This week Congressman Anthony Weiner admitted sexting a picture of his package to a young woman, in the tradition of Brett Favre, Kanye West and assorted flashers everywhere.
What are these men thinking?
Tracy Clark-Flory over at salon.com put out a call on Twitter to get women’s reactions to this sort of sexting. Plenty of women wanted to see a man’s chest. But with few exceptions the response was complete repulsion. When asked whether crotch shots “do it” for them, one tweeter replied, “If by ‘do it’ you mean ‘send me to the toilet retching,’ then yes, they do.”
Flashers seem similarly clueless. Flasher message boards suggest that these men expect women to get turned on. At least one man finally “got it,” saying, “I simply can’t do it anymore… I found that I was basically just offending woman after woman.”
Men love looking at lady parts, so they think women must love the sight of man parts, too. Surprisingly, “penis” is a common web search among men, straight or gay, and they are as likely to “google” penis as vagina. No wonder they think women want to look at theirs, too. Of course, porn depicts women going wild at the sight of the male member. But porn is a wildly inaccurate instructor on women’s sexuality.
Some believe the flaunting is tied to evolutionary psychology. After all, “Male monkeys and apes routinely display their penis (usually erect) to females to indicate sexual interest,” says cognitive neuroscientist Ogi Ogas. The move may make female monkeys and apes swoon. But among women, retching seems an unlikely process by which to pass on ones genes.
But I think women’s reactions also run counter to Freud’s contention that women experience “penis envy” (this being the supposed cause of our feelings of inferiority: “His is so big!”). I know my first reaction to seeing a penis was a huge relief that I, myself, was streamlined. Looks like others might feel the same.
Women may appreciate a man’s package in the context of “wanting” and/or loving a particular man. But this sort of sexting? Not so much.
It seems men are a bit more obsessed with the sight of their penises than women are.
Posted on June 10, 2011, in feminism, gender, men, pornography, psychology, sex, sexism, women and tagged Anthony Weiner, Evolutionary Psychology, feminism, flashers, Freud, gender, men, penis envy, pornography, psychology, sex, sexism, sexting, sexuality, women. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.