“They Only Want One Thing” The Fear of Men

This chart says it all. Women are not the enemy, with 1 in 4 facing a sexual assault. Of those, 1 in 6 will go to the police. Only 0.2% of female accused rape cases are false. Who is the enemy then? Not men, with 1 in 6 facing a sexual assault in their lifetime. Only 6% of men commit rape. The answer is obvious, isn’t it. The enemy is not a gender. The enemy is rapists. Why, then, are young girls growing up in fear of men who “only want one thing”?

Chapter TK - Women grow up fearing men and it's not right. Patriarchy promotes men as animals and it's just not true.

When discussing issues surrounding feminism and gender equality, women often take center stage, but we should also acknowledge how patriarchy affects men. Before I go on, let me say that I know the sort of inequality and discrimination women face is far more frequent and often more violent than what happens to men. Still, patriarchy has negative effects on the male gender that are worth discussing.

The cultural definition of patriarchy is “a family or society in which authority is vested in males, through whom descent and inheritance are traced.” I, however, see patriarchy as something less related to one’s biological gender and more related to society’s definition of masculine and feminine. The man who displays culturally accepted attributes of masculinity is held high while the man who displays culturally accepted attributes of femininity is on the same level as the female gender. The man who enjoys theater, who is more compassionate or who is attracted to other men faces his own brand of persecution for being something other than masculine.

This is why I see patriarchy today as being more closely related to masculinity than to the male gender. In many countries, women may keep their last names, have careers and survive independently without getting married. We’ve come a long way from the days where woman couldn’t vote and marital rape was legal. While all this is good, the law will never truly be able to enforce equality. That will only come when people choose to treat all genders equally.

Last week, I read and article titled ‘I Don’t Care if “Not All Men Are Like That”, or, Why I Assume the Worst.” The author wrote about why she has gotten used to assuming the worst from men. The short of it is that she, and other women, have trust has trusted men and had that trust betrayed enough times that she now always suspects ulterior motives. This got me thinking about my own experiences with men and, more specifically, how I was raised to think about men.

My father told me many times that ‘men only want one thing.’ This was a lesson I learned from an early age along with ‘violence is not the answer’ and ‘eat your vegetables.’ I was very nervous around boys my age, an attitude which only increased when I experienced bullying in the form of sexual advances. Words like ‘no’ or ‘stop’ never deterred them, leaving me no other option than to leave the room or run to an area where an adult would be present. If this sounds like an elementary experience, that’s because it is. I was a child and my bullies were children. At that early age, I had already learned to fear men.

When girls grow up learning to fear men, every  bad experience they have with the male gender fulfills their expectations. It’s like the self-fulfilling prophecy of a Debbie Downer. You know those people who always expect the worst? Daily events may go their way 90% of the time, but they only notice the 10% that fulfill their expectations. As such, they always expect the worst. I wonder if fear and mistrust of men is built the same way. It seems unlikely to me that most men are little more than monsters who can’t help but force themselves upon women at the sight of flesh. Yet, if we raise our young girls to think ‘men only want one thing,’ we turn them into that self-fulfilling prophecy.

This is why the push to teach *people not to rape instead of teaching *people how to avoid being raped is so important. Setting aside the fact that most victims of rape are victimized by someone well-known to them, while they are sober and within or near their home, teaching women how to avoid rape also teaches them to fear men. They learn that men can become monsters and attack them based on what they wear. ‘Boys will be boys,’ and women need to protect themselves. Call me an optimist, but I like to think most men are better than that.

Perhaps it is unfair to look at this as purely a gender issue. This concept of fear isn’t exclusive to rape or men in general.We have become a society which suspects the worst out of every stranger. When I moved from my small town to the suburbs, I was constantly warned to watch out for muggers and thievery. If I ever speak of living in the city, the first reaction I get is that I will get shot or raped in an alley if I move there. Is it any wonder that people seek the aid of technology to find friends?

I think we would have a far better society if we switched our thinking to assuming the best out of everyone regardless of their gender. After all, women are not the exclusive victims of rape, domestic violence and gender assumptions just as men are not the exclusive assailants.

*I used the term people because any person of any gender or sexuality can be a perpetrator or victim of rape. 

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87 thoughts on ““They Only Want One Thing” The Fear of Men”

        1. I wish I knew more about the military to give that a good comment. Clearly there are issues with women in the army, but I would imagine that men who act feminine or who are not straight would face a lot of problems given the military’s insistence on masculinity. Although, I would ask, is it that the military stresses masculinity or that we have the highest regard for masculinity, which society believes is best expressed in the military?

  1. “When girls grow up learning to fear men, every bad experience they have with the male gender fulfills their expectations. It’s like the self-fulfilling prophecy of a Debbie Downer”

    RIGHT ON! Well said TK

    1. Lucky for me, I have a man I care for very much, although I find it interesting someone would marry a tree. Did the tree consent to the marriage?

      In all honesty, though, that story is fascinating, if a bit odd.

        1. Oh thank God. Nothing surprises me these days. I once saw a TV show about a man who was in a romantic relationship with his car. He was VERY serious about this relationship. I felt particularly bad for the car…..

          1. I thought all men marry their cars. I’m in love with chocolate but not sure if it’s marriage material yet 🙂

    1. I would disagree. Rape isn’t about sex or lust. It’s about having control over another person. I don’t think rape will go down until people stop assuming they have a right over someone’s body, be that someone female or male.

      1. Disagreement welcome. Many women wind up in vulnerable places with men they consider non-threatening, or friends – not knowing their real motive, or intention – only to wind up being raped, or at least propositioned. Have you heard of date-rape? I think date rape, college student rape and spousal rape (not official terms) probably occur more than rapes by complete strangers. Unfortunately, I have no statistics and will not research this right now.

        1. I see what you mean, but I still think cases of date rape and spousal rape are more about power than they are about sexual pleasure. When a woman say ‘no’ ‘stop’ or is in clear distress, that is rape. I would like to think the average man would say ‘okay’ and stop. If he continues to force himself on her, that’s a power struggle and that’s rape.

          You are right that it is far more common for a woman to be raped by someone close to her and near her home than my a random stranger. I just don’t think that a man’s intentions to have sex, regardless of his honesty to do so, would lead to rape if he is denied.

          1. You don’t think a man’s intentions to have sex would lead to rape if he is denied? Okay, I think I got it. I disagree. It can happen if the doesnt respect boundaries or have self-control although it is wrong on all accounts. Thank you for this thoughtful post and discussion.

            1. I didn’t say it couldn’t happen. One of my good friends was raped by her boyfriend. She was saving herself for marriage, but they still made out and fooled around. One day he decided to take advantage of that situation and take what he wanted. I guess. The point I’m trying to make is that most (not all) want to have sex will a willing partner. They may do various things in attempts to persuade a woman to consent, but any decent human being would stop at the consent is revoked. If he doesn’t respect her boundaries, it is because he knows he has the power over her to take what he wants. Part of his thrill is that, despite her efforts, he can assert his power over her. I don’t buy the idea that most men would turn to rape if denied, although certainly some do.

              I would also like to thank you for this discussion. This is a very sensitive issue and I appreciate being able to discuss and disagree with each other respectfully.

              1. Ok,, I got it. I didn’t say most men would rape; It’s quite the opposite. Most can take no for an answer and deal with rejection. Interesting and sensitive indeed. I appreciate how you suggested a solution as well. Thanks.

      2. Think back to the article you put up last week about young TK being in a compromising position with a boy. That could have turned into a rape situation that seemed to be about sex. But he didn’t tell you he was inviting you over for sex.

        1. It could have turned into a rape situation if I said no and he forced himself on me, but he didn’t. Now, if I would have given in to my low self esteem and agreed to have sex with him, then that would be on me. I gave my consent. I may have also regretted it later, but that wouldn’t change the fact that it wasn’t rape.

          It’s true that, if he would have said ‘we’re having sex tonight’ I could have turned him down and avoided the whole awkward situation, but then he wouldn’t have had the chance to persuade me. Persuasion is still not the same as rape because it implies consent was gained before having sex.

          Nonetheless, I think we only disagree on a small issue. I would advocate for something different then men being honest about their intentions, though. I think men, starting in high school at least, should be taught the definition of consent. Sometimes it can be fuzzy. What if she’s too drunk to speak but seems to be coming on to you? What if you’re fooling around and she pushes your hand away? What are the laws surrounding what is and isn’t consent? Why is consent important. If we taught the answers to these questions to boys, then I think we might see a drop in rapes.

            1. I would think that would be part of it. None of this ‘boys will be boys’ crap. You are human beings, not animals. You are expected to act as such.

                1. Telling a girl that she should expect to be raped if she dresses a certain way, to me, says the same thing as ‘boys will be boys.’ It’s how we end up with stories about high school athletes who rape a girl, and everyone condemns her for being drunk while excusing the boys because ‘boys will be boys.’ Those stories always set me on fire. I could rant all day.

    2. I would disagree. Rape isn’t about sex or lust. It’s about having control over another person. I don’t think rape will go down until people stop assuming they have a right over someone’s body, be that someone female or male.

      1. That is so incorrect. Rape “could be” about control too. But it is primarily because of lust. We often hear news about assailants being complete strangers…obviously it is silly to assume that they were there to prove to the world that women in general are to be dominated by men.

        1. By control, I don’t me that anyone is trying to prove something about men being better or worse than women. I mean the thing that they are getting off on, what they get their sexual high from, is the control they have over another person. That’s what rape is. Plenty of people lust after other people without raping them. Likewise, many victims of rape were not lusted after by their rapist. Because it’s lust, attraction or love – which are natural human feelings towards other people who they see as people. It’s about control.

  2. This is excellent. You’ve managed to say exactly what I’ve been trying to articulate on the subject for some time. Of course, being a male though. whenever I try to make the argument, it just seems like I’m being defensive or trying to justify something. Very well done, and thank you. On behalf of the population that are ‘better than that’ but still generalized and feared.

    1. I think a lot of men say the wrong things or try to get their point across the wrong way. Commonly I will hear ‘what about the men who are falsely accused of rape?” or “If he genders are equal, that means I can hit women, right?” These questions come off as offensive. The first implies that false accusations of rape are somehow equal to the large problem of women being raped. It would be better to point out that men also face sexual assaults and that, even though they are not assaulted as often as women, they still deserve help and support. The answer to the second question is a simple ‘no.’ As in, no you shouldn’t hit anyone of any gender unless in self defense.

      I feel like men should be able to voice their concerns. Unfortunately, the ones who have reasonable concerns too often have their voices drowned out by those who make offensive claims.

  3. I think you are right…’most men are better than that’.
    Also true, we all carry some dark sides within us.
    It is part of our being human animals.
    Most of us choose right and positive paths.

  4. I think from a woman’s view it is always a self fulfilling prophecy. Either way they get warned for bad apples and shown how good it can be on the media. (see what happened)
    We tent to highlight bad things on something. While Media exaggerates the the best or worst.
    For men it is being left with the media. As not much is told from the start.
    So everything else is learned along the way and since we do get high hopes (media) we are almost always let down till we get smarter.
    It is an interesting post.

    1. Thank you. I think the two sides are at odds. We learn to avoid the evil animal that is a man but at the same time expect to be swept off our feet. How on earth can that happen unless we interact with men? It all collides to make for some significant confusion.

      1. True we go from one end to another and are hardly found in the middle meddling and interacting.
        Maybe we are taught to much to put everything in boxes. and are afraid t think outside of it.

        I like your thinking

  5. This is wonderfully written TK. I have arrived at similar conclusions. The feminist movement as you have indicated has dealt with all the surface and obvious things such as laws and regulations, but it is societal norms and minds that have the most changing to do yet. We still value masculinity far too much in society and so it acceptable for women to be more like men, but unacceptable for men to be more feminine. So it still seems that we don’t value what are considered feminine qualities and this has dire consequences for both genders. You may have seen the video floating around facebook (http://www.upworthy.com/theres-something-absolutely-wrong-with-what-we-do-to-boys-before-they-grow-into-men). Raising boys and telling them that they are wrong to cry is another example of devaluing characteristics that we deem as feminine. Such things have been linked to depression in boys and suicide because they don’t feel free to express their emotions. When a society devalues femininity, I think it’s also easy to say why gay men are strongly discriminated against.

    1. Don’t I know it. Hell, I’ve seen how depression affects men differently because it takes so long to figure out their not just ‘being men.’ I think the feminist movement and the fight for LGBT rights are closely related because they share a lot of common issues in defying gender norms.

  6. We live in a culture of FEAR. I have two lovely granddaughters who feel 100% comfortable with me. My 10 year old sits on my lap cuddling and laughing, and loves to be tickled. My one yr old baby girl smiles at me from across the room, waiting for me to do something to make her laugh. Our hearts are fused together, the joy is out of this world. I think girls can learn a lot about men from good fathers and grandfathers. I have learned a lot from them as well! Love is so much healthier than fear based living.

    PS: (Taking the Goddess out of religion was a huge mistake).

    1. It’s unfortunate because there are so many good people out there. I think guardians of children can play a huge role in changing this in the way they raise their children. However, if they are also filled with fear then that’s what they will end up teaching to their children.

  7. I would like to comment on the subject but for me it hits to close to home. But I would like to say I respect you attitude towards it because most women don’t see it that way and fear any man who has the look of what they think is a rapist. “Fear is the mind killer.” If all we ever do is live in fear then how can we learn to love, accept and help people be better in a world that’s so messed up?

    I would also like to say I respect both men and women accordingly. I to have had my fair dealings with men but also with women. My experiences have left me a bit paranoid of both sadly, though I would like to not be that way. I want to say more but as I said before things are to close to home and it tends to stir up controversy among everyone.

    I just want to say thank you for being a wise person in your words and kind heart.

    1. Thanks for commenting. I’m sorry for hitting so close to home. I welcome you to share your thoughts, but there’s no shame in not being ready. We all share those pieces of ourselves when we feel the time is right.

  8. Another awesome written article. So much work still has to be done to teach both men and women how radically important explicit consent is. Men are socialized to be forceful and take the lead, and that needs to stop (this is not an excuse, just an understanding). We still have a long way to go, but hopefully we can create a world where consent is not some ‘radical’ idea.

    And I’m being nitpicky on this one point since I’m in sociology and this tends to confuse people in the sciences because it’s used interchangeably. Gender = the social construction masculine and feminine, sex= biological traits. Just the line ” I, however, see patriarchy as something less related to one’s biological gender”, confused me a little, but maybe you did mean gender and I misunderstood.

    1. I did mean gender, but I assumed gender was a biological trait. You are male or you are female. I’m sorry, clearly I’m the one who didn’t understand the terms I was using. I know that, just because a person is biologically female does not mean they are a girl… at least, I think that’s how it goes.

      My point was, I don’t this patriarchy is about those people who are born with a penis. It’s about those people who act masculine being better than those who act feminine. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

      I agree on your consent point as well. I should be taught, all the way down to telling people that a legally drunk person cannot legally consent, regardless of how they are acting. We had this intro thing they made us go to in college where they discussed sexual assault. They separated men and women, but one of my male friends said their basic message was, if she doesn’t say ‘yes’ don’t do it. That is as it should be.

  9. another good article TK. you hit something right on the head when you said your father said men only want one thing. that’s where it starts. it didn’t just start with him telling you that. it started with him growing up as well. like myself, when i was in school, that was the phenomenal thing. so naturally as he gets older and has kids he wants to protect. but as always, fathers always want to protect their daughters. and as kids, what is learned from homes are brought into the schools as well. we as kids as we get older have to channel all of that stuff to determine if there is merit behind it. for me for example, and I don’t want to make it to be a touchy kind of debate here, but for me it was believed that if you didn’t follow the church’s ways you were heading downward. too much programmable material going on here. you do see my point here, right? but you are right, it’s not gender biased in regards to this.

    1. It shouldn’t be one or the other gender. Fathers and mothers should be concerned about protecting both their children. They should value the chastity of both their children. They should teach their children to respect all genders equally. Being ‘girly’ should be seen as any worse than being boyish.

      The concept of telling girls to close their legs and then telling boys to go get’em is what makes me the most mad, though. What do we think is going to happen, especially if we don’t teach them the meaning of consent.

      1. well said and agree. I focus on the guy thing cause that’s really all I know. I will say this though, when I was a kid, I didn’t learn it from home. it was learned at school or the street. so obviously I didn’t get very good instruction. as a kid learning it that way it can indeed present that entirely wrong mindset. I weeded through it.

  10. This is a wonderful post; thanks. I’m soooo sick of dealing with these kinds of assumptions from women, but I can’t help but acknowledge that the fear is there for a reason–both upbringing and those few “bad apples” who don’t treat others properly. I’m glad you’ve expounded upon this topic.

    1. It’s the up bring of both genders that’s the problem. Women are told to lock their legs closed, to fear men because they only want one thing and to cover their bodies for that fear. Boys, on the other hand, are told to ‘go get ’em’, that revealing clothing is for their entertainment and opens her to be touched and that getting her drunk is a good way to get her in bed. All of these things are wrong. We should be teaching them the exact same thing. Treat people with respect. Be honest with you intentions. Never assume a person wants to be touched if you don’t have their consent. Like it or not, if a person is drunk, they legally lack the ability to consent. I would tell both genders that, unless you are currently dating the person or know them well enough, never have sex with a drunk person. ESPECIALLY if they can’t even speak for themselves. That goes for all genders because, while it is less frequent, a woman can take advantage and rape and man just the same as the reverse.

  11. I am older than many who are on your comments, but I take a person, one at a time. Individuals need to be respected, until they do something that takes them off my list of ‘good people.’ I am not one, at age 58 to judge people. Good people come in all sizes, shapes, genders or choices, but ones ‘who suck the life out of me,’ I have discarded. Ones who intentionally are mean or thoughtless, also. I think we need to be surrounded by positive energy to help us live longer… There is my answer to the whole post, in my opinion! You wrote a great thought-provoking post! Smiles, Robin

    1. I agree, people should be respected until they do something that loses that respect. I know a lot of people who don’t feel that way, though. They don’t have respect or trust in anyone until a person proved to them they are ‘worthy’ of that respect.

  12. Excellent post, especially for such a tricky subject. That’s impressive, even before the convenient fact that I agree with you entirely. And the takeaway message of not being so dern afraid of each other? Priceless. I trust myself, and all the guys I know…but I admit, I am pretty suspicious of any dudes I don’t! Still so much to learn… 😉

    1. I spoke to my father about this issue this weekend and he still said “men are animals. What do you expect?” It’s such a shame that the idea men can’t control themselves around women is still so strong. I wish people would talk about the real issues behind rape. Focusing on men as animals and women as whores isn’t helping anyone.

      1. In case anyone’s interested: there are many men who don’t subscribe to the cultural mores that say, “men are animals who can’t/won’t control themselves, and women have to be wary.” http://goodmenproject.com/
        As a middle-aged man, it’s easy to get VERY jaded about dating because almost every woman past the age of 25 automatically assumes that all men are animals/evil. I strongly believe that we can prove this notion incorrect if we all work to be other than described.

        1. People just need to get their facts straight. According to that graphic, only one out of every 17 men commit rape. Add that to the fact that most rapes are committed by people well known to the victim and we find that all the male and female stereotypes associated with rape are useless because they don’t address the main issue.

          You should have been there for the conversation. My father kept insisting, well what if she wears…/well what if she does…./ what does she expect….

          I basically had the exact same reply. But when she says no, most men stop. 16 out of 17 men, actually, will stop. I wish I could have changed his view, but he then started to question how many rapes are real or false accusations and then questioned where those numbers are from. Since I didn’t read the studies to identify the methods used, there wasn’t much I could say. I’m happy there is a movement like the Good Men Project out there. Maybe it will even motivate more men to stand up when they see a someone acting suspicious around someone else (again, because anyone of any gender can be the perpetrator or victim of rape).

  13. I agree that masculinity and femininity play an important role, as you say.

    I have also seen women who have been hurt by men who then hate all men.

    I have also seen women who have been hurt by men by being raped who don’t hate all men, But who hate sex. And that gets in the way of relationships with men.

    And it is important to point out that patriarchy hurts men, too, as you say. Often in the ways described above.

    But the problem goes beyond masculinity and femininity. Which isn’t to say that the problem is men.

    When you grow up in a patriarchy that values men and masculinity, and bestows greater privilege on each, both women and men internalize this and repeat it. When that seems natural and normal to everyone– and all they know– you find women harming and limiting themselves in order to uphold the privilege of men. See this post for instance:

    Why Do Women Fight Against Their Own Interests?

    1. All true, which is why there are women who are anti-feminist and men who claim all men are animals. As far as they are concerned, that’s just the way of the world.

  14. I wholeheartedly agree. And you’re right to broaden the thinking beyond gender and rape. Expectations of race are at least as prevalent, and perhaps harder to talk about.

    1. I really wanted to add something about expectations of race as well as LGBT rights and how they relate to patriarchy, but I felt like it would have made this post too long. I have added these to my ideas folder, though, and might discuss these issues in the future.

    1. Thanks. It was racketeering to write because I didn’t want to belittle the horrible acts committed against women or make men feel like women are all out to get them. We are all on the same side and we all deserve equality, regardless of gender or sexuality.

  15. This is a fantastic blog! You are addressing so many issues with real nuance and insight. And, about not knowing everything in your fandom–one of my professors once said that the definition of growth is knowing that you do not know everything. Keep learning and thinking!

  16. This was well written. I can definitely agree with you on multiple points. Especially the part about being kids and the words ‘no’ and ‘stop’ being ignored by boys even in moments of play.
    Also the idea that my body and my presence isn’t to entertain or sexually arouse anyone else. It’s my body and I alone have control over what I choose to do with it.
    Anyway, I loved this post!

    1. Amen! The other month, I was talking about this very idea with my father and it devolved into a lot of “what does she expect” comments. It’s such a double edged sword. If you dress ugly, then you’re not womanly enough. If you dress pretty, than you should expect men to attack you? What does that say about men. That conversation made me sad because what I was really trying to say was how wrong it is that so many assume men are monsters. I am not kidding, he denied that people think men are animals and then said “men are animals” in the next sentence. People just don’t see it. Men should be taught to respect women, from the age of 0 and on. Maybe then, society won’t assume all men are animals incapable of controlling their urges.

  17. My My My… I am …. male… and I do want to think of myself as unable to do such a thing as rape. I don’t want to act enraged at women who want to reject men because of their experience, but it is sort of sad for a lot of us. There are plenty of great guys among us who really seek love, it’d be a shame to have it be spoiled for everyone by a bunch of sick perverts.

    1. I do think it’s sad. What’s sadder to me is that men too often perpetuate their own stereotype (I’ve heard my own father tell me ‘men are animals who only want one thing’). For every man who really wants to find love, there is another telling all women that men aren’t interested in such things.

      Even more, too often I hear stupid arguments against rape. For example, some men will say most rapes are actually false accusations and no one pays attention to that. As such, feminists must hate men. This is so sad because there is a negative effect on men. There are men assaulted who don’t get help or feel like they aren’t a ‘real man’ because of what happened to them. There are men who are stereotyped because women have been taught to fear men and have overheard fraternity chants promoting rape. When it comes to male issues with sexual assault and rape culture, the 1 in 6 men who will be assaulted in their lifetime and the ‘men are animals’ stereotype are far more damaging than the 0.2% of false rape accusations.

      1. I don’t really know the statistics on all of this, but the lines are definitely more blurry than the media or our culture wish us to believe.
        I always am baffled by what I see being shown… commercials, movies or TV shows: The protagonists walk and a car stops with attractive people offering to take them to some wild party. I see such a scenario much more often when the protagonists are male, and it’s attractive women who stop by. More importantly, when it’s girls being given such an offer by a bunch of guys, it’s always given a reaction of hesitation or doubt if this is a good idea. But with the more common scenarios from the male perspective, the idea is that they HAVE TO do this. They have to get laid!!!
        Wait, what? So girls have a lot to worry about, but guys have to use this chance, no matter what?! I don’t think the dangers of entering a stranger’s car are dependent on the gender!
        I realize this is partly just media catering to the teenage mindset, but I don’t feel like this is right eitherway. This promotes the idea that guys are all about having sex, which is probably part of the reason why many women don’t take us seriously.
        THEN AGAIN, some guys consider me to be a homosexual, because I find the intelligence of a woman to be much more attractive than breast-size, so who am I to talk?
        PS: Sorry for such a weird response…

        1. No, you make perfect sense. The truth is, all people, regardless of gender, should probably be wary of hopping into a car of strangers. There’s nothing wrong with wanting sex or seeing a person and being sexually attracted to them. That goes for women as well as men. Having lots of sex is no more shameful for one gender than the other.

          There’s certainly nothing wrong with your personal preferences be they related to gender or attributes. I mean, it’s great that you like intelligent women. I know plenty of men like that. I just hate when people use the term homosexual like it’s an insult. There’s nothing wrong with being homosexual anymore than there is with being attracted to intelligent women.

  18. Men are better than that. I’d like to hear from a man about how he feels growing up being taught that he’s nothing more than an animal who can’t control his instincts or make rational decisions. If we teach them they are that way then they will become that way. I hate the fact that men in this society are “guilty until proven innocent.” Assume all men are evil rapists until they prove they are rational intelligent beings. That can’t be affecting them well and I think it’s just plain wrong.

    1. The crazy thing is that it’s an idea perpetuated by men! I brought this very topic up to my father a few months ago. While he started out saying “of course not all men act like that,” we hadn’t been talking for five minutes before he said “what do you expect? Men are animals.” Just like we discuss women internalizing certain gender inequalities, so do men. We have to change that conversation to say something like “men respect all people for their humanity, even when they can’t help but be attracted to them.” There’s nothing wrong with attraction, after all.

      It needs to be on both sides, men should be told that they are rational intelligent beings and women should be told that most men are rational intelligent beings. If everyone just did that, we’d see a lot of improvement.

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