The message I hope men get from this video is that they should not tolerate such comments from other men and be fully involved in the battle against this sort of attitude which has no place in today’s supposedly evolved society. (See below for context of this ad in the UK)
I grew up in a family situation where talk about sex was snarky, where comments about women were demeaning. When complaining about my mother’s peeping-tom boyfriend she would call me viscous and whore, which were words I did not understand. I understand what it is like to grow up in a place that blames women for the lewdness and vile actions of men. Such an education made me a ‘pervert’ starting at a young age (when I would have been just happy not having to deal with adult topics or sexuality) and it took me decades to develop a healthy sex life.
Now, as an adult woman involved in raising boys I understand that I also have a huge part to play in educating them in a positive and non-judgmental way about sex and women.
Emotionally mature and sexually educated men are a great gift to women 🙂
We need to shift from telling women not to get raped to telling men (who are the problem) that they have an important role to play in fostering a society where responsible sexual freedom flourishes and women are not victimized in the process. We are at a juncture in history where we must get together and end the cycle of violence (verbal, physical and sexual) against women in our Western society so that we may save the future of all man and womankind.
While I enjoy tremendous freedom as a polyamorous life hacker and dominatrix, I realize that I do not live is a sexually free society. Over the last 100 years, women have gone from being considered ‘non-humans’ to attaining a sort of liberation. The cost of this liberation is immense. Women may seem free to do as they please but have to endure endless criticism about the attractiveness of every part of their body, face ageism and wage discrimination in a society that still expects them to be twice as good and work twice as hard, while looking great, to merely fit into a world still rules by greedy rich old white men. Women may be free but they remain objects and products to a large sector of the male population.
I started thinking about these issues while writing promotional material for a self-defense class for women. Self-defense classes today do not address the reality that 97% of women who report rape or sexual assault knew their attacker. In most cases it is the romantic partner or date who victimizes a woman. Yet regular self-defense still teaches women how not to get mugged in a alley because if a woman gets victimized while on a date or during sex that becomes non-consensual, then she “was asking for it”. It became soul killing for me to sell self-protection to women when it is men who are the problem so I shifted my thought process to figure out a way to teach men how not to rape and I might be on to something that is positive, fun and in-line with my appreciation of men.
One important aspect of sex education that might be missing from the curriculum is teaching teens how to identify and not tolerate misogynistic speech and behavior around them. Right now, however, we are seeing the pendulum of sexism swing dangerously in the misandry direction. Negative speech about men abounds in ads and tv shows and it’s creating a divisive situation (for profit) that might infect a generation and make it harder to attain true equality of the sexes.
Another important step in educating young people to create a society where they enjoy a life of sexual knowledge, sexual quality and sexual happiness is misinformation. The lack of quality sex education in the past 20 years, or rather ‘abstinence only’ education, creates a wide open place for misinformation about sexuality. On one side, peer-to-peer education lacks context and facts. On the other, pornography is completely devoid of useful sex information. In the culture of porn one-upmanship actors perform to a sexual script that isn’t pleasurable to either participant. Also, for some reason porn producers have decided to package most everything they do as a product that infantilizes, demeans and victimizes women. I can see how creating a product that is highly addictive and captivating while harming the viewer’s self-confidence and reducing his ability to communicate with women is a wicked brilliant business plan… but it is hardly useful to us women.
I can attest with authority that men DO enjoy the intimate company of strong intelligent women who do not dress like teenagers. Usually, these are the same men who consume little to no porn and have well-aligned priorities. And, I am not down on all adult entertainment because intellectually challenging and emotionally mature ‘porn’ is awesome.
But back to the topic of sexual education…
The UK is WAY ahead of us on sex ed but only as a an urgent reaction to being the worst off country in Europe when it comes to STIs and teen pregnancies. Add legendary UK teen heavy drinking and drugs to the mix and you get the new reality of rape and assault which is that over 97% of women are assaulted by someone they know (NOTE: The same percentage of women report knowing their attacker in Canada and the US) Because there is a very low number of actual criminally insane serial rapists in the world compared to the growing number of crimes reported, it means that rape happens at a juncture of immaturity, impaired judgment, lack of education, misogynistic attitude, carelessness and stupidity and it is entirely preventable through a change in attitude and though education starting in high school.
Blaming women for rape is akin to saying rape is unpreventable and therefore it removes the blame from men who rape. It is wrong.
All of us have to figure out ways to fix this situation together here in the West. Then, and only then, we will not have the maturity and strength to help women and girls in developing countries recover from the violence of war and genocide and prosper. Else we are ALL fucked.