coercion: more specifically, the participants reported: verbal coercion (31%,n86), seduction coercion (26%,n73), physical coercion (18%,n52), and substance coercion (7%,n19). Rates were comparable across high school and college students. Racial differences were found such that Asian participants reported significantly lower rates of sexual coercion than Black, White, and Latino participants. Ninety-five percent of the respondents reported women as the perpetrators; participants also described internal obligation, seductive, and peer pressure tactics in descriptions of coercion experiences.
Bill Maher made a little sketch comedy about this study, calling it “Lucky Bastard Syndrome”.
The men in this skit are all well-groomed, well-proportioned and very nice looking, which implies the women they are apparently turning down for sex are similarly well-groomed and well-proportioned, making it seem just crazy that the dudes might turn down sex, right? What, some hot chick wants to roll your ass and you’re not down with it? Preposterous!
Maher’s incredulity that a man might want something other than sex (Gasp! What else could he possibly want?) plays into the idea that all men ever think about or ever want is sex. Sex, sex and more sex. Jezebel even picked up the story and of course linked it to a toxic masculinity that dictates men must chase the pussy at all times, everywhere, under all circumstances.
I’ve argued this before, and I’ll argue it again: it’s not masculinity that insists men are little more than rutting pigs seeking any wet hole. That’s the story feminism spins about masculinity, particularly through the idea of rape culture, because an entire culture focused on rape requires endlessly fuckable women and endlessly libidinous men or the whole show collapses. The idea that there might be some imminently unfuckable women or that men might have something on their minds other than fucking is a complete anathema to feminism.
How do men define masculinity then, if not simply by pussy proxy?
Top three qualities reported by 27 000 randomly selected men from 8 different countries.
Overall, being seen as honorable was considered the most important quality in the construct of masculinity. “Being seen as a man of honor” was cited as the most important attribute of masculine identity in Spain, Brazil, Mexico, United States and France, while “being in control of your own life” was the most important in Germany, the United Kingdom and Italy.
What the hell? 27 000 men and not one of them put “ability to rape a lot of chicks” at the top of their list for what defines the masculine? Feminists have a lot more work to do, apparently. And when it comes to quality of life, most men seem to have missed the memo, too.
Regardless of age or nationality, men more frequently ranked good health, harmonious family life and good relationships with their wife or partner as more important to their quality of life than material, self-fulfilling or purely sexual concerns.
Harmonious family life? Good health? Being self-reliant and feeling like your life is led with honor? These are the things men consider cornerstones of masculinity? Yeah, pretty toxic, I’d say.
Okay, so let’s get back to the study about sexual coercion/seduction. 40% of men report that women attempted to kiss and/or fondle them and escalate that activity into full-blown sex. Now, if a woman wants to see if a man is interested in sex, I’d say planting a kiss and sliding your hands under his shirt (assuming there was some kind of indication of mutual attraction) is an excellent way to test the waters further. Be prepared for rejection, but hey, give it a shot?
The question the survey does not ask is why the men were not interested in further sexual activity. It’s almost as if the researchers were mystified that men can be and are frequently uninterested in sex with a particular woman. I’d be curious about the factors that led to men rejecting sexual advances from women. Not curious that they would reject advances, but curious about why. Does it violate their sense of honor and respectability? Do they find sexually aggressive women unappealing? Does the woman’s attractiveness or lack thereof factor into their response? Do they not like the feeling of being hunted? Just not in the mood for girl shit right now? There are so many possibilities that could give great insight into men as human beings rather than “emotionless dickbots”, as one Jezebel writer so kindly refers to them as.
An interesting finding is that the experience of sexual coercion does not lead to self-esteem issues for men the way it typically does for women. The researchers theorize that “sexual victimization might not impact males’ self-perceptions in the same way that it does for women, and instead may be inadvertently consistent with expectations of masculinity and sexual desire”. They go on to suggest that sexual validation from women is a key part of masculine identity, even though men themselves report no such thing.
I have an entirely different theory as to why the experience of sexual coercion does not impact men’s self-perceptions and it has to do with men’s sense of agency and responsibility. Any man that allows himself to be sexually coerced, in the absence of serious, life-threatening harm (which most women would be hard-pressed to deliver) never loses sight of the fact that he made a call and it wasn’t a particularly great one. Agreeing to have sex (being coerced) even when you really don’t want to might be a bad decision, but it’s still his decision.
Contrast that with women, who will make the exact same bad decision in the exact same scenario, and then look around for someone to blame. Both the man and the woman are at a party, both are approached by opposite sex partners, both receive passionate kisses and both are fondled. Both agree to sexual activity even though neither one is interested in that.
The man wakes up and thinks “Well that was stupid. I’m not doing that again.”
The woman wakes up and thinks, “Oh my god, I’ve been raped!”
It comes down to agency. Do you make your own decisions or do you not? Are you an adult capable of resisting coercive strategies or are you not? Can you make a bad decision and still understand that it was your decision to make? Can you make a bad decision and resolve to make better ones in the future, or are you transformed into a snivelling ball of snot incapable of even contemplating your own complicity?
Who is accountable for your choices? You? Or someone else?
And there you have the main difference between men and women who have experienced sexual coercion. He gives in but never fails to understand he made the choice to give in. She gives in and wants to punish her male partner for her decision, because she can’t handle the responsibility for her own choices.
It’s really pathetic.
When feminists peddle their “rape culture” and “toxic masculinity” they are really attempting to reframe our whole culture so that men are responsible actors accountable for their own choices, while women are helpless victims who cannot be held responsible for theirs, but can instead pass that responsibility onto men. And it’s patriarchy that infantilizes women, is it?
Lovely. As an adult woman perfectly capable of making my own choices and living with the consequences of those choices, just like all the other adults around me must do, I’d really appreciate it if feminists would stop trying to “help me”.
I have my own five year old to deal with. I don’t care to be treated like one myself.
Lots of love,