darren_stranger: (Default)
[personal profile] darren_stranger
 
In the wake of that shooting in the US, some discussions going on about misogyny, entitlement and the right to say "no" have reminded me of a train of thought i had some time ago on the subject. 

Years ago, i read one of those Gor novels (the ones set on a fantasy planet where men are musclebound warriors and women are submissive slaves). It actually wasn't too bad as a swords'n'sandals adventure story, but one bit that really stood out was a scene where the hero buys and frees the obligatory abducted-Earthwoman-turned-slave. The moment he removes her slave collar, she suddenly changes from a sweet, affectionate girl to a bitter, cynical tease, alternately leading him on then turning to ice, until he finally has enough and makes her a slave again (after which she can finally enjoy her true nature as a woman and blah blah blah). That bit of writing was a real eye-opener for me as to where at least some misogynistic attitudes may come from. I generally believe that hatred often comes from fear, and particularly fear of being or feeling powerless. For some guys, i think this fear takes the form of the perceived power imbalance that comes from a woman's ability to say "no". Buying into the notion that "sexual favours" are something that women grant to men, this puts women in control of a sought-after commodity - not just sex itself, but the approval and validation that goes with it (after all, if society teaches us that the hero gets the girl, then if you don't get the girl you're not a hero, just a loser). For someone with shaky self-confidence, a sexual or romantic rejection can be taken as a complete rejection of your worth as a person, and i think it is the thought of someone else having control over that, having that degree of power over your own self esteem, that some men are afraid of - fear that can turn to hatred. 

What is it they say? "Women's greatest fear is men killing them. Men's greatest fear is women laughing at them". I think there may be some truth to that.
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