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Sat May 31, 2014, 09:04 AM

Virginity, Violence and Male Entitlement

I can even manage to feel sorry for the men who empathize with Elliot, because Iím sure that recognizing that part of yourself is difficult and frightening.

I cannot, however, feel sorry for Elliot himself. I donít especially care how sad and lonely he was. I canít find it in me to feel badly that women rejected him over and over. I definitely donít have time for people who seem to think that all of this could have been prevented if only Elliot had gotten laid.

I was a virgin when I was twenty two, by which I mean Iíd never had penetrative sex with a man (or any kind of sex with anyone, to be honest). And yes, I believe that virginity is a social construct and not an actual thing, but at the time it was very real to me. I was embarrassed and ashamed of my virginity, and I definitely felt unwanted, undesirable and unattractive. To make things even worse, there was (and continues to be) this pervasive myth that any woman can have sex whenever she wants, because all men are animals and will fuck anything they can. But they didnít want to fuck me.

And you know what? Literally at no time ever did I think, gee, I should go on a killing spree.

I never felt entitled to menís bodies just because I wanted them.

I never blamed all men everywhere for my inability to get it on.

Never. Not once.

And while I understand that there is more social pressure for boys to be sexually active than there is for girls, that doesnít mean that girls experience any kind of expectations surrounding their sexual initiation. To be honest, being a twenty two year old virgin made me feel like a freak Ė no one else I knew was as inexperienced as I was, and the older I got, the harder it became to admit to my peers that Iíd never even seen a guyís junk, much less done anything with it. By the time I got to university, whenever I told people that Iíd never had sex, they gave me the once-over, like, what is wrong with you. I worried that I had some kind of sell-by date, like there was an age that I would hit when no one would want to touch my virginal self with a ten foot pole. I just wanted to get the damn thing over with already so that I could get on with the rest of my life.

But I never considered blaming all men everywhere for my problems.

See, the difference is that I didnít feel like sex was something that men owed me. I didnít believe that other women, the women who dated the people with whom I was madly, hopelessly in love, were unfairly co-opting something that was rightfully mine. I didnít think that being nice to men meant that I was entitled to date them. I was miserable and lonely, but I didnít try to pin the blame for that loneliness on anyone else, let alone an entire gender.


http://bellejar.ca/2014/05/31/virginity-violence-and-male-entitlement/

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Arrow 39 replies Author Time Post
Reply Virginity, Violence and Male Entitlement (Original post)
ismnotwasm May 2014 OP
shenmue May 2014 #1
theHandpuppet May 2014 #2
sulphurdunn May 2014 #3
seabeyond May 2014 #7
sulphurdunn May 2014 #10
DesertDiamond May 2014 #4
seabeyond May 2014 #8
Sweet Freedom May 2014 #15
seabeyond May 2014 #16
Sweet Freedom May 2014 #22
seabeyond May 2014 #23
theHandpuppet May 2014 #24
seabeyond May 2014 #5
davidthegnome May 2014 #6
seabeyond May 2014 #9
davidthegnome May 2014 #11
seabeyond May 2014 #12
seabeyond May 2014 #13
davidthegnome May 2014 #14
seabeyond May 2014 #18
davidthegnome May 2014 #20
seabeyond May 2014 #21
ismnotwasm May 2014 #25
theHandpuppet May 2014 #34
ismnotwasm May 2014 #35
theHandpuppet May 2014 #36
davidthegnome Jun 2014 #37
theHandpuppet Jun 2014 #38
ismnotwasm May 2014 #17
seabeyond May 2014 #19
randys1 May 2014 #26
Dark n Stormy Knight May 2014 #27
redqueen May 2014 #28
seabeyond May 2014 #29
redqueen May 2014 #30
ismnotwasm May 2014 #31
redqueen May 2014 #32
seabeyond May 2014 #33
MadrasT Jun 2014 #39

Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Sat May 31, 2014, 09:10 AM

1. Thank you for posting

That sums up a lot of what I went through, too.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Sat May 31, 2014, 09:35 AM

2. Excellent piece.

I was also gratified to read, for once, so many supportive comments in response.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Sat May 31, 2014, 11:24 AM

3. Just like you.

 

There are plenty of 22 year old male virgins who don't blame women for it, don't feel entitled to sex and have never imagine going on a killing spree because they've never been laid.

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Response to sulphurdunn (Reply #3)

Sat May 31, 2014, 11:55 AM

7. my son that will be back soon likes to discuss this subject.... and everything else

 

in social and psychological and philosophical. one of the things is going to be me sharing my first serious, the break up and how i processed it. allowing him to talk about his.

i think his first break up of love, he felt this. he has talked enough about that experience and how it made him feel. he didnt want to. and would not want to in the future. but, i think he is honest enough with self, that he can own this. he tells me often he thinks it is ultimate in being honest with self. and he says.... he is damn good at it.

i love youths confidence. dont you?

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #7)

Sat May 31, 2014, 12:08 PM

10. Youths confidence.

 

I'm lucky to have survived it, but I'd gladly trade the resignation of age to have it back.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Sat May 31, 2014, 11:42 AM

4. This is excellent! Personally, I am so tired of men who demand that I give them an excuse if I don't

want to have sex with them, or go straight to insulting me for rejecting them, no matter how much I try to respect their feelings. It's also an extremely negative experience when men act as if because I'm single I am simply low-hanging fruit waiting to be harvested by whoever makes a grab for me.

And although I have yet to find the right man for me, I have never, EVER felt that this was owed to me.

Have things improved over the years? I really don't know, because there have always been decent men as well as the "entitled" ones. But it really amazes me to realize once again that there are still a lot of men out there who really don't see women as human beings.

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Response to DesertDiamond (Reply #4)

Sat May 31, 2014, 11:58 AM

8. virgin/lesbian/slut.

 

first it is cause you are a virgin, oh silly girl. then as time goes, MUST be a lesbian. (cause why else would she deny me?) on to the fuckin slut.....

now. this is something many of us have expereinced. enough. that when ever i put this out.... it is a thing. people say, ya.... both men and women hear this.

but. lets actually think about it

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #8)

Sat May 31, 2014, 12:27 PM

15. You forgot "bitch"

Where I live, It was always slut/bitch/lesbian, in that order.

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Response to Sweet Freedom (Reply #15)

Sat May 31, 2014, 12:35 PM

16. i kinda see it the

 

slut was right before hte bitch when we are walking away... lol

interesting

i literally had this man that got all obsessive. he started asking me out. i continued to say no. wasnt interested. he came to me and said, he was sure i was a virgin and just being shy and he would be gentle. lol

ya. that conversation went well.

later he came to me and asked if i was lesbian. cause maybe that was it.

when i was going out with different people, i became the slut. sleeping with them all. and that is when he got scary.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #16)

Sat May 31, 2014, 12:53 PM

22. Ewww

That's creepy.

I became a slut when I was 12. I was on a school bus field trip sitting next to the principal. I was talking to a boy about whatever 12-year-olds talk about, and he didn't like my opinion, so he slut slurred me. Mortified, I turned to the principal for backup and he just laughed and laughed. I became the school slut in a millisecond.

Then, I was a bitch for many, many years. Rarely was I lesbian.

I remember boys harassing me about being a virgin in third grade, but I think that's the only time I was a virgin.

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Response to Sweet Freedom (Reply #22)

Sat May 31, 2014, 12:54 PM

23. omg... two different worlds. lol. and both... men dictating our sexuality. interesting.

 

i could really play with your story sweet. thanks for sharing.

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Response to DesertDiamond (Reply #4)

Sat May 31, 2014, 12:59 PM

24. I just wonder...

How many women have gone out on a dinner date and before you can even finish the appetizer are already wondering how you're going to let him know you're not going to have sex with him tonight and whether he'll get pissed or never see you again?

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Sat May 31, 2014, 11:51 AM

5. i am so glad this woman spoke out. i make this point. every single person ignores it. women? sex?

 

women be served up?

they give. you know. the guy. it is about the guy being taken care of.

never do i hear anyone in any of these conversations talk about this issue, this way. i am so glad she told her experience.

i know i was glad that i was not a virgin at 22. cause when i would hear that, and hear it with older people, both sexes, i gave the once over. what is wrong with you. and i would know i did it and say, oh fuck. wrong thought.

so. i get it. she said it well. cool. i like. really like. i am not going in gd with it. but.... this is a good one for gd. for people to actually listen to a woman about her sexuality.

we have them, too. they are not only about serving man.

why do we have to start saying this again guys. if it is in your porn to serve you, you say THAT is our freedom. fuck that.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Sat May 31, 2014, 11:53 AM

6. It's rare, but not THAT rare.

A whole lot of people just lie about it. Especially men. You can hear all about it in locker rooms, in random conversations between guys when they meet up. They lie about girls almost as much as they lie about the size of their twinkies.

There is a societal expectation that we have either had sex by the time we're 18 or so, or that we at least lie about it. I mean, who wants to star in their own forty year old virgin movie?

That said - I don't think anyone owes it to anyone, but I do think it's a shame that we live in a society where sex is such a taboo subject, even when it's all around us in movies, video games, media, music... our culture is obsessed with it, but there's a dark under-current that somehow suggests that it's sinful, something we should feel guilty about. I don't think that our physical bodies and their natural desires should be a subject for shame and ridicule.

I was raised Catholic - people told me when I was a boy that pre-marital sex was wrong (it makes baby Jesus cry, or something) and that I should get married before I did it. As a boy, I nodded my head, because I didn't understand it, I didn't know what puberty was yet. As I get older, the notion is absolutely bizarre to me. Why on earth would anyone get married with someone they might have absolutely no sexual compatibility with? Love, I guess. Maybe intellectual or emotional connection. But most modern relationships require that kind of compatibility for success.

Getting back to the original point though - I expect that it wasn't just the sex issue for Rodgers. He was a confused young man who seemed incapable of understanding the notion of responsibility. If women didn't want him, he should have cleaned himself up, been less of a jerk, moved to another place, hired an escort. Hell, there are any number of things he could have done. His decision to commit murder, based on hatred and the notion that he somehow deserved sex, costs him any respect, sympathy, or understanding I might have had for him.

How was this guy educated? Did he have sisters (which might have increased his understanding, somewhat, of the female gender?) Was his upbringing a religious one? Often, the confused notions of sex common in religion frustrate the hell out of young men. Having been a young man - having had my own difficulties with the opposite sex, I understand loneliness, I understand desire and frustration. I don't understand the hate, the violence, or the narcissism though, that leads one person to think that they deserve sex, that it's all everybody else's fault if they can't find a girlfriend.

I think our society encourages loneliness, narcissism, sex obsession - and overall nervous breakdown. I feel that we really need an educational system which focuses, not just on academics, but also on sociological and psychological issues. There's a reason there's so much violence in this Country - and a lot of it comes from a lack of education and understanding.

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Response to davidthegnome (Reply #6)

Sat May 31, 2014, 12:02 PM

9. i dont know if i will read rest. society sex is a taboo subject??? fuggin' for real? we obsessively

 

talk about sex, watch sex, talk about watch talk about watch....

i do not know how much doin' is being done

but. can we let go that we are a nation that does not talk about sex?

isnt that the stupidest fuggin thing you have ever heard? really? when you think about it. in every show. even kids cartoons. so many commercials, ads we see, movie, music... see where i am going? can i stop.

we are fuggin in the face obsessed with sex. so maybe we can stop with the fuggin taboo talkng about it.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #9)

Sat May 31, 2014, 12:11 PM

11. Well, if you had read the rest...

You would have realized that that was kinda my point.

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Response to davidthegnome (Reply #11)

Sat May 31, 2014, 12:14 PM

12. excellent. then david. i will continue on reading. thank you for letting me know.

 

but. do you see the outrageous in that statement? adn why a person should stop. i get that too often.

k

i will read.

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Response to davidthegnome (Reply #11)

Sat May 31, 2014, 12:17 PM

13. so why did you say it? your very next sentence proved otherwise.

 

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #13)

Sat May 31, 2014, 12:24 PM

14. Maybe I could have used clearer language.

My point is mostly that, while, yes, society is obsessed with sex - the taboo is religious in nature. That there is deep guilt, feelings of wrongness and shame associated with sex when it's a natural thing that pretty much all of us desire. On the one hand - it's promoted like mad, sold like mad, it's all over the place. On the other hand, the deep belief that it is wrong, that we're going to hell if we do it before marriage, that God hates it or that we're bad people for wanting it or doing it... is where the taboo lies. This is why when men talk about sex in a locker room, they aren't honest about it.

You will likely never hear a man in a locker room say, "I'm so horny I think about boinking trees. I don't understand why women don't want me. Can you guys help me figure it out? Why am I still a virgin at 25? Do you think it might be because I only shower once a week? Seriously. Let's talk about this and try to figure it out."

Much more likely, "OMG. Guys, I got me some hot babes last night and we went at it all night long. There was like, three of em, and they were all talkin' about how big my manhood was (it's like six feet long, seriously) and begging me to let them play with it."

I'm exaggerating a bit in both examples, but the point is that there's a reason men lie about sex. Some of it is shame inspired by religious guilt, some of it is shame inspired by the notion that you're not a man if you haven't had sex yet. Some of it is just the frustration of deeply lonely men who can't figure out what to do about their desires.

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Response to davidthegnome (Reply #14)

Sat May 31, 2014, 12:44 PM

18. yes. i get all that. i really do. i have been talking about it for a while now.

 

how important it is to have this conversation with men... ya know. instead of me, a woman talking about it. often. cause i see how damaging and unhealthy it is for our boys and our men.

you know... me, that man hater.

here is the thing. we have so suddenly gotten all obsesses with mens testosterone. we are holding it up, building shrines, constantly talking about the awesomeness of testosterone. all of who the man is.

he desperately needs to detach himself from all that is woman, or he might be labeled as such. and that is where the real fear is.

changing the very definition of manhood. his only worth is in his conquest, sexuality.

i mean come one....

where is our conversation about that awesome fuggin estrogen. lol. all the time.

that is the mans worth. as my worth is serving that man.

that is where the issue in all this, is.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #13)

Sat May 31, 2014, 12:46 PM

20. For further clarification of my point:

Imagine the typical upbringing of a male Christian in our society. Say they're Catholic, or Baptist, or some version of Christianity that is known for it's conservative views in regards to sex. They are taught that sex should only happen after you are married. Perhaps even that it should only be done for the purpose of making babies - that anything else is against God's will, that it's wrong and bad. They are told that even masturbation is somehow sinful, with preachers making vague references to some obscure text that quotes "Waste not thy seed."

Now put this Christian male in school. Surround him with other boys, that, as they grow, will become increasingly more interested in sex. Their bodies will go through changes, they will go mad with desires for things which they have been taught are wrong. Other boys around them will start talking about it in the locker room, or at birthday parties. It starts with lies about kissing, dates, perhaps they'll even say they got to touch some girl's lady parts.

Move forward a couple years - most of these same boys are now in their teens, lying instead about having had sex with lots of girls. Even though their religion teaches them that it's wrong, society encourages the idea that you should be a player, that you need to have sex to be a man, that the more sex you have the more awesome of a man you are. Men don't usually look up to the most experienced men (and/or) boys - they look up to the best liars. Wondering "Gee, how can I be like him? Why does he have so much luck with girls?"

So you have two very conflicting notions that are a deep part of your psyche as you advance towards adulthood. Not only can most men now not understand their own desires, they are half convinced that they're bad and going to hell - and half convinced that they'll be the most beloved men on earth if they can just have enough sex.

A little reality - sociological or psychological perspective, education... honest discussion about these issues... I believe, could make progress in turning things around, in instilling in young men some notion sincerity, of reality. If we can convince them that they do not have to hide their desires, that they are not wrong or bad - but that there are proper ways to go about managing these things... well, we could accomplish great things.

I don't think it's so much about having sex - as it is facing the reality of it, talking about it with honesty, sharing feelings - to stop with the repression that seems to be so encouraged.

Maybe I'm wrong, I can only share my own experience and thoughts as a man having been born and raised in this modern society. But I do think the solution is education. Real education as opposed to lies and bible stories.

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Response to davidthegnome (Reply #20)


Response to davidthegnome (Reply #20)

Sat May 31, 2014, 01:09 PM

25. I think it goes beyond religion

And into entitlement. Although most religions don't help much, especially when it comes to desperately needed sex education. If we could get the stigma off of it, and encourage kids to discuss with each other sexual feelings, including "locket room talk" why certain girls are designated as "sluts", why boys are encouraged to promiscuity and girls to virginity, encourage and explain safe sex and birth control as well as the principles of sex itself, then we might get somewhere.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #25)

Sat May 31, 2014, 09:56 PM

34. That entitlement is rooted in patriarchal religions

Any religion in which women are defined as inferior to men -- and that would probably include most of the world's religions -- is the common denominator for misogyny on a global scale. For me there's just no way to be polite about this issue. It is what it is. For thousands of years our major religions have indoctrinated countless millions that women ARE inferior, that they are the root of evil, that their very sexuality is nasty and evil, that they cannot be leaders, cannot be trusted, that they must be silent and obedient.
So no matter how much sex ed you have, how many talks you have with kids about sexuality, it's going to be damn difficult to hurdle that sense of entitlement unless you confront its source. It would be like treating the symptoms rather than the disease.

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Response to theHandpuppet (Reply #34)

Sat May 31, 2014, 10:57 PM

35. Yeah

I've looked at a lot of religions-- haven't found one that didn't say something shitty about women. Including Buddhism

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #35)

Sat May 31, 2014, 11:39 PM

36. It's like a rolodex of boys clubs.

"No Girls Allowed".

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Response to theHandpuppet (Reply #34)

Sun Jun 1, 2014, 12:27 AM

37. You're right.

But that is exactly what we do in this age. We confront the symptoms of illnesses with medications, rather than going the distance for a cure.

The confrontation you speak of is necessary for real and lasting change - but how to go about it? I think religious leaders need to step up to the plate here. Everyone from the Pope to the most conservative of religious conservative preachers. The basic message is a very simple one: sex and sexuality is not evil and all PEOPLE are created equal.

If the various religious leaders will not step up and start preaching this basic truth, then perhaps it is time for a new kind of religion in the world - one which promotes the idea of equality, compassion and truth. One that is not afraid of science and reality - but can embrace it and still at least ponder the greater mysteries.

I am an agnostic - I don't really believe in absolutes. I have always been open to the possibilities though. Sure, there could be a God, there could be a Goddess, there could be millions of deities. Maybe we were made by aliens. Maybe it was randomness. Maybe some supreme being farted very loudly one day and humanity was the result - I don't know. I do know that religions that deliberately mislead people and confuse them and inspire fear, ignorance and hatred - are being questioned more seriously with every passing year, as humanity nears what may be it's final crisis - overpopulation and climate change.

The solutions to the problems we face now are going to require all of us working together. Somehow, we have to abandon our petty differences, our egos, our hatreds and our fears of each other. Somehow, humanity has to realize that this is our world - that God isn't going to fix it with a miracle, that politicians won't resolve it with committees... that it requires concentrated effort by all of the people of the world.

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Response to davidthegnome (Reply #37)

Sun Jun 1, 2014, 01:27 AM

38. Thank you for this post

So well stated. It really gives me that spark of hope.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Sat May 31, 2014, 12:38 PM

17. This in the first real paragraph

To make things even worse, there was (and continues to be) this pervasive myth that any woman can have sex whenever she wants, because all men are animals and will fuck anything they can.



This is part of the fight, men are NOT animals, dogs, what ever. Women CAN't "get laid" anytime they want too. We are human beings who have been exposed to the pressure of harmful and unrealistic gender expectations that we've internalized to think are normal. They clearly aren't normal.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #17)

Sat May 31, 2014, 12:45 PM

19. because all men are animals and will fuck anything they can.

 

exactly what i was talking about right above.

the desperation holding onto this when we all know it is stupid, not true, a locker room story.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Sat May 31, 2014, 01:25 PM

26. I am schooling my twenty something sons about this

They didnt know that women have extreme feelings around men in general because of possible aggression, because neither of them are aggressive, but I explained their motives arent relavent, it is perception on the woman's part based on decades if violence against them

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Sat May 31, 2014, 03:23 PM

27. K&R. Not that all men are planning retaliation for not getting the sex they want, but

our society does, in obvious and subtle ways, perpetuate much of what is behind such a notion.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Sat May 31, 2014, 06:37 PM

28. Now this, this is fantastic.

I can even manage to feel sorry for the men who empathize with Elliot, because Iím sure that recognizing that part of yourself is difficult and frightening.


I cannot and will not feel sorry for them. They need to grow the fuck up already. Feminists have been begging men to stop treating us like sex objects for fucking decades. Their precious fee fees rate somewhere below a homophobe's thoughts on human sexuality on my importance meter.


Right now my priority is talking about all of the ways that women are dehumanized in our culture, and the ways that dehumanization affects us every day. I want to talk about how our culture teaches men to dominate women, and tells them that violence is the way to do this.


Sexual objectification in general, prostitution and pornography all blatantly portray women as things to be used. Even most people who know how these issues contribute to these problems mostly tiptoe around it, because society is so fucking in love with objectification and porn. Enough dancing around it.

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Response to redqueen (Reply #28)

Sat May 31, 2014, 06:48 PM

29. "I cannot and will not feel sorry for them. " ha ha. i thought the same when i read it. i like your

 

words better than mine. mine were nicer.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #29)

Sat May 31, 2014, 07:09 PM

30. Yeah, I'm so done being nice about this shit.

SO way past done.

Women are dying because of this shit. Anyone who gives me shit about being nice about it, about 'attracting allies'... they are demonstrating their priorities, and it tells me all I need to know about them.

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Response to redqueen (Reply #30)

Sat May 31, 2014, 09:02 PM

31. Andrea Dworkin again

Can't get this out of my mind


And also: that we do not have time. We women. We don't have forever. Some of us don't have another week or another day to take time for you to discuss whatever it is that will enable you to go out into those streets and do something. We are very close to death. All women are. And we are very close to rape and we are very close to beating. And we are inside a system of humiliation from which there is no escape for us. We use statistics not to try to quantify the injuries, but to convince the world that those injuries even exist. Those statistics are not abstractions. It is easy to say, "Ah, the statistics, somebody writes them up one way and somebody writes them up another way." That's true. But I hear about the rapes one by one by one by one by one, which is also how they happen. Those statistics are not abstract to me. Every three minutes a woman is being raped. Every eighteen seconds a woman is being beaten. There is nothing abstract about it. It is happening right now as I am speaking.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #31)

Sat May 31, 2014, 09:15 PM

32. Thank you. She put it perfectly. nt

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #31)

Sat May 31, 2014, 09:24 PM

33. dworkin... and again. agree with you both. nt

 

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #31)

Sun Jun 1, 2014, 01:10 PM

39. That speech is one of the most powerful things I have ever read.

I don't understand how people can read that and be dismissive of this.

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