Writing in today’s Guardian, Ally Fogg appeals for fair play for male sexual desire:
Male sexuality is no less diverse, complex and wonderful than women’s or, for that matter, no more base, coarse and animalistic…
If we can begin to openly and joyously celebrate the positives to male sexuality, it might become easier for men to be happy and confident sexual partners, and in turn become better lovers, and sometimes better people.
He’s right, of course. But the pathologizing of male desire isn’t the fault of feminism, or of the media. It’s the fault of the dishearteningly high number of men who abuse, harass, and cheat. This bad male behavior is excused by a culture that teaches us that most men (if not all) lack the capacity to control their libidos. Shame is an understandable (if costly) strategy for keeping male sexuality in check.
So let’s openly and joyously celebrate the positives of male sexuality. But we first need to liberate all of us from the “myth of male weakness,” a myth which insists that the average man has little or no self-control over his sexual desires.
Fogg thinks we need to celebrate positive male sexuality in order to make men into better people. Great idea, but it’s a bit back to front. First we need to show a rightly suspicious world that men are capable of being safe. Once men stop blaming women for enticing or inviting infidelity and rape—once we stop believing the myth of uncontrollable male desire—then and only then can we ask to have our sexuality celebrated in all its hot and powerful wonder.
—photo by Newtown Grafitti on Flickr