I promised a discussion of the sexual double standard here; or perhaps I only said I had some thoughts on the subject. I have a bit of trepidation about throwing my thoughts out here just because they are so incomplete and are based solely on my life’s observations and certainly not based on serious research or reading on my part.
So rather than offering a knowledgeable working theory here, maybe its better to just open the discussion by doing nothing more than making a splash in the pool that might get a reader wet and ultimately into the pool with me.
It’s easy enough to talk about the biologic drives of the genders and in some ways it is yesterdays news. Yet often old news is the most accurate news simply because the facts have been tested.
There is no question in my mind that the point made by Jenn regarding the double standard women face in our culture is quite real. Later, Patti-Cake reinforced the same thought. Women in our society walk a very fine and precarious line in experiencing their sexuality. They are barraged daily by advertising that intends to sex them up, and yet cautioned that the sexual energy produced within themselves is acceptable only when exercised in narrowly defined ways.
Here are some thoughts:
I have observed that women treat their sexuality, or more specifically their sexual availability as a commodity. Have you heard the saying “Why would he buy the cow (no negative intended) if he can get the milk for free? This old adage has been handed down from generation of mothers to daughters. That is, if a woman in our culture is going to have an acceptable sexual relationship with a man then a corresponding thing of value is required as payment by the male. The things of value vary. It can be, and often is the promise of marriage, safety and child rearing. This is the often discussed fulfillment of the biologic drive inherent in women to replenish the earth with humans in a safe environment. It is also often true the when seeking this requisite safety that the female relinquishes much of the relationship control to the chosen male; typically because he is simply physically stronger. This control often becomes ‘out of control’ to the point where many women in our society are left with only one control; the control of the mating ritual.
I have also observed that when the required children are produced, and safety has been provided, there is a missing emotional piece required by women as they gain additional maturity. It is a recognition that emotional support is missing with the chosen male partner, often leading to the seeking of emotional support from other men. This is the classic affair in its genesis, and the generator of the peculiar fascination with Alan Alda. It also clears the way to the current predictable path toward the emasculated metro-sexual. Is there any doubt that Mr. Alda and the standard metro-sexual has merely morphed himself into a new role; playing an old game with new tools? If the women doubt this, trust me that the men do not.
I also believe men support the double standard and are more responsible than either gender for its existence. We are driven by a biologic need to mate with anything that moves and produce children that resemble our own presumed perfection. In order to control our gene line it is necessary to control the female. The control involves placing multiple locks on the female’s sexual behavior, including the Muslim practice of removing the clitoris.
It’s my wandering around belief, for want of a more sound or more articulate belief, that the phenomena of men controlling women’s behavior through shaming and even surgical techniques, coupled with the females need to trade sex for another thing of value leads to the cycle of double standard reinforcement within the culture.
Within our society many have understood the underlying process and thrown off the shackles of this biological slavery. Women now control much of the US economy and important resource gathering capability. They are graduating from our universities as the majority gender. Economic power is available to and understood by many women. Men are beginning to assert new claims to rights over birth control and even fighting for disownment rights of their offspring when they are not in agreement with their birth.
Only when we overcome our biology through elective intellectual re-programming will we succeed in freeing our sexual selves from our self imposed slavery to the double standard culture.
When will the double standard disappear? Perhaps when women learn to experience and celebrate their sexuality without a reciprocal price being extracted from the male; and perhaps when men learn to experience and celebrate their sexuality without a corresponding compulsion to gain control of the subject females life and behavior.
If you have come this far you have been splashed and the floor/pool is open.