The sexes seem to be having a hard time getting along these days.
Y’all ever use tinder? The pros include easy access to sex; cons include depression, anxiety, and ruminating on why the f*** they haven’t replied yet. I’ve been ghosted so many times you could call me Casper.
A few minutes is all it takes to realize that you’re nothing but an object to whichever lost soul is looking at you from the other end.
The funny thing about objectification, though; the more it happens to you, the more you feel justified in objectifying others in turn.
The other day my buddy and I were sitting on the couch ruminating on life. Looking for a pickmeup, he turns to me and says:
Buddy: “Hey man, wanna send all our tinder matches a message asking to have sex?
He said this good naturedly.
Buddy: “Like, ‘Hey, wanna come to my place and ‘watch a movie?’”
Me, not thinking about the moral implications of my behavior:
And that was that; the texts were off.
We made no considerations that we were completely objectifying the women on the receiving end. No thoughts that they we may be insulting their dignity. No thought that this may be another straw on the camels back, making these women more jaded about men- about masculinity. We were looking to stroke our egos. In the numbers game jungle of social media its hard to do much else.
The replies varied, of course.
Some were game, which I’m sure made their fathers proud. Most didn’t reply, opting instead to seethe for a moment and wonder where all the good men went. But the pièce de résistance was a reply from a firecracker of a woman my buddy matched with.
I’m paraphrasing, but it went something like this:
“You’re an idiot and an asshole. Fuck yourself.”
You can imagine our initial response to this:
‘Gosh, what a bitch.’
‘Seriously dude, she needs to get over herself.’
But, as usual, this turned into a deeper philosophical conversation. And our conclusion was… the opposite.
That woman was hurt by our bullshitting. She may not admit it if asked; few do. But the fact that people are unable to admit their vulnerabilities is nothing new. Her aggression said everything she couldn’t. We had hurt her. We were callous. We were at fault.
And for me, this little story about two immature jackasses who see women as sex objects, and even in the best of times as trophies, exemplifies these sexual-cultural clashes. They aren’t rooted in benign bullshit like spreading your legs or making social faux pas when communicating with the opposite sex- its the ego driven dehumanization of others. And that belongs to no sex.
Toxic masculinity gets most of the blame, but the focus on it is a front. Toxic feminity is the soil in which toxic masculinity grows. My buddy and I were not born ready to mass sext randos on the internet. We were fashioned by our culture- a culture of egoism, of selfishness, of callousnes- a culture of ghosting and superficiality- a culture of numbers game dating without any sense of sexual restraint.
This is a culture which both men and women partake in. We have been molded by our own pain from being cast aside into people who without thought cast aside the emotions of others. We are all products of this numbers-game culture that we live in.
The hatred and judgement wrapped in the term ‘toxic masculinity’ is a form of toxic femininity; it is an inability to communicate your needs. Had we the self knowledge to create better communication and better boundaries, cultural tensions would never have risen so high. Had there been more mutual understanding of our different natures this may never have occurred.
We men did not decide to trap ourselves in this egotistical, anxious mindset. We did not ask God to fashion us incomplete and incapable- we did not ask to desire woman’s approval; we did not ask to judge each other according to how many women we’ve slept with.
And yet, we do.
We are creatures, forged by evolution into beings whose lives and psyches revolve around reproduction. We are what we are, beyond all explanation, because we were placed on this world thus. I am an animal with instincts which compel me to do that which I wish I did not.
Likewise, women did not ask for their instincts- the desire for a better man, a stronger man; the desire to test a man psychologically to judge whether he was worth the time. The callousness to drop a man who does not meet the standard.
But we both, men and women, have these instincts- whether we wish to or not. Not only are we enslaved to our natures; we have opposing natures. We value the world in different ways, and this is rooted in our bones. If an attractive man greets 100 women with a proposition for sex, he may get one or two yeses. An attractive woman doing the same would be booked for the next 3 months.
We are different. And until we acknowledge that, we will never be able to relate to each other properly. And if we do not relate to each other properly, we will never we be able to create a culture that does what culture is meant to do- help human beings lead fulfilling, meaningful lives.