Women as Prey, Men as Predator

homophobiaWomen are expected to attract, men are supposed to be attracted. Men want, women want to be wanted. Metaphorically, this is a predator/prey type relationship. Women are subject to the hunt whether they like it or not, so men’s attention can be pleasing, annoying, or frightening. It all depends.

Accordingly, women know what it feels like to be prey.

That’s from Prof. Lisa Wade of Occidental College and the popular blog, Sociological Images (where I got the great cartoon, too.)

Not all men make women feel this way, she says, and probably most don’t, but we’ve all pretty much had this experience, whether it’s,

The leering guy on the street, the heavy hitter in the bar, the frotteurist on the subway, the molesting uncle, the aggressive fraternity brother, etc.

Does homophobia arise partly from being demoted on the food chain and feeling like prey, she wonders? 

It’s like they’ve been treated like a human being their whole life and then, POW, they’re a piece of ass and nothing more.  It must feel just crazy bad.

Sounds likely. But whether or not this may be one cause of homophobia, guys don’t seem to like it much when tables turn.

Like a guy who posed as a girl on a dating site and lived to write about it on Reddit.

He had been joking with a female friend about how easy women have it with online dating. She begged to disagree. So he set up a fake profile, using her picture (with permission) to prove how right he was.

The experience was quite different from when he had set up a real profile years before and received a few nice messages.

Now, posed as a girl, he got a message before he’d even finished “her” write-up. It wasn’t mean, but it was odd, coming so soon.

So he finished the profile and was about to sign off when another message arrived.

I messaged him back staying as neutral and as uninterested as possible without being mean. I was about to leave again, but I was kind of curious now, so I waited another minute, and sure enough, a third message popped up (also I feel this is a good point to say that my friend would be the first to say she’s a pretty average looking girl).

After 20 minutes of message bombardment the conversations all got weird, increasingly aggressive and sexual, and even vulgar. Then, he says,

 I got the NoStringsAtttached messages, with multiple guys sending me messages asking me to watch them cam, or meeting up with them within the hour, or talk with them on the phone or cyber. I would say no and they usually didn’t take it too well…

I would be lying if I said it didn’t get to me… within a 2 hour span it got me really down and I was feeling really uncomfortable with everything… I ended up deleting my profile at the end of 2 hours and kind of went about the rest of my night with a very bad taste in my mouth.

This man probably isn’t one of the predators. And most men aren’t. But the “women must attract/men must be attracted” social scenario sets up a situation that encourages too many male predators. This young man certainly wasn’t used to being prey. And he was unpleasantly surprised to learn that the grass is far from greener on the other side of the fence.

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About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on January 15, 2014, in feminism, gender, LGBT+, men, objectification, psychology, relationships, sex and sexuality, sexism, women and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 64 Comments.

  1. While the idea that men are seen as the predators and that women only play the role of prey is quite mainstream, I have to note the fact that this idea is becoming what I would call an old school mentality. I say this because in an age where women’s rights and various women’s movements are beginning to gain some real attention and support, I have also seen more and more of the opposite happening when it comes to who is playing the predator role. I have, in my experience both through social media and in person, noticed a drastic increase in the number of women who are making the moves on the males they find attractive and desirable. It is increasingly more and more common to see females being the ones to make the first move, I think this is largely due to the change in culture that we are seeing as social media begins to play a major role in people’s day to day lives. This is not to say that the stereotypical male playing predator and female being the prey is any less of an occurrence, I think every female has or will experience this more than once or even twice in their lives. As someone who has experienced being the object of another man’s “hunt” for lack of a better word, it can most often times be uncomfortable for the female and even intimidating.

    • I don’t know if it is old school. I wish it were. But I think all women still experience cat calling. And plenty of research today has shown that in hookup culture it’s still very common for women to be put down for doing the same thing that men are celebrated for doing. My students are all in the progressive San Francisco Bay area and pretty much all of them have heard girls being slut-shamed for things that men are celebrated for doing.

  2. This posting really hit home for me. I have always been aware of this predator/prey relationship and honestly, I enjoyed the attention at first. During college is the first time I began to submerge into these situations during frat parties and bar scenes. Some men that are persistent and pushy can come off as predators. A lot of the time they assume that if they buy you a drink, then consequently you become their property for the rest of the night. If there is no connection and you decide to move on with the night without them they become angry. These men are not in any way the norm. They are the few that set a bad image for the majority. This predator/prey relationship began to bother me when I went on a trip to Las Vegas. My friends and I were treated not as people but more like objects for people to have at their tables. These men didn’t want to even talk to us, just have us stand around them so it would attract attention. This situation made me extremely uncomfortable. Although the culture in Vegas is very strict on gender roles and this predator attitude I still do believe in the character for most men.

  3. Neila Patino

    The political cartoon says it all from the start. I had a friend who had the same experience, same as the male in the middle. He told me of his experience and he described that he felt completely uncomfortable with someone checking him out. This just made it much clearer as to what he was describing. But it was crazy how I had to tell him how normalized it is for women to feel like prey. He reacted as if he understood but quickly stated how different it was since this was a guy checking him out, if it had been a girl then he would feel okay with it. I kept my comments to myself because I felt like his comments were coming off as homophobia and I did not know what to do about it. If I was in his shoes I do not think I would mind this issue. Like mentioned not every man acts as a predator but there are those that place themselves in these roles of predator and prey and in my opinion it encourages continuity.

  4. Reading the article reminds me of an experience I had going to a Church with a friend just a while ago. It was after a Friday night biblical study session when the pastor’s wife led a discussion on Christian relationships and marriages for all the females in the congregation to attend. Although it was called a discussion, but it was more like a lecture by the pastor’s wife who gave me an uneasy time by talking about exactly the prey/predator pattern in relationships between heterosexual couples. According to her, women are supposed to be more submissive and conform to the hunting desire of men, and women are not supposed to be too eager or desperate in relationships to sell themselves cheap. I am not a Christian myself and I am aware that it could’ve been more of a conservative view from an old Asian lady instead of representation of Christian ideals (even though I do feel puzzled by the helper roles of women in the Bible). However, I was still filled with anger throughout the whole talk and frustrated at myself for not challenging the pastor’s wife. Reading the article again and the comments, while reflecting on my own experience in life, I have realized that the words of the pastor’s wife are just a more apparent manifestation of beliefs adopted by many in the world. As long as women are still objectified, dehumanized and hated, one version of another of the prey/predator narrative would pop up, whether it being that women should only drop hints but never be too aggressive, or that women should not propose, or that men bragging on how many women they could attract at a bar. It annoys me even more to realize how the prey/predator beliefs sometimes extend into homosexual couples as well – I have read popular yet false perspectives online that within homosexual relationships there have to be one more masculine/male side and the other more feminine/female side, one being more aggressive and the other more passive and submissive. This is not only saying as if homosexual relationships are just another form of heterosexual ones, but also perpetuates a very unhealthy relationship pattern that could never have two (or more) sides equal.

  5. The problem, post-feminism, in my view is that young men have almost nothing helpful to guide them through the appropriate steps to seduction, relationships, friendships etc.

    Most take the easy way – the ‘nice guy’ approach, which unless the girl is already interested will bore the woman to tears, and it’s important to add, early on, a woman is subjecting a man to a number of ‘tests’ to see what he’s made of.

    These are designed to see how he reacts to situations, whether they be insults, social situations, pressure, problem-solving and so on. Our reactions reveal who we really are (or how we deal with day-to-day situations) more than any trite online standardised personality test.
    Women. generally speaking, who are considered desirable, develop a number of time-saving mechanisms, tests and so forth, because they simply don’t have the time to interview every interested guy; which unfortunately is the prevailing paradigm when it comes to hetero-dating.
    In the main, a date for a man is much like an audition or interview for the role of partner.
    Nowadays, women almost completely wield all the power (though they deny this) because they ultimately choose a partner- usually, one who her friends and family approve of (this is terribly important due to a woman’s status within her social circle).
    Unless a man is in the 5% who are inundated with offers from women (not always good looking, some ‘natural’ attractors of women are just comfortable around attractive women, demonstrating that they are not needy which is key to attraction).

    I don’t care what anyone says, in the opening exchanges if a woman senses that a man is willing to supplicate in order to win approval, he’s done.

    Also, women are raised to treat sex as a prize that a man needs to prove by an impression that he is worthy of being allowed into a woman’s sexual space.

    Women, knowing that they are free from the rules of politeness, often follow the adage ‘it’s cool to be a bitch.’
    Rejecting men in humiliating, degrading and embarrassing ways are commonplace. It makes the women feel empowered, desired, yet in control.

    This is what concerns me the most. As a man who practised in-depth the techniques described in Neil Strauss’ book exposing the underground online community of ‘pick up artists’, popularised back in 2005, I can attest to the often cruel and unusual, self – entertaining methods women use to reject men as a ‘sport’; which leaves an already anxiety-ridden, confused, ashamed, vulnerable young man disillusioned, angry and resentful.

    I am not saying that there aren’t creepy, lecherous, strange, even terrifying men who harrass women on a regular basis, but in my experience of nearly two years, thousands of interactions, hundreds of men, the message that very crushingly shone through was that untold masses of men are caught between wanting intimacy, yet frozen stiff by the perception of disingenuine, nasty, inconsiderate, unkind, unfeeling generation of women who feel they can do as they please in the dating scene, including online, which is another nightmare of flakiness, rudeness and unresponsiveness.

    I once read an article in a daily paper 20 years ago that if we didn’t address these issues manifesting in gender interaction, then we are in danger of creating an underclass of angry young males.
    Do we want angry young males growing up, fearing women yet desiring them, being bombarded with the message that they are solely to blame for all violence, rape, sexual abuse of children?

    Some straw feminists would surely say ‘tough luck’, you reap what you sow, but is an eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth the way we shall continue to view this situation, which in fact is less than what is happening now.

    Society has given females the power to dictate to men or boys, what THEY expect from them, which I see is a selfish brainwashing and pointless waste.

    Once upon a time tribal elders, men and women put teen boys and girls through initiations, which was a rite of passage and designed to transition boys to men, and girls to women.

    The industrial revolution committed the gravest robbery perhaps in family and community culture, leaving children to learn how to behave as adults through media, friends and worse.

    Next time look around you? Can you see signs of men who are till boys, Women who are still little girls, with all the dangerous characteristics of immature teens.

  6. I’ve considered the relationship between men and women to be predator prey, but I hadn’t evaluated their response to rejection as a result of such a relationship. I had thought that maybe I had been too straight forward at rejecting them. I even thought that they had a little bit of a right to be mad at me or even aggressive. But now that I see this perspective, it provides some understanding, the men in my past who’ve put me in these uncomfortable demeaning positions have also been homophobic. And that makes sense because men who prefer to be the predator, I would venture to assume, prefer to be in a position of dominance. And when the roles get reversed they feel they’ve lost some of that power and must act aggressively to regain dominance. I might venture to say that homophobic people don’t hate homosexuality, they hate feeling like prey and mis-associate that with them being gay. The blame gets turned around and made into the gay persons problem because the straight person feels insecure. When it comes to the online social scene, it is surprising how much bolder these predators become. And just as others have mentioned on this blog, this makes it difficult for the good guys because women grow weary of all the men that message them because they all start off innocent. Nice small talk that quickly escalates into an awkward sexually aggressive conversation and suddenly he wants pictures or a midnight phone call, or to come over for a 2am rendevous- all of which came out of no where. So if you’re bold enough you’ll straight up tell him that’s not okay to talk to you like that and because you’ve taken some of the predator power from them they become aggressive.

  7. No online dating is definitely easier for women. I went out on a date once with a girl who said she set up five dates in five nights because she
    was going through a hard time and didn’t want to be alone for awhile. I might get that many dates in five months and until recently I had a policy that I would at least go out once with basically anyone who asked. There’s different apps/sites and depending on the one you’re on you’re far more likely to get sexualized or even predatory attention.

  8. “Women are expected to attract, men are supposed to be attracted.” This quote is the mirror of a culturally distorted view of women, and perhaps men as well. The female body has been created through discourse: cultural phenomena that include representation, commodification, reproduction and technology (Hunter College Women’s and Gender Studies Collective 135). Historically, various institutions like religious, medical, psychological have crafted women’s images as frail, helpless, dependent, emotional just to name a few adjectives; over time and with the blossoming of media, women were transformed into the perfect consumers to please men and do whatever to attract them; on the other hand, men were described as the source of income, who were justified to be strong and demanding, who wanted to be attracted by beauty. The advertising in the 1950s and 1960s are an example of the social construct women lived in; they needed to look good for their men after working all day, be submissive, and fear men’s disinterest if their appearance was not good enough. The discourse of femminility constrains women’s lives, choices, and expects them to have certain standard behavior. Of course, since the 1950s women’s sense of self have positively changed for most at least, but the perception of men that a woman is a prey and they are entitle to get it because they think is what expected is still present. Despite the sexual harassment course in working places, it is not common to experience unwanted attention, or being forced into unpleasant situation as a power statement. Lately, even though women’s are still seeing as a prey, technology helps to address unwanted situation publicly to share feelings and denounce the act. Nonetheless, men, even though in a less manner, are expected to follow certain standard by peers, depending of the cultural background. The experience on the men described in the posting is an example of how men don’t realize how much quickly men can be verbally aggressive, sexual and vulgar. Nowadays, through Apps like Instagram and Facebook women visually denounce harassment and catcalls to make a point, to show to the male audience the real feelings behind those acts and unpleasant, hurt, and uncomfortable are some of them. Equality can be the solution, and slowly women are gaining the strength to stand up against bigotry and false expectations.

  9. Not that I disagree on initiating desires but our culture needs to be changed and has to be if we are beat extinction. Culture may only be changed be changing government. A prescribed matriarch society stops extinction, women as prey, and all maladies created by the patriarch matrix.

  10. Priscillla medina

    I always remember watching movies where it’s the boy chasing after the girl. If it was the other way around where the girl chases the guy, they guy was turned off and and thought the girl was weird or odd. In the real world and personal experiences I have always seen the girl being the prey. Todays theres this new slang term called “thirsty”, and what it means is when a person is trying so hard to get attention from the other person which then a person would call them thirsty. My male friends have told me that they know so many “thirsty” girls and it made them unattractive. Out of curiosity I had asked what made these girls so thirsty and they said “she was trying to say what’s up and have a conversation”. A simple high from a girl can turn off a guy. It’s like they like being the predator. Some men definitely like being prey but i’d say it’s rare for it to be that way. People have just got used to men and women being this way that I think it’s hard for them to see it any different.

  11. I think no matter what sexual preference we should all respect one another. It is very disheartening to know that respect on this topic has gotten way to out of hand. If men stop looking at women as just another piece of meat and women take a stand and make men understand that we are all equal it will get better. As for the homosexual community I cannot respond to that because I don’t know how that is. I have been hit on by men and it was very respectful, but I have also been in the situation where I felt like a piece of meat. I don’t care who it is as long as you are respectful I am friendly.

  12. I really enjoyed your post on Women as Prey, Men as Predator, I think that for many women you hit the nail right on the head. I read the post from Reddit it fits perfectly into the points you were making about how women can feel as if they are being hunted perhaps not in the wild by a lion or tiger but by another type of predator who at times first can appear to be nice and caring but can soon turn into that predator who awaits an unsuspecting victim in the dark of the night. I think that at one point or another in her life every woman has felt as if she was being preyed upon or hunted by a man. I do not have any personal experience in the online dating service arena and after reading the post from Reddit I have no desire to become a participant. I think it is great that the guy placed himself into the shoes of a woman on a dating site and that he got a different perspective on the experience. I do not however think that all men would have that same experience I think that the predators who are out there hunting would probably take a completely different perspective on the experience possibly enjoying the sexually explicit conversations but, not enjoying the fact it was coming from another man. I think that a predator experiencing the other side of the relationship may take the advances as a challenge and not a threat. Just as some women like to hunt and prey upon men it all depends on the persons personality and the personalities of the people they come into contact with.

  13. What I found interesting was the way you set up the blog. It started out with, “Women are expected to attract, men are supposed to be attractive”. I feel like I can relate this perspective to our old patriarchal norms. In old days, men made women feel inferior. Women were suppose to attract them and provide men with families that in turn they were suppose to nurture while men continued with their life. Even though out society is not so much as patriarchal but the demand of men feeling the need to be attracted by women is still the same. Today women, are sometimes consumed with body arts (tattoos, piercings, etc) because they think it is attractive. Women even go for plastic/cosmetic surgeries because they think it will help them give a better identity especially in terms of attracting men. Also, in the blog there was a part where men did not take no willingly when the guy in the experiment politely said no to the guys who continued to message. I believe that also shows the patriarchal nature where men were quite demanding that saying “no” is not a viable option for them.

  14. I suppose I’ve inadvertently conducted the same “experiment,” though for me both profiles were sincere. A brief investigation into the linked Reddit thread reveals this gentleman conducted his experiment on OKCupid, with which I’ve had fairly extensive experience on two separate accounts. As a transman, I had the opportunity to experience online dating as a “woman” one to two years ago before I came out of the closet*; I’ve since replaced it with a properly male profile. This gentleman’s observations are totally correct. As a bisexual “female” I received scores of messages almost exclusively from men, but now, as a bisexual boy, it is seldom that my inbox contains anything at all.

    With both profiles, I was much more likely to pursue than to be pursued–a fact potentially attributable to my “maleness,” but I’d sooner pen it as a facet of my personality. I assume my personality is as attractive or unattractive as it was before I came out–the difference lies in the fact that my messages almost always gleaned responses when they were written by a “female,” while I’m lucky if I can sustain a conversation, either with a dude or a lady, as a guy today.

    That’s a phenomenon I find difficult to explain. Perhaps I should color my experience with the fact that I’m more interested in dating men than women about 70% of the time, but when I was the “female” looking for a supposed “straight” relationship, guys seemed flattered that, for once, they didn’t have to make initial contact and try to impress me. Meanwhile, in gay relationships someone still has to make initial contact, right? To some degree my twinky aesthetic suggests I should still sit pretty and be “prey,” but that’s an issue exclusive to the pseudo-pederastic realm (just remembered my Gravatar, attached to this comment, is Antinous…oops), so I digress.

    One more note: in setting up a bisexual or gay profile, OKCupid presents the user with a new checkbox: “I don’t want to see or be seen by straight people.” I’ve never selected it on the grounds of its apparent pettiness, but the option seems to exist for the schools that have decided “straight men are jerks,” à la stereotype that straight men like to fetishize queer relationships (why else is there so much lesbian and “tranny” porn out there?)…but perhaps there’s something to it? A man that identifies as gay or bi is more likely to be Democratic/pro-LGBT rights/pro-feminism, if one subscribes to that slippery slope of tropes. Just, sexuality seems like an awful benchmark for respectfulness. What about all the straight feminist girls out there? How can they be sheltered from male predation online?

    *footnote: I have never, in fact, identified as a woman; just, OKCupid forces its profiles into binaric gender options, and I was toying with an androgynous/genderqueer identity at the time of my first profile. This was written in bold all-caps at the top of my profile, but I do recall a persistent irritation at the fact that much of the male attention I received conveniently ignored this fact (“hey gurl” is not an appropriate come-on message for someone who is not a woman unless they are a drag queen), having obviously not bothered to read my profile. Small wonder, then, that they’d disappear without another word when my not-being-female came up in conversation. Women need not even fill in their self-descriptive essays, it seems–all that matters is the appeal of their photos. Perhaps there’s a social commentary to be drawn from that anecdote, too…

  15. Yes, I think women get more attention in online dating site than men. Yes, there are single women and men out there, but most of the sites are most dominate by men. I have rarely see women on those dating site looking for men. Men go on there to look for relationship but, not really. What I meant by that is, getting into a relationship is really hard for some people. That is why most men what to go onto those site to find a friend, a women to hang out with not in relationship. And yes, women do go on those sites to get attention or maybe its some prankster trying to have some fun. You can never really trust those dating site until you meet them up in person.

  16. In my opinion, A LOT of men treat woman like pieces of meat these days, sadly. My friends and I seem to always get bugged when we are out for a simple dinner. I always have it in the back of my mind not all men are like that. Unfortunately, a lot of woman don’t have an open mind and place all men into that category of jerks. You see a lot of young women say “All men are the same “. I really feel bad for the guys that are genuinely trying to meet someone and get up the nerve to go up to a woman and are shot down because that woman thinks he’s just another “predator”.

  17. I believe all men should experience the way some men make women feel like prey.

    Almost 21 years old and recently divorced, I decided to go on a rampage of dating. I decided if they (men) can do it so can I! I treated them the way women usually are treated, using them and throwing them away. Funny thing is that they didn’t like it so much when the tables are turned. I learned a lot from this experience that helped me in finding the right man in the future. My current husband of 15 years is an amazing man. He has never looked at me like prey, just with love, affection and respect.

    I have taught my son how to respect and treat women right, not as pieces of meat. Also my daughter has learned not to accept any man who treats her like that.

  18. Yeah and Gene Simmons even admitted that a big reason or the main reason he wanted to be a rockstar was to bang and be lusted after by tons of gorgeous women.

  19. And plenty of these male celebrities bang a lot of these women. They don’t get bothered by it, but treat it like “all the pussy you can get buffet”. Sorry for the crudeness, but it’s true many times. Gene Simmons, KISS rock legend is reported to have slept with like 5,000 women. I think that’s way too much, as he’s just asking for many STDs doing that and I wouldn’t be surprised if he has or had some.

  20. Another question to make my point.
    That image you have in this post.
    If that guy on the far right was a woman, then what would be the reaction of the guy in the middle?

    • How would he feel? Well, just like women it would depend on the man and the context. As Prof. Wade said:

      “Women are subject to the hunt whether they like it or not, so men’s attention can be pleasing, annoying, or frightening. It all depends.”

      So looking at women, those who would experience it as a compliment would like it. Those who experience it as feeling like a piece of meat wouldn’t like it. And some will feel threatened, ike if the man is acting aggressively.

      But the point isn’t that every time a woman gets male attention she feels like prey. It’s that all women have felt that way at some point in her life. And that situation is created because women are expected to be passive and sit back and attract while men are expected to be assertive and approach.

      Accordingly, women know what it feels like to be prey.

  21. I think guy’s should not let society dictate their worth and it reeks insecurity. Just like women should have some self esteem and not try to be approved by societal standard, that I think is more in their head, than what is really there. I think guy’s mis perceive reality. Trust me guys if you aren’t getting laid, society isn’t laughing at you as it’s your on personal business and most people really don’t care or aren’;t too concerned about your lack of succes unless you bring your business out to everyone. I can get very frustrated from not succeeding sometimes, but not because of some obscure societal standard, but because of my own persona high standards. I have and have always had high standards of myself. Not because of society, but because I feel I can do well in many things and have such strong belief in my abilities, which is why struggling can be very frustrating, because of my big ego. It is not fun to underachieve according to what you think you should be getting done in life, but aren’t.

  22. Celebrities disguise themselves so they can have privacy and not be bothered by fans asking for autographs when they are out trying to have dinner with family. And they disguise so they aren’t stalked, by the stalker-razzi. Usually, it’s not because of hot women wanting to get in their pants.

  23. “Very few men have had the experience of feeling like prey, being constantly hunted.”

    were they hunted by women or men?
    If it was by women then those very few men would be the envy of the rest of the men.
    Like Elvis or the Beatles, most of the men would dream being movie or rock stars just for having a lot of groupies.

    Women being constantly hunted by men (at least SOME men) is very annoying. I get it.
    Men being hunted by men when they don’t want it that’s also very annoying.
    But men being hunted by women?
    That’s a “curse” that most of the men would love to experience.
    You could say “be careful what you wish for” but I would reply “that’s too good to be true”

    I am not sure if I can imagine how annoying is for women to be seeing as objects and being constantly hunted but also women can not imagine how hard is for men to constantly trying to prove their manhood and feeling emasculated if they can’t live up to those “standards”.

    • were they hunted by women or men?
      If it was by women then those very few men would be the envy of the rest of the men.
      Like Elvis or the Beatles, most of the men would dream being movie or rock stars just for having a lot of groupies.

      You know what? Celebrities often disguise themselves so that they won’t be hunted–or completely avoid being in public. I guess it’s too difficult to get a concept that you have very little familiarity with in real life.

      On your other point, I have a post coming out tomorrow that relates to it somewhat. It’s a rerun that I’m putting out for a holiday(Martin Luther King Day).

      • That celebrities are hunted is an extreme case.
        We can’t say that a woman being hit on by guys when she goes out is like Elvis having hundreds of women screaming, going crazy and trying to grab him.

        I have never seen a female singer having male groupies and a flock of men trying to grab her. If that was done then they would be arrested.
        A flock of men hunting and chasing a female singer? Scary and against the law.
        A flock of women hunting and chasing a male singer? Business as usual.
        I just mentioned the case of male rock stars because no one really cares if male rock stars are hunted by hundreds of groupies, it’s consider to be something “normal”
        but if it was a female rock star chased down by hundreds of men?

        Why don’t female rock stars have groupies?
        http://www.salon.com/2011/02/22/neko_case_male_groupies/

        Because we missed the point of my question and we moved to celebrities I will rephrase the question
        “Very few men have had the experience of feeling like prey, being constantly hunted.”

        were they hunted by women or men?

      • On your last point, I think I addressed this in your question about how the guy would feel if it was a woman staring at his butt.

        Why don’t female rock stars have groupies? Here’s my guess:

        1. men tend to feel uncomfortable with close, intimate relationships (however temporary) with women of higher status, and are less likely to pursue them. That’s because of gender ranking. So if the guy is with a woman of higher status the experience of her being higher status is very “In-your-face.” Successful Women singers and actresses can have a hard time finding e-mail partners for that reason. Think of Sheryl Crows song, “are you strong enough to be my man?” Because men are expected to be higher status than their partners, it takes a man with a very strong sense of self to be able to deal with it. A lot of guys complain on my blog about hypergammy, assuming that women want higher status men. More often, men are avoiding high status women.

        2. because women are more likely to be slut-shamed, they are less likely to do things that could hurt their image

        3. and then the link you sent points out the safety factor. Men are bigger, stronger, and more likely to rape.

        You also asked a question on another post that I would prefer to answer here, because that post was written with compassion toward men but your comment was, I thought, not recognizing that compassion. And I don’t feel like arguing about that. So here’s your question:

        “Is it ok for a woman to pose as a man and deceive other women into dating her?
If a man was deceiving women into dating him then everybody would try to “hang” him but if a woman is the “deceiver” then it’s fine.
But let’s say that a woman was deceiving men, then I get it, it would be OK because for once the roles would be reversed.
        But she was deceiving other women, not men!
those women weren’t victims of deception?
She would take them home then and try to have sex with them, having them believe she was a man?
But who cares, women are just objects, even for other women.”

        First, she was only dating these women. When she became interested in a couple of them she revealed who she was before suggesting anything more. The women were pretty upset with her when she told them who she really was. Actually, she revealed herself eventually to almost everyone she had gotten to know: her bowling buddies, men from her men’s group, guys who were monks– Or something like that. They were all upset with her at first. A couple became quite close friends with her afterwards though.

        I will say that some men try to pass those women. Cross-dressers. They don’t upset me, but they do upset a lot of people who can get very uncomfortable with crossing genders.

      • Great answer. To address your last comment: The question of feeling uncomfortable about cross-gendering is huge. A few things: freedom of gender expression should be celebrated, while “gender identity” is arguably a conservative concept. So how do we work it out about being courted by men we think are women, or vice versa? Because we should have the right to limit courtship to only one specific sex of human, be they male or female. To suggest otherwise works as a terrible assault on homosexual people.

        This problem comes up on dating sites, and especially for lesbians who are entirely invested in dating women, not men who say they are women, not men who even believe they are women, or even men who have been medically and even surgically feminized.

        Such lesbians have even been accused of bigotry for not wanting to date guys with penises who insist they are women.

        When do men ever get accused of bigotry for not wanting to date women who don’t have X sized breasts, X height minimum or maximum, or X hair color?

        I could go on and on and on about this, so I’ll stop now. Oh, also Delusions of Gender by Cordelia Fine is new, highly recommended. I started it, she’s good, it’s good research-backed sociology, I’d bet you’d find it interesting.

      • You make some really good points, brining out invisible double standards.

      • @Miep
        you think that men are picky when it comes to dating? really?

        Men are happy with what ever they can get and if they get.
        Read the last post on this blog about a woman pretending to be a man and dating women. She faced so much rejection by the women that she couldn’t believe it. She constantly felt inadequate in the dates.

        Women are the ones who are picky and they never get accused of bigotry.
        They want a man who is rich, successful, strong yet kind, confident yet sensitive, tall, good looking, smart, etc.

        Read the post “It’s not easy being a man” and you will understand
        In dating, women get to choose, men get to face rejection.
        For men is a numbers game, the more rejections they get the more likely they will find a woman who will accept them.

      • Jean Claude: I was not in that instance generalizing about men as a class. I was pointing out that some men do indeed have fetishes about certain sorts of physical attributes in women, and that this is virtually never questioned, and how bizarre by contrast it is for lesbian women to be criticized for wanting only to date people with XX chromosomes.

      • Miep,
        why don’t you mention that also some women do indeed have fetishes about certain sorts of physical attributes in men, and that this is virtually never questioned?

        Plus many women have fetishes and high expectations when it comes to behavior and personality of the men.
        Noah Vincent realized first hand the most women expect men to be a Cary Grant type while also being sensitive and intuitive at the same time, but this is virtually never questioned.

      • I’ll be interested to know what she says. But you must have a different meaning for “Fetish” from what it commonly means. Preferences, yes. But what part of the male body is fetishized?

      • she said “X height minimum or maximum, or X hair color”
        women have that kind of preferences-fetishes as well

      • And the problem isn’t so much personal preferences as cultural preferences that we all learn. I’m primarily concerned with the culture that we all internalize unconsciously. With men there is preference for tall, which is a problem. I’m not sure if there’s a real hair color preference for men, culturally.

    • Here’s a good piece written by a guy trying to explain privilege in gaming terms.

      http://whatever.scalzi.com/2012/05/15/straight-white-male-the-lowest-difficulty-setting-there-is/

  24. “The position of power that guys automatically hold in our society makes it incredibly difficult for you to understand what it is to be the underdog.”

    That was a wrong statement. The correct statement would be:

    “The position of power that SOME guys automatically hold in our society makes it incredibly difficult for you to understand what it is to be the underdog.”

    What makes incredibly difficult for you to understand is that only 10% of guys are the super confident aggressive stereotyped male who hold the power that you mentioned.
    You can’t even imagine how men who are the underdogs are feeling when they are supposed to be the super confident aggressive male?
    They are feeling like they are worthless, underachievers, no-good-for-nothing, puny little men.

    A woman could be naturally shy and still get a date, a guy could eventually ask her out.
    But what women fail to realize is that many guys are shy, what chance do they have since men are supposed to be confident and are expected to do all the work in the dating?

    • I actually agree with you both.

      While males are ranked higher than females — as a class — in status (hence, men constantly have to prove their manhood — whoever heard of women trying to prove womanhood?), most guys don’t feel like they have a lot of power and status. That’s because we out live within a hierarchy. With most of us on the bottom. So guys look around and see plenty of both women and men above them. Plus, likely because of sexual repression, it can be harder for a guy to get with a girl for sex or even relationship, as you’ve described. So guys can feel pretty powerless compared with women.

      On the other hand, there are ways in which men hold power and a sense of entitlement over women that even powerless men often don’t really get. Very few men have had the experience of feeling like prey, being constantly hunted. So it can be hard for a guy to imagine what women are talking about.

      Let me give a related example. A couple of black guys asked me why women didn’t like sexist jokes. Sexist jokes against men didn’t bother them at all. I asked how they felt about racist jokes. They didn’t like those at all. I told them that racist jokes against whites don’t bother me at all. The status of “white” is too high and too strong to be hurt by racist jokes/comments against whites. Suddenly, they totally got it. But I’ve had a really hard time trying to explain to a lot of white guys why sexist jokes and comments are hurtful. They don’t have anything in their experience to help them understand it.

  25. to humanitysdarkerside :

    “The position of power that guys automatically hold in our society makes it incredibly difficult for you to understand what it is to be the underdog.”

    I’m sure shy, homely, geeky like guys being a virgin or one girlfriend in highschool or later in life feel like underdogs and not too powerful at all. Actually some guys might even feel worthless, because of the lack of attention, and affection, desire etc from the opposite sex. So it’s a matter of perspective. One could argue many women don’t understand what it is to be underdog in the dating scene. Yes, one will argue about slut shaming, But I’m talking about effort, and attention, and the courting, compared to women. I think even guy’s who aren’t geeks, I think have sex when the opportunity when it arrives, because they don’t have the certainty when the next one will come as there can be a long dry spell for some. This isn’t a pity for men thing as that’s how the game works and goes and both sexes have their problems. Just saying it goes both ways.

    • You took the words right out of my mouth. Its as if us men are hungry for the attention and women are tired of it. I wish it was a paralle but instead its like men are horizontal and women are vertical. It took me untill 21 to actually score a girlfriend and i tried before with nothing but rejections. As i said in a previous response, if us men really opened up with our emotions we would cry because of the lack of intrest from our counter parts.

  26. I also think it’s interesting how with this conditioned dynamic, it is easy for some women to discount men who aren’t preying on them- and men to discount women who are not acting as the object of prey- yet another way this cycle gets perpetuated. So many layers to this and I’m glad you talked about this, Georgia!

  27. I like your posts but I think “Women attracting and men being attracted” and homophobia are two entirely different issues.
    Why mentioning only the guy hitting on guy scenario and not woman hitting on woman scenario?

    That guy who did that experiment with the fake account of course he felt uncomfortable because he was pretending to be a woman.
    What if he had made a real profile with his real photo and all the offers were made by women, how would he feel then?
    Or let’s say that he went to a distant country were the women were the “predators” and men were the “prey” do you think that he would still feet uncomfortable?
    If men really didn’t feel comfortable to be around many available women then why all through history, there were many men in power that had a harem of women?
    Some even had thousands of women literally, did they get intimated by so many women?

    I think it all comes down to the difference of size and strength between men and women.
    If women were 6’6” Amazons then they would have taken the role of the predator and men would be the prey.

    • Well, I think that equality in initiation would help to stop this predator-prey dynamic. Which, based on some of your other comments, I’d think you’d welcome.

      And the problem isn’t male availability, it’s the predator problem. This Reddit guy didnt dislike and fear these guys because of their size but because of their attitude. He had no chance of seeing them in real life, AND he’s a guy.

      • he didn’t like it because he didn’t want to be “hit on” by men in the first place.

        If he had created a real profile with his photo and there were many offers by many women would he feel the same or he would like it?

        a situation were women are more “predators” is at the male strip clubs where there are many women going at the male stripper.
        Oddly enough men behave better at the female strip clubs than women at the male strip clubs. Sure there are only few women who actually go at the male strip clubs but they are allowed to be more “proactive” with the male stripers than the men in the female strip clubs.

      • You don’t seem to get that the problem is

        1) how annoying it is to be constantly bombarded. Try to really imagine that.
        2) the aggressive, vulgar, angry attitude. You really think you would like it if women, even if smaller than you, treated you that way via Internet? Or real life?

        And read Humanitys Darker Side’s comment.

    • Maybe if our society had been reversed (whether women were larger or not) how uncomfortable a man felt would have equaled how a lot of women feel in these situations. I am tall (180 cm) and was tall quite early. At school we would wrestle. Even that early it was expected that the girls ought to lose. When I didn’t (because gender roles are meaningless to me) I got taken down by several guys. That was just playfighting, but my role as prey was supposed to be apparent even that early on.

      I am regularly pretty, laugh a lot and am socially clueless (asperger). Guys would take that as an invitation and got upset when I did not reciprocate their feelings. Hell, I never even knew they were interested until they became upset. Perhaps women hit on me. But I am just as clueless about them. Not once did any of them react in such a manner.

      The position of power that guys automatically hold in our society makes it incredibly difficult for you to understand what it is to be the underdog. If you happen to one of color in a white society, then you understand what it is like to be a woman. Some of us do really well, but we always have to be careful. It doesn’t matter how nice the guy is.

      I am probably married to the nicest guy in the world and even he does not get what women are talking about when we talk about how we are treated as “less”.

      Aamer Rahman explains it really well: http://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/arts/9476005/Comics-amazing-bit-on-reverse-racism

      • “The position of power that guys automatically hold in our society makes it incredibly difficult for you to understand what it is to be the underdog.”

        Thanks for making this point. I didn’t think to make it myself but I recognized it when I read it. This is so true. Maybe I will do a blog post on this and quote you. Thanks so much for making this point.

  28. I’ve heard it argued that homophobic men don’t like the idea of men treating them the way they do women, which would argue a link between misogyny and male homophobia. This does not mean good manners don’t matter, but so does context.

    It’s certainly a good point that women often just tolerate treatment that is outside straight male comfort zones, though. Calling out such behavior is much more socially tolerated when it’s a guy doing the calling out, including when he’s doing the calling out on behalf of a woman perceived to be “his.”

  29. Sometimes it does make it hard for the good guys. But sometimes just like there are the jerks that are on online datine, there are women who are full of themselves too and these women don’t plan on dating or talking to any guys, regardless of who writes to them. And just go on for the ego stroke which isn’t nice either. Or because they are being message by so many guys these women are extremely picky to who they write to, more so that they would be in real life or reject guys based on their looks and photos and profiles though these women would probably date such guys in real life. So it makes some women have the grass is greener syndrome and just window shop.

  30. Well, women initiating interest and being more sexual would reverse or even out the prey/predator relation. But about the gay men thing. Well a decent amount of straight men might be homophobic, but I don’t think a man not liking a gay man staring at his butt to mean he’s homophobic. I work with some gay guys and get alone with them and I joke around and they are nice guys. If a girl told me some gay dude thought I was cute or something, I wouldn’t like it, but it’s something really wouldn’t bother me either and I’d just shrug it off. But a gay man starting at your ass, that’s another story. That would be uncomfortable and creep a straight man out.

    Guy’s know how we lust ot thing sometimes if starting at a woman’s body ( I’ don’t stare), but what can go on in the mind. So a straight man is not going to be happy that a gay dude is fantasising about banging him in the ass, obviously. It goes alone the same maybe as far as how women can be uncomfortable sometimes with guys starting, but it’s not the same. Straight women atleast, are know attracted to some men depending on the man. Whereas, a straight man obviously has no attraction to any man. This might be more relative to a bisexual guy mabye? Who might not like a particular man staring at him, but another man he might not mind looking at hime. And as far as the dating sites go. I think some guys like to say sexual things and be aggressive because they are hidden behind a computer and not something they’d say in real life. But on the same token, it ruins it for most other guys. Guys aren’t the only ones though. Just like that’s bad for women. You’ll have regualr guys who don’t do that and write a message to woman on a dating site and they don’t respond.The site says or that women want a man to try to ask about her and not about her looks, yet probably most guys on a dating site write funny, or nice stuff to no avail, so these women aren’t just ignoring the creeps on their but some probalby using the site just for an ego stroke, which isn’t nice for the non jerks on there. It goes both ways. Maybe the creeps ruin it for the good ones, but there are filters so women can block sexual messages, etc and get the decent guys to message them instead, but yet most guys aren’t getting replies let alone a woman writing to them.

    • Yes, I definitely think that equality in initiation would help to stop this predator-prey dynamic.

      And re “but I don’t think a man not liking a gay man staring at his butt to mean he’s homophobic”

      There are plenty of women who don’t like men staring at their butts either, so I definitely agree with you, that it doesn’t need to cause homophobia. But might it in some cases? Who knows?

      I’m glad there are some on-line dating filters out there, but it’s too bad that the negative interactions make it hard for the good guys.

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