Stuck in the Doghouse
An Examination of Male Chauvinism
With all the uproar these days about women’s reproductive rights, and all the fuming opinions and insults being tossed around by men as a result, it is important to take a moment and ask ourselves why this is happening at all. Of course women should have reproductive rights. Of course Rush Limbaugh doesn’t know how birth control works. The real question we should be asking is this: who is really in control in this world? This question’s important because it gets down to the root cause of many of our social problems. If we can answer the question of who has the power, then we can begin to reach an understanding, to accept reality, and to educate each other about how to act around one another. If we continue to sit in the dark on this issue, continue banging our hands against the walls in hopes of punching a hole through to the light, then we’re going to throw tantrums about the same topics over and over again until the human race destroys itself.
So, who really runs the world? Women.
But wait, there’s more! You may have heard of a creature called the bowerbird. And if not, you need only travel to the nearest bar or college campus and watch the bowerbird’s behavior at play in our own species. The male bowerbird spends hours and a great deal of effort to attract females by creating a bower from scratch and adorning it with various trinkets, or even optical illusions (because apparently the females have never seen any of M.C. Escher’s work). One could call this showboating, or grandstanding, and what it comes down to is that the males of countless different species across the globe have evolved behaviors or physical traits that allow them to seem more appealing to the females. Sometimes these traits are so strongly pronounced that they actually hinder the survivability of the males by lowering their mobility or camouflage. Human males are no exception. Except instead of collecting a bunch of trash from our neighborhood and putting it on display for the ladies, we instead buy them drinks at the bar, show them our fancy dancing moves, buy a bright and shiny car, write them a love song or poem, or bomb another country. The list goes on and on.
You can see it beginning very early on in children’s lives. Boys will practically fall over themselves to get attention from girls, even if they don’t know that that’s what they’re doing. As they get older, it becomes more and more apparent, to themselves and to the rest of us. Grade school is full of this kind of behavior – boys pretending to be someone they aren’t or acting in ways that they wouldn’t dare reveal in front of their male peers. Boys act this way because they want to be wanted, and society has done almost as good a job rooting that trait into their heads as millions of years of evolution has. And since boys grow up with this need to impress, it becomes part of our culture, our daily routine, and it is a tough habit to break because the rewards validate the behavior itself.
Where boys grow up as the gender that strives desperately to impress females, girls grow up already being the desired gender. From day one of their lives, they are wanted, and as they get older, that fact becomes part of their reality. Their parents, the father in particular, will do anything to protect them from the dangers of the outside world. What is frequently the first thing a girl’s father tells her when she hits puberty? “Boys are only interested in one thing: sex.” Girls soon find that most everyone – boys especially – are doing things for them to get attention. Not only that, but they live in a society where the dominant culture holds them to such a high standard, that they are practically gods to be worshipped. Who do most advertisers use to sell their products? Women. Take a look around at the businesses in town sometime. Who do most of them have at the front desk, the very first person patrons see when they enter inside? Women. All over this country, in almost every facet of our culture, women are used to represent all things great and beautiful in this world, even if it damages all of us in the long run.
There are men that spend every day of their lives trying to woo the ladies into liking them. And just because a guy doesn’t have a spray-on tan or spiked hair or an affinity for bulging muscles, doesn’t mean they’re exempt. We’ve all met them. You can see it in the way they act, the way they talk, and the fondness of certain memories. You can even see guys go from being macho one second, to putting on a completely different mask as soon as a woman enters the room (or even calls on the phone). You may have heard the rhyme, “Girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice; Boys are made of snails and puppy dog tails”. That phrase didn’t just pop up out of nowhere – it is based on the fact that females are the gender to be desired (as well as a very warped perception of human anatomy). Indeed, the pedestal they are put on could reach the moon – then blow up the moon and send a shower of love ballads and dating game shows back down to Earth, and each of them would sell for millions of dollars because that message is relatable on a level that exceeds everything else in our lives. Plus, who doesn’t love moon rocks?
So how did this pedestal, the one that girls and women sit on their entire lives, change from being simple affection to outright worship? Super powers. Not that women are mutants, but considering how different they are from men physically, emotionally, and socially, women might as well at least be some kind of milk-shooting super heroes. Start with the basics. Pretty much all of us can agree that human females are the most beautiful people in the world. Not beautiful just in a sexual sense, but in an artistic, philosophical, human, and visual sense. They’re appealing to the eye. They’re appealing to our minds and emotions. We analyze them, pick them apart, watch everything they wear and do, and ask them for advice. We rely on them to have our babies. If we need to cry on someone’s shoulder, we usually go to women first.
Fundamentally, it means that everyone, everywhere, enjoys the look and feel of a woman more than a man (even some gay men have a certain affinity for women, even if it isn’t sexual). A woman has curves, intricate hair, a grand sense of style, emotions that help us balance our lives, and of course a uterus. Plus, you know, boobs – the physical manifestation of a Jedi mind trick. Look at the middle-east, where female beauty is considered so sacred that they cover their women up in big cloaks (or burqas) that typically cover every inch of skin, in order to preserve that beauty, and most of the women themselves agree with this practice. What do men have? A mostly flat, hairy body, an over-aggressive tendency, and a weird looking, flappy sex organ that looks like someone rolled Play-Doh together into a shaft and slapped it on their ken doll haphazardly, then threw some dangling balls on there too because…they’re easy to kick? Oh, and we have nipples for no reason. Heterosexual women of course find men attractive, but when it comes down to it, most of them would rather hang out with their girlfriends than stare at a men’s underwear catalog all day. You can’t say the same thing about men. If we have to choose between drinking beers with our buds or making out with our girlfriends, we almost always go with the latter.
Sure, men are generally physically stronger than women, but that kind of power doesn’t go as deep as, say, making babies. Women can lift boxes and open jars just as well as everyone else. And yes, men hold pretty much all of the political positions of power in this world, but again, that’s all superficial. The only reason men achieved that in the first place was because we were scared – scared of the abilities of women. After all, who is more important to you: the guy next door who can lift two hundred pounds, or your mom (or your girlfriend)? All the testosterone in the world can’t compete with that.
Another super power that women possess is the amount of options they have when it comes to masturbation. This is essentially because of the way their bodies are built. Simply put, they have a vagina; a hole in the body into which things can be stuck and thus derive pleasure from. Have you ever asked a woman how they masturbate? You’ll get a different answer almost every time. Some like clitoral stimulation, others like to keep the attention on the vagina itself, and some enjoy a combination of both – or anything in between. Consider all the masturbation toys that women have at their disposal: dildos, vibrators, machines, finger straps, strap-on dildos, double-sided dildos, some women can even bring themselves to orgasm simply by rubbing their legs together, something that can be done anywhere, anytime, and without anyone noticing (unless you’re really lucky). Women even have better, longer lasting orgasms! Women’s bodies and the toys that they have available are so effective and practical, that some women can go without sex for long periods of time and are perfectly content doing so.
Masturbation for men could not be any more different. First of all, our sex organs are built so that we are the ones doing the penetrating during intercourse. This leaves us with very few options for self-pleasure. We have one move: Up and down. And you can forget about getting through a dry spell easily; most men would be humping the walls if they didn’t have masturbation. Some of them even have a hard time (no pun intended) masturbating because A) men don’t produce self-lubrication like women do and B) many men are circumcised, which naturally makes masturbation more difficult because the head of the penis has been worn down from so much contact with clothing. So where do we turn to for our version of sex toys? Pornography. It’s really the only thing we have left. Other than the Fleshlight, of course. It comes as no surprise, then, that the pornography industry is one of the biggest and most profitable industries in the world – porno practically invented VHS, DVD, and the Internet. And what do most porno videos depict? The man taking control of sex, something we can’t do in real life.
But if women have so many options when it comes to masturbation, then wouldn’t the female sex toy industry be on par with the popularity of pornography? Not when you consider the fact that women’s toys last longer. Dildos and vibrators are not one-time-use; they can in fact last years, if not a lifetime. The options women have when it comes to masturbation (even if not all of them take advantage of it, and make no mistake, many do) are incredible, especially when you compare it to the severely limited options men have. Women have complete control and countless options when it comes to their own bodily pleasure and men do not, which lead us to want sex even more than what society, our hormones, and evolution, are telling us.
Yet another super power that women possess that we must consider is what is commonly referred to as the miracle of childbirth. Giving birth to a child is the very essence of the creation of life; it is something that everyone in the world values greatly, because without it, we wouldn’t exist (there’s even a profession dedicated solely to women’s ability to bare and birth children: Midwives, apparently one of the oldest professions in history). That is a powerful fact to think about. And it becomes even more powerful when you consider that men will never ever be able to experience it. In the man’s world, being pregnant, giving birth, being the mother (almost always the more popular parent, and for good reason), that’s for women. We think that way because we know we’re not the ones who are able to do it. The only thing men contribute to the process is sperm, and not only is that a quick, paltry addition to the whole process, but hell, it can now be retrieved from a sperm bank. Do men wish they could give birth to children? Probably not. We realize it is painful and an inconvenience and hey, we’re enjoying our smug, baseless superiority over here! But women are the ones whom humans depend on to procreate. However simple that idea may be, it remains a very important one in the minds of men and women the world over, whether they realize it or not.
But there is a super power that women have that trumps even the ability to bare children: women are the ones who say yes or no to sex. Think about that for a moment. The act that is the most pleasurable in this world – maybe in the entire universe; suck it, aliens – is the only one that, ultimately, is left up to the females of the species to decide on doing or not. There’s no question that every guy wants sex, but when it comes down to it, they have to rely on the girl to say yes. For a man, that reality is sort of like being forced into a prison made of delicious candy and not being allowed to eat any of it, and we live like this every day, for our entire lives. No, women are not food to be eaten. Men don’t walk around with Terminator vision, classifications and probabilities flashing in front of our eyes, searching every room for targets, but the concept is very similar. We’re trying to do whatever it takes to be happy.
Here’s an example: If a woman stands up in front of a crowd of people and asks who wants to sleep with her, (and if she can convince them that she’s serious, which is a feat unto itself) she will probably be approached by an endless string of men that are eager to take up the offer. However, if a man gets in front of a crowd and asks who wants to sleep with him, he probably wouldn’t get any offers whatsoever. This is for a few reasons. One, because every single woman has either experienced themselves or heard many times about the atrocities of men. It’s what stops women from going out alone at night, or bringing a friend with them to a party, or carrying mace in their purse everywhere they go. Secondly, a man probably wouldn’t get any offers for sex because almost every single woman in the room has likely already heard that same question multiple times that very same day, in various forms of honesty and disgusting detail, and they are sick to death of hearing it. Seriously, they would rather watch the Matrix with you for the hundredth time. Third, all the women in this hypothetical room don’t know this guy. Most women need to get to know the guy first, see what kind of person he is, what his life is like, how he treats his mother, or any number of criteria that they probably wrote down when they were twelve years old and are still revising to this day. If most men wrote a list like that, it would probably be one line long and include the word “moist”.
One of the main reasons men are always trying to get sex is because we are denied it by almost every woman, especially the ones we really, really want (Angelina Jolie for example), whether they are actually desirable in reality or not (again, Angelina Jolie), everywhere we go, for our entire lives. That actually makes us want to try more, because we’re much more likely to succeed with multiple subjects as opposed to just one. And once we try that tactic, we of course fail more often, because our technique might be getting sloppy or our confidence is going down. This typically leads to a downward spiral now known as The Creep (thank you, Lonely Island!), where a man has been whittled down to basically nothing but a miserable, walking penis who hates himself almost as much as he hates women. This is all completely opposite of how women manage their relationships; most of them not only have plenty of options when it comes to who they want to sleep with, but a never-ending line of them, from very early on in their lives and continuing on for decades upon decades – and the only problems they face in this sea of men (besides the assholes and The Creeps) is who to pick. This phenomenon is called “Sexual Selection”, coined by Charles Darwin in his 1859 book, On the Origin of Species, “This depends, not on a struggle for existence, but on a struggle between the males for possession of the females; the result is not death to the unsuccessful competitor, but few or no offspring.” [Chapter 4, Page 88]. Just change that last part to “but little or no sex” and you get the idea.
This is why there are so many songs written by men that are about wooing some girl into having sex with him. It’s why we have the term “players”, where a guy is really good at playing the “game” of getting sex from a woman. When a woman is unsatisfied with their male spouse’s behavior, the usual tendency is to begin to deny him sex until he changes his behavior, otherwise known as the “doghouse” (or sleeping on the couch). Some men spend their entire lives trying to figure out some way to get laid on a regular basis. That is the power to make or break dreams, and it’s something that men will never have. It is control of the highest order, the kind of control that you can’t get from being the richest person in the world, or the president of a country, or even from being able to pull a semi-truck with your butt cheeks, but from simply being a woman. There is no greater power in this world than the power of “Yes”. On some level, all men know that, and boy does it piss most of them off. It makes us feel inadequate, and if there’s one thing that society and the media have taught men to hate more than feelings, it’s inadequacy.
All of these things point to one simple truth. Intolerance and violence against women – rape in particular – exists because men do not, cannot, have the same degree of control over sex and relationships as women do. Rape and intolerance are the disturbed man’s way of taking that control back. Those men want everyone to believe that they are the ones in control. But the truth is the exact opposite. Women are the ones in control; they always have been and they probably always will be. Compounding the problem of men’s aggressive behavior is patriarchy and the capitalist mentality, the idea that things other than them must be dominated and controlled, or bought and sold. Men are the ones who stand by and watch. We are the ones who beg. We are the ones who are dependent on women for so many things, from emotional support, to the creation of life, all the way down to very base acts of sex.
Does this mean we have any reason to condone or otherwise tolerate men’s aggressive behavior towards women? Absolutely not. On the contrary, that behavior is the very thing that should prompt all men to change their attitude, because our lives will be better for it – it’s the men that refuse to do so that are making it difficult for everyone. If we just put Rambo back inside our pants (as the Dead Kennedys say in the song Stars and Stripes of Corruption) and toned down our hostility, women would be more receptive, welcoming, trusting, and all those other qualities that I’m sure they would love to show more often. Men wouldn’t have to beg anymore, because the world wouldn’t be full of creeps and assholes. Getting that monkey off your back would be worth it because, in the end, we’d be having even more sex, simply because of the emotional and physical stability that kind of mentality would provide. Just because certain things are hardwired into our brains and societies doesn’t mean we can’t simply ignore them. We are a species of adaptability; it’s been proven time and time again.
So fellas, do yourself – and everyone else – a favor and treat women like actual human beings. It might just get you laid someday.
Article written by Leo Charles Howell