The Ring Thing

Libby Anne over at the Freethought blog Love, Joy, Feminism writes a really excellent post about the perception of men and sexuality that she grew up with:

Growing up, I was taught that there was one thing guys my age would want from me: sex. Because that’s, you know, all guys ever want from girls. I was taught that guys only think about one thing: sex. I was extremely confused by this at first because the “guys only want one thing from girls” and “guys only ever think about one thing” rhetoric began before I even knew what sex was. [...]

As I grew older, I was also taught that one of the reasons it’s important to remain a virgin until marriage was that if I had sex with a beau before bringing him to the alter, he would have gotten everything he was after anyway and would leave me and never tie the knot. Because, you know, all he wanted – the whole point of him dating or courting me – was to have sex with me. Only by holding out until after the wedding could I convince a guy to marry me.

Speaking as a man, one thing that really annoys me about the “purity ring” crowd is their low opinion of men. One thing that irritates me more are men who embrace this low opinion in order to absolve themselves of the responsibility to act like functioning adults. And the one thing that irritates me the most are people who use this stereotype as a justification of strict codes of conduct for women so they don’t tempt their “weaker brothers.” Grow the hell up, all of you.

Meet The Wife
Atheists in the Evangelical Mind
Where the Fire Comes From
Purity in Mississippi
  • swimr1

    Love this. You sound a lot like my husband. He never grew up with any religious training but the Promise Keepers ministry used to drive him nuts. Why would there need to be a huge organization for the purpose of helping men keep their promises? Can’t they do it on their own?

    • UrsaMinor

      Oh, you know the drill. Menz is weak, women should avoid tempting them, except in ways that lead a man to get so desperate for sex that he considers marriage. Et tedious cetera, ad nauseum.

      It’s a very strange planet that we live on.

      • Michael Mock

        Fortunately men are inherently suited to leadership, so they can set limits on the wimmenz who might otherwise tempt their weak and sinful selves.

  • vasaroti

    Excellent points. The whole “supply & demand” concept poisons relationships.

  • Julie42

    It always surprises me seeing topics like this posted here. People respect women? On the internet??

    I’ve noticed that some guys seem to enjoy the whole “we think about sex ten million times a day” idea. It’s so easy for a guy to be told that he thinks a certain way (more logically, objectively, and of course sexually) and that women just aren’t able to think that way, so they pride themselves with that knowing that women will just never understand.
    Meanwhile, we’re being told that we don’t want sex, which seems really weird when you really want sex. But I didn’t really talk about it with my friends because I didn’t want them to think I was weird and I would hate to find out that I was the only girl who wanted sex. It’s funny though, with both my relationships, I get the impression that I want sex way more than some guys do. But you know…I totally just want it to feel loved; it’s not like I actually like the feeling or anything…that would be sinful…

    • Azel

      I don’t see the problem with people respecting women in the Internet: anonymity may mean some will be inclined to be assholes because the social pressure not to be isn’t here, but some will be inclined to be more respectful for the same reason, others will be respectful anonymity or not…Internet is not the den of disrespect, violence and criminality some people think it is.

      Why in the nine hells should you give excuses about wanting sex ? It doesn’t invade every moment of your life to the point you’re unable to function in society ? It doesn’t entails raping or assaulting people ? If yes to both, well don’t shame yourself because of that…but the part about wanting it only to feel loved is a bit disturbing, perhaps sex is not the answer but an escape from other problems.

      And why should you worry about sex possibly being pleasurable ? Why shouldn’t you appreciate your life in this Earth ? It is sad to treat this life as something to be suffered through rather than enjoyed.

      • UrsaMinor

        Irony detection fail, if I’m not greatly mistaken.

        • Julie42

          Haha yes, quite.
          Don’t worry, Azel, I have no problem with women being respected on the internet and I don’t give excuses about wanting sex. I was being completely sarcastic about only wanting sex to feel loved because I was always taught that that’s the only reason women ever want sex.

          • Azel

            UrsaMinor was not mistaken and I don’t worry, it was a long day…In retrospect, I should have waited the end of the day before responding, I would have had a better shot at detecting irony.

          • UrsaMinor

            Maybe if someone had correctly informed me that women do want sex, I wouldn’t have turned to men.

            Homosexuality is all the purity movement’s fault.

            • vorjack

              There’s a reason you weren’t told. The rest of us don’t want the competition.

            • Bill

              “Homosexuality is all the purity movement’s fault.”

              This may be the greatest line ever. We should have T-shirts made.

    • zach


      I get that. I enjoy sex less then most girls I know. I enjoy it, but I really just want to feel close to someone more than anything. Sex sometimes gets in the way of that which is frustrating.

      • FO

        I’m joining Zach here.

        I discovered late that women want sex as much if not more than men.
        This accounts for a decent part of my being fucked up.

        • Julie42

          Yeah, how did the gender that can have multiple orgasms somehow become defined as the one that doesn’t like sex?

          I guess it does get confusing when there are still plenty of women out there who have never been able to orgasm and then there are others who can’t stop…

          • Elemenope

            Yeah, let me tell you that guys are wicked jealous about the whole multiple orgasm thing. Sure, political, social, and fiscal power and control is great, and menstruation seems from out here to be a real bummer, but…multiple orgasms.

            • Julie42

              You know, it’s pretty great to know that there’s at least *something* in life where I get the better end of the deal.

  • JohnMWhite

    Amen, vorjack.

    Being raised Catholic and going to a Catholic school, I received a steady diet of “sex is sinful” coupled with “you have testicles so all you want is sex”. I found the latter simply was not true; I enjoyed the company of certain young women and while I would have enjoyed dating some of them, sex was just not on my mind as the end-game. I loathed the concept of relationships as a game or a transaction anyway, and it has long made my skin crawl that marriage is often portrayed as a bargain struck between a woman’s genitals and a man’s life. It does no favours to either gender, but I imagine that’s the point when it comes from a tradition that considers humans to be inherently sinful for reasons outside of their own control.

    I found most fellow students embraced the idea that all males ever wanted from relationships was sex, but they didn’t buy that it was sinful (at least not to an extent that they’d feel guilty). The odd thing was that rebelling against the idea that men were sex machines was met with far stronger resistance, such as the implication that if you did not want sex, you were gay (which was, of course, sinful).

  • Noelle

    Yes. It’s a religious idea that does no one any good. And is there any question that men aren’t romantic saps? Poetry, love songs, art over the desire for love, the found love, the lost love, the unrequited love, the love that did you wrong. It wouldn’t be nearly as deep and complex and beautiful and tragic if it were only for some sex. Y’all is in it as deep as us ladies.

    • UrsaMinor

      But I thought claiming that we menz are nothing but shallow, hormone-driven animals gave us plausible deniability, or something like that.

      • Noelle

        Can’t have it both ways. Best to admit to being fully human.

  • LRA

    LOL! I subverted the whole “why buy the cow when you get the milk for free” thing years ago by deciding to be easy.

    That’s right. I’m easy.

    That being said, I’m also PICKY. I will only sleep with guys that are perceived by me to be HAWT. It’s even better if the guy intelligent and funny. In fact, most guys I think are HAWT are intelligent and funny (but not always).

    By being easy, I can weed through the guys that only want sex from me– I find out right away rather than wasting a month or two being coy. I have to say– very few guys never call me again. In fact, I tend to end up in relationships.

    For the record– if you read the thread where I talked about being cheated on, you may remember that in my anger at being cheated on, I took a guy home the same night I found out about the cheating. Yeah– that guy is still calling me.

    “Guys only want one thing” is total bunk.

    • Elemenope

      Guys don’t want one thing. Guys want everything. :)

      • LRA

        I admit, everything is nice. ;)

  • VoidWalker

    My family never really did the church thing very much. I was sent to Sunday school – alone. But, while my mom wasn’t any too good about conveying what the God thing was supposed to be all about (neither was Sunday school, come to that), one thing she really spent a tremendous time drilling into me was that guys have absolutely no interest in women at all, save for sex. I was forbidden to date on those grounds. Though, in my case it was a moot point, because my experience of high school was that the only interest the guys ever had in me was bullying and ruthless ridicule.

    So, yeah. I’m pretty deeply screwed up. I’m single, and I get no sense that guys have the slightest interest in me.

    • Custador

      I think what bugs me the most is that treat the symptom approach; “Gee, something about how we raise our menfolk turns them into irresponsible date-rape machines – What are we gonna do? I KNOW! Let’s give all the girls promise rings!”

      Now, personally, if I have sons, I intend to solve this problem by raising them to NOT be irresponsible date-rape machines. Radical thinking, I know.

    • JohnMWhite

      I feel your pain. I had similar issues in high school, and it did not help that any attempt to demonstrate that I, as a guy, was interested in something beyond sex somehow made getting a date even more impossible. After all, a guy who doesn’t want to have sex with the two or three girls at the top of the tree is obviously gay, right?

      You might be surprised though, guys often have an interest in somebody that they keep to themselves out of fear. There are lots of reasons for that fear, and I suppose the end result is the same – no dates. One would think that these slavering sex machines that men are portrayed to be would easily overcome such fears and insecurities in their quest to have as much sex as possible, but that’s clearly not always the case.

  • Sue Blue

    Great post! I, too, have wondered why more men don’t see how this attitude toward women and sex not only demeans women, but makes men out to be nothing more than testicle-driven penile dowsing rods.

    I remember having plenty of friends of both sexes as a child and preteen. I remember our mixed groups riding bikes, building forts, and playing with all kinds of toys without worrying too much about whether they were “girl” toys or “boy” toys. I was kind of a tomboy growing up in a rural area where girls drove tractors and could shoot and fish as well as boys. This changed dramatically when I hit puberty. All of a sudden, it wasn’t kosher to spend time in Mike’s basement playing with model trains, or out in the woods with Dennis in the fort. Doing that at nine was okay; at twelve it made you a slut. All of a sudden, boys weren’t to be trusted. My mom literally told me “they’ll smell blood on you”. It was as if they were tomcats and I was in heat. I was told that all men were the same. I have to say it really warped not only my teen relationships but my view of my parent’s relationship as well. I also started getting the message that no matter how well I might drive or fix machines or do at math and science or sports, I was still just a girl whose only god-ordained purpose in life was as a (married!) receptacle, incubator and household appliance.

    Thankfully, the message didn’t take hold permanently, and today I not only have been married for 23 years, but also have good friendships with men that have nothing to do with sex but have everything to do with interests, viewpoints, and respect. I went out of my way to avoid giving my son and daughter harmful sexual attitudes as they were growing up, and both of them became happy, successful adults with close friends of both sexes.

  • Nelly

    my father was a part-time Presbyterian so it wasn’t so much a religious thing that caused him to be a full-time misogynist.

    Anywho, after the “all guys want from you” talk I had in my early teens, I got what he would call his “sex talk”………….here it is in a nutshell:

    “you won’t like it, it’s going to hurt, but it’s your duty as a wife”

    well, after the first time DID hurt, that screwed me up for another several years….

    thank dog for therapy!

  • Mahousniper

    On the flip side, I’ve always felt a bit out of place because I really don’t care that much about sex. Don’t get me wrong, sex is awesome, but it’s really not that big of a deal for me. Yet I’m constantly told that because I’m a man, I must want sex at all times and I need to try to bang as many chicks as I can and whatnot.

    I feel that if I was gay, I’d actually be a lot more comfortable with relationships. Fortunately, we all know it’s a choice.

    • Kodie

      There’s another thing that happens if you aren’t religious and sex isn’t confined to the narrow definitions. I feel comparatively repressed or made to feel as though my natural course of behavior is shockingly repressed, as though I were hyper-religious now or could not find my way out of a religiously repressed upbringing and relative attitudes about sex.

      I don’t care what you all do with your parts and to whom, but from where I sit, people (men and women) on either side of the religion barrier think and talk about sex way more than I do. I don’t really remember any of the attitudes I was raised with. I know my mom’s old-fashioned about a lot of things, and she didn’t want me to be too grown-up too fast, she was worried mostly about that in my early teens, and she didn’t have a lot to worry about with me. But I can’t remember learning a single thing (at home or at school) about sex and what to expect or whether guys were naturally inclined to be horndogs or girls were supposed to be pure until marriage. The most that ever got said about that was a strong message to girls to not let a boy pressure you into doing anything you didn’t want to do. Nobody said every boy only wants sex and you have to keep him from having any. The message was pretty healthy not to let anyone pressure you, and that worked fine for me, beyond sex, to drugs, drinking, reckless driving, skipping school, etc. I feel that it might be important to add that my mother, who is not the sharpest tack, and was fairly authoritarian in parenting style, never used the phrase, “because I’m your mother, that’s why.” For as long as I remember, she always gave (her) good reasons not to do something, even if it was “I don’t want to have to identify your corpse in the morgue, that’s why,” or “Come home at [hour] so I am not worried about you all night and can go to sleep,” and it seemed fair that she was even willing to be on the alert as late as she said I could stay out until. I never went through an “immortal hedonistic teen” phase; I think the choices I made were mine, in consideration for my mother’s concerns, and perhaps overly cautious that I would make it out of my teens alive. A pregnant classmate or two, a drunk driving accident killing 4 of my classmates and paralyzing a 5th, pretty obvious this stuff was serious and I should pay attention and not get immersed with the wrong people or vulnerable to pressure to take serious chances with my own life.

    • UrsaMinor

      I care about sex, and it’s a big deal for me. I have a reasonably high libido.

      I don’t assume that it’s because I’m a guy, or that everyone should desire the same amount of sex that I do, or that they’re abnormal if they want a lot more or or a lot less.

      In my experience, both men and women are all over the map in this regard. That seems pretty unsurprising, given how varied we are as individuals in other areas of life.

      Quotas on sexual desire, especially gender-based prescriptive ones, seem ridiculous to me. People should have as much or as little sex as they find satisfying.

  • Johan

    What I *really* don’t get with the “guys only want sex” theory is the idea that holding out until the wedding is a good strategy to deal with (supposedly) sex-crazed young men.

    I mean, if sex is the only thing a boy want, wouldn’t he ditch you for a more willing girl if you make it clear that sex is three years and a wedding away? Shouldn’t the best way to keep him on a leash be to actually give him some?

    • UrsaMinor

      What I find amusing is that the current myth that men are the more carnal gender and all they want is sex is the exact opposite of the earlier myth it replaced, which was that women are the more carnal gender and all they want is sex.

      Yup. In the past couple of hundred years, we’ve done a 180 on the topic.

      Both myths have been taken to be self-evidently true in their own time and culture.

      • Kodie

        As I tried to and spun around the point below, it might be a damaging effect on cultural attitudes that came from religion. I don’t know all through history, religion reflects a lot from culture, and I think in most cultures, there’s been a singular religious majority. These days it is that women are “marriage-hunting.” All they care about is stealing a man from his natural proclivities, it’s their job to settle them down, blamed for trapping men into marriage via unexpected pregnancies (for which there used to be no effective prevention), etc., and a man’s job to avoid it. To be relieved when she gets her period, to slip out and give a fake number, to move onto the next conquest, etc. Men don’t trust women to take their pills, men don’t think women don’t want to get pregnant on purpose.

        I’ve found that although this is not completely true, it is culturally true enough. People believe it enough to act as though it is true, and to play dating games accordingly. Women dress to allow a good show of the goods, they dress for each other, and they dress to allow a man his ego as provider and protector. It’s been my experience that men don’t actually appreciate a pain in the ass who doesn’t bring her own coat and wears uncomfortable shoes (and needs to be carried), but these behaviors persist as people navigate if not toward the love of their life, at least tonight.

        Just recently I heard for the very first time that men don’t like it if a woman pays half. Some men appreciate the gesture but feel that a woman isn’t interested if she doesn’t defer to let him pay the full check for dinner. I heard this from a guy in his mid-20s who is not a Christian, nor very or any religious at all and extremely smart in science. There’s always been that “catch” that dinner equals sex, especially a nicer restaurant, and if the woman reacts by offering to pay her half – to me, she is setting herself apart by not being dependent. Men actually need her to at least put on a show of being dependent. A woman does not want to feel obligated to have sex afterwards. A man sees that she doesn’t follow the rules to have dinner for sex later – presumes she has already decided she’s never having sex with him. No matter how well dinner went and how stimulating the conversation was and how compatible and flirty you both were, this one transaction is apparently the signal. You’re in or you’re out, so don’t pine, she paid her half, this means move on.

        I, for one, cannot believe we’re all still playing these stupid games.

        • UrsaMinor

          Your post triggered a flashback for me. Newspaper etiquette column, circa 1968. If a woman is having a dinner in a restaurant with a man and for some unavoidable reason she is the one who is going to be paying the bill, she should phone or visit the restaurant ahead of time, explain the situation to the manager, and give him sufficient money to cover the anticipated bill so that when the actual dinner happens, her companion will not be embarrassed in public, as it would be terribly ego-wounding for him to be seen letting a woman pick up the check.

          I kid you not. Even back in 1968, that seemed a little Neanderthal.

    • Kodie

      I think in that case, according to legend, guys put women into two categories. Yes, he might be willing to wait for you to have sex with him 3 years from now after you’re married. He might be prone to the same message and never had sex and want to marry you right away. Mistaking sexual tension for true love. Guys who just can’t help themselves (as they’re taught) might want to marry you 3 years from now when you’re ready, and maybe not tell you he’s having sex with other people. It’s kind of “nice” in a sense that they are expanding the purity to boys as well as girls, but less nice, in that who you think you’re going to marry when you’re 16 and have sex for the first time, is probably not who you’re going to marry. If you get married first, young, you still are under the influence of those overwhelming teen hormones of true love 4ever before you have sex. A guy, I’ve heard, respects when women make them wait. They have some sort of ego built in with their horniness – they appreciate a lot of sex, but if the woman has sex with them without discerning their character, they very likely have sex without discerning a lot of other men’s characters. They don’t want to marry this woman, they want a virgin. So it is ok for them to find sex with some women and marry another. They don’t want their virgin wife to have experience due to their ego, not just in competition with other men for sex, but that she doesn’t know any different. She can’t discern your sexual inadequacies or compare the size of your penis with anyone else. This covers all your angles, all your sex-seeking natural angles. She might get lucky and you are very good and your penis is very large, but she will be of the mind that you are already the best, the one whom she has saved herself for, and a miracle god gives to married people.

      Mostly what bothers me about “purity” is that it attempts to own sexual pleasure according to god’s will away from other people – gay people and single people over a certain age. Sexual purity is prominent in certain religious leaders besides. What bothers me about admitting the masculine nature is totally at the command of their genital responses is to put the responsibility for purity on the women. Women are to blame for the “fallen” state, where humans resemble ordinary animals in their drives to survive, eat, and procreate, and men are given a pass. We’re fallen, there’s nothing you can do about it. But women have to cover up, women have to rise to the occasion and keep men on the Christian path of sexual purity outside marriage. Our whole society is kind of warped already. We don’t all need to be Christian for some of these attitudes that I’ve mentioned to be taken for granted, for men are only after one thing (sex), we have to make sure little girls grow up into women who are wedding-crazy, and possibly make terrible choices because they are infantilized and need to be a princess. Still, marriage is seen (whatever one’s attitudes on sex or sexuality are) as the goal. People who reach a particular age without having been married are seen as damaged and unfulfilled, and I can’t help but think this comes back to sin also – if you’re gay, you can’t get married (well, now, in some places, you finally can). If you’re not gay, you are still beholden to your sexual urges and couldn’t possibly be a virgin (nor do I think one should, but that’s beside the point), and so must be having escapades that do not “go anywhere.” The cultural acceptance for sexual singles really only goes up to a certain age, beyond which if you haven’t found someone, you’re never going to, as if the determined goal of all humankind is a monogamous eternal relationship. The picture does not match reality – if you’re a single man, you’re choosy and you’re allowed to be a tomcat bachelor lifestyle; if you’re a single woman, you’re tasked early with being super-choosy, super-vigilant of letting anyone in the temple, and later cast as being too choosy and too damaged to be chosen.

  • Nathan

    I’m guessing you’ve never had a teenage daughter? I can’t really say I agree with this as it applies to teenagers. To men, perhaps. Boys…absolutely not. This, coming from a father of one 15 year old daughter in high school. Believe me, teaching my daughter about what most boys “really want” is not something I’m about to change because frankly, it’s the truth (I’ve seen enough texts and Facebook comments to last me a lifetime, AND I remember what it was to be a young man as well).

    • Custador

      Perhaps if the fathers of teenage boys taught their offspring better, you wouldn’t feel the need to take such measures?

      • Nathan

        It would be nice, yes. But unfortunately people are gonna do what they’re gonna do. My job is to help her avoid the pitfalls. I’ve always told her to “think with your head and not with your heart.” That seems to keep a decent balance to oppose the “follow your heart” crowd.

        Still, I can never be absolutely sure my method is going to be the best. I’m just trudging along like most parents hoping she doesn’t grow up and resent me because I didn’t prepare her. After all, you can say all you want, but kids don’t always take their parents advice.

        • Kodie

          If you teach her about STDs and pregnancy prevention, it will help her make better decisions. The biggest “danger” that we speak about sex to teenagers (girls) seems to me to be that boys will just use you, or if you give them what they want, they will talk and it will embarrass you. Those social dangers are real, only because they exist, not because they are right. I think it would be easier if everyone had the more appropriate socialization, but they don’t. Sexual activity need not be devastating. Love is something else. Nobody talks too much about love, they are just worried about sex. I don’t know what it’s like to be a teenager today, but in my day (the 80s), if the guy talked about you, since all the other guys were horny and not just looking to score, but about their image as well, they would hit up the sure thing. The best thing to teach her is to keep her head straight. If she thinks she’s in love with a guy, she will probably want to.

          What I think about the teenage years is that it’s a time of physical changes and intellectual growth. Well-balanced adults do not come from stunting teenage delusions of true love confused with lust. In the very old days, a father was in charge of his daughter’s doings and needed to have a sure virgin to offer an eligible bachelor, at a very young age, about the age when she’d start to feel like it was time anyway. Consider in your mind if you knew of a great guy to marry your daughter off to right now. It’s weird, right?

          What you want to do is make sure you have the optimal communication that you can have. Teenage years are to make mistakes! I think the worst mistake is to get pregnant. I think that is worse than high school embarrassment. A good thing to think about as far as high school is that the nerds will own the jocks someday. I’m pro-choice that doesn’t mean pro-abortion, I don’t know how you feel, but my mother insisted on my abortion. The best is to prevent even the slightest delusion that a teenage girl wants to get pregnant on purpose. I think that idea comes from needing love, and feeling such deep delusions of teenage love without having a concept of time enough to do that. I hope that’s not what you’re up against.

          I hate so much to give parenting advice not knowing your situation, I know it’s often unwelcome, but I also have been a child and a teenager. I think the difficulties come from a lapse in the ability to communicate. If you’re strict, it might or might not work, depending on how scared they already are of you. I don’t count that as a positive. You want to be open to allowing exploration, but informative that she has plenty of time to meet the right person. Just because guys (might) suck, you don’t do her any favors by locking her up in a tower and chaste. It’s not your choice, it’s her choice. Teach her how to stay out of the pitfalls.

    • Julie42

      This probably isn’t what you want to hear about your daughter, but she probably wants sex just as much as the boys she knows. Girls just learn to be much more ashamed about it.
      I remember in high school, we would talk about sex all the time, but it was like a taboo to talk about your own desire for sex. We’ll also think plenty of dirty thoughts, we’re just not as comfortable saying them out loud. We’re taught to feel like sluts if we’re too sexual; boys are taught that they’re gay if they’re not. Girls have to hide their sexual feelings; boys have to prove them.
      Definitely teach her the dangers of the guys who do just want one thing or the guys that feel the need to prove themselves and score as many times as they can. But try to focus more on the positives and remind her of the qualities of a good guy who wants her for her because they exist too!

    • Noelle

      My little girl is 10 years younger than yours, and I worry about her too. She already has a fan club of moony-eyed smiling little boys. I picked he up from school last month and she gave one of them a hug. Kid beamed. I don’t have any say in how their parents are raising them, but in her I hope to encourage critical thinking, independence, openness, and a detailed medical description on how every form of contraception works and how to get it. And I don’t want her thinking she has to marry the first guy she has sex with. ’cause if that guy is a loser, I want her dropping him without guilt or chlamydia

      Ugh. I am not looking forward to that. She’s so little and sweet right now

      • Custador

        I never needed detailed medical instructions; my mother’s stern and heart-felt injunction that “If you get a girl pregnant, I will personally staple a condom to you” was always enough for me!

        • Mogg

          Short, to the point, and effective :-)

        • Noelle

          I like it.

  • Bertrand T Russell

    I have a ring that says: ”Stick your tongue in”

  • Nox

    The piece by Libby Anne was excellent. Everyone who gets the chance should check it out.

    Our society is full of harmful idiotic expectations of what a woman should be and what a man should be. Women are told to behave in certain ways because that is what men are supposed to want. Men are told to want certain things because that is what men are supposed to want. Much of the behavior that men are told to consider manly could only possibly result in objectification of women. The “Madonna/Whore” meme hurts everyone. The “Mindless Penis Monster” meme helps no one.

    Any objective analysis of these matters would have to say women get the worst of this by far.

    But it makes us all a little less human.