I was about 21 when a group of my male friends started playing a game they called Summer of Love. I’d been in one intimate relationship and had sex a total of twice in my life.
The game was as follows: you get points for having sex with a member of the opposite sex over the summer, extra points for blowjobs, threesomes and different partners. It was negative 100 points for starting a relationship in that time.
I remember finding the whole thing repulsive. It reduced women to points to be scored, encouraged and perpetuated predatory behaviour. I came in at dead last with -100 points when I stopped counting.
I did the wrong thing.
I didn’t call out anyone involved, didn’t challenge this awful behaviour. I refused to take part, but sitting back and watching is still being complicit. I was a coward.
I don’t like the word hate. I believe hate only festers, only gets in the way of progress and understanding.
I hate my world’s culture of toxic masculinity.
I hate that the actions of males have turned people I respect angry and bitter.
I hate that my wife has to dress a specific way to feel comfortable just walking down the fucking street.
I hate that writers I know who are way more talented, thoughtful and dedicated than me don’t enjoy the same freedom to create without abuse or criticism, solely for the reason that they are women.
I hate that people I love, my mother, my sister, my wife and every single woman I know have been degraded, assaulted and intimidated by the disgusting behaviour of men.
Most of all I hate that my cowardice has been a part of that.
Women have always been braver than men. They’ve had to be. Men can hide behind a system they’ve created, a world where the supposed natural order of things makes it a living nightmare for half the population.
Men need to be brave. It is not our nature to act like this. Human nature is to rise above ourselves, to tear down evil constructs and replace them with what is right and good.
We can be better. It is not an impossible task to make this world a safe and equal place for the women in our lives. It is not too hard to change a thought, and once we lose the part of ourselves that raises us by dragging women down we will be ten times better for it.
Nice Blog, I guess women never sit around with friends and discuss mens performance in bed, penis size, how long they can last and how many sexual partners they have had….. and they also never have a second glance at a well toned and attractive man walking down the street, because that would be objectifying him…. If only all us men could aspire to be like women!
This post wasn’t aimed at personally finding a member of the opposite sex attractive or discussing sexual encounters among friends. It is specifically addressing predatory and harmful behaviour among men. I would like to pose you a question, have you ever felt sexually objectified by the opposite sex or been sexually harassed by a woman? If you have and are comfortable sharing it I think it could definitely add to the discussion.
Onya Sam, a great piece – I share the sentiment.
I disagree, you did aim at those things, amongst many other points. To clear things up, I am a gay women and I have not been objectified by men to a degree which is worth mentioning. I find my straight friends are much more comfortable objectifying men then men are objectifying women, hence why this blog is irritating. Men are constantly under the microscope for this behaviour by oversensitive types like yourself and I am actually starting to feel sorry for them. There actions always overanalysed by a small group and blown massively out of proportion. The reality is there is no real problem in society and it is overblown by a small minority of virtue signalling individuals. Some of your blogs are not bad, but this is waaaayyy off!
The problem with the incident i mention is not openly discussing attraction with friends, it is that the game reduces the worth of women to points scored based on what sexual services they provide.
I can understand your frustration with the outrage machine, i also feel that small things get blown out of proportion by social media.
However, this piece comes from my own experiences with toxic masculinity. My mother suffered from domestic abuse and every woman in my life has told me at least one story of sexual harrassment from an ex boyfriend, co-worker or complete stranger.
There is a very real problem with the way our culture treats women, hence the public outcry. It would be taking a pretty limited vision of the world to deny this based on only your experiences.
That sucks about your family, while I agree its tough to base opinion just on my experience its as equally limited in overall vision to base your opinion on your life experience, which is unfortunately again not a good representation. I say this in the most sensitivity.
I also would point out, comparing a points scoring game between some young men is wildly optimistic to some how tie into the experiences which you described. Is that what you just tried to do in the above? The game sounds a little immature (trust me, girls do similar stuff like this all the time), but overall no one seemed to be hurt.. the experiences you described on the other hand with your family sounds horrible. I think both shouldn’t be tied together as it trivialises the latter.
I would say devaluing women is the exact root for things like domestic violence and sexual harrassment, which is why i used that example.
This post was not about virtue-signalling or painting all men as sexual deviants, i was speaking openly about a topic that i am passionate about and apologising for being complicit in what i see is a big problem.
You are well within your rights to disagree or dislike this post, not everything i write will appeal to everyone regardless of the content. I’ve definitely written some dog shit stuff on this website before so im well used to it. Thems the breaks with writing.
However i would suggest you do some research before making broad statements about the number of people affected by the problem. 80-100 women each year are killed by domestic violence in Australia alone. Thats twice the amount of soldiers killed in Afghanistan total, every single year. It took me twenty seconds to find that out on google.
The inequality and hostility towards women in our culture is blatantly obvious. The thing i find most irritating about my blog post is that if i was a woman and had written this, someone would have threatened to rape me by now.
Thank god, I’m glad some one said it ANTSJ. You got girl
“if only all us men could aspire to be like women” was clearly spoken in sarcasm to articulate my point. Definitely not confused here.
I have a broad range of female friends, ranging from straight to gay, from all walks of life and I think that puts me in good stead to comment on a good sample. I ensure you, that you are within a small echo chamber and the large majority of men and women are sick and tired of the rhetoric that you and your friends spew. I have brothers, a dad, friends and cousins and to tar them with this brush is completely unfair, with most men I know being hard working and not abusive at all.
If you have experienced harassment, which I denounce then I feel bad for you. But you are definitely not in large company. Definitely not large enough, say on the level that men experience violence in society which is regularly brushed aside … This is a topic truly worthy of being addressed in a blog. Not some puff, cringe piece, flavour of the day virtue signalling rubbish.
On this harassment point, being gay makes no difference. Men still find me attractive occasionally believe it or not and 95% of the time are very respective how they approach this topic.
Great post Samuel. This is definitely a big problem in our world and does not get blown out of proportion in my opinion. In fact, more people like you need to speak up!
ANTSJ… “if only all us men could aspire to be like women”… but in the next post you say you are one??! A little confused here.
Whatever sex you are, I don’t know what kind of female friends you hang around with, but I haven’t been in the company of women who discuss their sexual partner’s penis size, performance and number of partners, etc. Clearly some women obviously do this (not the ones I know) however… that is not the point that Samuel was making.
Perhaps if you were a heterosexual woman, you might be able to understand what it feels like to be harassed and sexually objectified by men. Having a second look at an attractive man in the street is perfectly normal. Playing sex games to score points is not!
Firstly let me put it out there that I am Sam’s mum and I am so proud of this blog that I could burst.
ANTISJ I really am not sure what planet you are living on but this is an issue that relates to most men and women, do you honestly believe that every woman you know who has been intimated or harassed will tell you about it or any man who has involved themselves in this behaviour will own up.
I would like to know where you obtained your stats that “the large majority of men and women are sick of this rhetoric ” honestly that’s bullshit and just because your experience is different to that which Sam writes about does not mean it is correct.
As a women I have had men run up to me in the middle of Brisbane and grab my breast, I have had them grab my arse when out at a club, My friends and I have been followed by groups of males shouting catcalling and intimidating us to the extent that you become fearful to just be out and about.
Yes I have been in a DV marriage and Sam’s view’s will be influenced by this experience, however I also work in Child Protection and I can guarantee that the majority of families I work with have DV in the household and the majority of perpetrators are men who believe that they own women. The children that I see day in and out grow up to believe that as a male they have the right to bullying bash and intimidate females and females grow up believing they are second class citizens.
I totally agree with you that not all men are like this. I have brought my three sons and two stepsons up to be kind, thoughtful compassionate young men and for you to get on this blog and berate Sam for being one of those men just
pisses me off.