Hyper-Masculinity and Power
Also, the Christian Bible is littered with unflattering descriptions of women as whores, harlots, temptresses, Delilahs and jezebels.
Yes, we must condemn sexual deviants like Harvey Weinstein. But as men we must do more than that: we must expose and condemn those predators in our midst that a
Rape and sexual abuse perpetuated by men against women is as old as time. For starters, back when the world was young and still male-dominated women (and girls) devalued, often considered as male property, and without the “natural rights” assigned to men. Arranged marriages between families were often for political and financial gains, all without the input, consent, or feelings of both girls and boys. Add to this the still prevalent mindset that in the nuclear family the husband and father occupies the dictatorial role as head of the household. Only males (men) were the important and relevant. Females were irrelevant, only useful as family cooks cleaner, child bearers; indeed they were just glorified servants serving at the pleasure of men.
You’d think that all this has changed since the age of enlightenment. You’d be wrong. Dead wrong. There’s Harvey Weinstein only the most recent demonstration of white, male privilege, hyper-masculinity and the intoxication caused by individual consumption of social, economic, financial power and prestige. The feeling of omnipotence by the natural selection of male superiority over women is what drives this kind of power and control. Men sexually abuse, rape and beat woman, and in many cases get away with it, because male-dominated society still tells them that they can. It’s that simple.
Being a female in a so-called man’s world has always been fraught with many challenges for the much-touted “weaker sex.” Even this characterization – that women are inherently weaker in every way than men – helps drive this abhorrent behavior towards women. For example, in many Muslim and rigid religious, male-controlled societies women and girls are still devalued, demeaned, and treated as property. Today, even in arguably enlightened Western societies women are still objectified and their self-worth devalued. Women are the minorities in corporate American boardrooms, barely represented in many professions and industries, and discriminated against in the workplace by being paid less then men for the same jobs with the same, or better, qualifications.
You see, I recognize that the Harvey Weinsteins of the world are deranged, insecure, little men-boys acting out their sexual fantasies on women precisely because their power, money, and prestige allows them to do it. So Weinstein represents only the symptom – not the cause(s) of sexual abuse against women in the workplace. Sexual violence – and that’s what sexual abuse in its many forms is – at the hands of men (the vast majority of perpetrators) is first driven by the simple reality of genetics. On average men are stronger than women so “taking a woman” against her will is not always that difficult. That’s straight “selection” of nature pure and simple.
In a modern world of chronic narcissism, instant gratification, fickle and fragile egos, and an insensitive disregard for consequences, sex is closely aligned and linked with violence. And in a society where violence is glorified, worshipped and a now-normal every day occurrence, women are the natural targets for men drunk with their feelings of self-importance. Women saying “no or stop” is seen as a “diss,” an unforgivable slight, a blow to a man’s “manhood,” and a humiliation. Modern day males, jacked up on hyper-masculinity, are not big on dealing with or handling rejection. They take it personal and this only fuels a kind of morbid rage to “show women who is boss.” Weinstein many not have heard the word “no” uttered over and over again by his victims since his feelings of entitlement to any and everything that this money could buy – including women’s bodies – trumped everything. Trapped in his “boys are better than girls” mindset sexual aggression and abuse came naturally.
Male hyper-sexuality and raging libidos has been the subject of many and far more expert studies and analyses then mine. From the earliest times sex has been a confusing and least understood phenomenon. Also, the Christian Bible is littered with unflattering descriptions of women as whores, harlots, temptresses, Delilahs and jezebels. The Biblical Eve is blamed for Adam’s stupidity, a sniveling, poor excuse of a man, saying, “she (the women) made me do it.” This lessening of value and male propensity to see women as tempters continues to this very day.
In the backward religious view the man is the “head of the house” and is accountable to no one. He can have sex with his wife even if she does not want to. Up to now the common view and widely held belief is that a husband cannot rape his wife. Can you imagine the number of husband-on-wife rapes that take place in America each and every day? The upshot is that society also enables male misbehavior. Its only when players like Harvey Weinstein “go rogue” and embarrasses the establishment status quo that hypocrites that knew about these horrid activities, who setup the hush money systems, and looked the other way as abuse after abuse racked up, jump ship like scared rats and turn on the famous perpetrator.
So why does this still happen in a society that shouts at the top its lungs about empowering women? Is it just simple hypocrisy? Or is it something else? To me, as a layman, its all about the embrace, promotion and sanctioning of all types of societal violence. Children are taught the virtues of always fighting back – not seek diplomatic, non-violent solutions to adversarial peer issues. Each and every day politicians of all hues and shades glorify the American soldier as the epitome and ultimate symbol of patriotism. And there’s no doubt that for the vast majority of Americans gun ownership is all about personal, constitutionally enshrined and supported, freedom.
Its this pervasive violent thread that weaves throughout all of American society that drives this gung-ho Hero Complex (mostly male) manifested by Hollywood’s heroes and villains killing, raping, and physically beating, dragging and terrorizing women. And you wonder why men, especially rich and powerful men, have very little respect for women? Remember one such man boasting about “grabbing them by the pussy?” Yes, we must condemn sexual deviants like Harvey Weinstein. But as men we must do more than that: we must expose and condemn those predators in our midst that are not big name Hollywood movie moguls.