Standing In The Gap Of The Real And Perceived
Roxanne Jones, a woman who has apparently made her mark in sports journalism, recently posted a column on CNN‘s website concerning the motherly advice she gave her son when he left for college. Her advice to him was simple, best summed up as, “Beware the cray-crays. Here are a few hundred condoms to get you by. Just get a text confirmation from the girl before you have sex.” This is the same woman who, speaking about crass uses for texting back in July, quotes relationship author Michael Masters saying, “Texting is not the place for anything serious.”
Now, obviously I have a different view of sexuality than Ms. Jones, but every woman I knew in college considered penetration of her vagina a pretty serious matter. I don’t know; maybe vaginas are easier to come by these days. Not that I inquired often. But even if texting had existed then, I can’t imagine having asked any of them to text me their consent first. I suppose a Post-It note would have been the equivalent.
Really, is this the best that post-post-modern feminism has to offer? What about, “Son, keep in mind that everything that is permissible isn’t profitable, and all that glitters is not gold. Just because she offers a resounding ‘YES!’ doesn’t mean having sex right then is best for her, or you, okay?” Why not tell him that maturity is the ability to delay pleasure, and that maturity has its own rewards, now and later? Why not tell him that there is more to gain from that moment of decision than ejaculation, and more to lose than freedom from fatherhood and STDs?
Hell, if we want to get as clinical as texting, why not just have the girl wear a screen printed undershirt (or bra), and when a she wants a guy, she just takes off her top right there, and the underlying garment says “YES!” That way, she doesn’t have to break the mood, he can take a cell shot of her pointing to it, and then they can get busy. ‘Cause that’s what it’s all about, right?
Beneath Ms. Jones’ column, the comments begin, and the fools come out in droves. When someone suggests that maybe concerned men just avoid drunk women, another retorts,
“To answer your question of ‘why not avoid drunk women? That’s fairly simple, (sic) drunk people don’t always make the best choices. You cannot place the responsibility on men to avoid intoxicated women, when those men are intoxicated themselves, and you cannot absolve women of the responsibility of their actions while intoxicated.”
From here on to the end of this piece, I speak to men only. Of course, everyone should take responsibility for their actions, whatever sex they are. But one can absolutely, and should, hold men responsible for whatever they do when they’re drunk, whether it’s having sex with a woman or plowing a car onto a crowded sidewalk. The alcohol didn’t drink the man; the man drank the alcohol. He’s accountable for whatever choices he makes subsequently, period.
When did we cross the line of insanity in the United States, where men are encouraged to prance around like cocks at a hen-house, strutting and clucking with all their might to display their masculinity, while working feverishly to deny responsibility for the most biologically masculine act they can commit?
We live in a culture where the most popular communal medium is largely financed by pornography, a culture where popular music on the play-lists of millions of teens is exemplified by the most popular song of the last three months with statements like, “you(‘re) the hottest bitch in this place” and “I’ll give you something big enough to tear your ass in two.” And then we expect a generation fed on this to act responsibly. Garbage in, garbage out, folks.
The problem is, when young men choose to live irresponsibly, we send them off to adulthood with hundreds of condoms and some harebrained advice designed, not to guide them toward responsible, healthy boundaries, but instead to protect them from the legal liabilities of their unbridled impulses. What is real manhood, anyway, if not mastering our impulses?
So when both sexes make stupid decisions, why should we hold the male more responsible? It’s fairly simple: women are more vulnerable, and always have been. Women are not as physically strong as men. Women are not as physically aggressive as men. Women, historically, haven’t been as privileged, as respected, or as honored as men. Consequently, rare has been the place or time in the last 6,000 years of recorded human history when women at large have been considered more than property to manage and trade.
And most importantly, when humans have sex, it is the woman who is invaded. It is the man who breaks down the wall to enter, and leaves his troops behind to occupy the territory. It is the woman who is more likely to be injured, in the process or in the aftermath. It is the woman who puts her health at risk to carry a child, or suffers the medical risk, shame, and haunting guilt of an abortion.
If she does carry the child alone, she is often forced to reckon whether to either raise or feed her child, because she can’t do it all alone. At the very least, it takes a village to replace a parent, assuming that is even possible, and not all villages are willing, able, or healthy themselves. So not only does she suffer, but so does the child. And eventually, by the way, so does the village.
It is the woman who has a much greater chance of contracting an incurable or even deadly disease from the man, instead of imparting one to him. It is the woman who carries the label “whore” for the same choices that are celebrated as badges of honor among men, although phenomena like Chelsea Handler’s career and the slut pride movement show that licentiousness is shedding its skin as a vice among women. Still, “she’s a real slut” doesn’t have the same shine as “he’s a real stud,” does it?
It is women around the world who are right now having their genitals mutilated and labia sewn together, their noses cut off, their faces burned with acid, and their throats slit, all because they have the right faith while living in the wrong place, or dare in some way to act like men have been acting en masse for thousands of years, or even because it is assumed that at some point, they might. It is women who were not heard for millenia. It is women who deserve the benefit of the doubt when senses, the common one included, are compromised.
That said, there are women who, by character or conditioning, have learned to use what they have, their intelligence and/or their sexuality, to bring many a foolish man to despair or death. So how does a young man tell the difference between a siren, drunk or not, and an honorable young woman?
Well, first, he stays sober. Second, he doesn’t look for the “hook-up.” He looks for a wife, and until then, he becomes the man who would deserve one. Thirdly, he holds out longer than it takes him to get the image of a woman, sloshed, naked, and in a submissive position, uploaded to the Internet, because he realizes that a woman is not a good time, a hole to fill, or a place to relieve himself. She’s not a chance atomic assemblage. Her worth, whether she recognizes it or not, is intentional and priceless. She is crafted for greatness and eternity. She is not fast food. And maybe she would believe that if she met a man who did.
You generally find what you’re seeking. Seek love, get love. Seek trouble, get trouble. Of course, trouble is easier to find. So is death.
This is why King Solomon, the man who had it all and, in the end, found it was all worth nothing, warned his sons, as recorded in Proverbs (especially chapters 5 and 7):
“Do not let your heart turn aside to (the temptress’) ways,
Do not stray into her paths.
For many are the victims she has cast down,
And numerous are all her slain.
Her house is the way to Sheol,
Descending to the chambers of death.”
Be deliberate and clearheaded as a man, respecting all women, whether they ask you to or not, and you will largely avoid the suffering of fools. Men are ultimately responsible for all of their choices, including what they choose to ingest. Courts may judge the drink, but God is not mocked. He will judge the man.
Therefore, men are also accountable to act responsibly, even when women don’t, because, like it or not, at the end of the day, men are more powerful, and less civilized, than women.
As it turns out, nature hasn’t subscribed to Cosmopolitan yet. Regarding humankind, the sexual revolution may have temporarily clouded our thinking, but that doesn’t change human physiology or accountability.