Since we had a woman-biased article on “male domination” in last week’s New University [“The Problem with Iron Men,” May 19, 2008″] I thought I should offer an alternative perspective. The article one-sidedly claimed that men in general sexualize and objectify women. The article made it seem like “white males” have all the power, and I could not disagree more. Women’s suffrage has come a long way from the sexist ideas of the past. And yes, it’s awful that there are still some men who rape, beat, oppress and objectify women. Thankfully, those men are not the majority. Nobody likes those guys.
What about this so-called “male dominance”? Guys, when was the last time you went to a club and had 10 or 15 girls start dancing with you or hitting on you without you even instigating it? Zero. How many times has a girl asked you out? Probably none. How often has a girl made the first move on you? Rarely. Do you pay for her dinner? Damn straight you do because you come off as tacky if you don’t. Face it: We’re all whipped by a woman before we even shake her hand.
Do guys talk about how hot women are? Of course we do, and women do the same thing to men. Men have Jessica Alba, and women have Johnny Depp. To say that men “objectify” and “sexualize” women without acknowledging that women are also sexual beings is ridiculous. Men worry just as much as women about how attractive they are; why do you think the weight room at the ARC is always full? Looking sexually attractive is a societal expectation shared by both sexes.
Ah, but what about the strippers and porn stars alluded to in last week’s article? Men objectify them, but it’s their job to be objectified, just like it’s the job of male strippers and male porn stars to be objectified. Last week’s article said, “When women strip for men, they put themselves in vulnerable positions where men can fantasize about penetrating their bodies. When men strip for women, it is the exact opposite. … They strut their ‘stuff’ and show how powerful and strong they are.” With all respect to strippers, this isn’t true. As a group, strippers strip to serve as eye candy for their audience. It’s what they’re paid to do and why people go to see them, whether they’re male or female.
Another surprising line from last week’s article said, “Why are we surprised when we hear about school shootings, domestic abuse and rape? … These problems are not problems with our kids, and they are not cases of insanity. They are men’s problems.” If that’s not sexist, then I don’t know what is. Both men and women are capable of committing the same atrocities. Attributing certain actions – such as violence – to a single group of people is bigoted.
I believe that women still face many struggles, such as abusive boyfriends and sexist employers. But to list societal expectations as a method of “male dominance” over women is simply illegitimate. Men also have to deal with society’s expectations. We come up and dance with you at clubs, hit on you at bars, risk rejection, plan first dates, make first moves and decide when to propose. I’ve met women who say, “I don’t like to make the first move.” I’ve even been turned down from a job at the University Center simply because, in the words of a disgruntled-looking female employee, “They’re only hiring women at the moment.” It’s a social custom for men to ask a girl’s permission to date heror marry her.
Therefore, I reject the claim that female models, female strippers, female anything are immorally sexualized and objectified. As long as male models and strippers are sexually appealing, objectification isn’t immoral. I won’t deny that the playing field isn’t level for women in many aspects of society. Hundreds of years of male dominance are not going to level out just like that. But beneath the professional part of society lies the social aspect, like going to clubs, bars and parties and even flirting in a classroom or restaurant.The female gender controls these situations, while men have to work for it. To say that men as a gender dominate the party scene, the clubbing scene or the bar scene is asinine.Chris Rock once eloquently summed it up: “Women are offered dick every day. … Nobody offers us shit.”
AE Anteater is a second-year English major. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.