Allie Long

To the ‘woke’ male who believes I owe him sex

As men step closer to progressivism toward women, my experience is that some mistake that as entitlement. While I might agree with your views, that doesn’t mean I owe you anything.

 

 

With campaigns like “He for She” and complaints of the friend-zone still permeating culture, men have long been encouraged to perfect the art of centering feminism and women’s sexual autonomy back on themselves.

From personal experience, the self-proclaimed feminist dude who also won’t take “no” for an answer in regards to sex is an oft-encountered trope … to the point that it’s become my expectation.

Somehow they are individually exempt from the ideology they tout. “Ok, I was nice to you. Why won’t you have sex with me? It makes no sense.”

But everyone — except most men — knows by now that the friend-zone isn’t real and that men don’t deserve praise for washing the dishes once a month, so where am I going with this without just adding to the noise?

Well, I want to get at how social movements can be exploited to perpetuate male entitlement — and white entitlement.

It’s not as much that men are “doing feminism wrong” as it is that they’re — perhaps unwittingly — using feminism to confirm the warrant of their entitlement.

It’s easy to condemn explicitly regressive attitudes. Any moderately liberal person can look at protesters outside of Planned Parenthood and say, “Hey…that’s bad

And as men adopt increasingly progressive attitudes, they get to think of themselves as climbing higher and higher up Enlightenment Mountain.

It’s kind of safe to say that if she doesn’t immediately and readily welcome your advances, she doesn’t really want them no matter how nice and feminist you might be.

 

I’m not saying they’re being pretentious on purpose, but their place of institutional power makes it so that any deconstruction or condemnation of white-wealthy-cis-hetero-able-bodied patriarchy isn’t something they have to do by necessity. They make a choice to denounce something from which they actively benefit, whereas the rest of us (well, for white women, it’s up in the air) denounce it out of necessity. It’s actively stifling us at best and oppressing us at worst.

And then we’re supposed to pat them on the back because they don’t get anything out of being feminists. It’s just something they do because they’re woke.

If men do something outside of the expected realm of male behavior — something the rest of us actually are expected to do (domestic shit, for instance) — without getting anything, the rest of us are supposed to say, “Wait a minute. Something isn’t right. Men haven’t been decent for so long that now that they’re being decent, we should praise them.”

For men, they tend to translate that notion of “we should praise them” to “we should fuck them.”

“Hey girl, I didn’t creep on you at the bar. In fact, I came up to you and asked if you were ‘ok’ after another guy actually did creep on you at the bar, and then I kind of listened to you talk for, like, a really long time. Want to go home with me? Wait. No? Fuck you.”

“Hey girl, remember that one time we had, like, consensual sex and I willingly wore a condom? Well, I want to do it again. What’s that? No? Well, now I’m going to go pout.”

Hey girl, why do you always date assholes? Look at me: the non-asshole. Date me! I am owed your affection for not being an asshole, (bitch).”

“Hey girl, I support your equal rights. Anyway, here’s a gay joke. I’m the funny guy, and I know how funny guys of middling attractiveness always get to fuck the impossibly beautiful Barbie women so you, woman of middling attractiveness, are a really easy catch.”

“Hey girl, I appreciate your uniqueness. You aren’t like that air-headed slut over there.”

“Hey girl, I was vulnerable and told you how I feel, and I don’t appreciate the fact that you now have the emotional high ground so never mind. I don’t have feelings for you. Also, I’m frustrated.”

“Hey girl, I’ve pursued you relentlessly for six months. I think you owe me one chance even though I know that if the situation were reversed, I’d definitely call you a psycho bitch.”

“Hey girl, I think toxic hyper-masculinity is dumb, but if you don’t let me fulfill every single culturally masculine gender role, I’m going to feel emasculated, so.”

And on and on and on.

But I think the male entitlement is unconscious.

For women, however, being a feminist is a thankless job. If anything, involvement in any aspect of feminism that isn’t feminism-lite is cause for unconstructive, undue criticism from the left and right.

For women, however, being a feminist is a thankless job. If anything, involvement in any aspect of feminism that isn’t feminism-lite is cause for unconstructive, undue criticism from the left and right.

Women (and people of color and the LGBTQ community) get condemnation for stepping outside of their cultural roles, but men get praise for doing just that from everyone except the alt-right, Reddit-ing hyper-males.

“Good job, generic man, for taking up your fair share of household tasks and emotional labor from your equally career-oriented partner, who, by the way, is a disgrace to women everywhere because she doesn’t ‘have it all.’”

Our collective response to “feminist” men feeds into their entitlement, but I won’t use “society” as a scapegoat for said entitlement.

It’s important to note, however, how there’s more to it than simply men masquerading as feminists to bed sexually autonomous, feminist women.

Maybe some men have that sinister plot in mind, but I think men with genuinely feminist ideals aren’t out to seduce women as much as they are truly caught off guard when their sexual desire isn’t immediately requited.

Unrequited affection isn’t something they’re conditioned to accept. They are groomed to employ tactics of “pursuit” with the idea that women who “play hard to get” simply need a little more convincing — read: coercion — of how desirable said men really are instead of simply accepting that some women won’t be interested in them.

But men should be tasked with confronting this socialization instead of giving into their entitlement. They should stop and think, “Is this woman really a bitch or should I just accept that not every woman will drop her panties at my whim and that I shouldn’t expect her to no matter how feminist-y I am?”

After all, male entitlement to women’s bodies is complicated by the socialization women experience — that they owe men sex for free drinks, for pursuit, and even for unwittingly giving them a hard on.

Men have to step back and ask themselves if women really want to have sex with them or if women who kind of say “yes” after repeated requests are experiencing a sense of obligation coupled with sexual ambivalence and the shoulder-shrug of “well, he did ask nicely and he did buy me a drink and I did accidentally turn him on, so maybe I should just give in.”

It’s kind of safe to say that if she doesn’t immediately and readily welcome your advances, she doesn’t really want them no matter how nice and feminist you might be.

Women don’t get any praise — if anything, they get criticism — for exercising their right to say “no.” (“Well, she dresses like a slut, so she must be advertising availability to everyone. Otherwise, that’s just false advertising.”)

Men should take five and examine why they feel entitled to sex — why they think that relentless pursuits and that calling women “bitches” in the face of unrequited sexual desire is ok. The rest of us should stop praising them for being minimally decent humans.

When it comes to sex, nothing is ever owed. End of story.

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