How to Stare at Women

Hugo Schwyzer offers some practical advice for checking out women without making them head for the hills.

It’s been over 30 years, but I still remember the day Jenny Talbot caught me staring at her boobs.

Jenny and I sat next to each other in a couple of classes. We weren’t exactly friends, but friendly; she helped me in math, I helped her in social studies. One day, Jenny and I were working together on a project, our desks and bodies facing. Though she usually wore sweaters, this spring day she wore just a V-neck T-shirt. When she bent over, I could see her breasts encased in her white, frilly bra. I was not quite 14, and in a near constant state of arousal; the sight of a bra strap was, frequently, enough to produce an erection. With Jenny distracted by her work, I had a free close-up view of the kind I’d rarely had. So I stared.

At one point, after she’d been hunched over her work for a while, Jenny looked up and noticed my eyes locked on to her chest. Her reaction was immediate and fierce.

“You’re so perverted!” she yelled, loud enough to make the teacher and my classmates turned off. She turned away in disgust and anger; I cringed and flushed with embarrassment. The snickers of my classmates continued for a few days—from boys as well as girls—and they left me confused. Was it wrong to look? Or was it just wrong to get caught looking? Those questions haunted me for a long time afterward. Though I didn’t stop checking out hot girls, I made my gaze subtler, not wanting to ever repeat the public humiliation I’d experienced with Jenny.

When I got to college and took women’s studies courses, I heard for the first time about the problematic power of the male gaze. I listened to my classmates tell painful stories of the first time they noticed men ogling their bodies. I realized that I’d grown up believing what many men believe, that guys may not have a right to touch what they see, but they have a right to look as much as they want. Listening to women’s stories, I understood for the first time just how uncomfortable it was to be on the receiving end of those penetrating stares.

The question I wrestled with then was one I now often get asked by other men: How do I look? These guys aren’t asking for feedback on their appearance; they’re asking for clear guidelines for how to check out women in ways that aren’t going to make those women (or others) uncomfortable.

It’s a question we should be asking.

♦◊♦

The jerks who genuinely don’t care how their stares make other people feel aren’t likely to be reading this, and if they do, they’ll ridicule it. These are the lads who think it’s their God-given right as men to take ownership with their eyes of all that they survey, and they don’t give a damn what anyone else thinks.

On the other hand, there are some who aren’t sure men should ever look at a woman (other than their wives.) If you believe that gazing with lust is always a sin (as some religious traditionalists do), then there can’t possibly be a “right” way to check out attractive strangers. The best that these ultra-conservatives can do is avert their eyes as much as possible and plead for a modest dress code that will ease the pain of temptation. Sounds exhausting.

I’m convinced most men are in the space between these extreme positions.

For straight (or bi) guys, there are two things to keep in mind. One, it’s OK to look and OK to be turned on by what you’re looking at. Two, it’s not OK to make the person you’re gazing at (or other people who witness you looking) uncomfortable.

(Obviously, whether or not you’re in a monogamous relationship will go a long way toward determining how acceptable it is to be turned on by someone other than your partner. Not everyone agrees on whether the boundaries of fidelity stop at fantasy or not. That’s a topic for another column.)

♦◊♦

One easy technique is the three-second rule. (It has nothing to do with either driving or basketball.) It’s clear enough: look at whatever you want to look at for three seconds before you should probably shift your gaze away. Few women are going to feel as if you’re undressing them with your eyes if your glance lasts so short a time. If you need to count in your head “one, one thousand, two, one thousand, three, one thousand,” do it. And wait at least three seconds before looking again.

Shift your gaze. One of the most common complaints women have is that men tend to focus in on a single body area (boobs, butt, etc.) Move your eyes, not just up and down, but look at the woman’s face. Breasts don’t walk by themselves; they belong to human beings. It isn’t erasing a woman’s humanity to notice her body (or particular body parts). It isn’t erasing her humanity to fantasize about having sex with her. It is erasing her humanity when you make your gaze and your fantasy her problem. A blogger named Holly once wrote, in a comment about this very subject, that there should be “no objectification without due subjectification.” That’s jargon, but the idea is a simple and useful one: it’s OK to stare at someone else’s body (and even long for it) as long as you don’t ever forget that you’re looking at a person. And just as you have a right to lust, that person has a right not to be made forcibly aware of your desire.

Don’t forget the third parties. Even if you and your wife (or girlfriend) have agreed that it’s OK to check out other people, doing it in an obvious way in front of her is hurtful. But other strangers count, too. A buddy of mine was in his car, stopped at a stoplight, staring at a hot woman walking through the crosswalk. “I was drooling,” he admitted. “Then I looked over at the car next to me, and this girl, maybe 10 years old, was in the passenger seat, watching me. She looked frightened. I felt like shit.”

We live in a world that is deeply suspicious of male desire. Rightly so, I think. The number of men who rape, who cheat, who act out in countless other sexually compulsive and destructive ways is depressingly high. The solution doesn’t lie in puritanical self-restraint or in a defensive insistence that there’s nothing wrong. The solution lies in acknowledging that while we have a right to want what we want, we don’t have the right to burden or offend others by the way we display those wants.

As I figured out when I was a kid, it wasn’t wrong to be turned on by Jenny Talbot’s boobs. But it was wrong to stare so long and so hard that I forgot Jenny herself.

—Photo tobkatrina/Flickr

About Hugo Schwyzer

Hugo Schwyzer has taught history and gender studies at Pasadena City College since 1993, where he developed the college's first courses on Men and Masculinity and Beauty and Body Image. He serves as co-director of the Perfectly Unperfected Project, a campaign to transform young people's attitudes around body image and fashion. Hugo lives with his wife, daughter, and six chinchillas in Los Angeles. Hugo blogs at his website

Comments

  1. No doubt about it…females do not respect this part of a male’s nature. Pretty much they hate it. Young girls are frightened by it, teen girls are grossed out or laugh at what they see are weakened men who they could take advantage of without effort, older women try to ignore gazes of them (affirming or critical) or their partners gazes of other females no matter how subtle, and much older women who are relieved it’s over or feel like non persons because they are largely ignored as people generally.
    Lastly, some women take advantage of this uncontrollable urge by charging money stripping.
    Women are just grateful to not be so controlled by another in the way men are with their responses to women’s bodies.

  2. All of that crap about women don’t want to be objectified is drivel.. the real truth is that a woman want you to objectify her if you’re the kind of man that she wants to be objectified by.

    don’t forget that men who “objectify” have their female counterpart too!

    • Yeah…. thought this was kind of common sense? I think at 13-14 (teens in general really) there’s no reason to feel guilty about it… when I was about 14 I once did the same thing but with a teacher (she was like 24 or something.. & she also had this lower back tattoo of a deep purple rose that I’d seen before… what’re you gonna do haha) went up to ask her about help after school and we were directly facing each other so she bent over to open her planner and write me in her schedule… I was sneaky about it though! Even back then. I doubt it was even a full 3 seconds. I looked away before she was done writing. Maybe I’ve always just been very self-aware. I don’t think a women’s studies class is usually necessary. Just common sense is. Actually those kinds of classes.. I tend to avoid them, because they’d make ME very uncomfortable. lol.
      And yes women do the same thing. They’re usually sneakier about it though.
      I think men should aim to be mind ninjas. 😛 That’s kind of been a personal goal lately. If you can out-ninja a woman…. she’ll probably be caught off-guard most of the time haha.

  3. I am always flattered to be noticed by a man. I am always creeped out by men who stare obnoxiously (I am not a centerfold), whistle or yell (I’m not a dog), make rude hand or tongue gestures (I am not your lunch) or otherwise act like disgusting animals who have some God-given right to force their lascivious thoughts upon me.

    If you’re a decent man who notices and gets caught appreciating a beautiful female, make eye contact and smile. If she seems receptive, compliment her! If she seems not to appreciate you checking her out, just look away. The fact that you smiled at her, acknowledging her as a human being, is enough to keep you from falling into the “creeper” category, in my opinion.

    • I find use with this comment. I will try looking at the woman’s eyes. That should be safe territory. I feel overwhelmed by a woman’s beauty and sexiness. I stare at flowers and sunsets though too. I may be wired a bit differently having bipolar disorder. But I am no rapist and I have never cheated.

  4. Many good points made here. Women have been socialized (rightly or wrongly is a whole nother can of worms) to both desire and hate the male stare. Women look at men too, but since most of us have not been raised to fear women (insert privilege here) that look either goes by unnoticed or makes our day. Frankly, if I saw a woman staring at me in a lustful manner (or a gay man for that matter), it would put a spring in my step for a solid week, even if that was the extent of the interaction. Women too, enjoy being looked at, but let’s face it, we need to be aware of when we are pushing people’s boundaries. We need to be (ahem) “man enough” to not get all butthurt when someone whom we know nothing about reacts negatively to what we do, and be ready to apologize, and acknowledge it’s truth in their world.

  5. natalie says:

    It’s Natural to want to look at beautiful people, I think most men obide by the 3 second rule when lookingf at hot women.what’s really confusing to me is
    the way men stare at ugly women, as soon as they catch sight, they have a constant fixed generally hate filled stare!! People always say men are logical, but where’s the logic in staring at someone who turns you off?!

  6. Part of this problem is because of the way women dress.
    Like they are half naked. I bet if men who had six pack abs
    , big cut chests and arms walked shirtless onto a train or around
    the place women would stare. When I wear work clothes I barely get a second look but
    when I wear jeans and a tight shirt with my muscles showing and
    my proportions obvious I get stared at.

  7. The jerks who genuinely don’t care how their stares make other people feel aren’t likely to be reading this, and if they do, they’ll ridicule it. These are the lads who think it’s their God-given right as men to take ownership with their eyes of all that they survey, and they don’t give a damn what anyone else thinks.

    And they also get all the dates.

  8. Well there are two things – men and women are differently wired. Men are visually stimulated whilst women are emotionally stimulated. Objectification of women is wrong and men must learn to treat women as they would their mothers or sisters. But women, please understand that you can never understand why a man gets aroused so much, and men, we can never understand the emotional needs of a woman unless we make an effort to honestly do it. Its just that God has made man and women different.

    Secondly the media is the major influencer. Hollywood exalts sex that is imaginary, unreal, warped and perverted. But don’t women act in Hollywood too for money?. Don’t they perform all that what the director wants?. Why?.. They do it for the money. If they put their foot down firmly and say they won’t then maybe we won’t see so much glorification of unreal sex, objectification and nonsense.

    Both men and women are to blame here. Men use women and women use them too. We have to change totally instead of blaming each other. .

  9. As a boy, u grow up watching cartoons, that have hidden pornographic images(research it). Every show, movie, commercial, ad is about sex/something to do with it. Everywhere u look theres a half naked woman, not to mention PORNOGRAPHY IS EVERYWHERE. It’s the world we live in that has made everything so distorting/lustful and the war seems to be against men mainly with the femenism, and all these laws that give women all the power to put ur ass in jail, when they feel like it. gladly only 40% of women abuse the power, in today’s society men are viewed as pervertic child molesting rapist women like w*****, and being a realist here some are true some not. But back to the point women have stared at me, as if am a sexual object of pleasure, with a 10 sec stare and a smile at the end. Girls and women of all ages and of course woman say, no I don’t like always (and no I don’t pay any mind to girls). Just stop complaining and take away tv, phone and computer. Then future generation wont be so pervertic from both genders PERIOD

  10. Richard Aubrey says:

    The Questioner:

    Check the FBI stats. In interracial crime, the incidence of black on white violent crime vs. white on black violent crime is grossly disproportionate. That is, blacks assault whites far more than the reverse, adjusted for population proportion.

  11. wing girl kim says:

    We are visual creatures (most of us humans anyway). Once I wore a dress that had sparkly flowers very close to my nipples. And my breasts are small. Sitting at a registration table while volunteering at a benefit, at least 3 men — probably all attached — stared at the flowers. At first I didn’t realize what they were staring at. But I did experience “the stare”. I thought, “What the hell are they staring at?” until I went the ladies room, looked in the mirror and saw. Heh, I give men grace and myself a reason for more modesty.

  12. Jeffery says:

    Someone made a very good point above, in the story Jenny with the boobs is the one who behaved in the more abusive way.

    And there is a litany on things that we need to talk about in way women treat men.

    the objectification of men as sacrifice, work, genital torture for humor status as well as sex objects
    (anyone remember the advertisement featuring the man who had been anally raped with the vacume cleaner he gave his wife for Christmas? Can you imagine why would happen if women being raped with the power tools they gave the husbands was being depicted as humour?

    Also, women are more likley to abuse in relationship situations, abuse our children, commit paternity and a range of child related frauds, child kidnapping, parental alienation, publicly humiliate (see jenny with the boobs) , feminism stereotyping men with the dregs of men, many double standards, stats show that female breadwinners keep their own wages vs male bread winners sharing with the lesser earner..

    There is more wrong with the way women threat men than visa versa.

  13. Shoot NWOslave, you’ve just revealed the sisterhood’s evil diabolical plan.

    Once we get the actual plants to orbit around us, which we will lure to us by magnetic attraction to our bosoms, we will take each planet and make it our personal storing ground for our huge shoe collections. *Insert evil laughter here*

  14. “Passing Beauty
    still delights him, but he no longer
    has to turn round.”

    (WH Auden)

  15. That Girl says:

    This article is decent because it caters to men who look at women and admire their bodies. But it doesnt acknowledge the point of facial expression upon staring. Looking at a woman is not wrong neither is desiring her, just like a woman looking at a man. Humans, not just man, humans are visual beings. When a man looks at a woman it is a good idea to at least smile and make eye contact either before or after you have inspected the desireable area of interest thus making it known you view her as a beautiful being instead of an item. All of this goes for women too because men can feel uncomfortable as well. My point is that looking at someone is best followed by eye contact as Hugo has stated and also a smile which usually shows that person that you have no intent on harm or pervertedness. If either a man or woman retaliates when you respecfully admire them you should simply follow by an apology (for their sake) and a compliment, many times retaliation will occur by insecure people or people who assume the worst. Everyone has the right to view what they desire just like the desired has a right to be respected.
    This is just my own opinion and perspective and I am sorry if any of it came off as a generalisation.

  16. tweesdad says:

    I sympathize with women who are frequently leered at by strangers when they are doing nothing to invite those stares, and the cumulative effect of this rude and _sometimes_ threatening behavior can be damaging. It’s the opposite end of the spectrum of “invisible” women who are unable to get attention.

    But in his own article, Hugo shows us that the “power of the male gaze” was seriously trumped by that of his classmate Jenny, who unleashed on him the power of withering public shame which she had probably just discovered – a highly patriarchal power I might add, and one which works better the more attractive the girl is. I doubt she remembers the event today, but Hugo is still affected by it.

    And yet Hugo offers no judgment at Jenny for shouting at him (an act of violence feminists tell us) and calling a “pervert” (=abnormal and unacceptable) for being a healthy straight male who happened to make her feel “uncomfortable”, as if that were a heinous crime.

    As long as feminists continue to turn a blind eye to the privilege that patriarchy confers on them, their credibility in telling men how to behave is suspect, at best.

    • I’ve got to sympathize with Jenny here. She was a young girl and probably had no idea how to handle the idea of a boy she previously thought of as friendly and harmless suddenly staring at her like she was a juicy steak. How would he have felt if his pants accidentally fell down in class and he caught her staring avidly at his penis? He’d probably yell and her and call her a pervert too. She may have suddenly realized that her top was too low and she was probably mortified and embarrassed.

      • Gregory A. Butler says:

        How was Hugo supposed to react? He was a heterosexual teenage boy, he saw a young woman’s breasts and he had a reaction consistent with his gender and sexual orientation. She was wrong for humiliating him in front of his peers like that – all he did was LOOK, for Christ’s sake!

        • The Questioner says:

          “He had a reaction consistent with his gender and sexual orientation.” Gregory—sometimes I wonder if you realize just how bigoted your comments come across. Women and gay men were teenagers too at one point, but somehow they knew not to objectify their classmates in public. Also, women and LGBT folks of all genders are well-versed in sexual shame, as any victim of high school bullying can tell you. Heterosexual men are rarely seen as whores or deviants for being sexual, a fact evidenced (“How was Hugo supposed to react? He was a heterosexual teenage boy…”) by your own comment.

          I’m also deeply disturbed that you see fit to demonize a teenage girl’s reaction to having her breasts stared at. I really hope you don’t do this to teen girls in your own life.

          • I think this fight’s getting “man bad, baaaaaaaaaaad man” without needing to.

            Hormones can be royal hell to someone who’s awe-struck by a peer that he’s comfortable with and attracted to when they’re kicking in and he hasn’t learned how to deal with them… I’m female and I’ve defnitely been awe-struck by some seriously beautiful cleavage… and I’m straight.

    • Sophie Anderson says:

      You are naive. Do you know want to know why you hate being called a “pervert” so much?

      You hate being called a pervert because perverts are graceless and the graceless are strange and the strange is dangerous.

      There’s a group of successful businessmen and one janitor who is fat, has a beard, and has a speech impediment. The guy used to be a plumber and his old mom and his grandmother live with him. Who’s the pervert?

      There’s a group of high school students and one of them is the outcast, wears his hair greasy, and spends all day playing computer games because that’s where he talks to his only friend, a sweet girl (he hopes she’s a girl) who lives in a different state. He always drags his feet around school in a sweatshirt printed, “Why so serious?” Who’s the pervert?

      There’s a group of middle-aged baseball players hanging out and one of them got kicked off his team a while back, he still has no wife, no kids, still looking for a job but even after all these years in the business, he just doesn’t seem to have any strong connections to pull on. Nobody really likes him because he’s poor and he’s a sleaze. He’s short and kinda scruffy and he likes to run around with them twenty year-old dancers down at the gentleman’s club even though his old teammates snicker and tell him they’re milking him for all he’s got. Who’s the pervert?

      Now, please, Jenny did not “just discover” the power of public censure well into her adolescent years. Children are trained to fear ridicule from the cradle. Raise some children on your own, no really! I mean, really, raise them yourself! Don’t slap that on your baby momma, you whining masculinist.

  17. Anonymous says:

    As I understand it, if I consistently FAIL to notice women with particular physical traits, that is also evidence of objectification, superficiality, and even misogyny. So, notice more women instead of being so restrictive.

    From what I’ve read on another thread here, if I fail to notice the attractiveness of women my own age, that is evidence of some type of disorder I need to get over. So, stop noticing some and start noticing others.

    Now here I read that all looking feels like objectification, but it’s okay to do it as long as you’re subtle about it. So, look at any and all, just do it politely.

    Except, the person being looked at can tell sometimes, so even when you think you’re hiding it you’re probably not. So, keep your thoughts to yourself, except you can’t really keep it to yourself.

    Dang it.

    • Sophie Anderson says:

      Oh dear. Yes, the article itself is amusingly inane. The larger point of it, I would say, is to stop feeling entitled to stare at women. You are not entitled to stare at woman. Society has rules and the rule is: Don’t stare at women. It’s rude.

      Of course there is a good way to break that obvious, universally known rule and that is the Three-Second Rule proposed above. That is a good compromise between respecting the rights of the woman you are staring at and your sense of failure for being duped into paying $7 for a beer that looks and smells like piss.

  18. Is it really so much about how men look at us or is it, at least in part, also our responsibility to look at how we react to it?
    Im a woman, I get looked at several times a day, by men I know, men I employ, men that I dont know and an occasional teenage boy (they get a pass because, seriously, at 37 if Im still turning on an 18 year old enough to look at me, then hallelujah!). Mostly, I ignore them.

    Shocking lil super power I have there innit?

    I do have the ability to ignore people. It’s a power that I share with millions of other well adjusted men and women who somehow…somehow understand that bad behavior is not the fault of the person it’s directed at…and in that way Hugo DOES have a point, that it isn’t the woman’s fault. However, his larger point, that men must prostrate themselves at the altar of self flagellation and sexual repression because they looked at a pretty girl is ridiculous and demeaning and just really quite insulting to men.

    The men that are weirding us out, are typically men who, in general have poor boundaires in other areas as well…they are the close talkers, the ones with body odor, the ones who breathe through their goddamn mouths and stand practically on top of you in line in the checkout…they arent sexual deviants most of them, they just have poor interpersonal skills. And guess what?
    They have female counterparts.

    Women look. We look at men and we make comments…to one another, to strangers, to ourselves…women can make some sexual comments that would shock a lot of men. We too, can be pigs when it comes to a sexually arousing visual stimuli.

    • Natasha says:

      Oh you flaming twit….you’ve completely misread my entire post.

      If you go and read even a handful of my posts here, you’ll see that I agree that male sexuality IS routinely villified while female sexuality is hailed as the gilded lily and worshipped. Even NOT knowing that, how you misinterpretted what I said into that mess of yours is beyond me, but Im glad you had fun, thanks for playing, Vanna will show you to the door

      • Sophie Anderson says:

        How now! I do quite agree with much of your first post, but what on Earth is this nonsense about female sexuality being hailed and worshipped??? You must be crazy. Have you ever seen porn? I have, and I’m a woman. It is shocking, to the say the least… And anyway, where have you heard of a woman’s sexuality being praised and rewarded???

        In general, I see women being insulted as lackluster prostitutes, as loose women who sleep around and wreck good homes, as disgusting fat cows who the fathers do not want to stay in the birthing room while the mother is pushing their baby out of her enormous vagina (because that’s just so gross. That’s not a part of female sexuality now, is it?), as horny, slutty teenagers who are magical and who run around trying to intentionally seduce men and make them want to have sex (because that’s not a crazy delusion, and that’s not disgustingly unfair to those naive, young girls, right?), as being yucky eyesore when they dare to breast feed their children in the light of day! Mind you, public breast feeding is and was the custom in countless other countries!

        Sorry, I don’t want to rain on your party, so stop saying ridiculous things!

  19. Can Hugo please stop writing for this site? It’s called the GOOD Men Project, I’d really rather not show up every week to read Hugo’s newest article about how all the sleazy gross perverted men need to completely reinvent themselves in order to be worthy of sharing this Earth with the holy female gender.

    • How is an article asking men to be more considerate of women implying that all men need to “completely reinvent themselves”? Are you unable to take criticism? If staring at women until they feel uncomfortable isn’t something that you, personally, do then you can just move on. Clearly, this article wasn’t meant for you. There are plenty of guys who already know that staring is rude and don’t do it. And if it is something that you do from time to time, there’s nothing wrong with admitting that it’s not the best thing and trying to make an effort to change. Admitting that you’re not perfect and trying to be better doesn’t make you a sleaze.

      • If there’s nothing wrong with telling men not to stare, then why are we having this conversation? That was the point of the article and if you don’t disagree with it then what’s the problem? I believe that the article is about objectification, not rape, so why do you bring it up again? And, you also throw in the money element. Why? Nothing in this article ever suggested that the economic status of the person staring makes any difference in whether or not a woman feels uncomfortable. I feel like you’re going on your own tangents.

        “Women reserve the right to make deliberate and overt sexual displays, while at the same time feel entitles to control which men notice these displays and how they react.” The problem with this quote is that you take it for granted that MEN get to determine what counts as an “overt sexual display”. The article is not about women who walk around naked. It’s about every day women wearing every day clothes who feel uncomfortable around every day men because they stare at them. Surely, most men can see a inch of cleavage without losing basic respect. There are so many men who don’t make women feel uncomfortable that it seems only logical to think that the other men are capable of it, too.

        No one is asking for hyper-vigilance – only basic respect and decency. Most people do not stare at those who are physically impaired or disfigured because it would make them feel uncomfortable. I don’t see why asking the same thing for women for the same reason is considered too much to ask or pushing a “feminist agenda”.

        • “The problem with this quote is that you take it for granted that MEN get to determine what counts as an “overt sexual display”. ”

          The problem with this quote is that men don’t get to decide what they’re physically attracted to. But women do get the choice whether to display it or not. One could also make the case that deliberately displaying oneself in a provocative manner constitutes a form of harassment towards men. I haven’t decided if I agree with that or not, but it’s worth contemplating.

          Now, people say women should be able to wear what they want. True. But that choice brings the responsibility of dealing with the consequences. You might also want to dress up like a clown and run for office. Would be nice wouldn’t it? Well reality isn’t that nice and forcing everybody to take you as seriously in a clowns outfit as in a suit is just being plain spoiled.

          • Sophie Anderson says:

            Then go run around in clown suit. Who’s stopping you? Women wearing “provocative” does not put you in physical danger. It does not discriminate against you. It does not restrict you from going about your everyday business! You are arguing a moot point. The truth is, forcing you to take a woman seriously is not being “just plain spoiled,” IT’S REALITY. BE A BIG BOY AND DEAL WITH YOUR LITTLE PROBLEM OF BEING PHYSICALLY ATTRACTED TO WOMEN BY YOURSELF! WOMEN DON’T HAVE TO DO EVERYTHING FOR YOU, YOU LITTLE BOY! STOP BEING A STUPID PARTY POOPER AND LET THE POOR WOMEN DRESS UP HOW THEY WANT.

      • I don’t really think that very many men at all do it, because women freak the f*ck out if you so much as glance at them.

        • that’s probably because something like 1 in 4 women get raped like my sister did (which makes you wonder 1 in how many males rape) therefore, you could easily be a rapist. if you really need to look at women all the time then carry a picture of one around with you and don’t bother the people out in public by gawking at them and creeping people out.

          • van Rooinek says:

            “….1 in 4 women get raped like my sister did (which makes you wonder 1 in how many males rape…”

            A good question. Most rapists are extreme recidivists — they attack over and over and over till stopped, often racking up large victim counts. For those who attack adult women, they average 12 victims before being stopped; for those who molest girls, 51 victims; for those who molest boys, 150 victims.

            The 1 in 4 number has been debunked quite soundly — the real figure is much lower — but for the sake of this discussion, let’s pretend it’s true. In that case, using the adult female number, 1 in (4 x 12) = 48, one in 48 men is a rapist of adult women. Using the girl molester number, 1 in (4 x 51) = 202, one man in 202 is a girl molester. Since “in her lifetime” includes both childhood and adult attacks, the true number is somewhere between 1 in 48 and 1 in 202 men. And since an estimated 60% of victims are attacked before the age of 17 — (a believable figure to me, since 6 of the 9 former rape victims I dated, were attacked as teens or younger) we can refine our estimate to (0.6 x 202) + (0.4 x 48) = 140, one in 140 men is a rapist. 1 in 140. Nowhere near 1 in 4.

            And let’s remember, the 1-in-140 number is a high estimate since it starts with a fraudulent “1 in 4” presupposition.
            http://genderfairness.com/?p=679

            A similar number, “1 in 6”, has been put forth as the alleged number of boys who are molested. Assuming that’s also true for sake of argument, 1 in (6 x 150) = 900, one in 900 men is a boy-molester. As a father of 3 young sons I find that number to be no comfort at all… but it gives me no warrant to pour out hatred on the 899 of 900 innocent men.

    • I second that.
      This man Schwyzer is a fraud feminist who sells himself as a supporter of women’s interests. In reality he has no interest in empowering women. Everything about his work is about treating women as helpless infants that need protection from reality.

      His complete and utter ignorance of female psychology and sexuality is evidence for that. Yes, women often feel uncomfortable when gazed at. Yes, they often wish it didn’t happen. The reality is though that they, not only have a good degree of control over that gaze, but also that nearly all women would hate the thought that they might dress in the most provocative manner and still get ignored entirely.

      You’re never going to accomplish anything with articles like this other than persuade your female audience that you’re a good guy and score points for it – which is Schwyzer’s only real intention. Also his relentless assault on natural male behavior is very clear evidence for that. He never tires of it.

  20. The problem is not noticing an attractive woman or wanting to actually get to know her by talking to her. Whenever someone sits there staring at you like you’re a juicy peice of steak, like they want to eat you, it’s very uncomfotable and awkward. How do I know? I’ve had it done to me on many different occassions, that’s how.

    Women get creeped out because they don’t know if the guy staring at them is a rapist, muderer or other kind of psychopath. Or if he isn’t crazy, lacks the confidence to go up to her and talk to her. For any single guy out there that wants to meet a woman, make the move and approach her as soon as possible. If you don’t have the confidence to approach, talk and ask a woman out, you have no business looking for a date or at women in the first place.

    Why stare if you aren’t going to touch, of course in a respectful polite way, with her consent. Got it?

    • Gregory A. Butler says:

      A LOT of men are shy around women – often due to many years of being rejected. Some of those guys have given up on dating, because they have been so scarred by all the rejection.

      However, these men aren’t eunuchs.

      So yes, they look, and fantasize about women they’ll never get in real life.

      You have no right to dictate to them that they are forbidden to fantasize about you or any other woman just because they have chosen to avoid humiliation by not trying to strike up a conversation.

      If they are touching you,or making rude comments, or staring at you for a really long time, you have the right to call them on it. However if they are following Hugo’s Three Second Rule, they have a right to look as much as they like, and to fantasize about those images.

      • The Questioner says:

        However if they are following Hugo’s Three Second Rule,they have a right to look as much as they like, and to fantasize about those images.

        Gregory, please reread your words here: “They have a right to look as much as they like, and to fantasize about those images.” Think about what those words mean to the average woman, who has most likely experienced public harassment from adult men since her early adolescence. Right there in your sentence, you prioritize men’s right to look at women (or “images” as you refer to them) over Zeus’s (and other women’s) right to be in public without being objectified. It seems that you’ve completely missed the point Hugo was trying to make.

        Think about it: Many women are also sexually attracted to men they see in public. Yet how often do you witness men feeling unsafe and in danger when women look at them or express sexual interest? You ever wonder why?

        The problem here isn’t sexual desire, Gregory—not by a long shot. It’s unearned privilege. And what jumps out loud and clear for me in your comment is the belief that men deserve access to women’s bodies. That belief is a byproduct of social and political privilege. Your experiences of dating rejection do not negate the privilege that you and other men have in relation to women.

        Instead of getting defensive when women speak about their experiences with men’s objectifying and harassing behaviors, I would interrogate my assumptions about sexuality and women’s bodies. Why does a strange woman’s body—the physical existence of someone you don’t know from Adam—represent sexual fantasy to you? Why do you project your sexual desires onto women? What do you understand about your own sexuality? Ultimately, you are the only person responsible for fulfilling your sexual needs. Women exist completely for themselves, and they owe you absolutely nothing.

      • Sophie Anderson says:

        You don’t have the right to stare at any woman! Nor to fantasize about her in any way! Who the hell do you think you are? Women, just like men, have the right to feel safe and comfortable at all times.

        Why do you suppose it’s a criminal act to threaten somebody? To stalk somebody? Those are crimes. Crimes, my friend! Because they make the one you stalk and threaten feel unsafe and uncomfortable. By ogling some poor woman who does not, on the lax end of it, signal that she is interested in talking to you by staring (not simply glancing or staring in complete shock and disgust at your ogling) at YOU, DIRECTLY putting her hands on you

        (No, accidentally brushing past you doesn’t count, especially if you are the one trying your damn hardest to get closer to her! Moving within 24 inches, that’s 2 feet, for all you numbskulls who’ve flunked algebra!, of any woman who is not your own, biological mother without explicit signals from her to do so is a TERRIBLE violation of her personal space! DON’T DO IT!

        If, you think she likes you but she has not said so herself, PERFECTLY CLEARLY, EXPLICITLY, IN ABSOLUTE TERMS, FOR SURE!!!, then get confirmation yourself! Fucking Jesus Christ, it’s not that hard! Just say what the hell you mean.

        Say exactly this:

        “Do you want me to hug you?”
        “Shall I stand closer to you?”
        “Do you enjoy knowing that I stare at your breasts?”
        “Can I sexually fantasize about you?”

        Don’t dodge around the subject. And don’t make any stupid assumptions on your own. Every woman hates being swamped with the impression that some random sleazeball will start drooling all over himself every time she puts on a dress, some nice shorts (obviously not too short, ones that cover the upper thigh, that aren’t paper thin or made out of latex!), a little make up or a pair of heels.

        Yes, of course, a girl can’t run around exposing her breasts or her butt crack everywhere and expect men not to stare at her! But even so, that girl is likely only immature. She has been fed crappy images from fashion magazines, clothing stores like Forever 21, celebrities, movies (who saw the Dark Knight Rises? Anne Hathaway in that suit riding that dinky little Batbike??? Jesus Christ. Children do watch that crap. For the love of God, give her a cape, give her something, please.) and all the rest of the fake, manufactured, sale-pitch shit that is spewed out by the media everyday. Those fake things are what tell her to dress like a crazy ho. After a while though, reality hits, and she dresses herself in a normal way.

        Likewise, men must do the same. Men MUST not act on the disgusting desire to stare for disturbingly long periods of time at women. It is an enormous burden to women. Just as women MUST not dress like they don’t know what the hell are “pants” and “socks” and “breast-concealing jackets made out of wool or denim or some other thick material.”

        The problem is, men will do perverted things, uncalled for, in public, to perfectly innocent women who are dressed more of less just like the men, who have not engaged the men in conversation, who are in fact visibly distressed by the man being there, being around and being a pervert. The idea that touching woman’s butt, or calling her names, or making disgusting grunts at her, or staring with that creepy, barf-inducing grin pasted onto your ugly mug as she eats a hot dog (at Weinersnitzel), waiting and turning around to watch when you hear the sound of her drinking from a straw… That is ALL complete bullshit. Sure, those strange women you don’t know may put up with it now with a roll of the eyes, with a few sharp words, with an oh-not-this-again sigh, with a shit-eating grin and an angry finger. Maybe, if you did something unusually gross, she’ll slap you, spit in your face, report your ass to the police. But, in the end, those tiny little unpleasantries are not what you men are risking. YOU RISK MAKING WOMEN HATE YOU. Women will hate men, more and more. Plain and simple! You want to fuck women? Then act like a proper human being! Tear off your festering diaper, put on your God damn big boy pants, get a fucking job, get off the fucking computer, get your fucking ass into a swingers club, a Mormon church, a yoga class, and for the love of God! Shut your mouth about your divorces and your kids!!!!! You think women want to hear that shit?

        Here is a little honest advice you men would be wise to take! Divorce, having kids AND having sex with strangers, period, just puts a big tarnish over your glossy, presentable self! So, keep mum about that side of you until you are specifically asked! A women who is looking for a random fuck doesn’t care, but if you bring it up, she’ll still come to dislike you and see you in a negative light. It makes you look like, at best, a failure (but hopefully an honest one), and at worst, a chronic fuck-up who has a sex addiction, who is riddled with STDs, who will try to steal her wallet, who a drunk, who is a pathological liar, who has not sense of empathy for other people, who is most likely a serial killer, who has no friends and who is estranged from his mother! It just makes you look bad! Real bad!!!! So shut up about it, unless Absolutely Necessary.

        EXPLICITLY request your attention by VERBALLY stating, “Look at me” or

  21. Make eye-contact. Then stare at her tits in the most lascivious, objectifying, you-are-a-piece-of-meat-I-want-to-fuck way you possibly can for a full three seconds. Then make eye-contact again and hold it.

    Problem solved.

    The trouble is that men check women out covertly. They are covert because they are ashamed. They are ashamed because when women catch them at it, they get upset. They get upset because men are being covert. These men fail the confidence test.

    When someone checks you out covertly, and does not meet your eye, you have no chance to respond. You can neither accept nor reject nor express any other response. You can’t even ignore it, because ignoring is something you do when someone gives you a chance to respond and you deliberately don’t.

    The solutions you offer are not helpful. Both limiting time and shifting attention are just ways of being more covert.

    Dude, you were a kid. That’s why you didn’t have the confidence to make eye contact with Jenny Talbot before staring at her boobs. But you’re not a kid anymore.

    We live in a world that is deeply suspicious of male desire. Rightly so, I think.

    Yes, the world is deeply suspicious of male desire. But there’s nothing wrong with male desire. Yes, it is often thoroughly body-focused and objectifying, with all kinds of incorrect power fantasies. These are some of the things that makes it so hot. It’s so much of male para-desire behaviour that is the problem.

    • Yikes, some strange man giving me an aggressive, lascivious look right in the eye would completely freak me out. Please keep your lascivious looks and thoughts to yourself. I don’t need or want to know about them.

    • GirlGlad4theGMP says:

      Wow. Something tells me you either give or receive your information on women in little flashy ads on the internet.

    • If you looked at me in that way, I’d probably call you a pig.
      Being tactful and friendly about it is hot.
      Being forceful and aggressive is rape.

      Sorry, I don’t want to be eye-raped by you.

    • DIE, YOU DISGUSTING PIG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. other than the three second rule which under most circumstances is staring (unless the woman’s eyes are locked back on yours) and the part about suspicion of men’s desire. this was a pretty good guide for the young men on how to consciously look at a woman- especially the shifting the focus of the eyes part. a rare hugo article i broadly agree with and Im not a feminist.

  23. I think that a lot of people here are misunderstanding the author’s “We live in a world that is deeply suspicious of male desire. Rightly so, I think.” Sure, some of the suspicion comes from a fear of violence – having a stranger leering at you is enough to sometimes make you feel unsafe – but I think that the bulk of it is a suspicion that you’re not being considered as a person.

    There’s been a lot of talk about objectification, but not a lot of people spend time on what, exactly, that means. To be seen as an object is to be without thoughts, without feelings, without a voice, without a purpose aside from the purpose intended for you. It is truly awful.

    Growing up in a post-feminist world, most women define themselves by many traits, thoughts, opinions, preferences, etc. Then, with certain men, all of that goes out the window and you’re just a body fit for screwing. Everything about you that you think matters is devalued by some guys and you’re just a pair of tits. It’s depressing and sad and it’s something that very few men have experienced. I’ve noticed that men often have a very different impression of objectification than women do and I think that it’s because most have never been on the receiving end of the most intense types of objectification.

    Most women have had experiences where they’ve gotten the feeling that the person they are on a date with is not actually conversing with them, but just saying whatever they feel is most likely to get her in bed. Most women, at one point or another, will hear that degrading comments were said about her body by a man behind her back, a man who was probably respectful and nice to her to her face.

    I think that a lot of this comes from the fact that beauty, in and of itself, is not really appreciated in male culture. It’s only really appreciated in a sexual context. The only benefit it carries is the sexual pleasure if could potentially yield.

    And, to Jacobtk, if you think that objectification is even among men and women, I don’t know what world you live in. What percentage of the nudity in movies and TV is of women? What percentage of skin magazine sales feature women for men vs. nude men for women? What percentage of strip clubs have male dancers serving female clients? Are there male equivalents of Hooters or the Lingerie Football League? Come on. It’s not even a close call.

    Also, I wanted to say thanks to the author and to all of the men who posted positive comments. It’s good to know that there are a lot of men out there that take issue with this as much as I do.

    • Mark, this article is specifically referencing sexual objectification. That is what I was replying to. You’ll admit that sexual objectification is predominately of women, right? Articles like this are necessary because most sexual objectification is done by men towards women.

      Also, the number of men who die in wars is relatively small in relation to the population. Most men live their entire lives with no mutilation. Even so, I’m very anti-war in most instances and I’m all for women being allowed to serve in combat. I would never expect the burden of fighting for what is right to fall solely on men. So, I think that you and I are in agreement on this point.

      • Mark,

        I’m not sure where this hostility is coming from. It would be great it we could both get on the same page and say that no one should objectify anyone – sexual or otherwise. The amount of violence in on TV and in movies is staggering and I would be all for reducing it. However, if you look at the demand for violence, most of it comes from men. Violent video games, movies, shows, etc. all have a predominately male audience. Media that objectifies women also has a predominately male audience. If you want to have a petition that says that men should be treated better in the media, believe me I’d sign it. I don’t like it any more than you do.

        And in regard to the comment that men are treated as a “shield” to provide women with “cash and assets” I think that this is a very unfair generalization. Yes, there are gold diggers. I don’t support these women in their efforts and I certainly don’t emulate them. None of my friends have ever dated a guy for money and I have actually been part of several discussions where women were actively calling out these shallow women on their bad behavior. I think that the number of gold diggers in the world is much smaller than you think.

        I actually think that gold diggers and the objectification of women go hand-in-hand. For every gold digger, there’s a sugar daddy. For every girl wanting money, there’s a guy willing to pay for her like she’s an object. If you tell those men that women are more than their bodies and tell those women that men are more than their wallets, it would be good all around. It’s not a zero-sum game.

        Also, I think that men have a skewed view of who, actually, is after money. A lot of traditional men don’t count housework as actual work and believe that because they’re the only ones earning a paycheck their wives must be leeching money from them. Housework and child care are full times jobs. Because they’re within the home doesn’t take away from their validity.

        In a dating sense, image a scenario where two people go on a first date. The guys pays for the meal. At the end of the date, the woman feel that there was no chemistry and decides that there won’t be date #2. It might be easy for the guy to say “oh, she just used me for a free meal’ but it probably wasn’t that way at all. They probably just didn’t click. She probably went into the date hoping that things would work out and that they would like each other.

        • What’s stopping the woman from paying her half if she knows there’s not going to be a date #2?

          Nothing. Or at least there’s nothing stopping her from offering, the guy might not take it, but thats his problem then. The fact of the matter is there are plenty of women out there who are perfectly happy to apply only those “traditional” roles that benefit them. To deny this is to deny reality.

    • Bad Man Project says:

      Lindsey,

      Sexual objectification is primarily BY women towards men. Men rarely objectify women who are clothed head to toe in burkas. Men objectify the whores and/or sluts who are featured on the cover of every Western magazine for (and written by) women. Men also objectify the highly paid sexual objects who tit and ass tease as swimsuit models for Sports Illustrated. Woman always have and always will use their OWN sexual objectification to ‘earn’ money, to steal superior patriarchal powers and to rape unequal attention because female sexual power is superior to male sexual power.

      As for war, you need to be all for women being FORCED (that is DRAFTED) into combat as men already are to have real equality. You cannot wish away war just because you are anti-war unless you have some sort of potent pro-peace response (like baring your boobs for bullets as brave Syrian men bare their chests for bullets today). In addition you cannot make the lame argument that just because today’s war seem relatively bloodless proportionate to the population that blatant reverse-sexism is insignificant.

      You also need to remember that the battle between the sexes depends on female objectification of male status just as male objectify female sex. How often do you REALLY see the gentleman beneath the officers uniform? How often do you use your sexual assets to snag dinner, drinks or ultimately ‘great catches’? You need to tell the gender bigots who brainwash you into false ‘oppressed’ status to go away so that you can see things holistically for once.

      • You seem like a troll, so I’ll try to keep this short. Women shouldn’t have to wear a burka in order to not be considered an object. Anyone – even one wearing normal clothes – shouldn’t have to worry about being harassed.

        The women who use sexuality for financial gain are a very small portion of the population. Think about it in economic terms. If there were as many women willing to sell that there are men willing to buy, no one would make any money. If there were as many prostitutes as there were johns, who could make a living? Clearly, the demand side is much greater and implies that more men participate in this than women. So, I’m not sure how you think that this is predominately a woman’s problem.

        And you use of derogatory terms like “slut” and “whore” indicate how prejudiced you are. The vast, vast majority of women have never been prostitutes or swimsuit models or strippers or porn stars. Why would you categorize an entire gender based on so small a minority?

    • Lindsey, finding female sexual objectification of men is not difficult. For instance, depending on how you define nudity, there is plenty of male sexual objectification in films. If you limit it to full frontal nudity, neither sex gets much screen time. If you broaden it to include a fully nude person with no frontal nudity, there is slightly more images of women than men. If you include being topless, it is about even. Was there any reason for the werewolf from Twilight to be half naked in the film other than to be jail-bait eye candy for 40-year-old women?

      There are more magazines geared towards men, however, that does not mean women do not sexually objectify men less than men do it to women. It just means there is less of a direct market for women who like nude men or that they will buy magazines featuring nude or half nude men geared towards straight or gay men to satisfy their interests. Likewise, there are fewer strip clubs geared towards women, however, women do not have to go to strip clubs to see topless men. They can see that for free in the streets.

      As for the male equivalent to the Lingerie Football League, it is called pro-wrestling.

      This stuff is pretty easy to find if you bother to look. The only difference is that men display their objectification of the opposite sex while women try to hide it. And because our society our society deems women sexually harmless, clear instances of women objectifying men and boys gets ignored.

      • What you’re conveniently ignoring is that male nudity is not as sexuality as female nudity is. If a man can go without a shirt and not be seen as a sex object, that’s fine. You can’t mean that a shirtless guy on the street gets the same type of attention that a nearly naked woman in a strip club. It’s a completely different mentality. A shirtless man is rarely objectified in the way that a topless woman is. There is no ‘market’ for male nudity because women do not consider it a commodity. A man can be naked and not be seen as sexual (see the fight scene in Eastern Promises for reference… that would never have worked with a female character) but a woman cannot because men constantly sexualize them. This goes back to my earlier point that it is less common for men to appreciate attractiveness in the opposite sex without turning it into something related to sexual gratification.

        And about pro-wrestling, you must admit that the audience for this is predominately male. And, you must admit that the female wrestlers are much more sexualized than the men. Not only do the women who wrestle wear skimpy uniforms (much like the males) but there are also bikini models between rounds. There are no men prancing around holding signs in between the female matches, no?

        There’s nothing wrong with nudity or the body. But there is something wrong with forcing sexualization onto a person without their consent – particularly if it’s done to the extent that it reduces their humanity in the eyes of the viewer.

        • Anonymous Male says:

          Let’s say looking at and fantasizing about a stranger on the street is forcing sexuality on that person without consent. Let’s say that if I do get consent from that person then it is acceptable for me to look and fantasize. I guess I have a litigious personality and a very literal mindset, because I’m wondering how I could get consent from a stranger without being quite rude and without incurring legal liability. If this is a legal matter, I would really prefer to get signed, written statement of consent. Would I need to see a lawyer to draft up a form, can I just get a boilerplate version online, or should there be a government agency regulating that?

          I have been assuming that some consent is fairly clearly implied. Anyone carrying a sign around the ring while wearing very little clothing is, I am assuming, giving consent for me to look and to imagine. This may be just me, but I think if a person is wearing a word with 5-inch letters stitched on the seat of jeans or sweatpants, I am thereby granted permission to look at the rear end decorated in such a fashion. Like many knuckle draggers, I’m a very slow reader, even for such simple words as “PINK.”

        • What you’re conveniently ignoring is that male nudity is not as sexuality as female nudity is.

          That is not true. The difference lies in the responses to certain types of nudity and how nudity gets define. A shirtless man is just as half nude as a shirtless woman. However, our culture regards the nude female breast as taboo, so it prompts a different overt response. Yet the topless male is sexualized. It is regarded in our society as benign.

          If you look at clothing marketing, most of the ads feature topless or open-shirted men. Part of that may be to display the man’s physique, but it is also sex appeal. The nude fight scene from Eastern Promises has sexual subtext. We just try to ignore it because of its homoerotic nature. The same thing is true for the shirtless fight scenes from Fight Club. Again, the issue is how we respond to these images, not that they are not on display. We treat male nudity as taboo if it is anything other than an exposed torso. However, we also regard the male form as dirty and unattractive. The same is not true with the female form, so virtually any display of female nudity is both taboo and liked.

          As for pro-wrestling, you cannot argue about how the wrestlers look because the majority of the men are in great shape, mostly naked, and prance around doing promos for their own matches. However, I will concede that female wrestlers in the WWE seem to get chosen for their looks more so than their skills. Then again, the same thing is true for most of the men, particularly those chosen to be the face of WWE.

          People make a lot of assumptions about other people’s intentions with no evidence to support it. Just because you feel objectified does not mean that the person staring at you thinks of you as a thing rather than a person. Just because a person stares at your body does not mean they do not think of you as a person. Likewise, we cannot control what other people think, nor should we. No one requires anyone’s consent to think about them, fantasize about them, or sexualize them. As long as you are not forcing your views on that person, you can think whatever you want.

  24. Women objectify men as much as men objectify women. The difference lies in how they do it and how socially acceptable it is. When women treat men as objects and tools, this gets reinforced by our culture. No one questions the notion that men ought to be living wallets or safety shields, nor do people question when women sexually objectify men and boys. Part of that is due to viewing women are harmless, but part of it also lies in assuming that men are not harmed by any of it.

    Society and the media support both sex’s objectification, so neither sex is more “oppressed” than the other. And while women are taught to be more fearful than men, that has nothing to do with young men staring at women. That results from our culture caricaturizing male desire.

    In my experience, women stare and comment on other women just as often as men do. So the issue is not misogyny so much as it is that society teaches women to suspect men. It is also that as a culture we do not address how staring at anyone makes the recipient of that gaze feel.

  25. Jacobtk, while your analogy is effective for your argument, which I believe is about prejudice, it falls short. Behavior within a sex is much less variable than behavior within any given ethnic group.

    Since ethnic groups are made up of men and women, why would behavior be more variable within ethnic groups and not within a given sex?

    Fear, unfortunately, is not always just.

    But that is the core issue. The feminists on this thread, from Hugo to the commenters, present the fear of men as just and deserved. Their reasoning is that because a handful of men have hurt a handful of women, all women can justifiably fear all men and suspect all men of being rapists for the most trivial reasons, including looking at them too long. If the fear is unjust, then it is also unreasonable and illogical.

    I believe we should focus less on how reasonable it is to fear men and focus more on assessing why the fears exist, how to eradicate them, and how we can discourage stereotyping.

    That is fine, however, you cannot discourage stereotyping without first acknowledging its unreasonableness. Dodging that point implies that the stereotype is valid. In this case, it is not, and we have statistical evidence to support that. The vast majority of rape victims, male or female, get assaulted by someone they know, and the majority of victims of stranger-perpetrated violence are male. However, I agree that we do need to assess why women fear men so much, and why their fears get culturally reinforced.

    • That is fine, however, you cannot discourage stereotyping without first acknowledging its unreasonableness. Dodging that point implies that the stereotype is valid. In this case, it is not, and we have statistical evidence to support that. The vast majority of rape victims, male or female, get assaulted by someone they know, and the majority of victims of stranger-perpetrated violence are male. However, I agree that we do need to assess why women fear men so much, and why their fears get culturally reinforced.

      Agreed. It seems that people tend to get pretty selective about when they want to examine things and how far they want to examine them. If this were about how women who are unfairly stereotyped as “sluts” for dressing a certain way I really doubt there would too many people wanting to skip over acknowledging that fact that its unfair to said women (and I’m betting there would not be too many people here trying to defend that unfair presumption).

      As you say jacobtk the most common type of rape is acquaintence (in which the victim knows their rapist). That’s not to say that women should blindly trust any man she crosses paths with. However when its okay for a black man to complain about a white woman crossing the street to avoid him because he’s black but then be called a whiner for complaining about a white woman crossing the street to avoid him because he’s a man, something is wrong (because I’m betting a lot of people will call that white woman racist but how many would call her sexist?).

    • Within a given society, behavior within a sex is more easily generalized than within a given ethnic group, especially if said society is largely heteronormative.

      I think you are missing my point. As members of ethnic groups, men and women’s behaviors would conform to the expectations of those groups, therein making their behavior as variable as the groups they are a part of. That is why Western men’s behavior differs from Middle Eastern men’s behavior.

      But I don’t believe Hugo is saying the fear is just but rather the suspicion is understandable.

      Hugo stated, “We live in a world that is deeply suspicious of male desire. Rightly so, I think. The number of men who rape, who cheat, who act out in countless other sexually compulsive and destructive ways is depressingly high.” That clearly means that the fear and suspicion of men is just. If he meant it any other way, he would have worded as such.

      The definition in use was my real issue with the argument and I should have made that point explicit.

      I understood your meaning, I just do not think that there actually is a “reason” for the kind of stereotyping we are discussion. In other words, there is no real premise to the discrimination outside of abject bigotry. Some people like bec have presented actual premises, but as you can see, their distrust is born out of actual harmful experiences, not some random “other people like me got hurt by members of this group, so now I’ll distrust everyone from that group” excuse.

      • While men and women have innate behaviors, those behaviors are affected by the culture they live in, meaning that there would be a great deal of variance among the sexes because cultures tend to vary. Even people within the same culture get affected by their respective group’s subculture. There are a host of factors that tweak people’s behaviors, so it is not that easy to say “men do this” and “women do that”.

        As for the rate of female versus male perpetrated violence, it depends on what research you go by. Crime reports state that men commit more violence against women than women commit it against men. However, some research (like what Mark posted above) states that the rates of violence between the sexes are equal or close to it. Given that men are less likely to report violence, especially when it is committed by women, it is likely that women commit more violence than people think.

        I have no special usage for the term “feminist”. It is not meant as a pejorative. I only apply it to those who call themselves such.

        Stereotyping in general comes from a place of bias and prejudice. Even if it is caused by a personal experience, the source of the fear is prejudgment. That does not mean that women who feel uncomfortable need to check their feelings. However, they should question if the feeling is warranted. I do it, and I know it is not easy to do.

        Yes, the media and society often reinforces stereotypes, but that is my point. The reaction a person has gets amplified by the people around them, which in turn affects how that person reacts to certain situations. The media only worsens what already exists. People are by nature hedonistic and selfish. The media presenting something different would not change that, although their focus on certain topics does leave the false impression that those problems occur more frequently than they do. However, not covering it does not make those things not happen because people already think that way. It is people we have to change.

  26. Well, I have ADHD, so I don’t really keep my eyes on anything for 2 seconds anyways…..

    Does help my field of vision while driving.

    I have caught numerous women staring at me at the Clothing Optional Beach…. Jeez, just buy a Playgirl and let me enjoy some sun….

  27. hahahahahaha,

    Well, I guess you could just wear sunglasses….

    Kinda funny how Hugo Skeezer brags about screwing students on his desk then tells other men to “behave.”

    Get off the moral high horse. It’s one thing to ask for manners, another thing to talk down to men.

  28. I don’t know what you’re talking about with your unintelligible prattle and poor grammar.

    In any case, of course it’s natural to stare, but just because a woman wears a low-cut top doesn’t mean she shouldn’t be allowed to feel uncomfortable if men stare at her. She shouldn’t be surprised, but she has every right to feel uncomfortable and feel like she deserves respect for her bodily integrity, too. That’s like saying a woman deserves to be raped if she goes out in public scantily clad. They’re not on the same level, of course, but the comparison still stands.

  29. Clark Kent says:

    I think may women overestimate their perceived “attractiveness” as well as how much they are personally being “ogled” by big scary leering males in public. Trust me, many women don’t have the “assets” to garner a “penetrating gaze” and all “assets” are not created equally.

    Many people are uncomfortable in situations where they are alone in public. The feeling of be stared at is usually a manifestation of a person’s (male or female) insecurities.

    I’m not saying that there aren’t men who look a little too long and hard at certain features of women (or men). However, I think many people tend to exaggerate they amount of attention they garner due to some sort of insecurity/anxiety with being alone in public. Or, they are just a tad bit narcissistic 😛

    • Clark, you’re not saying that this stuff doesn’t happen, but what you are very sneakily saying is you think women have an over inflated sense of self and aren’t able to have the mind to know their own personal experiences and most men probably aren’t even interested in them because most women are pretty uninteresting anyway. It’s easy to see what you are *really* saying when you take away the sugar coating.

      I am certainly not close to being some fantasy ideal but even me in all my ordinariness is able to garner negative male, leering attention. And have had a number of negative experiences with inappropriate men.

      Speaking strictly in general terms and stereotypes, women are generally more aware of non-verbal social cues then men. Which is why women are more rapt at both picking up on more subtle social cues and why they often are also more rapt at giving subtle social cues.

      • Common Decency says:

        I’ve had people leer at me too, as well as a number of negative experiences with inappropriate men and women. But I’m not so precious and entitled to believe that I’m justified in expecting society on the whole or people in general have to change or avert their eyes for me because of that.

      • Clark Kent says:

        Nope. There wasn’t anything sneaky about it. You pretty much nailed it.

        However, women being “more aware of non-verbal social cues” is subjective and very much up for interpretation (or misinterpretation) in my opinion.

        Again I’m not saying that people don’t stare inappropriately. Hell, I’m a man and I notice women staring at me and sometimes I get a little uncomfortable ***GASP!*** …

        What I don’t believe is that it is a prevalent or overt as some would make it seem. Also, many times people feel that they are being stared upon but in reality it’s just due to being uncomfortable in certain public or social situations resulting some sort of anxiety.

    • It’s a bit weird how much “attractiveness” comes into play when the conversation turns to rape or the threat of rape. Unattractive people are raped as well, it’s not just those that fit the narrow Hollywood version of attractiveness that are targeted. I have a friend who I do not consider physically attractive (by the stereotype or by my own standard), but her uncle certainly found her “attractive” enough to rape her on a semi-monthly basis from age 5 – 13. Nobody is “unrapeable” based solely on appearance, and as everyone knows, looks are subjective anyway. Rape is not about beauty and attraction, it’s about violence and an inability to recognise the humanity of the victim.

      In my experience, being oggled or catcalled has generally made me feel very unattractive. I think I’m decent-looking, but I know that many men who see me may not really notice me. But when men do express sexual interest in a rude or menacing way, it is a threat, never a compliment. That threat adds to the incorrect stereotype of all men as rapists. Staring at one part of my body means I’m not being recognised as a whole person, and that’s where the threat is.

      • Clark Kent says:

        Nowhere did I make mention about rape or sexual assault.

        I was (as well as the article) speaking specifically about unwanted stares whether real or perceived.

        • You’re right, neither you or the article mention it specifically. It has come up in the comments though, as it always does with articles about looking at women. Leering can easily move into into the threat-of-rape territory, and that’s why it always comes up. The rest of what I said about attractiveness still applies specifically to your comment though.

  30. Most men are under the impression that women wear low cut blouses to show off their assets. That’s patently false. The reality is that mammary glands need to be aired on a regular basis, in order to stay healthy. It’s a medical and scientific fact.

    Men: the woman in the link below does not want her breasts to be stared at, she is simply following doctor’s orders, and as you can see for yourself, them orders are working.

    http://www.pollsb.com/photos/o/8199-new_research_says_gazing_large_breasts_makes_men_healthier.jpg

  31. In my experience, many men think they are not being noticed while oggling or leering. It’s actually very easy to spot, and even a split second glance is usually pretty obvious to me if I’m facing the man’s general direction. Sometimes I’m offended and sometimes I’m not, but the real problem is when I feel threatned. Context is a big deal; if you’re in a crowd a glance is fine, if you’re the only two people at a transit station at night, it can be scary. Fewer than 10% of men are rapists, but more than 95% of rapists are men, and about 90% of victims are women. I don’t think all men are rapists, but this is primarily a problem of men posing a threat to women, and it’s not as if there’s a surefire way to tell a rapist from a regular person. Leering at a woman in a secluded area is an implied threat and adds to the stereotype of all men as rapists. A simple way to help counteract that stereotype is by having some consideration for context, timing, and length of stare.

    • I don’t know if your statistics are accurate, but the rape that women fear most is probably stranger rape, I.e. being attacked in a parking lot and dragged off. You can’t tell me that there are vast numbers of women out there attacking men in parking lots and sexually assaulting them. Women lack the physical strength to forcibly overpower and rape a man they have grabbed off the street. Or to break into a man’s house and rape him. Or whatever. Yet that happens to thousands of women a year.

      Actually the fear of stranger assault is probably exaggerated but it’s what women are scared of when a guy on the street is staring. “Date rape” or partner sexual assault as well as childhood sexual abuse is probably far more common and yes there are women who commit those crimes. But again the article was about staring, women feel threatened by staring and I would argue that the main reason form that is fear of stranger rape, which is overwhelmingly committed by men.

      • Sarah, chances of stranger rape happening as very slim, less than a mans chances of being murdered, according to us crime stats.

        The way feminists go on about”women going around being scared of this rare thing happening to them is generated by a deliberately constructed rape hysteria, just like progressives generated the same thing with black men during the progressive era, its bigotry and fear mongering.

        You can’t even comment on an article about people looking at each other without crying rape, ffs.

        • Speaking as someone who has experienced stranger rape, why thank you. It’s good to know that my fears, legitimised by violent assault that required medical intervention afterwards, are just “hysteria”.

          It’s also super-cool that the PTSD I suffered in the years afterward are actually just considered part of a conspiracy.

          I do just about everything I can to avoid being looked at; baggy clothes, having myself covered from neck to ankle, not wearing a lot of makeup. For the most part it works. But I’m going to be super-careful; after my experiences, I can’t guarantee that I will be safe with any one person alone, even someone I am well-acquainted with. I happily work amongst men, but I will also safeguard my personal safety and professional integrity by not being alone with one in an area where someone can’t see me. I presume this might also have the flow-on benefit to the men I work with in the sense that my own conduct is on display also.

          • eioa;ghaAP:eian;e says:

            You had very bad luck. If I had survived a plane crash I might be terrified of flying, more terrified of flying than driving a car, even if driving a car is actually much more dangerous from a statistical standpoint.

            What happened to you is tragic but that does not mean that it is incredibly common. I understand why you feel the need to safeguard yourself for psychological reasons, but the individual experiences of a single person should not be projected onto society as a whole and determine how we should interact.

            The world is filled with all kinds of danger, we cannot stop all forms of danger, and if we attempted to we might find ourselves living in a very dull world with little interaction or excitement. Posters referring to the treatment of rape by some individuals and ideologies as hysteria is not an attempt invalidate your personal experience anymore than calling the media reports on the “swing flu epidemic” hysteria is an attempt to invalidate the experiences of people who were killed or nearly killed by swine flu.

        • Regardless, that’s what scares women. Is it a feminist conspiracy? My parents are the ones who originally instilled me with a sense of terror about being attacked in a dark alley by a strange man. I don’t think they were conspiring with feminists. They were pretty conservative. FYI, although thankfully I’ve never been raped, when I lived in a large city, I was cornered several times by men who were rather threatening, and one time a guy followed me across half the city. I had guys on the street call me the c word and tell me they wanted to f$@k me. Another time, leaving a club, a drunk guy who had been lurking around me all evening followed me into a cab, and insisted he was going home with me, and wouldn’t leave until the cab driver threatened to call the cops. So a few experiences like that does make one nervous about sexual attention from strangers.

      • JoyofLife says:

        I would LOVE some citation for this b.s. Just in my circle of church friends we’ve found that stats given by feminist organizations on rape were transferable one to one. Rape away with your eyes though, and don’t worry, the non-humans you’re looking at don’t count if they mind.

        • Your math is shoddy. Women have a 1-in-4 chance of being assaulting in their LIFETIME, not in one particular year. Just dividing by 4 isn’t correct.

      • Gregory A. Butler says:

        The reality is, a woman is far more likely to be raped by a man she knows and trusts (her teacher, stepfather, boyfriend, boss, coworker, cousin, brother-in-law ect) than she is by some random horny man staring at her cleavage on the street.

    • A person cant help a stare/ogle.

      I wear ‘women’s’ headbands. Why? To educate the public that ancient greek men wore headbands. Men, AND women stare at me. Why? because i wearing something that caught their attention. They dont mean to stare, but it is an unconscious reaction. Ive overwhelmed their senses

      As i said staring(unconscious rapt attention) is different from consciously looking. Finally, you are offended by a momentary GLANCE?? What fucking arrogance. Sentiments worthy of a caste system

    • Are all comments being moderated? Or have i joined the ‘undesirables’ list?

    • A person cant help a stare/ogle.

      I wear ‘womens’ headbands. Why? To educate the public that ancient greek men wore headbands. Men, AND women stare at me. Why? because i wearing something that caught their attention. They dont mean to stare, but it is an unconscious reaction. Ive overwhelmed their senses

      As i said staring(unconscious rapt attention) is different from consciously looking. Finally, you are offended by a momentary GLANCE?? What arrogance. Sentiments worthy of a caste system

      • JoyofLife says:

        I don’t stare at people who are short or people who are in wheel chairs because it is rude. I also don’t stare when I see people with different malformations, because it is rude. Okay, dressing differently kind of invites that, but dressing while female, I would argue doesn’t. It’s an assumed right of man men to stare. It’s creepy. If I can control myself from ogling a little person, why can’t a decent fellow human being show me the same courtesy?

        • Common Decency says:

          Its not an assumed right of men to stare but people do have the right to look at each other, how would you like it if a political hate group was questioning your right to look at another class of people, you are questioning a very basic human rights, the right to see.

          Because of an earlier carnation of your movement black men averted their eyes from white women for fear that they would have them strung up in a tree by the weak-minded man gina and white knight men of the day.

          Wake up, look at that you are involved in, look at what you are saying.

          • Common Decency says:
            April 27, 2011 at 12:41 pm
            2 1

            Its not an assumed right of men to stare but people do have the right to look at each other, how would you like it if a political hate group was questioning your right to look at another class of people, you are questioning a very basic human rights, the right to see.

            Because of an earlier carnation of your movement black men averted their eyes from white women for fear that they would have them strung up in a tree by the weak-minded man gina and white knight men of the day.

            Wake up, look at that you are involved in, look at what you are saying.

            as i said ‘Sentiments worthy of a caste system’

        • JoyofLife says:
          April 27, 2011 at 8:51 am
          I don’t stare at people who are short or people who are in wheel chairs because it is rude. I also don’t stare when I see people with different malformations, because it is rude. Okay, dressing differently kind of invites that, but dressing while female, I would argue doesn’t. It’s an assumed right of man men to stare. It’s creepy. If I can control myself from ogling a little person, why can’t a decent fellow human being show me the same courtesy?

          If I change your words a little, perhaps you can see the fractured thinking in your comment

          I don’t stare at people who are short or people who are in wheel chairs because it is rude. I also don’t stare when I see people with different malformations, because it is rude. Okay, dressing while female kind of invites that, but dressing differently , I would argue doesn’t. It’s an assumed right of man men to stare. It’s creepy. If I can control myself from ogling a person dressed differently , why can’t a decent fellow human being show me the same courtesy?

          Joyof life, What makes you think are you a ‘decent human being’. You’ve whimsically decided (‘dressing differently kind of invites that [a stare]’)that who people dress differently are a separate and alien class of people that are are exempt from your protection. On what basis do you decide that it is ok to stare at oddly dressed people but not at an extremely tall person, or obese person etc. And does this allowance to stare at oddly dressed people extend to staring at oddly dressed women, or is this ‘privilege’ fit only for men?

          Finally whats the difference that underpins the thoughts of a ‘creepy decent human being’ who believes ‘dressing differently kind of invites that [a stare]’, and a ‘creepy het man or creepy lesbian’ who believes ‘a woman dressing like ‘that’ kind of invites a stare’?

    • “but more than 95% of rapists are men, and about 90% of victims are women”

      Donna, you are a pedophilia apologist, pure and simple.

  32. Ill look at whatever i want to in public. would these fainting feminists like to reintroduce and expand to all men, the usa jim crow laws that told blkamerican men to walk with their eyes down when passing a woman?

    However, 3 seconds is a stare in my book. A stare is different than a look. In a stare the brain is transfixed by something odd, or attractive etc. Everyone has stared at another person, even if the reason differed.

    Infront of a person, a conscious 1 second look, maybe 2 is long enough.

  33. I agree that some women do feel threatened or fearful when men stare at them but to hyper focus and this as being a primary reason for women’s frustration would be silly. I admit that there are times when the emotional side of me gets angry when I get an obsessive stare but not because I think he is a rapist or that I’m sexist. Hugo said it best … “Breasts don’t walk by themselves; they belong to human beings.” Women do not always like to stare at as an “object” placed there for a man’s physical pleasure anymore more than a man would like to be observed as a “tool” for financial security.

    • Overt sexual display? You mean when I take my burqa off? Or when I let my hair down? What about when I show my ankles?

      • How about when you’re wearing jeans that are so tight we can see camel toe and you’ve got a thong hanging out the top of it?

        • I don’t have a habit of looking at people’s genital areas, no matter what they’re wearing. I don’t know if it’s some special gift I was born with or a skill I’ve acquired over the years..

          • I suspect it’s because you weren’t raised by cretinous mountain trolls.

          • Henry Vandenburgh says:

            Hey, Yoni. I do sort of enjoy looking at other people’s genital areas. Hope I’m subtle. They’re gifts from God, after all.

  34. Henry Vandenburgh says:

    How about getting rid of the voting feature? Comments being visible should not depend on this.

    • But then how would we avoid seeing your offensive comments?

      • Yeah, I agree with you Henry. It’s not the voting feature that bothers me but when comments get dulled out and are hard to read that does. Even if something has low votes, it should still be visable.

        • I agree completely with your post

          • The doublex blog lists the id’s of upvoters(there is no down vote facility). I think that is a good, and hope that system is used here. I have little respect for the cowards regardless of point of view. that silently down vote posters, and wont risk an arsespanking by posting their views.

            At least posters put their views forward. So big thumbs up to all who posted

      • Simple don’t read them. The fact that a comment is invisible only means that X number of other people didn’t like it or found it offensive. That’s not a certainty that someone else that comes along later will feel the same. And it doesn’t help that once downvoted the original comment plus all replies to it are rendered invisible. Meaning that we might be missing out on a nice take down of an offensive comment.

      • Henry Vandenburgh says:

        Clean your mind up might be a start. One thing that hasn’t been discussed here is the fact that, unlike the vast majority of other animals, women seem to be doing much of the body display in most cultures. So I find the don’t look arguments kind of suspicious. Women often wear push-up bras, dye their hair blonde, wear elaborate (and sometimes unattractive) dress. Much of this, of course, is to compete with other women– however, I think, in terms of the male gaze. The don’t look stuff, is to make the individual gaze more “costly,” hence, more valuable. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, this has nothing to do with rape.

        • “The don’t look stuff, is to make the individual gaze more “costly,” hence, more valuable. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, this has nothing to do with rape.”

          Would you please clarify?

          • Henry Vandenburgh says:

            Well, one thing I suspect is that the gaze (as others have intimated here) is welcome in proportion to the resources that the “gazer” is imputed to have (by stereotype.) If the gazer is an affluent yuppie or has trappings of wealth, then his gaze is likely more welcome. If he is “crude” (read lower or working class for middle class women), his gaze is likely to be unwelcome. If we can impune the male gaze generally, we (if we’re women) are in a better position to ration who we accept the gaze from. The nightmarfe for middle class women is to receive the gaze from construction workers, remember? This is not absolute. Lower class men can suddenly seem very erotic (often in error) to women who’d never consider them as a long term partner. Part of THIS attraction, I’d suggest, is unconsciously locating a man who can NEVER work out– so you don’t have to marry him, just pine for him when he splits. Remember all those smart women foolish choices books? This is all incredibly nuanced.

      • Anonymous says:

        DK: “But then how would we avoid seeing your offensive comments?”

        I hope that question was sarcastic (because it would be if I wrote it), but I fear it is not.

  35. I think you’re downplaying (or really, largely ignoring) the fact that all women are different. Which means while one woman might not be offended until a guy leers at her boobs without any tact or discretion, another one will be up in arms if she catches a man casting a sideways glance. That’s why there really can’t be any hard and fast rules, only some common sense guidelines. Which I think you did a good job of outlining.

    But the end of your article really turned me off. Yes, more men rape. But are there really more male cheaters than women? Are there not women with just as many “sexually compulsive and destructive” habits as men? Why is this all blamed on men? There just seemed to be a real disconnect between the first 90% of your article and the ending.

  36. Anonymous Male says:

    Looking in a subtle way is good courtesy to other people. I completely agree. It’s a good “best practices” life skill. As Hugo suggests, there is a useful social balance that men can shoot for. I see it as a compromise between the rights of the viewer and the feelings of the viewed.

    I’m a little divided here. I guess I’m one of those “creeps” who probably isn’t reading this blog anyway. I think there may be a false dichotomy here, that when a man looks he doesn’t care about how women feel, or that men make women uncomfortable with their staring because those men just don’t care.

    I’m sort of a “gaze libertarian.” I’m not defending staring as a way to make women uncomfortable. I’m not saying people’s feelings should be ignored. My position is to start with individual rights. My body is my own to do with as I see fit within my own space. When I turn my neck, I’m turning my neck. When I move my eyeballs, I’m moving my eyeballs. When I picture something in my mind, it’s my mind. My body, my space, my business, same for all genders.

    If you see me with my neck or face in a position you don’t like, you are reacting to what I look like — you’re offended by what you see when you look at me, which to me suggests the problem is with you, not me. If I were offended by a woman’s appearance, that would be my problem, not hers. I don’t begrudge any woman’s right to look at me in disgust. Everyone out in public has the right to stare and judge for themselves.

    If I stare and that means I’m driving recklessly, then my crime is that I’m driving recklessly, not that I’m staring. If I’m staring and that means I’m distracted from something, then my problem is that I was too easily distracted, not that I enjoy staring. I’m not talking about catcalling or sexual assault. I don’t consider “eyes on me” to be the same as touching me, nor do I think “undressing me with your eyes” really is the equivalent of being physically undressed. I don’t think staring in public is an actual violation of anyone’s rights.

    I would add some more cynical advice here: keeping your glances subtle will mean you will probably see more over time. A fixed stare is easily noticed and then thwarted, but a quick glance committed to memory is less noticeable. If Hugo as a younger lad had been more subtle (admittedly very hard to do at 14!), he would have been able to see what he enjoyed seeing for much longer. If she had not noticed him noticing, she may have done it again. Getting men to limit their staring out of guilt is only going to work up to a point – showing that it’s in their own best interest will go farther.

    • “I would add some more cynical advice here: keeping your glances subtle will mean you will probably see more over time. A fixed stare is easily noticed and then thwarted, but a quick glance committed to memory is less noticeable. If Hugo as a younger lad had been more subtle (admittedly very hard to do at 14!), he would have been able to see what he enjoyed seeing for much longer.”

      Yes, because women exist for your pleasure.

      • Anonymous Male says:

        I derive as much pleasure as I can from my visual field. I appreciate the serendipity of pleasurable optic input. I wouldn’t say any person exists for my pleasure (except for me, maybe), but beauty does exist for my pleasure. I realize that’s a bit self-centered as a philosophy, but no more self-centered than the idea that people exist to look after one another.

        I can see how my point of view looks like objectification, but it seems like a huge logical leap to say that because I enjoy looking at people that means I only think of them in terms of my own pleasure. Just because I enjoy an activity doesn’t mean that I have a one-track mind about that activity.

        But let’s say for the sake of argument I do think other people exist only for my pleasure and that means my mind is warped by that. What harm does it do when it’s all in my head? Would I require some sort of re-education program? Would internal objectification be an actionable offense?

        • The obvious flaw in your logic is that it’s not all in your head. “Optic input”? No, these people actually exist. They are actually there. Regardless of what is going on in your head, your action impacts other people. They know what you’re thinking, even if you don’t say it. It’s not just internal.

          Your view point looks like objectification because it is objectification. If you were thinking of them in terms that weren’t related to your own pleasure, you may be more considerate of how uncomfortable you’re making them and you’d stop. All of the arguments that your making completely discount the woman’s right to how her body is used. What if she doesn’t want some random guy staring at her and thinking of her naked? Isn’t that a right she has, too?

          • Lindsey:

            To put it bluntly the answer to your question about whether a woman has a right to control men’s thoughts of her being naked is : no.

            You have no such right. When you are out in the public you are presenting yourself to the public glare of both men and women. And people being what they are, their perceptions of you as well as what kind of object you are to them will be different.

          • Anonymous Male says:

            In response to Lindsey:

            Again, if we’re only talking about staring, then we’re talking about what you see when I stare. When you see me staring you are reacting to what I look like. Criticizing my staring is basically criticizing my appearance. Perhaps you really can read my mind, like my intentions are written on my forehead. In that case it’s still a judgment about what you see when you look at me. What I hear you suggesting is that I should be more considerate of other people’s feelings when I appear a certain way in public. (I don’t know if you’re saying this, but perhaps I should also change what I think about in public or hide what I think about in public.)

            (On a related note, someone who’s truly a mind-reader would see right through any of my attempts to hide what I’m thinking about. You would still see my prurient fantasies even with my eyes downcast, so why be furtive abou it?)

            I know it’s not quite the same, but this does remind me of the idea that other people are supposed to dress in such a way as to not distract other people. Telling a person not to stare because it causes me discomfort sounds a lot like telling someone to dress differently because the look of that clothing is causing me discomfort. If one person’s vision and imagination are an invasion of another person’s life, then people need to stop imagining strangers as: sexual partners, dance partners, friends, helpful bystanders, rapists, muggers, potential customers, etc.

            Perhaps I’m being too literal and splitting hairs too much, but I don’t think of a look in public as an action that invades someone else’s space. My eyes don’t actually bombard anyone with radiation. Vision is passive; light bounces off people and goes into my eyes. Turning my neck or moving my eyes (or not moving my eyes) is not an actual assault on anyone else. By the same token, I would never say that a woman’s appearance is an interruption of my life. If I am distracted by her appearance, I take full responsibility for being distracted by it. If I have a problem with it, I have no one to blame but myself.

            I would say that no one actually has a right to go through life without being in someone else’s imagination. Sure, it would be ideal if everyone was imagined only in ways that he or she wanted to be imagined, and it would be ideal for everyone to feel comfortable in all settings. I would say, yes, it’s a perfectly valid desire to not be stared at, but that does not mean that it’s a right. Really strongly preferring something does not automatically make it a right, and that goes both ways – really really wanting sex does give any man the right to demand it. It’s the same good, universal rule.

            (Besides, to make it fully consensual and respectful I would have to ask a woman on the street permission to look and fantasize before I did it. I know THAT could feel quite invasive….)

          • Nottyboy says:

            The obvious flaw in your logic is that it’s not all in your head. “Optic input”? No, these people actually exist. They are actually there. Regardless of what is going on in your head, your action impacts other people. They know what you’re thinking, even if you don’t say it. It’s not just internal.

            Your view point looks like objectification because it is objectification. If you were thinking of them in terms that weren’t related to your own pleasure, you may be more considerate of how uncomfortable you’re making them and you’d stop. All of the arguments that your making completely discount the woman’s right to how her body is used. What if she doesn’t want some random guy staring at her and thinking of her naked? Isn’t that a right she has, too?

            How ridiculous. Her body is not being ‘used’, anymore than I’d be using someone’s car by fantasizing about it. Whatever I’m thinking about a woman’s body is none of her business, whether she is aware of my thoughts or not, and she has no right whatsoever to control my thoughts.

            • Lindsey says:

              I love that in a discussion of objectification, you compare a woman’s body to a car. Classic. Do you not know what objectification is? The car doesn’t have thoughts or feelings – the woman does!

              Of course it’s a woman’s body is her business. It’s not “thought control” to expect people to have respect for someone. Just because something is internal doesn’t mean that it’s okay. If someone thinks racist things instead of saying them, they’re still racist, right? If you do something that you know would offend someone, it still reflects poorly on you, whether or not they find out.

              And to Anonymous Male, “Really strongly preferring something does not automatically make it a right”. Exactly. Really, strongly preferring to use someone as a sex object doesn’t mean that it’s your right.

              • Nottyboy says:

                I love how you willfully miss the point. It’s not about the differences between an inanimate object and a person. It’s about the difference between something that is just a thought and the concrete of using someone or something.

                Everyone is allowed to have whatever thoughts they want whether those thoughts are offensive to you or not.

                • Nottyboy says:

                  Let me add also that equating racism with fantasizing about sex with someone is whack. Specially given the way some of you are arguing that consent needs to be given before you can fantasize about someone.

                  How ridiculous would this be:

                  “Hello sir, can I fantasize about lynching you?”

                  Good luck convincing sane people that this is equivalent to having lusty thoughts about an adult.

  37. Amber Rowland says:

    “We live in a world that is deeply suspicious of male desire. Rightly so, I think.” I don’t think there is anything false about that statement at all . Yes, women can rape but far and away most rape, sexual abuse, partner abuse, etc is perpetrated by man. When I walk down the street I don’t get harassed by women. I get sexually harassed by men. I don’t get harassed by women at work, I get harassed by men. When I walk home at night, I’m not afraid of the women walking up the sidewalk behind me, I’m afraid of the men. This doesn’t mean that all men are rapists, but it does mean that the burden of proving they are not perpetrators is put on men.

    • Exactly, and I don’t see what’s so wrong in admitting this, as long as you, the individual man, realize you are not like this. Men rarely have to worry about walking alone at night for fearing of being assaulted by another woman (it happens, but not as often as it happens with man on woman assaults). Men often have to fear other men at night, but it’s not propagated as widely as it is for women to fear being out alone at night–which is ridiculous. Just as more women are sexually assaulted, more men are murdered, but for some reason, society insists on coddling women more, which needs to change. He is not saying all men are rapists, but the fact that most rapists are men is still an important detail in many respects. Most men manage to go their whole lives without committing a violent crime, but most violent crimes are caused by men, and I think that is an important variable in figuring out what we can do to reduce violence.

      • Exactly, and I don’t see what’s so wrong in admitting this, as long as you, the individual man, realize you are not like this.
        The problem is that even though I, the individual man, am not like that I am still regarded the same as men who do solely because we share the same gender. That’s the only link yet that one link is supposedly suffecient to support such treatment.

        Just as more women are sexually assaulted, more men are murdered, but for some reason, society insists on coddling women more, which needs to change.
        Because society doesn’t think that men can be victims. The scales are off balance. Women as victims are cared for to the point of patronization and men as victims are ignored to the point of nonexistence.

        And I think there is one thing that others have mentioned that’s worth noting. I challenge anyone to name any other walk of life on this planet where it would be deemed okay to hold to such suspicions just because they are part of a certain group. I see a few folks here that want that to magically disappear (“why waste time on the unfair assumption?”)

    • Bullshit. There is no other group on the planet where the thought that the burden of proving that they don’t fit a given stereotype falls on them is seriously suggested.

      I mean if you want to go through life treating every male like a rapist (or “potential rapist”) thats fine, thats your choice, but let’s call it what it is: Chauvinism. Bigotry. Sexism.

      • Okay, then there’s nothing more to argue. You can claim it’s bigotry and sexism, but when you grow up in a house with a father that tells you to be distrustful of men you don’t know, you kind of grow up being wary of men. It’s one thing to openly spit at another man who approaches you. It’s another thing entirely to just simply be aware he may not be who he says he is. It’s easier for men to trust women because they haven’t been spoon fed those warnings their whole lives, but for many women, we’ve been spoon fed to be entirely responsible for our own safety, that any man we don’t know could potentially harm us, to be careful, to not take drinks from men we don’t know, to not walk alone at night, to not get into the car of a man we don’t know, ect. My father especially perpetuated this, as I’m certain the fathers of many other women have. My mother never did. I think she was entirely sympathetic of my feelings. But my father, on the other hand, constantly posited he knew what it was like to be a boy, or a young man of my age (in my twenties), so he always tells me to be wary. Of course, I’m old enough to understand and choose for myself whether or not I want to feel this way (and I don’t; I’m just simply trying to get you to see why other women do), but at the same time, it still bothers my father would throw his own sex under the bus like that.

        • So a racist who was parented by a racist father and who’ve been told that most violent crime has been commited by afro-americans is not bigoted? Is that your argument?
          I can understand how women come to think this as this view permeates our culture, but that does not mean it’s not bigotry and sexism and women who as you are old enough to choose for themselves whether they want to feel that way gets no free pass from me.

      • There is a really fascinating article from the magazine Psychology Today about how women are more in-tuned with noticing facial cues of men that have criminal pasts. I took the quiz myself and got most right. The article even asks to see if you can spot the rapist.

        Link: h ttp://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-scientific-fundamentalist/201103/criminals-look-different-noncriminals

        It would be great if rapists carried around a “Hey, My Name is **** and I’m a rapists!”. But they don’t. Most men aren’t rapists. But a woman’s first responsiblity is to her safety first. All it takes is one bad person. Rapists can be very charming. Rapists will play on a woman’s sympathies to get her alone. If a regular good guy finds that offensive, so be it. I think there are a million fathers and husbands and boyfriends that rather their women act with caution and suspicion then just automatically give her trust to anyone. This in no way means that that woman things most men are rapists. It just means that she has no way of telling who is trust worthy and who isn’t. And all it takes is one guy. We hear those stories all the time about a woman just going out to get some milk or go to Target and she never comes home again.

        • Erin do you think this ability to read facial cues for criminality is learnt or inborn in women. I genuinely have no opinion on this. as im still deciding whether it is possible to see criminality on a person’s face

      • What do you do to help women feel safe in public spaces so they don’t have to live in suspicion?

        • I don’t know if you can do anything. It’s that one bad seed that always messes it up for the rest of us.

          • You absolutely can do something. Do you speak up against men who make sexually suggestive comments to women? Do you have zero tolerance for rape jokes? What about when your friends objectify women or use language of domination? Do you victim blame rape victims? Do you participate in rape culture?

            Men are the most powerful voice in ending sexual violence against women.

        • “What do you do to help women feel safe in public spaces so they don’t have to live in suspicion?”

          I cover the world in bubble-wrap and treat them like the toddlers you apparently think they are. (note: that was sarcasm)

          It’s not my job to “help women feel safe” any more than it is the job of an african american to “help white people feel safe” Statistically speaking I, as a man, am in FAR more danger than any particular woman. Not only that, but a woman is far, far more likely to be assaulted by somebody she knows than by a random stranger.

          But please, enlighten me. How exactly does one “prove” that they are not a rapist? I would really LOVE to know the trick to proving a negative like that.

          But as I said, any women is perfectly free to treat every man she meets with suspicion, but let’s call that what it is.

          • James: “Erin do you think this ability to read facial cues for criminality is learnt or inborn in women. I genuinely have no opinion on this. as im still deciding whether it is possible to see criminality on a person’s face.”

            I think it’s possibly a combination of both. There is a certain level of natural instinct that comes into play as the article said. We all read facial expressions and body language more then we know. This is just another facet of that. A survival mechinism. I went through the guy’s faces to see if I could pick out the criminals. I got all of 5 wrong. And I then decided to see if I could pick out the rapists. I was pretty close to getting all of those as well. There were two I mixed up. But some of the guy’s faces I did get wrong so it’s not like someone is *always* right. There are also probably memory’s that are built based on experiences with past “bad” men and we pick up and weed out men that show similiar signs, facial expressions or body language.

            DK, you realize I am a woman right? I don’t know any men that make “rape jokes”. Do I victim blame rape victims? Umm no. I also fail to see what this has to do with anything I said previously.

            Paul, I don’t treat every man I meet with suspicion but I don’t automatically trust them because *you*, your father, your brothers and friends, are good men either. It’s not really fair to vilify women for having a certain measure of caution when it comes to other people. Now-a-days, you can’t always trust other women either. But there is a slightly less threat only because I have a higher chance of fending off another woman then I do another man.

            • I was replying to Paul.

            • It’s not really fair to vilify women for having a certain measure of caution when it comes to other people.

              It is fair to vilify women if their fear is based on inaccurate, sexist stereotypes against a specific group of people. If you agree that most men are not rapists, then there is no justifiable reason to automatically and specifically suspect men of bad intentions. As for your other point, I agree. I do not treat every woman I meet with suspicious, but I do not automatically trust them because *you*, your mother, your sisters, and friends are good women either. However, I apply that everyone, not just women.

              • If you’re alone in your house and someone knocks on your door, are you on guard when you answer it (or choose not to)? Being on the defensive is not the same as suspecting all men as evil villains. I have had lots of very nice random encounters on the street and on the bus with male strangers, I’ve also been grabbed, yelled at, and threatened for being female in public. I’m always on guard until I can determine whether the situation is safe.

                • Yes, I am on guard when someone knocks on my door. However, that is not the issue. The issue is being on the defensive only towards a specific group. If you are only on guard around men, that does treat all men as evil villains. Many people are harassed or assaulted in public. I have experienced it, and about half of it was done by females. The chances of female harassment increases when I am with my godson or siblings, and not just against me. Do you think it is reasonable for me to be on guard around women given that some women violate men and children’s boundaries? Do you think it is reasonable to for me to only be on guard around women?

                  • When such a disproportion exists between the number of women who assault men and the number of men who assault women, it is only natural for women to be more on guard around men.

                    A similar disproportion exists between the number of white people who assault black people and the number of black people who assault white people. Is it only natural for white people to be more on ground around black people? Is it still only natural if the number of black people who commit such violence represents a fraction of the total black population?

                    Yes, there is a lot of fear that is the result of stereotypes. The problem is, for many women, those stereotypes are constantly reinforced. Everyone learns from experience. If you want those stereotypes to be abolished, don’t give people reason to have them. Instill change in those you see doing wrong.

                    The reinforcement does not mean the stereotype is correct. Stereotypes are often self-fulfilling. If you assume the worst of a group of people, it is very easy to find things to “prove” your suspicions. If a culture reinforces that fear, then that false “proof” becomes more evident, yet that does not mean the stereotype is correct.

                    • The Questioner says:

                      A similar disproportion exists between the number of white people who assault black people and the number of black people who assault white people.

                      Wrong, Jacobtk. White people are more likely to be assaulted by other whites than anyone else; most violence happens within racial-ethnic groups. The idea of dangerous blacks is an old racist stereotype, which is exactly why you pulled it out as an analogy to begin with. I would think you could make a rebuttal argument without resorting to tired race-baiting.

                  • Good comments MBR.

                  • “A similar disproportion exists between the number of white people who assault black people and the number of black people who assault white people. Is it only natural for white people to be more on ground around black people? Is it still only natural if the number of black people who commit such violence represents a fraction of the total black population?”

                    Jacobtk, while your analogy is effective for your argument, which I believe is about prejudice, it falls short. Behavior within a sex is much less variable than behavior within any given ethnic group. “Is it only natural?” Yes, fear is natural and people will fear what they have been taught to fear, whether through experience or through any given societal influence.

                    Fear, unfortunately, is not always just. If you are looking for justice and fairness, you will not find it anytime soon. It is “reasonable” –to use your words– for DK to be defensive, just as it is reasonable for you to be at issue with the of generality DK’s fears.

                    “The reinforcement does not mean the stereotype is correct. Stereotypes are often self-fulfilling. If you assume the worst of a group of people, it is very easy to find things to “prove” your suspicions.”

                    I absolutely agree with you on this point. But, again, is it a question of fairness or reasonableness? People can reason their way through many things that are hardly just.

                    “If a culture reinforces that fear, then that false “proof” becomes more evident, yet that does not mean the stereotype is correct.”

                    I love that you brought this up. Our culture both enforces the idea that men are villains while encouraging the same behavior in men that causes others to vilify them. Clearly there is a lot that should change to reach a place where such stereotypes no longer exist.

                    But, there is always a but. As I’m sure you know, it takes a time to eradicate fears on an individual level. On the scale of whole societies it takes decades at best and not without much effort.

                    I believe we should focus less on how reasonable it is to fear men and focus more on assessing why the fears exist, how to eradicate them, and how we can discourage stereotyping. Let’s change the culture.

                    • “Behavior within a sex is much less variable than behavior within any given ethnic group.”

                      You’re kidding me, right? You’re going to claim that behavior within a group comprising 51% of the population is LESS variable than behavior within a group comprising ~13% of the population (assuming United States here–worldwide ratios are different but my point is the same)? When the smaller group is actually a subgroup of the larger one? I’m fairly certain that what you’re proposing is a statistical impossibility.a

              • Most men are not rapists, but most rapists are men. That is what causes the anxiety and fear…

                Without knowing someone, you don’t know which camp they fall in.

            • Firstly i did not downvote yr reply Erin.

              Thanks for the reply. Interesting, i could come up with ‘evolutionary’-type reasons for why mainly women, or mainly men, or both men and women equally would have developed this ability. An Interesting study

          • It’s not your job to make us feel safe any more than it is our job to trust you. And you’re exactly right, sexual assault usually happens by someone you know and trust. Unfortunately women are told to not act or dress a certain way instead of recognizing that rape is about power and control and has nothing to do with your dress or gender. At the same time, sexual harassment is a constant for many women and they have to live on the defensive to get through life. If you’ve ever checked out Hollerback, you’ll see that women in many places navigate a world of male threatening behavior every day. They don’t have the luxury of trust.

            • You know what, iut’s not even about “trust” It’s about not assuming I’m a criminal based solely on the fact that I have a Y chromosome. Why is it that people seem to agree that minority people shouldn’t face this prejudice, but men should just suck it up and deal. One wonders how a minority man should react… is he allowed to be upset about it only half the time?

    • Anonymous says:

      “…that the burden of proving they are not perpetrators is put on men.”

      Assuming that it’s justified in treating men as rapists until proven to be non-rapists, and let’s just say that’s an acceptable approach, HOW would that be possible? It’s very difficult to prove a negative, especially to prove that a person would never do something.

      I can see how staring may look aggressive and how staring may seem objectifying, and those are things that contribute to many rapists’ view of the world. But, it’s not like there’s a slippery slope gateway-drug thing going on, like staring is just a precursor to sexual assault. In fact, statistically the stranger looking your direction is probably far less of a danger to you than the men you already know. Most sexual assaults are by people that the victim already knows. (I’m guessing many of those men get that close because the victims never felt stared at. Did those men “prove” that they were reliably non-perpetrators?)

    • “Yes, women can rape but far and away most rape, sexual abuse, partner abuse, etc is perpetrated by man. When I walk down the street I don’t get harassed by women. I get sexually harassed by men. ”

      You are judging what life is like for men, how often or if we get raped, based on your experience as a woman? What childish nonsense.

      Women rape little boys all the time and until recently it wasn’t even considered a crime. male prisoners report something like 80% of the sexual assualt they experience is at the hands of female guards.

      Most rape is committed by men? How would we know when we don’t even call rape by females rape? When we start seeing women convicted of rape for having sex with drunken men, your may start to have some kind of basis of fact to base your claims on, but not until then. And the facts probably won’t support that claim.

      Men perpetrate more partner abuse than women? DOJ stats say you are wrong. As for child abuse, the stats are quite clear that overwhelmingly women are the perpeterators.

      • Stop making up your ‘facts’. No one believes them. And you can’t cite a single one because most of them are lies.

  38. “We live in a world that is deeply suspicious of male desire. Rightly so, I think. ”

    Why is Hugo still writing for this site? He clearly has no concept what actual men are like. Hugo, get this through your skull. Men do not rape. Rapists rape. Rapists can be men, or (guess what) they can be women. Regardless of who they are, they are the only ones who bear their guilt. People who are “like” them in superficial ways do not.

    We live in a world that likes to pile as much guilt as it can on men, Hugo is dealing with that guilt by shoveling his portion onto other men. “Look at me girls! I’m elightened! I’m better than THOSE guys, those guys suck! But I’m different! Right? Right?”

    Please, GMP, enough of Hugo Schwyzer. This site was supposed to be about how men are, you know, actually good. If we wanted to read about how much men suck we’d go… well, pretty much anywhere else.

    • offfwhite says:

      We also live in a society that validates the ideas that male desire is uncontrollable, and it is women’s responsibility not to incite it. Rape is an observable phenomenon in our culture, and women know this. Moreover, most women have first-hand experience with the expression of male desire violating their boundaries.

      Our world may not be rightly suspicious of *your* male desire, but most women don’t know you and have spent a lifetime understanding how the rules are different for men and for women. Hugo is simply pointing out that, as a good man, you should be aware of how your actions may be perceived, even if your intent was nowhere near that interpretation.

      • I see, so I’m wrong to think it’s a little fucked up that I’m being judged solely for the crime of “being a man.” duly noted. Allow me to go turn myself in, that way there will be one less “dangerous man” on the streets for you ladies to worry about.

      • Most men have first-hand experience with the expression of female desire violating their boundaries. We also live in a society that validates the idea that female sexuality is harmless and innocent, and it is men’s responsibility not to reject it. That, however, does not justify claiming that “We live in a world that is deeply suspicious of female desire. Rightly so, I think. The number of women who rape, who cheat, who act out in countless other sexually compulsive and destructive ways is depressingly high.” No matter how true it is that plenty of women rape, abuse, manipulate, seduce, or exploit men, most women do not. One need not make misandry, sexist statements when one’s intention is provide advice.

        As for justified suspicion, there is a difference between being suspicious of a person you do not know and being suspicious of a group of people you do not know. The former is reasonable; the latter is prejudice. All people should be aware of how their actions may be perceived, even if their intent is nowhere near how other people interpret it.

        • offfwhite says:

          Oh, I completely agree that there are equally unattractive assumptions that can be made about women and their sexuality (most notably, that we use it manipulatively), and that these stereotypes have a firm basis in observable behavior. Because of this, I understand when men are suspicious of my motivations when I don’t withhold sex as a power-play, like many women do (it irritates the shit out of me, but I understand why it happens).

          The key difference, however, is safety. Men are simply much more capable of physically hurting women than the other way around, and the uncontrolled-male-desire card has been on the table for centuries. A woman manipulating a man through sex is not going to put him in the hospital or kill him. The danger is real, and the majority of us have first-hand experience with feeling endangered.

          • The notion that women are incapable of hurting men is a myth. Plenty of women are physically capable of harming men, and those who are not use weapons to make up for their lack of strength. Likewise, the hell-hath-no-fury-like-a-woman-scorned card has been on the table for centuries. However, a man staring at a woman is not going to put the woman in the hospital or kill her. Playing to the extremes is a great way to reinforce misandry and sexism, but it does not address the actual situation. Staring at anyone comes across as threatening, regardless of the sex of who gets stared at or who does the staring. People, men and women, are going to stare. It is reasonable to tell people to be aware of how that could come across. It is unreasonable, bigoted, and unfair to paint an entire group as potential rapists because a handful of people of that group look too long at members of another group. It is a gross fallacy to equate staring at someone with rape.

            • offfwhite says:

              You’re missing the point. No one is saying women can’t (or don’t) hurt men. We are talking about why women may have their defenses up with regards to strangers. I have never been a man, so I don’t know how threatened one may feel by a stranger’s gaze. However, I do know that I have often felt frightened or that I am in actual danger from unwanted male attention. I live in NYC, and sometimes have to walk alone at night. I have been followed part-way home by a strange man, uncomfortably cornered by men, hollered at by groups of men who would not let me continue ignoring them, and I am a survivor of a violent relationship. Spend a day in any criminal court in the city, and I promise you will see a handful of cases that fall under “domestic abuse,” “intimate partner violence” and/or “sexual assault.” These threats are real, and a woman who does not keep her guard up is vulnerable.

              No one is saying that all, or even the majority of, men are abusers. What we are saying is that men sometimes abuse or assault, and that’s some scary shit that we want to avoid. Be aware that our fears may have nothing to do with you, and just be sensitive to the danger that we have learned to live with.

              • Except women do not live in danger of random men assaulting them on the street. Men do, but that is another topic.

                It is understandable that a victim of abuse would distrust people similar to their abuser. That is why I distrust feminists. Yet that does not change that my distrust of feminists offends them. And it should because I am prejudging them based on someone else’s actions. My distrust is irrational because the vast majority of people I meet will not harm me or anyone I am with. It is fine for me to want feminists to be sensitive to the danger I live with, but I also must be sensitive to the effects of my distrust. As Hugo noted, “[…] while we have a right to want what we want, we don’t have the right to burden or offend others by the way we display those wants.”

                It is fine for a woman who has been harassed to be wary of men. It is wrong, however, for that woman to conclude that because a handful of men commit violence, all men are suspect. It is indefensible for that woman to equate male desire with rape.

                • “Except women do not live in danger of random men assaulting them on the street. ”

                  What? In what would do women no live with that sort of danger? Random men attack women all the time; you’re telling me you don’t know a woman who gets cat calls, has been harassed or flashed in the street? Or do they all know these men before hand?

                  • Clarence says:

                    I think Jacob was talking about physical violence. And it’s true. Men’s deaths from violent assaults dwarf women’s even when intimate partner violence is thrown into the mix. Catcalling and flashing while deplorable and sometimes threatening (if a catcaller or group of them follows you) cannot really be compared to being in more danger of random violence. It’s not an apples to apples comparison.

                  • Cat calls, harassment, and flashing are not physical or sexual assaults (flashing counts only as an indecent exposure). According to the FBI crime reports, women are more likely to be assaulted by someone they know than a random person on the street, ergo women do not live in danger of random men assaulting them on the street. That women fear random men assaulting them on the street is a different matter.

      • “We also live in a society that validates the ideas that male desire is uncontrollable, and it is women’s responsibility not to incite it.”

        We? Where is that society, Saudi Arabia? It sure isn’t this society.

        • Are you joking? Seriously. How many times have I seen in the MSM the subtle or overt suggestion that the way a woman dresses has something to do with her being sexually assaulted.

          Even a widespread and vigorous campaign to debunk this myth has not successfully eradicated this extremely persistent bias.

  39. Elizabeth says:

    I’m disappointed with the title of the article, although it probably draws men in. It reads like a pickup technique.

  40. Henry Vandenburgh says:

    That’s why I like being an leg and butt man. Harder to spot. Seriously, though, faces are great– and no woman minds you looking into her eyes.

  41. In an otherwise excellent article you went ahead and wrote this:
    “We live in a world that is deeply suspicious of male desire. Rightly so, I think.”

    For one who’ve written a lot about the falseness of the male weakness myth I must say I am disapointed that you here seem to validate it by saying that men’s desire is dangerous (because they can’t control themselves seem to be the underlying premise of that assessment).

    • I do not think he is validating male weakness so much as he is validating the feminist myth that all men are rapists. He is playing to his audience and voicing his own low opinions of men, which, as you noted, does contradict some of his previous posts and the intended message of this one, assuming his presented opinions are genuine.

      • I do not think he is validating male weakness so much as he is validating the feminist myth that all men are rapists
        Or at least the idea that any man anywhere COULD be a rapist so its okay to be suspicious of all of them. You see the could is the free pass to be suspicious of all men.

        • “Free pass”? If women do not behave as if they are suspicious of all men, and the man they are trusting turns out to be untrustworthy, then women get bitten twice: first for having their trust violated, and second because they will be blamed for it. What were you thinking, being alone with that guy? Wasn’t it obvious that he was hitting on you, how can you say you didn’t notice?

          The flip side of the misandrist myth that men are lust-driven beasts is the misogynist myth that it’s women’s responsibility if the beast attacks them.

          • So people should preemptively assume all men who stare at women are rapists because should a woman get raped some people might blame her for it? How does assuming men are lust-driven breasts prevent victim-blaming against female victims?

            On a related note, it is terribly ironic that Hugo’s attempt to not vilify male desire resulted in him vilifying male desire. I do not understand how a person can offer advice to someone, and then take the most egregious potshot at that person.

          • The flip side of the misandrist myth that men are lust-driven beasts is the misogynist myth that it’s women’s responsibility if the beast attacks them.
            Yet and still there are people who will in one breath say they are against one of those myths while adamantly defending the other (Something like, “No all men aren’t like that but if a woman is attacked its her fault” or “No its not her fault she got attacked but its okay to assume the worst faith in all men”). They are both damaging, are both unfair, and both need to go. Trying to only get rid of one of them is sexism plain and simple.

    • He’s not saying men’s desire is dangerous – he’s saying that it can feel threatening to women.

      • You and I obviously reads the following two sentences very differently:
        “We live in a world that is deeply suspicious of male desire. Rightly so, I think.”

        He is explicitly stating that this deep supsicion of men’s desire is justified which goes well beyond saying that men’s desire can feel threatening to women.

        • I can see how you would interpret it that way. I def think Hugo should rephrase it.

          • You seem to imply that there is another way to interpret those two sentences and that Hugo Schwyzer should rephrase it. Those two sentences are not ambiguous at all and I would rather say that mr. Schwyzer should reconsider his view rather than his phrasing.

Trackbacks

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