The Lady Garden

Tea and Strumpets

This is why it is important

A couple of days ago, I discovered a long-buried comment telling me men would like me more, if only I “knew my place”. Let me tell you something, my anonymous friend, men like me fine. Were that where my self worth comes from, I’d be doing OK.

And this weekend, I will be marching with some of my favourites. The ones who agree that women don’t ask to be raped, whether with their clothing, their attitudes, or words. They understand that it isn’t just women who are raped, nor that stranger rape is the most common. They aren’t just coming to SlutWalk to check out all the sluts.

I love these men, and I hold them to a high standard. It’s the same standard to which I hold everyone, but it seems that it is a high standard. Because apparently all men are, at base, raping, dick-pxting assholes. Or so says one of them. I mean, it’s Scott Adams, so take it with a grain of whatever condiment you like. At least he had the decency to categorise it as  “General Nonsense”.

The part that interests me is that society is organized in such a way that the natural instincts of men are shameful and criminal while the natural instincts of women are mostly legal and acceptable. In other words, men are born as round pegs in a society full of square holes. Whose fault is that? Do you blame the baby who didn’t ask to be born male? Or do you blame the society that brought him into the world, all round-pegged and turgid, and said, “Here’s your square hole”?

The way society is organized at the moment, we have no choice but to blame men for bad behavior. If we allowed men to act like unrestrained horny animals, all hell would break loose. All I’m saying is that society has evolved to keep males in a state of continuous unfulfilled urges, more commonly known as unhappiness. No one planned it that way. Things just drifted in that direction.

Let me paraphrase:

Hey bitches ladies! You’ve castrated men! You’ve set up a society that means men have to conform to your rules, and supress their natural desires to send pictures of their bits to all and sundry. Men want to rape, monogamy is anathema, and even though we don’t blame the victim, you should know it is All Your Fault.

But don’t worry, Mr Adams has a solution.

But in general, society is organized as a virtual prison for men’s natural desires. I don’t have a solution in mind. It’s a zero sum game. If men get everything they want, women lose, and vice versa. And there’s no real middle ground because that would look like tweeting a picture of your junk with your underpants still on. Some things just don’t have a compromise solution.

Long term, I think science will come up with a drug that keeps men chemically castrated for as long as they are on it. It sounds bad, but I suspect that if a man loses his urge for sex, he also doesn’t miss it.

Chemical Castration! For all those men who can’t contain their rapacious urges. Who can’t help but break out of the virtual prison constraining their desires.

Let me tell you something, Scott. Most men can contain their desires. They don’t want to rape anyone, and they only want to send pictures of their genitalia to people who have asked for them. Also, most women don’t wish to constrain all of men’s desires. Some of us like men, and also like sex. Consensual, hot, awesome sex. Men winning does not equal women losing. But misogyny, sexism of this kind, the words you put on the internet, and have people follow, your woman (and man) hating little diatribe? That’s where we all lose.

So. All men are not rapists, and all women are not victims. And if you believe that, I hope you’ll be attending slutwalk. There will be a  full contingent of Lady Gardeners. The WYFC is holding a prewalk gathering. And if you aren’t on Facebook, here’s the details:

We will be gathering in Waitangi Park at 2pm. At 2.15pm we step off, walking along Cable Street to Civic Square. We will arrive in Civic Square at 2.45pm, where we will have a rally with speakers to talk about victim-blaming and sexual assault, wrapping up at about 3.30pm.

See you there.

20 responses to “This is why it is important

  1. Hugh June 22, 2011 at 11:41 am

    I generally agree with what you’re saying and I certainly agree that Scott Adams is a sexist dick (and a sexist dick with a massively inflated sense of his own intelligence, at that).

    But your statement that “apparently all men are, at base, raping, dick-pxting assholes” rung a little alarm bell because it looks like you’re equating sending cockpics with rape. One is always wrong, one is fine if it’s consensual. I really wish you’d send “unsolicited dick-pxting” instead.

  2. Hugh June 22, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    Yea, I realised that -after- making the comment but couldn’t figure out how to delete it. Sorry.

  3. Maria Jane Scannell June 22, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    Ah, Scott Adams. *shakes head in despair*

    Like you, I have many male friends who, shockingly, manage to contain their ~natural urges~ on a regular basis. One of them is even flying up from Christchurch with me to march on Saturday. Scott Adams would like us to believe, I thinkn, that we’ve found the anomalies. I have to believe that Scott Adams is the anomaly. He is, right?

    Also, for those who aren’t on Facebook…
    Wellington deets: http://slutwalkaotearoa.com/wellington.php
    Auckland deets: http://slutwalkaotearoa.com/auckland.php

    See you Saturday! 🙂

    • tallulahspankhead June 22, 2011 at 4:16 pm

      He really is. He has to be.

      And can I just say, Maria, thank you for all the work you’ve done. You’re amazing.

  4. muerknz June 22, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    Is this the Scott Adams who made Dilbert? Why yes. It is.

    Oh.

    Oh my.

    As a mother of four sons who will one day be men, I reject Adam’s rubbish and I have to say I’m glad I’m not his wife.

  5. Nick R June 22, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    Is there such a word as womansplaining? If so, is this blog entry an example of it?

    • tallulahspankhead June 22, 2011 at 5:46 pm

      I don’t know, Nick, is it? You seem to think so. Would you like to explain how?

    • Hugh June 23, 2011 at 3:02 am

      Nope. It’s not that women can’t be patronising or arrogant or make incorrect assumptions about the lack of knowledge of the people they’re explaining to. But mansplaining is combining all of the above with male privilege, which makes the above all much worse. So women are not capable of it.

      (Not to say that a woman isn’t capable of cis-plaining, or het-splaining, or white-splaining, or able-splaining, or plouto-splaining, which are of course just as bad)

  6. Brittany June 22, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    I totally agree with this post except for one thing- rape is not a about not being about to control your sexual desires- it is a violent assault, a weapon. It’s not ‘Whoops I’ve gone a bit overboard’ or ‘Got caught up in the moment.’

    I hope this asshole gets his dick caught in a pair of scissors. Yeah, because society totally has always historically, systemically oppressed MEN. You know, the androcentric patriarchy we in Western liberal ‘democracies’ live in- yeah, that’s biased TOWARD WOMEN. I’m so annoyed that this bastard has gotten to me.

  7. Nick R June 22, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    Well, how would you respond to a blog by a man which purports to talk knowledgeably about what “most women” think or want – in the way you just did for “most men”.

    For what it’s worth – I don’t know that “most men” do or want to do the things you say. I know I do, but that’s just me.

    • Deborah June 22, 2011 at 6:22 pm

      So let me get this straight, Nick. In most of this post, Tallulah is paraphrasing Scott Adams. The bit where she asserts something herself about men is where she suggests that most men don’t want to rape, and only send pictures of their genitals to consenting recipients. I take it that you really don’t want to contradict the former, and that you do recognise the current political significance of the latter.

      • Nick R June 22, 2011 at 6:30 pm

        I just don’t think she is any position to make either comment. How would she know what “most men” want?

        • tallulahspankhead June 22, 2011 at 6:40 pm

          You’re absolutely right. I should have said “most men don’t rape, nor send pictures of their cocks to people who don’t want to see them”. I wouldn’t presume to speak on behalf of men, anymore than I would on behalf of women.

          But please feel free to nitpick on that, instead of discussing the substantive point of the post.

          (oh, except, that you know, I presume most men don’t want to rape, because they _don’t_, and given that Adams’ female-centric view of the world is such bullshit, they could, if they wanted to, following his logic.)

  8. Max Rose June 22, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    I’ll start by saying that I haven’t read more than hints of Adams’ apparently horrible pronouncements elsewhere, and that it’s clear that by the end of these specific quotes he’s quite clearly in batshit-insane-land. But I think that some of your paraphrase is drawing a long bow.

    For instance, to go from “society is organized in such a way that the natural instincts of men are shameful and criminal” to “Men want to rape” is quite a leap. To me, the first statement says that men, if they could, would have sex with all sorts of women all the time. It doesn’t say that men want to rape them (though it depends upon how literally one takes that “criminal”). To the vast majority of us, sex with someone who doesn’t actively want to have sex with us is unsatisfying at best and a horrifying thought at worst. We don’t want to rape: we want to be wanted.

    Also, to go from “a drug that keeps men chemically castrated … if a man loses his urge for sex, he also doesn’t miss it” to “Chemical Castration! For all those men who can’t contain their rapacious urges. Who can’t help but break out of the virtual prison constraining their desires” misses something else that he said: “society has evolved to keep males in a state of continuous unfulfilled urges, more commonly known as unhappiness”. I don’t read it as saying that men can’t control their urges, and that chemical castration was the only way to stop men fulfilling their natural urge to rape. Rather, that most men _do_ have self control, and _can_ contain their desires: it’s just that it leads to sexual frustration and misery.

    I don’t entirely disagree with that. Where I think he goes wrong (okay, one of many ways where he goes disastrously wrong) is where he says “society is organized in such a way that the natural instincts of men are shameful and criminal while the natural instincts of women are mostly legal and acceptable”. Instead, I’d simplify that to “society is organized in such a way that the natural instincts of *people* are shameful and criminal”, because I don’t believe that the imposition of lifelong monogamy is a healthy or natural thing for anyone. To simplify massively, women are told that they shouldn’t want sex except as part of a committed long-term relationship; while men are told on the one hand that they should want to have wild random sex, but on the other hand that they’re filthy, sleazy bastards for wanting it.

    His definition of “society” is one-sided. He recognises that it includes religious and legal sanctions against promiscuity and polyamory, standard rom-com plotlines whereby wayward men are saved by the love of a good woman, self-help books that tell women how to snare a man for marriage, Gale Dines and a slew of tired baby-boomer columnists saying that meh, women don’t really like sex. But he ignores that “society” also includes Hugh Hefner, lad mags, rugby league and petaybtes of porn, all telling us that men should be studs and women are all constantly up for it. He overstates the “natural instinct” of men towards promiscuity: even if I think that any man who tells you he never lusts after anyone other than his partner is either saintly, unusually uxorious or a liar, I also believe that most men do indeed want love and intimacy as well as sex. He also overstates the “natural instincts” of women towards monogamy: I know many lovely women who are as rapaciously sexual as any “unrestrained horny animal”, and many more who would presumably be more open with their desires if it wasn’t for societal pressure and the very real power and risk imbalances in sexual relationships.

    Perhaps what he’s hoping for is a society where men and women are both free to enjoy unconstrained, no-strings-attached sex without being told that they’re dirty, depraved or “afraid of commitment”, where polyamory could be seen as a natural option rather than a sad joke about suburban swingers, and where people are happy to declare the fact that they enjoy porn, kink and the untrammeled exploration of their desires. But he’s bought into the myth (often reinforced by many sex-negative feminists as well as the conservative elements of “society”) that all women want is to settle down for a monogamous happy-ever-after. And thus he’s bought into a kind of misogyny that also turns into self-loathing, since he seems to believe that the only way to find relief from his horndog instincts is to have them chemically expunged from his profane body and mind. That’s sad, confused, ill-informed, essentialist and demeaning to both men and women, but it’s not quite the same as saying that all men want to rape.

    [P.S. sorry for being rampantly heteronormative throughout my comment, but there are a whole lot of other dynamics involved in other sexualities, and heterosexual dynamics were the focus of the quotes]

    • Emma June 22, 2011 at 6:30 pm

      Yeah, the heterocentricity is Adams’s, there are clearly no LGBT people in his world. That happens pretty much always when you’re dealing with evo-psych.

      • Max Rose June 22, 2011 at 6:35 pm

        He’s mostly just self-centred: he’s a straight man, wondering why he doesn’t get to have casual sex with straight women, so anyone else just doesn’t come into it.

    • Moz June 24, 2011 at 10:15 am

      Scott Adamas is almost always sad, self-centred and essentialist. Read his ramblings about free will some time. I stopped reading his blog because he so rarely has new content rather than just rehashing the same ill-informed rubbish. He’s not only misgynist, he’s misanthropic and misandrist as well (I read the post linked as misandrist more than misogynist, FWIW).

  9. mezziekins June 22, 2011 at 9:54 pm

    the phrasing of this is a bit ambiguous – ‘All men are not rapists, and all women are not victims.’
    some men are rapists! some women are victims! (also, some men are victims, and some women are rapists. but i digress)
    ‘all x are not y’ implies that NONE of x are y.. ie that no men are rapists and no women are victims! which is silly! so it should be ‘not all men are rapists, and not all women are victims’, or ‘men are not all rapists, and women are not all victims’. just a little niggle on an otherwise good post 🙂

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