Why This Argument Doesn’t Work.

Feminists destroyed the world.

Well, obviously we did. I mean, look at the state of things. “Men are delaying or avoiding marriage like never before and women want to know why,” says Pegah Patra, a model/actress I’d never heard of before Huffington Post published her on April 8th.

“…maybe the concept of feminism has also taken us to the extreme level of sexual freedom. By making sex so available and accessible for men it allows them to lose respect and not value courtship the way they did years ago in western cultures or as they still do in many parts of the world.”

She’s totally right. We shouldn’t make sex so available for men! That’s absurd! We have to WITHHOLD sex until they prove they’re WORTHY of it.

Why does that sound like bribery?

Oh wait. Because it is.

But so what, you know? Men who only want sex and not a relationship should be FORCED into having relationships. That’s a really good idea. Because it’s the truth that women ONLY want relationships, and men ONLY want sex. Men are evil. Women are emotional. Duh.

So there are several huge issues here. The first is that men are a single bloc and women are a single bloc: we are not individuals, and we do not make our own choices. Apparently, women are programmed to want love and relationships, and men are programmed to want sex. This argument has been falling flat for me recently, though. I’ve heard of three or four relationships in which a girl almost broke up with her boyfriend because he wouldn’t have sex with her – talk about gender roles being turned upside down! Sometimes men are genuinely interested in an emotional connection (thank god). And not all women have dreams about walking down the aisle. Recently, for the first time in my life, I “planned” an element of my wedding. “If I ever get married, I want it to be here.” But that feels weird to me, because in my mind, marriage is not a goal to be worked towards, it’s a celebration of something that already exists. From that perspective, I don’t know if I’ll ever be married, and frankly, that doesn’t bother me. I find it immediately offensive that Patra assumes I played “wedding” just like her, and it’s just as obnoxious that she sees all men as vessels of desire and not much else.

The second major issue is that wanting purely sex is presented as a bad thing. Petra completely undervalues the lifestyle choices of – well, a lot of college students, actually. I’m not going to pretend that every girl I know who has hooked up a decent amount is thrilled with her decisions. But I know several girls who are rather happy just making out/sleeping with a lot of random guys. As long as they’re safe and they’re happy, then GOOD. The same goes for men – if they’re being safe, and it genuinely makes them happy (and actually isn’t making them feel badly about whatever), then go for it.

Patra doesn’t see it like that, though. Some girls are at clubs dressing “slutty” (her word not mine) to “attract men’s attention,” and she clearly has some judgmental things to say about that. I would encourage Patra to let those “sluts” do what they want – but stay the hell out of the clubs if it makes her that uncomfortable. There are other places to meet men, and in those other places, it’s more likely that they’ll be looking for something similar to what she wants.

The biggest issue with Patra’s “piece” (dare I call it that?) is that I feel like the whole thing indicates that women should be bribing men. “I’ll sleep with you – if you emotionally connect with me first.” Now that sex is so accessible, men don’t have to form those connections for us, and they apparently don’t, which she proves with statistics about marriage rates. Since all men want is sex (and this is bad), they can get what they want and leave us stranded in the dust or something depressing like that. We have to go back to the olden days and force men who only want sex to exist in relationships in which they probably don’t feel comfortable first. Sex is a bargaining chip.

But I refuse to accept this. My body, my sex, my life is NOT something to be gambled off. Sadly, in Patra’s scenario, that’s the only option. If men only want sex, in order to get that emotional connection we crave, we have to draw them in with – sex. My body is NOT a bargaining chip, though, and I’m NEVER going to create a situation in which I force a man who only appreciates my body to stay with me long enough to get it.

Instead, I’m going to believe that men are individuals. That men, like women, can be good, and like women, can behave poorly. That some men want sex, but some genuinely want relationships and find satisfaction and fulfillment in an emotional connection. I’m going to believe that, even though I also want an emotional connection, I don’t have to withhold my body to get it. An emotional connection is (or isn’t) going to form based on our personalities and how we interact – not whether or not there is sex in a relationship.

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