Men Fearing Women’s Sexuality

Fearing women's sexuality.

Fearing women’s sexuality.

By Jonathan Jefferson

Back in high school I was surprised at the amount of hatred that could be directed toward women in common, everyday conversation.

Guys talked about ex-girlfriends or girls they’d slept with in such a negative light.

If a girl had been with another boy — at all — anyone who slept with her later could do no better than “sloppy seconds.” 

A boy might “steal yo’ girl.” Yes, “yo’ girl.” Like she’s property.

And “Bitch! Bitchy bitches” were everywhere. Often with a sexual connotation of bad, loose women.

We are so scared of women’s sexuality

We are so scared of women’s sexuality because if they had sexual freedom, surely:

  • True love would disappear
  • Women would flock only to the most endowed men
  • And say goodbye to the nuclear family.

If women had sexual freedom, everything would burn in a fire of blasphemy and wickedness.

It sounds extreme, but coming from an extreme Christian background, I can attest that this is an accurate depiction. Actually, this is also an accurate depiction of the secular double standard of my high school halls.

We insist on this system in order to hold onto… what?

Yes. We know who is sexually free and celebrated. And who is sexually constrained and shamed.

We’re too bitter, or something, to let go of the rules of the past and move forward from all the hate and blood on the hands of religion and patriarchy.

Why hold onto these dusty rules? To ensure a hollow, dead sense of manhood?

No one is better off, and yet we insist on this system in order to hold onto… what?

This was written by one of my students who asked to use a pen name.

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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 December 5, 2016, in men, psychology, sex and sexuality, sexism and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.

  1. Really, it has little to do with men fearing women’s sexuality, and everything to do with children and teenagers being little barbarians who enjoy bitching about each other. Listen in to some teenagers and when they are not speaking disparagingly of one another in a sexual sense they are speaking disparagingly in some other sense. You think about all the rubbish that went on when you were at school and the names you called each other, then 10 years later you’re grown up and you can’t be bothered with that rubbish anymore.

    “We are so scared of women’s sexuality because if they had sexual freedom, surely:

    True love would disappear
    Women would flock only to the most endowed men
    And say goodbye to the nuclear family.”

    Not sure if you’re being ironic or not. In a hypothetical scenario of total sexual freedom where everyone is having sex with everyone else whenever they want, no fidelity, no recriminations, these 3 scenarios you list would indeed happen to one extent or another. That is what you want is it?

    • Not fearing women’s sexuality is not the same thing as what you are describing, which sounds more like sex without responsibility. In cultures where women’s sexuality is not feared and degraded people still marry and have families. And they are healthier families typically. You are going to have a healthier situation where you don’t fear and degrade one another.

      And I haven’t heard women talk about men in the way he describes — which I suspect has a lot to do with general misogyny. But if you compare (more and less) patriarchal and non-patriarchal cultures, that hatred of women tends to get focused on women’s sexuality. I’ll talk more about theories on why that is later.

      His quotes that don’t sound like girl-talk I’ve heard:

      Guys talked about ex-girlfriends or girls they’d slept with in such a negative light.

      If a girl had been with another boy — at all — anyone who slept with her later could do no better than “sloppy seconds.”

      A boy might “steal yo’ girl.” Yes, “yo’ girl.” Like she’s property.

      And “Bitch! Bitchy bitches” were everywhere. Often with a sexual connotation of bad, loose women.

  2. Fear of responsibility: This fear is more common than people think. Often people fear the burden of being responsible for someone else’s emotional well-being. So when their partners need a certain degree of sexual intimacy to feel less-anxious for example, this may frighten them.

  3. If a girl had been with another boy — at all — anyone who slept with her later could do no better than “sloppy seconds.”

    A boy might “steal yo’ girl.” Yes, “yo’ girl.” Like she’s property.”

    Well I don’t think it’s so much men targeting women or being anti-women for this behvior but the bi-product of our culture maybe where men compete and everything is about status and doing better or having more than other men. Therefore, things become conquests through this competition and when that happens men’s desires and wants become prizes and possessions. Think of $, jobs, sports, racing, hell even fighting. It sets up the desire for supremacy over other men, in which gaining such stuff to become better becomes something to attain. It’s because it makes things very ego centric for guys and once that happens, their desires and pride goes above others, as a man could be in a “quest” mode to beat out other men and stroke his ego in the process. Therefore as a result of this bi product, since most straight men lust strongly for women, women become possession in this quest among the other desires like cars, $, high status jobs, etc…all this “peacock tail” stuff.

    I’ve noticed though when it comes to a relationship, both men and women can be possesive though or see the other somewhat as property or belonging to each other.

    • I’m sure it’s a status thing, with men trumping other men. But men also trumping women.

      And it’s not that men are bad.

      It’s that we live in a dominator culture instead of a partnership culture. Men are told they’re superior so a lot of them constantly feel like they have to prove it. Superior to other guys, superior to women… It’s a set up that creates insecurity because only a few can be at the top.

      If the society were turned upside down with women expected to be on top you’d find the same problems with women acting that way. That’s why we need a partnership culture, Which is very much accessible to human nature. It appears to be the way things were for the first 95% of the human experience. And it’s a way that we are moving toward — more in some parts of the world than others. I look to Scandinavia as a model.

    • //the bi-product of our culture maybe where men compete and everything is about status and doing better//

      Another popular (very anti-woman)message in our culture is that women are constantly competing with each other, therefore women put each other down and are terrible towards each other. Nevertheless, in both cases of competition between the sexes, women are the ones who face mistreatment. They’re the ones described as “sloppy seconds,”something to take,” and “bitches and hoes.” This behavior that is described as intra-sex competition seems to always result in hatefulness towards women. That to me shows a culture that is deep-rooted in misogyny and “insists on this system to hold onto”.. patriarchy.

      A man who goes from one girl to another does not become sloppy seconds. Instead it’s the first girl that is reduced in “status” because she couldn’t keep a man.

      A guy can “steal yo girl” and brag about it. A woman doing that is a home wrecker, a bitch, whore, the worst in society. Can you imagine a woman that brags about the same and the reaction she would get from society? Male artists make songs in which they proudly sing, “don’t leave your girl around me, true player for real,” and “She came with you but left with me,” or just type in “got your girl lyrics” in google search and you’ll get bunch of songs in which a man brags about taking a girl that was another man’s, as if she were an object. A woman in our society couldn’t do that or even sing about it in the name of art without public backlash. I suspect this is because women aren’t to be sexually free to take a man of her choosing. Men are the ones with sexual freedom and they do the taking, if a woman displays signs of being the one to “act” rather than be “acted upon,” she is shamed.

      • You make a good point. Hope you don’t mind if I quote you on that.

      • “A woman in our society couldn’t do that or even sing about it in the name of art without public backlash.”

        Nope.

        Dolly Parton
        Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene
        Please don’t take him just because you can

        You’re the One, SWV:
        I know that you’re somebody else’s guy
        But these feelings that I have for you
        I can’t deny
        She doesn’t treat you
        The way you want her to
        So come on stop fronting
        I want to get with you

        I can love you – Mary J Blige
        I can love you, (I can love you)
        I can love you better than she can
        Wish that you could be my man
        Cause I can love you better than she can

        Too Bad About Your Girl – The Donnas:
        I’m lookin at you, you’re lookin’ at me too
        Yeah you know what I want to do
        But your girlfriend wants the night to end
        Baby, tell me somethin’ new.

        You belong with me – Taylor Swift
        You’re on the phone with your girlfriend
        She’s upset, she’s going off about something that you said
        ‘Cause she doesn’t get your humor like I do.
        If you could see
        That I’m the one
        Who understands you.
        Been here all along.
        So, why can’t you see
        You belong with me,
        You belong with me.

        LL Cool J, Hey Lover:
        I’ve been watchin’ you from afar,
        for as long as I can remmeber
        You are all a real man can need
        and ever ask for
        this is love
        this is more than a crush
        It was Harlem at the Rucker
        I saw with your man

        I could go on and on, but I take it point proven.

  4. It really is mind boggling how this whole interaction goes. If some men think this is fine because it is in favor of them, then surely they are wrong. By praising themselves as some hero as if he had conquered land does not really benefit anyone if you put down these women for being easy. Why? Well by doing so, we trap ourselves as insecure men who need a status of a conqueror to feel okay about ourselves. I can attest to the multiple times in my life where I feel like I lower my standard of my personal self to assure and compliment another guy’s worth on how many girls he had “conquered” so that I could fit in properly. On the other side, why do we judge the girls in the opposite light? Regardless of race, gender, and any other factors, there is a possibility to all celebrate the beauty of sexuality. Besides, statistics show that hiding and repressing a woman’s sexuality would often lead to a repressed libido.
    If you are a guy who wants sexuality as much as to brag about it to your peers, then don’t put girls down and beg for their intimacy. The biggest problem is how both genders fit the mold that enables this type of conflict. Men are so insecure that others will think they are not men if they choose not to act this way. Women also slut shame each other to some degree.

    When you have an insecure half of the human population that wears this tough guise and the other half that does not band together unified against degrading, then this system will keep on occurring. I agree that a partnership type of relationship needs to replace some of today’s ideas on sexuality. It makes it less stressful for men to keep up this guise and it surely helps women feel less judged.

  5. What’s hiding under the women’s sexuality? It’s “the rules of the past” and “hands of religion and patriarchy”. They can’t accept the fear inside that they gone lose the control on the women. They establishing their power by belittling status personality of women. What they can get from it? I say, nothing, but showing their villainous conduct. How can they just searching their privilege by treating the girls as their property; that they try to touch higher by stepping on the women’s shoulder. It’s a truth that doubles standards still and keeps showing today, we can’t ignore it, and we refuse to continue suffering from it.

  6. This makes so much sense to me. I think about this topic a lot actually and it sometimes holds me back from making certain choices when it comes to the young men that I associate myself with. I recently saw a video on social media where a young couple were talking about the amount of people they had sex with. The male had admitted to having sex with 34 women in his life. After he asked his girl to share the same, he started flipping out and judging her because she had admitted to sleeping with 4 men. It’s just annoying how insecure guys can be when it comes to women’s sexuality and I’ve even experienced the same types of double standards in one of my own past relationships. When a guy sleeps with multiple girls he’s considered a player of course but the second a girl does the same, she’s a hoe.

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